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Windows 7... cloud computing
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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 12:25 am
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Hey,

I might be wrong in doing this but I'm going to try and put two posts together. What are people's opinions on Windows 7 (from the little we know already) and on cloud computing? Microsoft has announced that they will be taking out things like Windows Mail, Photo Gallery etc... and putting in the Windows Live programs instead. This has given rise to talk of the beginnings of cloud computing as a part of Windows. I think that's a huge exaggeration but I'm just interested in opinions.

How soon do you people think you will adopt Windows 7? There's talk of it being a private beta in a week or so, public in December and maybe even released to everyone as early as June although the official word is still January 2010. There's also talk of it being just VistaSP2 and so maybe for those of us running Vista already, it's not going to be a big deal to upgrade. That's what I'm thinking right now, I'm thinking that I'll likely upgrade shortly after it's released, maybe wait a month or so for a few updates to come out but then just upgrade.

Anything with Windows 7 or cloud computing is fair game here, lets just start discussing it!

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 9:02 am
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Well, I see Windows 7 as kind of a Vista Second Edition (remember Windows 98?) There's no way they made significant improvements in just a couple short years. I probably won't use it, but then, I said I wouldn't use Vista either and now it's running on my wife's laptop....

As for cloud computing...it's not for me. It has advantages, definitely, but give me the good old fashioned word processor on my desktop and I'll upload files I want to collaborate on. With Comcast now metering bandwidth (And not being able to tell you how much you use, just don't go over your allotment) cloud computing will die a slow death. Who wants to risk using their bandwidth on cloud software?

Plus, what happens when you're offline?
Or the network goes down?
OR their server goes down?
or the company hosting your app goes out of business?
or, or, or, or.

There are too many unknowns for me to consider cloud computing at this ponit. A useful tool, yes, but not a complete solution.

--zig

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David Hartsock
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September 27, 2008 - 10:09 am
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I have to agree with Zig on this one. Too many unknowns. Think of how complicated a program, like Office, running on your computer is - Now think of how complicated using that same program when it's running on SOMEONE ELSE'S computer - 1000 miles away!.

I was actually going to write an article on Comcast, the state of broadband here in the US, and cloud computing in the next newsletter, kind of funny isn't it?

Anyway, A slightly OT example is the xbox live network. Now here is a network that hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world use daily. People use Microsoft's (probably the biggest technology company in the world) servers to play games, watch movies, talk to others, and listen to music. This isn't just a game network, as Microsoft offers quite a few services, and continues to add more. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well the entire network is going to be down Monday Sept 29th. This is just a reasonable example as to why you can't depend on "cloud" computing.

There are going to be pre-beta copies of Win 7 distributed at the Professional Developer's Conference at the end of October. I really think we are at least 18 months from a release. Features will change quite a bit in that time, so I think we're thinking too much about the feature set right now. Remember WinFS?
At this stage of development it's like a circus sideshow. Sit back, watch, listen, don't get your expectations too high, and hopefully you'll be amazed at the end of the show!

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 10:51 am
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There are a lot of unknowns in cloud computing, I personally am against it, at least the way it is now. I still think that it's the way technology is headed, although not in the near future. A huge thing that kept me from going into the beginnings of cloud computing like Google Docs or Zoho or ThinkFree Online or any of those other office suites is that my wireless network isn't all that reliable (another story for another time) and so if I was working on a document, chances are my network would fail on me and I would lose data or at least lose access to that data for an unknown period of time. The network is my problem, but I'm sure others have the same problem, and what about on the other end of the network, the company. There are tons of problem, I agree, it just scares me though that it's the way things are going.

As for Windows 7 though, I'm really thinking I'll still start using it when it comes out or fairly shortly after. It's because it will be like Vista SE (I agree with you Zig) that I think it won't be much of a leap. But Dave thinks 18 months? I think Microsoft is going to do their best to push it out as fast as they can. Why that long Dave? I think they're desperate to get it out fast, to get people off Vista, off the problems that it has or that people think it has. A second edition (basically) will change people's minds about it. That's my opinion, I do think that things will change but I also think that I will be amazed at the end, I think it'll be a good product.

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 4:04 pm
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I've used Google Docs, and a nice feature is that they auto save everything. Very handy in case you're network drops out. I think too they have an offline mode, but I wouldn't swear to that.

I would agree with Dave's 18 month projection as well. Software development is complicated, and even for an SE edition, rolling out a beta/alpha release next month can't possibly be more than an attempt to make it look like progress. The list of features they're listing for Windows 7, there's no way they could have them much sooner than that and have them tested. And the last thing Microsoft wants is to release another product with as many bugs as Vista was perceived to have.

Dave, is the Comcast deal even legally binding? It's like trying to meter water, but not giving a gauge for you to check. How do you know what you're being billed for?

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David Hartsock
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September 27, 2008 - 6:43 pm
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Dave, is the Comcast deal even legally binding? It's like trying to meter water, but not giving a gauge for you to check. How do you know what you're being billed for?[/quote:330aom0n]
I'm not a lawyer. If I was I'd be off riding my motorcycle instead of posting

There really isn't a contract, so they can do as they wish. Send a notice to customer. Customer reads notice (yeah right). If customer doesn't agree they go somewhere else, or stay and deal with the change.

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 7:38 pm
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I'm not a lawyer either, kinda wish I knew one (for a lot of reasons).

In a lot of places (thankfully here isn't one of them), Comcast has a monopoly on high speed internet. Not everyone has a choice to go elsewhere.

--zig

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Jim Hillier
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September 27, 2008 - 8:14 pm
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Hi All - Great exchange!...All this has been going on while I was tucked up safely in the cot....darn upsidedownland!
Anyway...my 2 cents worth: I don't think cloud computing will come to complete fruition on the home desktop PC...as already pointed out, there a far too many negatives and way too many people who would prefer the software integral to their day to day usage installed.....laptops and other portables, well that's a different matter.
One possible consequence of cloud computing that hasn't been mentioned is that it could put a halt to, or at least slow down, the race for more and more and better and better hardware specs.... which seemed to coincide with the release of Vista. I, for one, had been happily working away on my trusty old Dell running XP with 512mb RAM and an 80gb hard drive for nearly 4 years when circumstances forced me into getting a new machine....I opted for Vista and the necessary hardware upgrades but then went one step further in an effort to try and keep up with the trend.

On Windows 7....Well, I decided months ago that it would, in all probability, merely be a Vista update/upgrade, I cannot see Microsoft making the same mistakes again, i.e. making any radical changes (and invoking the 'devil you know' syndrome), creating more software incompatibility issues, etc. I believe the description 'Vista SP2' will prove to be pretty accurate.

A digression, on Vista itself....It rankles me no end when people who haven't even tried Vista bag the OS mercilessly and I have come across plenty. They are merely jumping on the bandwagon and repeating/copying the mantra. My first experience with Vista was via a dual boot system (XP and Vista) and it wasn't very long before I had abandoned XP altogether...I found Vista to be so much better. Sure, Vista can be quirky and in the early months engendered some frustrations but since installing SP1 I have found it to be much more stable and error free, even more so than XP. I haven't encountered any problems with software compatibility, as reported by many, all my favourites and then some have installed and run fine....maybe I have been lucky.

Anyhoo, a very g'day to all and hope you 'ave a great weekend,
cheers....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 8:21 pm
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I have definitely used Vista and find it to be a blah upgrade. There is no incentive to upgrade at all. It's one redeeming quality is that wireless networks connect almost 4 times faster than in XP. But really, that's not worth paying for.

What galls me about Vista, is that for very little added benefit, you require almost twice the hardware capabilities of XP. So you get this nice new super fast computer, only to find out that Vista is going to suck up enough of it that it will not run faster than your old computer did on XP.

That's why I stick with Linux. Very scalable depending on your hardware.

--zig

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SEGMAT
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September 27, 2008 - 8:48 pm
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OK, you guys are probably right that 7 will take a while in coming out, longer than what some have said (June 09). I guess Microsoft is itching to get it out to the public to get rid of anti Vista opinions and take people's attention to their new and better OS, but they don't want to flop again. No one can argue that Vista was a horrible flop when it came out. I agree with Ozbloke though, that Vista is a great OS right now, provided you have the computer for it. I was in the market for a new machine, got a beautiful and fast machine, and Vista runs nicely on it. I do agree with Zig though, that it doesn't run any faster than XP ran on my old machine, but I enjoy using it. The interface is significantly nicer than XP's, and I love some of the programs that are in it, I love the Calendar program, I use Windows Mail for everything and it's way better than Outlook Express, Media Center is fantastic, security is better... I could go on. I would not buy a new computer or upgrade my currant one just to run Vista and update from XP or something, but if you're in the market for a new machine, get one that can run Vista and it's not bad at all.

As for Linux, Zig is totally right, I have been surprised that the hardware requirements are so low compared to what is needed for Vista. Although, running Linux means you sacrifice other things like being able to do things "easily".

Matt

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 9:31 pm
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As for Linux, Zig is totally right, I have been surprised that the hardware requirements are so low compared to what is needed for Vista. Although, running Linux means you sacrifice other things like being able to do things "easily".

Matt[/quote:3h7ncobt]

Just to clarify, it's not that Linux or Windows or Mac is any easier than the others, it's all in what you're used to. Once you're used to Linux, it's just as easy to do things (and you have much more control over things) as it is in Windows or in OS X.

OK, carry on with your regularly scheduled posting.

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Jim Hillier
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September 27, 2008 - 10:14 pm
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Hi Zig (and Matt) - Zig, I have absolutely no problems with those, as yourself, who have tried Vista and don't like it.....It would be a dull world indeed if we all liked the same things.
I disagree with both on the speed factor however...... during my dual boot period I had both XP and Vista installed on my old dell, I had upgraded the RAM to 1gb but everything else remained standard ex factory (Including Intel Pentium 4 cpu) . I was doing a lot of switching between OS's and so had a good basis for comparison...I found Vista to be significantly faster than XP...it was one of the reasons I ended up abandoning XP altogether.

cheers....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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September 27, 2008 - 11:16 pm
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that's fine Jim, just destroy my preconceptions, that's just what I need.

Did you disable the Aero interface, or it worked faster out of the box?

--zig

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Jim Hillier
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September 28, 2008 - 4:29 am
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Hey Zig - Sorry mate....

I did try it with Aero disabled but I'm blowed if I could notice any difference and switched it back on again...so, I guess you could say...yes, I found it faster out of the box.
BTW: The old Dell had a little ATI dedicated graphics card (64mb) so it's Vista performance score for graphics was pretty low end (2.1 from memory)...that didn't seem to make any difference either...still faster. Mind you, I don't dabble with any graphic intensive programs and am definitely not into gaming.

cheers...JIM

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SEGMAT
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September 29, 2008 - 4:00 pm
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Regardless of individual cases, Jim had a good result on an older machine and many people have had bad experiences on older machines, I think that it's safe to say that Vista is good on a new computer, one with a lot of RAM, a nice video card (for AERO) and a nice processor. If you run it on an older computer (like I did), you might not get a good experience. I tried Vista on a machine with 64MB shared graphics (or maybe it was integrated, I can't remember, but all I know is that it wasn't a card, it was just motherboard stuff), 512MB of lousy RAM, and a REALLY BAD Celeron D 3.2GHz processor. I had a bad experience with it and hated Vista, told everyone I knew to stay away from it, to stick with XP... all that. Now, I'm running Vista on my new beautiful, powerhouse machine and I love it. I would never go back to XP or anything, I love it. I do think it's safe to say that generally you need a good machine for it. There is no doubt that it's resource intensive, but if you have a machine that's good enough for it, you'll like it, I almost guarantee it (almost!).

Matt

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