The first 2010 edition of The Bella Buzz Podcast of 2010 brings to light the computer operating system upgrades that both Desiree and Joe went through during the holiday break. Stemming from good advice accumulated over the years, reformatting the hard drive or conducting the manual process of updating the files and clearing the desk always makes for a fresh start to the new year.
This year, we both decided to upgrade to the new Windows 7 operating system as a next logical step during our holiday break. This also provides the opportunity to try out the Windows Office 2010 Online beta that is available which is free until October for anyone willing to be a guinea pig. (We can say it works very well.)
Desiree went through an upgrade from Vista to the 64-bit version of Windows, while Joe was jumping all the way from XP to the 32-bit version, which is simply a limitation of the software and hardware combination.
Both went through a full install process, in Desiree's case getting an entirely new hard drive that she installed into the computer case, while the installation process for an XP to 7 jump requires a complete formatting of the drive to complete. This can be a very scary process. The key is to make sure all of the important data has been backed up to an external drive, getting the system drive to a clean state, installing the operating system, and finally re-importing all Settings and Data. All of the steps are clearly outlined in the accompanying documentation to Windows 7.
The real take away from our experience is that it CAN be done by anyone with a fair amount of know-how. (In Desiree's case, a screwdriver came in handy to take out the old drives and replace it with a new one.) Credit goes to the Microsoft team for making this a realistic process to successfully achieve.
NOTE: During the podcast we discuss the ability for Windows 7 to operate with a simultaneous Virtual XP mode. The reason as specified was to continue to use Quickbooks 2008. Since the time of that recording I have been able to install and successfully use my version of Quickbooks within Windows 7. The word from Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks, is that they do not "support" the version compatibility.
During this process, it was discovered that "it's not always what it seems". Some of the challenges with the use of the computer in the past were blamed on the old operating system, when in fact it really was a result of putting numerous Add-Ons in the Firefox browser. These additional programs for the browser can have some great benefits and are written by some extraordinary coders. However, in various combinations and configurations it can greatly reduce the browsers reliability, and since an enormous amount of time is spent computing in the cloud, the speed of a browser can be a major factor in effectiveness.
If you are considering making this upgrade, we recommend that you pay attention to which version of Windows 7 is best for you amongst the Home, Professional and Ultimate editions. They also have a nice three pack option which allows for upgrades to three machines with one license.
Desiree gets into her use of Windows 7 new feature Home Group a little bit. If you need to share files and printers among a group of computers using Windows 7, this option might be for you.
Please tell us about your experiences with upgrading to Windows 7. How did it go for you?
Theme music for The Bella Buzz is Fallen by Digital Chemistry, available for download at the Podsafe Music Network.
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