Yet Another (Sort of) Compgeeky Post

My excuse is that this is only moderately geeky. I put my hands on a book that is the subject of this post for the first time today. Since Windows 7 is going on more and more computers here in America’s Third World County (and a surprising number of folks are buying new computers with Windows 7 already onboard), I figured I’d take a look at one of the better-rated (OK, I just saw it mentioned in a few columns) tutorial books to see what was what. After all, my use of the OS has led me to think of it as something no one really needs training for, so surely this must be chock full of deep, dark mojo.

Nah. The book? Windows 7 Step By Step. My first take? This is a book for folks who still ride bikes with training wheels. Seriously. Like something one would write for those rare disaffected Mac users trying out this “Windoze thang”.

And right off the bat, it tries to pitch folks on buying new hardware with comments like, “If your existing computer runs Windows XP, it might be able to run Windows 7, but it likely won’t support Aero.”

Well, pardon me, but I’ve installed Win7 for folks on aging XP computers running on integrated graphics chipsets that use system memory in place of video memory and not had a problem with Aero yet. Perhaps if one digs back to some nine-year-old Xp computers that can’t handle more than 512MB of system memory, with onboard graphics only, well, sure they’ll not handle Aero, but Microsoft specifically disclaims the idea of attempting to run Win7 on less than 1GB of system memory, anyway.

Nah. This book is for people who’ve never used a computer–let alone a Windows computer–before in their lives. It’s what you might give to Great Aunt Sadie, if you were to give her a Windows computer (when you could give her a perfectly good computer running a free OS instead. After all, she’s probably only going to use it, if she can master the concept at all, for email and web browsing and a few other uncomplicated things.).

Pass. Glad I decided to check it out of the library instead of buying it. *heh*

2 Replies to “Yet Another (Sort of) Compgeeky Post”

  1. Well, there is a market for reassurance, even when there’s objectively nothing to fear.

    I’m forty years an Alpha Geek. I can disassemble your computer down to the electrons, put it back together without looking at it, and write software that will converse with you as if it were your Aunt Sadie — complete with her charming Lebanese accent — and I still feel a touch of vertigo at having to deal with a new release of Windows. It’s not that Windows is inherently frightening; it’s that the Windows crew at Microsoft seldom seems to “have it all in one sock” before Service Pack 2.

    Make no mistake about it: computers are easier to use than ever before. But the underlying complexity of the device and its OS tends to poke its snout out through the sewer grate and snarl at you when you least expect it. I suppose it’s job security for folks like me, but the closer I get to retirement, the less I relish having to cope with it for myself.

    1. Well, I did give a nod to the “need for reassurance” crowd with “those rare disaffected Mac users trying out this “Windoze thang”. *heh*

      (BTW, son-in-law-to-be recently made comment to me about installing Win7 on his MacBook. He’s a late-to-Mac user, having grown up in a Windows house, and does reluctantly admit that Macs have some quirky limitations. Macbooks do make good Win7 machines, though, apart from their dim-witted trackpads… *heh*)

      I’m nowhere near “forty years an Alpha Geek”–just a lowly Pi Geek at best, perhaps (because I just LOVE pie), with only a little over 20 years tinkering in computers–but Win7 has proven to have the fewest stenches from the sewer than any M$ OS I’ve tinkered with since Win2K–and fewer issues than even that venerable OS. Been using it on at least one machine here at twc since the first public beta and have had only one serious issue, and that from attempting to run an old Win 95 app that was hinky on Win95. I’ve done all kinds of stupid things attempting to break this OS and have had only that one success, so I think it’s fairly solid. The real downside for me? Well, I’ve rfeceived no support calls from ANY of the folks I’ve installed it for. Economic depression time. *heh* Yeh, I’ve touched base with ’em and they’re just toodling along happy as clams.

      Unlike Vista, this OS doesn’t look like it’ll be offering me any bonanzas. Oh, well, I can at least rely on the large installed base of WinXP for issues to solve (as much as folks have expressed a fondness for XP since Vista and Win7 emerged, I wondered at some kind of OS Stockholm Syndrome. XP well and truly is a cockup of an OS, IMO. Never did warm up to it. In fact, it was my inspiration for becoming serious with Linux, as “Old Paint”–my last Win2K machine–became ever more long in the tooth.).

      BTW, my Aunt Sadie has a West Texas accent, so your Turing de force would stumble on its Lebanese accent. 🙂 Just sayin’ *heh*

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