Delightfully Smooth and Brief Install of Windows 7

With my new desktop already on Windows 7 it was time to upgrade my 5-year old Dell 9150 from Windows XP. I was exceedingly delighted on how smooth and fleeting the clean install of Windows 7 Professional 32-bit proved to be. The standard Microsoft drivers, particularly for video and audio, made the box useable to full spec immediately and noticeably snappier than XP, confirming what others have found.

I had to install the Dell Vista drivers for full chipset and video features, and needed a small firmware upgrade from Dell to bring the TEAC multi-card reader back to life. The niggly bit was persuading my old DWL-G122 rev B Dlink USB Wi-Fi modem to work with only XP drivers available from Dlink. The driver setup reported the usual ‘Wrong Windows version’ message but the Update driver tab out of the Device Manager came to the rescue. Job done.

I am trying to make this box with its new lease of life a cloud computing and audio/video comms platform. Thus I have limited myself so far to Firefox & Chrome beta with key extensions for Xmarks, Delicious and Zotero. To support my 500 MB Zotero reference database shared across about 6 machines I need Windows Live Mesh. Then I installed the few key desktop clients Skype, Windows Live Writer, Evernote and Tweetdeck on AIR.

This means that 80-90% of my everyday information productivity needs are sorted:

  • Email/calendar: Personal Chrome Gmail/Gcal, Work IE8 Outlook Web Access
  • Tasks: Chrome RememberTheMilk
  • Docs: Chrome Gdocs, IE8 Skydrive, Office Live Workspace, SharePoint sites
  • Wikis: Chrome Gsites, PBWorks
  • Global notes: Evernote Windows and Chrome Evernote site
  • Twitter, SRM: Tweetdeck
  • Blogging and web page editor: WLW
  • References and links: Firefox Zotero, Chrome Delicious
  • IM, audio, video conferencing: Skype
  • Collaborate: Chrome GWave



About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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