Monthly Archives: November 2009

Tue, November 10th, 2009 by Graves and Allen

WINDOWS 7– New OS, Same Old Story

Well, I bought a copy of Windows 7 Professional. I installed it (eventually) over a functional Vista installation on my Lenovo laptop. Before installing it, I ran all the tests that Microsoft set up about compatibility. The computer passed with flying colors. I started the installation…… A problem, the computer needed more space; I deleted some information from my hard drive to allow more space. Eventually, the installation succeeded and I had Windows 7 on the computer.

Initially, I reacted favorably to Windows 7. It appeared to run better than Vista and, in fact appeared to take less space on the hard drive than Vista. The computer seemed to run a bit faster on Windows 7. I was beginning to think that Microsoft actually did it this time, then it happened…… I put a CD into my DVD drive, so that I could reinstall some of the information I had deleted to allow Windows 7 to install itself on my computer. Nothing happened. I checked to see if the Windows system recognized the drive properly and discovered it did not. I dropped the drive fro the system and rebooted. This time, I saw the notice from Windows that it did not like the driver for the disk drive and blocked it. It told me that I needed an updated driver. I contacted Lenovo and they knew nothing about it. I checked the manufacturer’s web site and Microsoft’s website. I even did a full Internet search. No new driver existed.

So, I have a Lenovo laptop with Windows 7 and no DVD drive. I had hoped that Microsoft had finally done it right, but it seems that it is the same old stuff. Interestingly, when I installed Vista over XP, I had no such issues, although I know of others that did and I have had such issues with Microsoft in the past.

As it does appear that Windows 7 has the potential to be better than both XP and Vista, I will likely install it on other computers one day. Maybe the day after new drivers become available to enable me to use my DVD drive again. In the mean time, as it is clear that the compatibility tests do not do their job properly, I would delay installing Windows 7 on an existing computer for a while. It is apparently not a safe thing to do. If I were in the market for a new computer running Windows, however, I would likely not object to receiving it with Windows 7.

Copyright 2009, Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wed, November 4th, 2009 by Graves and Allen

On Installing SNOW LEOPARD

Snow Leopard is an upgrade to Leopard and you need to take your computer to that OS first to upgrade to Snow Leopard.  Although Snow Leopard only costs $29 for a single license, if you don’t already have Leopard on our computer, you have to purchase a copy of Leopard if you want to use it.  The OS also requires a Mac with an Intel processor.

Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

It will probably take some time before you see the benefit of the most significant enhancement for the new OS- its support of 64-bit software.  Once vendors start producing 64-bit code for programs, you should see a marked improvement in processing speed.  Until then, not so much.  Apple has announced that it has converted its key system applications to 64-bit, so you will see a speed jump there right off the bat.

We are moving from two to four core processor computers.  Snow Leopard takes advantage of the new multi-core processors.  Intel produces several multi-core processors. Apple has had multiple core processors available in its Mac Pro line for some time.  Apple recently announced that it would ship a 27” quad-core processor iMac in November 2009.

Moving to a quad core-processor and code written for a 64 bit OS/processor combination will generate substantial speed improvements for the system.  I have discussed some of the new features of Snow Leopard in a review that I wrote for the November issue of the Technology eReport, you will be able to find that review on the ABA’s GPSolo Division web site in the near future.  Apple has devoted a section of its web site to Snow Leopard and its features.  You may want to take some time to look through the web site to help you decide whether you want to upgrade.  You can find the information at: http://www.apple.com/macosx/.

I installed Snow Leopard over existing Leopard installations on two different generations of iMacs, a MacBook, a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro.  Each of the installations went smoothly and fairly quickly.  Once I completed the installation current versions of my programs worked just as they had before the installation.  Some older programs had problems, but Snow Leopard compatible updates e released within the last month solved most of those issues.  If you upgrade to Snow Leopard, I strongly recommend that you check out your existing software and make sure that you have the most current versions of the programs you need.  If you do that you should have no significant problems from the new OS.

My overall reaction to the new OS is that it provides a good tune-up for the Leopard OS and justifies the $29 price tag.  I plan on getting a quad-core iMac and expect that I will see a very significant performance improvement at that time.  I will write about it after I have had the chance to use it for a while.

Copyright 2009, Jeffrey Allen, all rights reserved.

Posted in Software | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 by Graves and Allen

Great Buy on the George

Buy.com, a well known on-line discount site sent me an email today advertising that they were selling the George for $249, approximately half price.  I reviewed the George a while back.  It is an outstanding iPod speaker/docking system.  If you find yourself in the market for such a device, either for yourself or as a gift, this is a truly great buy.

Posted in Hardware | Leave a comment