Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

I Bought Windows 7 Today, or I Am Victorious: Return of the Victorious

Pre-ordering: it's what all the cool kids do.

Pre-ordering: it's what all the cool kids do.

Before we get into any of this, note the title. Yeah, that’s witty; it even references an earlier post, which is always fun.

Okay, down to business.

I pre-ordered Windows 7 today for $49.99. Fine, $55.97 if you want to get technical and include shipping.

It was good. It was lovely. And for a few hair-raising minutes, it looked like it wasn’t even going to happen.

Newegg didn’t officially show it as in stock, and just had the auto-notify button up. Office Depot was out of stock. Microsoft’s online store crashed every time I tried to access it. Enter my hero: Amazon. Ordered, confirmed, and scheduled to arrive on the day Windows 7 officially releases.

Before any of you go off into some sort of anti-Windows / anti-early adopter / anti-other stuff rage, let me make a few points: Continue reading

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June 26, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, News, PC gaming, Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Microsoft: A Study in Disaster

At the end of the day, or perhaps more appropriately at the close of business, what are a company’s top executives responsible for? The most obvious answer is that they work to make a company profitable, and if it already is, either increase profit or at the very least, maintain it. In the pursuit of that, I would argue that executives must come up with a cohesive business plan/model, something that applies to every product or service they develop. That plan is then passed on to upper-level management, who ensure that their respective divisions are working toward achieving a particular part of said plan.

That’s how it works. In theory, anyway.

Microsoft has apparently chosen an alternate method to business. All of their products are related, more or less, but creating something that is actually desired by the public seems to be optional.

“What on earth are you talking about?” you ask. “I thought Microsoft was doing pretty well, with the exception of that horrific bloatware they call Vista, and besides, didn’t they learn their lesson from that? My beta of Windows 7 is pretty good!”

Yeah, Windows 7 is a distinct improvement, and their productivity software is good, too. Even the Xbox 360 is doing pretty well, and the newest die shrink for the chipset seems to have solved the overheating that gave gamers that spectacular gift known as RROD. Believe it or not, Microsoft makes products other than operating systems, productivity software, and gaming consoles.

First, there’s Games for Windows Live. You don’t know about it? Don’t feel bad, most people have  no idea it exists. Even among PC gamers, those that are aware of the existence of Games for Windows Live are in the minority.

Let’s make a distinction here. There’s Games for Windows, which is an unnecessary initiative by Microsoft to ensure that games are compatible with Windows, as if that were necessary. Honestly, it’s nothing more than a bit of free advertising that gets slapped on the boxes of most major releases. Beyond that is a separate entity known as Games for Windows Live. Theoretically, it’s the PC gaming counterpart to Xbox Live. In reality? It’s useless, so far. There’s almost none of the functionality you get with Xbox Live. Most games don’t use it; the most recent exception to that is Fallout 3, which has admittedly given it more exposure than anything beforehand (there was Universe at War, but that’s about it). You start the game, and a little icon appears on your screen letting you know that you’ve been logged in.

Let’s say you’ve seen this. You probably thought something along the lines of sweet, what can I do with it? Does it allow multiplayer with Xbox Live gamers? Because that would be awesome. I’ve always wanted to do that.

The short answer is no, it doesn’t. (Update: CoolingGibbon has informed me in his comment that the games Shadowrun, Universe at War: Earth Assault, and Lost Planet Colonies are supported for inter-platform multiplayer. I apologize if this was misleading). Continue reading

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Windows 7: I am Victorious

After 24 hours of checking and rechecking four different sites for availability of the Windows 7 beta, I finally snagged myself a copy. That’s with a product key, mind you – if I were impatient, I would’ve grabbed the ISO long ago and just let it expire after 30 days. That’s the weak way to do it. Vigilance pays off, my friend. That, and about a metric ton of caffeine. On the other hand, if you aren’t as cool as me (aka didn’t get a beta key), here’s the 64 bit ISO, and here’s the 32-bit ISO. It’s crippled (no updates) and it’ll die young (read: 30 days), but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the time, right?

I’m currently sitting at 17% 24% downloaded, around 570MB 775MB so far out of the total 3.2GB file. Once I’ve got it, I’ll burn the sucker to a disk and document the super fun lovely exciting install process. It’s going onto a second partition on my Macbook, so we’ll see how that goes. In particular, I’ve got this morbid curiosity to see if the multi-touch support will actually work with the touch pad. I’m told (as in this is unconfirmed) that Windows 7 has 48 bit color support, though this isn’t even remotely useful yet as not graphics cards can take advantage of that yet.

Anyway, plenty of screenshots and stuff await your eager eyes/faces/brains/whatever. Don’t forget to check back later tonight tomorrow, my loyal (or perhaps accidental) readers.

Note: the delay in content is due to the fact that my Macbook is absolutely dragging it’s feet on the hard drive partition necessary for a dual-boot install. I’m just about ready to restart and begin the partition all over again – it might actually be faster than sitting here hoping that it’ll magically go through.

***Update*** I’ve temporarily given up on the Windows 7 beta. Boot Camp Assistant won’t recognize my burned ISO as a valid Windows Installation CD, meaning it won’t let me boot from the CD and actually use the partition I created for that specific purpose. I’ve got other PCs in the house I could use, but I’m at home, not away at school right now, so I’d rather not do an install on a computer that isn’t mine. The Windows 7 beta is tabled indefinitely.

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Skydrive

Apparently, Windows offers 25Gb of free storage called SkyDrive with any Windows Live ID. Given my activities, this will be useful for backing up important documents, and for uploading pictures/video for use in posts like this.

Signing in to SkyDrive is done easily enough with any Windows Live ID (if you use Hotmail, Messenger, of XBox Live, it’s the same ID). If you don’t already have an account with them, signing up is free and fairly straight-forward. Continue reading

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows Seven Leak!

No, not a build of Windows Seven, and certainly not milestone 3. I had you going, though.

Windows Seven

Windows Seven

I kid, I kid. Continue reading

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Google Chrome (it’s shiny)

Google has finally done it! They went and created a web browser, borrowing various elements from Opera, Safari, and Firefox to get there. It might sound like a bit of a frankenstein (or frankenstein’s monster, if you want to get technical), but I assure you, Google’s new browser, named Chrome, is anything but clunky.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Continue reading

September 3, 2008 Posted by | News, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment