7 Days with Windows 7

I’ve been using Windows 7 for one week now. Before that I was a long-time user of Vista. I actually thought that Vista had gotten sort of a bad rap. It worked fine for me for a few years with only little niggling problems. However, now that I have been using Windows 7, I realize that there were a lot of those minor problems. More than anything else, Win 7 has made me hate Vista. Here is a brief review.

First and foremost, everything is easily customizable. It is not hard to figure out how to edit any part of the interface. If you want to customize something on the start menu, right click on it. To pin an item to the task bar, right click on it. One thing that has annoyed me since win 95 is the bottom right corner of the screen.

Those icons get out of control quickly. It seems like every program you want to install feels need to take up residence in that corner, all of them flashing and trying to communicate. In Win 7 the customize button lets you chose which ones show and when they show

I love the indexing of files that began in Vista and has continued in Win 7. For someone like me, who has written hundreds of outlines, papers, and articles over the years, (there are about 1000 items in my documents) this indexing is invaluable. I can look up a word like “baptize” and find the lesson I am looking for even though I can’t remember the title of that document. It also searches tags on photos and mp3s. It is simply wonderful and not too hard on system resources.

I like and use a few of the sidebar gadgets. Actually I use 4, system monitor, calculator, Weather, and Pandora. In Win 7 gadgets look and work better. Plus that shaded area sidebar is gone. Good riddance.

It seems to me that even though I’m using the same monitor at the same resolution I get much better use of screen real estate. The icons are smaller and I think the fonts are too, but they seem clearer than Vista. Everything is easier to read, text just appears clearer.

It boots quicker. I can open a program in a minute and a half from pressing power. That includes login time. Once the desktop loads, the programs are just seconds behind. It really is quite a lot faster

There are a few things I don’t like.

I do not like the change made to windows media player.

The controls will not minimize to the taskbar, and although a mouseover brings up play/pause and skip, I don’t like the delay. There is also not volume in that control. Also, even when maximized, the “now playing” view doesn’t show the timecodes. I really do not like these changes and I am on the verge of finding a new media player or trying to discover some hack to bring back that old functionality.

The built-in windows photo screen saver is not as good, it has way less options.

This last criticism is not really a Win7 issue, but it is worth mentioning.   Zone Alarm isn’t compatible. I know what you are thinking, you have the built in windows firewall, and your router serves as a firewall so you don’t need Zone Alarm. But Zone alarm has a feature I love. It gives a notification whenever a program wants to access the internet. This is better than any anti-spyware program could ever be. Every single process that wants to access the web has to ask, and I’m not likely to allow “I hakz ur sy5t3m” to go online.


There’s my review. I think Windows 7 is a necessary upgrade if you are using Vista.