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• Automatic reboot - how Linux does it
Fedora 11 asked permission for 11 updates to Firefox and other browsers a few minutes ago. Here is a screen-shot showing how it then notifies you of a required restart.
Often the updates require a re-Login, but mostly require nothing.
In this case there were calculations in progress, so I had to wait for 30 minutes or so to safely interrupt them. Restart Fedora, then resume the calculations.
Now that's the mark of a sane OS.
• Automatic Reboot after Microsoft Update
The outrageous feature of Windows XP automatically rebooting after some important Microsoft Updates continues with Windows 7.
It happened early this morning, July 30 2009, after the installation of the "Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7 Release Candidate (KB972260). As one paragraph says:
OverviewSecurity issues have been identified that could allow an attacker to compromise a computer running Microsoft Internet Explorer and gain control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. [Ed: Underline added]
A 2 ½ hour calculation solving a 1,500,000 × 1,500,00 linear matrix was interrupted. Luckily this was not a 60 hour calculation (220 digit factorisations often take this long on the matrix inversion step).
• Windows 7 — Time has expired for Build 7000 —
These two screen shots show time running out on 2nd of July, 2009 for the original Build 7000 Beta of Windows 7. I have the RC1 version installed now, so the expiry date has been revised to March 2010.
Note the message below: This pre-release version of Windows 7 Ultimate will expire in 1 days — Priceless !
One of the first things that Windows 7 does is tell you that you may need an anti-virus program. It then goes to a Microsoft page where you can choose McAfee, AVG or Norton etc. I clicked on Norton Beta, which turns out to be a fifteen day trial. They want your e-mail address, however, so that they can send you the product key.
After downloading a very large install exe for Norton 360 (N360-BETA4.exe 76,423,800 bytes), it then wanted a further 46MB during the install.
• Local network
Windows 7 found the internet and my local network (after I installed a driver for my ancient Realtek PCI LAN card). It turns out that the Windows 2000 driver was accepted.
The following screen-shot shows two partitions on the hard drive. The first is the Windows 7 32-bit version and the other is the 64-bit version. I could not find a 64-bit LAN driver, so am running on the 32-bit version at the moment.
After installing Win7-64 onto the whole 500GB drive, I used Disk Management to Shrink Volume which let me reduce the partition to 50%. Then booting from the 32-bit install disk, it let me choose unallocated disk space as the target. It then made up a Boot Menu automatically (with both entries saying "Windows 7").
There is a Boot Manager program called Bcdedit which lets you change the entries. However, the program is so complicated that someone has written a free program, Easybcd, to make it safe for mortals to attempt !
The other drives are network-mapped drives H: (XP drive C:), I: (K6450 drive C:), J: (XP drive D:) and K: (XP drive E:).
On previous versions of Windows, when you get to the end of Solitaire, the cards jump down onto the bottom of the screen and bounce out of view to the left. In Windows 7, however, they shatter.
• Spider Solitaire
Fireworks at the end of Spider Solitaire.
• DOS programs
Here we show four DOS programs running simultaneously. The fifth DOS Window is idle at a command prompt. We are running on an Intel Quad CPU, so each DOS program is running at 100%.
• Search bar
Programs are now very easy to find -- no hunting through layers of menus -- just type a few letters into the Search bar. For example expl will get you Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, Games Explorer (a new one on me) as well as Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). Several Control Panel programs match as well. Just click on the one you want.
This is Cygwin, a simulated Linux programming environment, which lets you use Linux command-line programs and scripts. Here you can see it running Ggnfs to factorise a 156-digit number - along with three others of similar size at the same time.
Also if you look closely at the Desktop you will see those shortcut arrows have disappeared. In XP this can be done using Tweak UI, but that doesn't work in Windows 7. However, there is an equivalent program called The Ultimate Windows Tweaker which can do the job. The bad news is that to take effect, Windows 7 insists on you logging out then back in again.