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Posts Tagged ‘windows 7’

Using a Bluetooth earpiece with Windows 7

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment

windows-7-logoThis weekend I have been upgrading Mrs Basshead’s Netbook to Windows 7. There was recently a problem with Windows XP taking a random but often lengthy amount of time to show the desktop after logging in. Various fixes had been attempted but XP could not be fixed. I have the Windows XP restore disc’s so thought there would be nothing lost trying Windows 7 Home Premium first.

The install went well, with Windows 7 picking up most of the hardware and installing the necessary drivers. The only thing that caused me problems is bluetooth support for a Jabra earpiece, which Windows appeared to recognise and install but not connect. I tried a couple of Vista drivers with no success, then found a post in a HP support forum. Hewlett Packard have a package that adds Bluetooth support to a range of HP Netbooks and Laptops running what looks like any version of Windows 7. It also works great with the Samsung Netbook, and Skype now automatically uses the Jabra earpiece when it is powered on in range. If you’re having problems connecting bluetooth equipment to a Windows 7 machine these HP drivers may help, just remember to make a backup or System Restore point before installing them.

Don’t believe the ‘Experts’

December 31, 2008 2 comments

I’ve enjoyed some of the in depth guides on Techradar.com recently, so it was a surprise to read a couple of articles there today that are, while clearly opinions, rather short sighted. The first, Why Mac clones defeat the whole point of a Mac, misses the whole point of building a hackintosh. Here’s the section that gets it all wrong:

There are three major desktop operating systems available at the moment:

  • Linux – an open OS running on open hardware
  • Windows – a closed OS running on open hardware
  • OS X – a closed OS running on closed hardware

Minor feature quibbles aside, all three operating systems do much the same thing. The decision of which one to run is an idealogical one that balances your love of freedom against your love of stability.

I could almost believe this is designed to start a flame war and boost site hits. Since Linux offers the most freedom it’s the least stable? And OS X is the most stable because it offers the least freedom? Idealogical decisions play very little part in the choosing of an operating system. A lot of people use Windows because they don’t know there’s an alternative, or they are happy with it. Many of us use Mac’s because we prefer the way Mac OS works, not because of some idealogical statement. Read more…

Windows 7 Build 6956

December 13, 2008 Leave a comment

This week I had a chance to play with the latest (available) Windows 7 build, 6956. The new style taskbar that was a hack in the previous 6801 version is now standard, and surprisingly includes the Windows explorer by default. There are some tweaks and graphical changes to the installation and startup screens but nothing massively different to the previous build. Techradar have a nice guide to what to expect from Windows 7 so I won’t repeat it all here. Read on for a screenshot gallery, and remember that these were taken running in VMware so there’s no Aero effects. Read more…

Categories: microsoft, windows Tags: , , ,

Windows 7 Aero and Taskbar

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

I had the chance today to do a native install of Windows 7 to enable the Aero interface. Below are some screenshots of the new taskbar in its full Aero glory, and switched to some of the few themes available. My favourite has to be the Windows 95 style, nothing like a new taskbar with 13 year old colours. No doubt the new taskbar will be changed and refined before Windows 7 launches, but isn’t it starting to look a bit like the Mac OS dock?

New Windows 7 Taskbar unlocked

November 3, 2008 Leave a comment

An article on withinwindows.com has revealed today that the new Windows 7 taskbar is included in the PDC build. The steps involved (and a small program to run) are listed on the site, and I had a try this afternoon and can confirm that it works. It appears the new taskbar is not quite as advanced as the one shown, but it works. The first instruction didn’t work for me so I had to take ownership of explorer.exe through the GUI, but apart from that everything went as described. The gallery below shows the new taskbar in action (running in VMware fusion) so I will do a native install when I get time and take some more screenshots to see what the Aero interface does to improve appearances. Read more…

Windows 7 screenshots

November 2, 2008 Leave a comment

I had a chance this week to play with the latest available build of Windows 7. It doesn’t include the new taskbar which is a shame, as it’s icon only design looks to be borrowing a lot from Mac OS leopard’s. As a Mac user I haven’t spent much time with Windows Vista so I can’t really say much about the changes so far, but from what I can see a lot of the differences appear to be under the hood. I installed build 6801 in VMware fusion to get an idea of where the develpment was going, so here are some screenshots of the install and control panel. VMware still doesn’t enable acceleration of the interface so there’s no Aero bling at the moment, but when I get hold of a build with the new taskbar I will do a native install. Read more…

Windows 7? Aren’t they missing a few?

October 14, 2008 2 comments

Microsoft has now announced the final name for the next version of Windows, and it’s a return to the numbers last seen in the early 90’s. The one thing I can’t figure out is where the number seven comes from. Working backwards, Vista is 6, XP is 5, so what was Windows 4? Windows 3 was the last numbered version (including 3.1 and 3.11) before Windows 95, so are 95, 98, 98SE and Me all lumped into the Windows 4 group?

I can understand leaving Windows 2000 out of the consumer products since it didn’t quite deliver the one windows for all role that XP eventually served, but I think Microsoft is missing a trick here. Counting all the versions of Windows as separate would mean Windows 7 would actually be Windows 11 (1, 2, 3, 95, 98, 98se, Me, 2000, Xp, Vista being 1 to 10). That’s one higher that the current version of Mac OS. I know it’s now 10.5 on the Mac, but it’s still 10. And 11 must be better, so this could be the basis of the new marketing push since Mac OS X is favourably compared to Vista so often. And given Microsoft’s success with it’s marketing strategies lately I don’t see how this one could do any worse.

Windows 11. One higher that the competition so it must be better.

UPDATE Looks like I was partly right on this one. There’s now a post at windowsvistablog.com that says Windows 95 to ME were all versions of windows 4 and NT was 3.1. Windows 2000 was 5 and XP was 5.1.

News for Thursday 2nd October

October 2, 2008 1 comment

Increase your ADSL speed with the BT iPlate
For those suffering slow broadband speeds over an ADSL connection help may be at hand. The BT iPlate replaces your master phone socket and filters out electrical noise caused by other appliances in your home.

Microsoft and Washington Attorney General target scareware
Fed up with those popup windows warning that your computer is infected/corrupted and only by buying a piece of software can your computer be saved? So is Microsoft and it’s doing something about the problem.

Nintendo reveals the new DSi
Larger screens, two cameras, SD memory support and an MP3 player are some of the features of Nintendo’s latest handheld.

Apple threatens to close the iTunes music store over increased royalty rates
Increased royalty rates could mean the iTunes store would run at a loss if Apple is forced to pay for the increase.

Seagate Freeagent for Mac reviewed
And it’s not brown.

Apple readying more Snow Leopard Beta’s
Hopefully coming to a Bittorrent server soon. Now the developer focus on the iPhone is dropping off Apple is pushing ahead with Snow Leopard beta releases for developers.

Engineering Windows 7: Managing Windows windows
A lot of though is going into Windows 7, hopefully the engineering teams will have more say than the marketing team on what ends up in the final release.

What to expect from Snow Leopard

June 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Roughlydrafted.com have an interesting article looking at what you can expect to see from the next version of the Mac OS. As previously covered, Snow Leopard, or 10.6, will not add any major new features but instead concentrate on increasing speed and stability while reducing the size of the operating system. As they state in the article, this puts Apple in a strong position to go head to head with Microsoft, pitching 10.7 against Windows 7.

Read at Roughlydrafted.com

Windows 7 previewed at D6

May 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Biggest news today is that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer last night previewed Windows 7 at the All Things Digital conference. From the details revealed, the future of Windows is multi-touch in a big way. Full details of the interview and video can be found at engadget (and here), osnews and allthingsdigital.

While it looks very impressive, I’m a bit puzzled at the big focus on multi-touch interfaces. While they work great for a handheld device, or a tablet PC, they’re not so great for a desktop PC where lifting your arms to the screen constantly would quickly become tiring for a lot of users. Tablet PC’s have so far met little success, so does this mean they will become the focus again for Windows 7? I can’t see big business adopting multi-touch interfaces any time soon, where home users are more likely to embrace a tactile interface. Hopefully someone is developing a fingerprint resistant screen to go with this. Read more…

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