Windows 7, the update.

Been using 7 for a fair old while now and have got a few stories to tell about the system.

First of all let me just reassure you all that the GUI will grow on you. Not the ribbons of course, god no, but the glass look borders and menus do become more familiar with experience. Of course I've just installed the Windowblinds 7 Beta so I don't actually care about that anymore as I'm back in the Mac look. Ah the joys of having the window controls on the correct, left hand, side. Of course its not faultless, Windowblinds 7 is still a beta and its support for older skins seems a tad buggy. For example the Mac skin I'm using dates back to pre Vista times and thus dose not natively support transparency in its boarder, it can be forced, but the buttons remain at 100% opacity so it rather defeats the object. That's not a major issue however, the major issue is the Taskbar. For some reason, probably the redesign of the taskbar, the taskbar size starts off at maximum every time the computer is turned on, and requires quite a bit of fiddling to get it back to the very slim bar the skin is designed to use. Even then the notification area is not centered in the bar and instead hangs down at the bottom of it.

Really though, this is a minor problem when the rest of it works well enough. Windows Explorer's forwards and back buttons unfortunately use MS's native fugly blue buttons, but that should be fixed with future skins. The main problem is that its got the traditional nag screen until you buy it, and I'm not buying it till its out of beta boys.

Networking gave me a few headaches, for some reason the wifi dongle my computer is using will rarely sign first time, instead requiring another computer to sign in at the same time in the same room. This is not a Windows 7 problem, but rather a problem with the dongle I suspect, but it is rather bazaar. There was also another delightful issue to do with LAN however, one which had me cursing the OS back and fourth for an hour. This started when I attempted to get my PS3 to connect to the net via LAN running off of my computers Wifi dongle. Why? Because the PS3's wifi reception is pants and PS Home is good for pointing and mocking morons. Not so good for Yiffing, but meh if your into that go join second life you strange person you. Anyway, after hooking up a LAN cable between the PS3 and the computer I entered network properties to allow the PS3 to connect via the wifi. Immediately Windows decided that the LAN is a public network... ..public LAN access... ..ok, maybe it assumes all networks are public by default - a good safety precaution with most idiots using computers. However whats this?! My wifi has been declared a public network as well?! and grouped with the LAN so that I cannot set it back to a private network?! I attempted to set it back, with no results, disabled and enabled to no effect and yanked it out before stuffing it back in. To no effect.
What ensued can only be described as "Apperplectic", but I decided to test the net connection to check if it was still working. Nope! Apparently even when set to allow access though public networks it doesn't actually allow it, oh and predictably the PS3 could not connect either.

I soldiered on for an hour, trying every combination of settings and curses to little effect before finally getting the benighted thing to work. I could connect to the net again, and with a few setting edits on the PS3, I could connect via the LAN just fine.

The moral of this story?

Windows 7 doesn't like being connected to a PS3, it would much rather you had a 360... ..ok that's just me being an MS hater, but I do ask that any of you with 7 and a (non Bricked) 360 test it out to see if it happens for you.

Other points?
* The Ribbon interface is still pointless, particularly in a file manager.
* It has never started IE instead of FF when a program links to the net, a crime XP regularly committed.
* Steam works just fine, even its browser which is IE in an ugly skirt, when IE is not installed.
* Tablet support is excellent.
* Multiple monitors work far better than in previous Windows versions.
* The Action Center is remarkably well behaved, and all of its moans can be easily and permanently disabled should you need to do so.

All in all I'm enjoying my Win7 experience rather than enduring it. Its not perfect, but its vastly better than anything else MS has come up with in years. It may lack the value for money Linux and other free OS's have in there favour, but it is actually worth buying if your interested in games.

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