Impressions of Win7 Beta Upgrade from Vista Ultimate SP1

Over this past weekend, I upgraded a laptop from Vista Ultimate SP1 to the new Windows 7 Beta (both 64-bit).  I decided to throw caution to the wind and forget the whole VM thing.  The upgrade lasted just under 7 hours but, before you think that might be a long time, the same laptop when upgraded from Vista Home Premium SP1 to Vista Ultimate SP1 took a little over 6 hours 20 minutes.  The laptop is an HP Pavilion dv5 (4gb ram, 2.1ghz AMD dual-core).

There have been no unworkable problems up to this point.  The issues that I have had so far are:

  • Skype 3.8 did not work.  The Win7 installer warned about this and I uninstalled before restarting the upgrade.  After the upgrade, I attempted to install the app (ignoring the compatibility warning) and it did install but crashes without an error dialog shortly after.  The Skype 4 beta 3 release seems to be working properly so far on Windows 7 64-bit so I will see how that goes.
  • Virtual PC did not upgrade properly.  I received a message stating that “Virtual PC could not open the Virtual Machine Network Services driver”.  The VMs did run but without any network access.  Uninstall/Reinstall of VPC fixed this issue for me.

I thought I might have a problem with TortoiseSVN but it has worked after the upgrade without any problems at all.

Visual Studio 2008 and 2005 both work fine after the upgrade.  I was expecting that I might have a problem with the Experimental Hive entries for the VS SDKs after the upgrade, but I didn’t have any problem with those either.

My first impressions of Windows 7 are good but I’m not overwhelmingly impressed in the way that some blogs have expressed.  Memory usage seems slightly better but nothing to bet exited about.  Bootup time has improved for me quite a bit, which is nice.  It is encouraging that performance of the beta appears to me to be at least the same as Vista Ultimate SP1 in the worst case and slightly better in some areas.

Some things have moved around on the Control Panel again so that is a little annoying.  One example is the Startup Applications that used to be found under Programs.  This applet appears to have gone away all together which is puzzling but it is possible that I have overlooked it.  Power users know to go directly to the folder but a regular user would be stuck with whatever installers or the OEMs feel like should run at startup. 

The new taskbar/quickstart toolbar combo is nice but I can’t figure out a way to start a second instance of an application, short of going back to the start menu.  This was a feature of the old quickstart toolbar I would like to have back.  An option on a right-click menu would be good enough.  Hopefully I’m overlooking an option somewhere.  [Update 1/13/09 11:35am – Shift+Click will launch a second instance.  That is about the only combo I didn’t try.  Thanks to Markus Egger on Twitter for that one.]

I Finally Joined Twitter

After spending time listening to the Virtual ALT.NET Meeting last night, I decided that I needed to go ahead and join Twitter because I was clearly missing out on some interesting community discussion.

James Avery had already told me that he found it a great resource, but sometimes I guess I need to hear it from more than one place.

The tipping point for me was the discussion around the VB.NET development community and open source.  There was a great discussion of issues at the VAN and it was kicked off because of the lively discussion that had occurred on Twitter a few hours earlier.

I wished I could have participated a little in the discussion but I’ve had a major cold over the last few days and I was a little drugged up on cold medication.  I ended up leaving the meeting after an hour so I could retire for the night so I missed the last part.  Some of the great discussion:

  • VB.NET community involvement in open source
  • Difficulties encountered when introducing new concepts like IoC and ORM to .NET developers that have not been exposed before.
  • Mass Transit
  • migratordotnet and the newer Fluent Migrator that is being worked on

I’ll definitely be attending the future VAN meetings and hope to participate.

You can find me on Twitter – darrenstokes.

Houston TechFest Coming 1/24/09

The Houston .NET User Group is putting on the second Houston TechFest on January 24 at the University of Houston.  The conference was originally scheduled for the Saturday that Hurricane Ike hit the Houston and Galveston area so this is rescheduled date.

Here are several tracks to choose from concentrating on both java and .NET.

I was out of town for the first TechFest but everyone who attended said it was well worth it.

Virtual ALT.NET Meeting and Houston Geek Dinner Tonight (1/7/09)

Chad Myers announced that there is VAN (Virtual ALT.NET Meeting) tonight.  It is hosted on Live Meeting.

I’ve been wanting to attend one of the Houston Geek Dinners for the Houston ALT.NET group but I keep missing them.  The next geek dinner is tonight and, unfortunately, I am going to miss this one as well.  However the VAN is later in the evening so I’ll be checking that out.