Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored


From XP to Windows 7

I must say that when Windows 7 first appeared on the scene for a trial download, I was one of the first to get it and begin experimenting with it at work. I have been anxious to see if Windows could produce an operating system to rival the Mac Os, which by all accounts is much more media friendly and simple than Window XP, the operating system I had at the time. I was not disappointed. The new Windows has been stable and user-friendly since their beta release last year.

When Windows 7 officially launched in October of this year, I was literally drooling over the idea of getting a copy. My only reservations: would ALL my cherished programs work on it? I use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Video Editing Suite, Bibleworks, and a few other expensive software packages I did not want to have to repurchase. Again, I was not disappointed.

When my laptop began its early descent into the grave with hardware issues, I was sick to my stomach...but the rewards of having Windows 7 has been a great consolation. Below I've listed some of my praise for the OS for you, and if you want the long list of tips and tricks I have collected off the web for the new Windows, download that from me by clicking this link Windows_7_tips.

  1. The new interface makes the taskbar look a lot less crowded. I have 3-4 programs open at all times, and have a lot easier time switching between them now. Even better, since most computer screens are now widescreen formatted, I am able to place the taskbar on the side of the screen without any problems, giving me another inch of precious vertical screen space across the bottom. (See the attached tips sheet for how to do this: make your taskbar icons smaller too)
  2. Windows makes the screen more efficient. I don't feel as if I have to maximize every program anymore. I can open email, Itunes, or Microsoft Word and not feel as if I need to have the program filling the screen to get things done. This is particularly helpful in that Windows will place a program on exactly half of the screen if you simply drag the program to the side of the screen and let go.
  3. Windows 7 is more secure. Gone are the days when sharing my documents on a home network meant anyone connected to that network could modify them. Now I can password protect anything I share. Whew! That was a big worry in days past.
  4. Windows is only $30 for students! That's right, until January 3rd, Windows 7 Home Premium is only $30 for full time students. I just got my copy, do you have yours? Get it here:
  5. Windows makes things simple: From operating the Media player to attaching an external monitor, Windows makes the new daily life of computers very simple. I recommend that you purchase it with your next computer: ditch the Mac! and enjoy.

A few considerations when buying a new computer:

  1. 32 bit vs. 64 bit: Windows and Mac are both upgrading their systems for higher performance. 64-bit is the term for the newest operating system standard. I won't get into all the details, but Macs are pretty much 64 bit now, and any PC you buy should also be 64-bit. In a few years, 32 bit computers will be ancient, so I recommend you stay ahead of the technological curve.
  2. Graphics cards and RAM matter. If you are buying a new computer, make sure it has 4gb of ram and a good graphics adapter. Windows 7 is very pretty, with lots of 3-D effects. Those effects come at the cost of using more memory and requiring the computer to use its graphics capabilities.
  3. You get what you pay for: For that reason, I highly recommend avoiding purchasing a bargain netbook or refurbished system with Windows 7. Spend the money like you are buying a Macbook...if you pay 700-1000, you are going to get a laptop you are very happy with. If you spend $200 for an HP laptop, you may regret your decision. And don't buy an HP or Acer. They are the lowest quality laptops on the market currently. Stick with Dell, Lenovo, Sony or Toshiba.

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