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Getting started with Windows 7

11 January 2009

As there are hundreds of posts across the web from people getting started with various GNU/Linux distros, just seeing what it can do, whether it’s worth switching or even taking the plunge and migrating away from a commercial operating system, I have decided to join the (af)fray and try out (as I am a non-long-haired, non-pot-smoking, non-hippy but very happy Linux user) the new Windows 7 beta.

I haven’t yet burnt anything to disk as I don’t own any blank DVDs yet, so that’s a task for another day when I can pop into the supermarket. I still have some general observations on the release. Basically the word shambollic springs to mind. It was poorly done, the website was not updated, the limit for the number of beta testers was pitifully low, the demand was extremely high and the servers couldn’t cope. Although I suppose Microsoft have hardly published anything Digg-effect-worthy so they’d not have experience in shoring up their servers. I apologise for refusing to source my claims, but you can check out the Windows 7 tag on lifehacker.com, the details are all there.

Downloading the beta was not a simple task. I followed the official link at the Windows 7 beta page and logged into my hotmail account and was given a product key. Fair enough, they’re paranoid about people stealing their innovation so Microsoft obviously need to protect their software…hang on piracy is rife and product keys have stopped nothing, and erm innovation is either bought out or ripped off from say…KDE?

Anyway. The download link wouldn’t work, so with a little lifehacker-fu I began the download. Certainly not what you would expect to have to do. The download said it would take 2 hours as they had thoughtlessly only published it by straight http download, rather than seeding it through bittorrent like all the cool kids (which would have been a helluva lot faster). It didn’t take 2 hours, so I don’t know whether it’s worked or not. Microsoft also forgot to publish an MD5 hash for their disk image, so I can’t check it’s not been tampered with or not downloaded properly.

Right, all I can do is wait until I can get me some DVD-age, over and out.

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