This 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.
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…
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.
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…