Back in the Windows 7 world, Ninite saves the day.

 The Dvd
had been lying around my office for a few days
. Lurking at me with its
silver coated surface. Sending a gentle vibe towards my subconscious
whispering " Try me Try me". I had played around with its older
brother, a release candidate version freely distributed over the interwebs
and was pleasantly surprised that even this ‘release candidate’
performed better then its over-bloated parent. But let us be honest.
Even Windows 3.1 running on a 386 with "Drivespace" enabled (and the "turbo button" in OFF mode) was better then Vista.
Sure they made the whole Vista experience became considerably better after service pack 1 and 2 hit the net, but still.. You needed a pretty pumpy machine to reach around Vista’s love-handles. 

Off
course, the web was abuzz with talk about Windows 7. All kinds of
shortcuts, tips, tricks and reviews where flying around. Those
commenting on "how nice it looked" where blissfully ignored by me ,
because I think a "new and shiny interface" does not always mean things
are "better". New bling wares off fast, so the gui is not a measure by which an operating system shoot be judged.

I popped in the DVD and fired up my virtualisation software
. Why ? Because I would not think of installing such a system directly to the harddrive of ANY of my machines. The golden rule : "Never trust and Microsoft OS before its first servicepack"
did echo in the back of my head. And besides. This was going to be a
‘thorough test" of the operating system in its everyday use, but
nothing more then a test. The release candidate that I installed on my
Tablet pc proved that Windows 7 was indeed an interesting leap by Microsoft, so I decided that the VM i made from the "Final" version of Windows 7 would become my ‘personal system’ for a few days.

Installation
proved a breeze
( The question whether i would like to "upgrade" the
non-existing operating system on the empty virtual harddrive
did puzzle me a little) so i went for a custom and clean installation.
After that I went for the mandatory installation of Windows updates.
Next i was faced by the daunting task of installing all my cross
platform (or windows based) applications onto this system. Personal
Data, Bookmarks and many of the services I use every day are mostly
cloud based, so besides installing Firefox I did not have a bunch of "local applications" to install. But luckily I found NINITE , a great application that takes care of that for you. Those who listened to our episode "Free XP" might have heard that I like applications like "the Google Pack" and "The msn Live Pack" because the make the installation of different applications easy. NINITE
goes one step further. Head on over to the website, point and click
what applications you would like to have and you will be given a
"custom download application" that you can use. Download the NINITE app to your computer and run it. Ninite
takes care of downloading the latest versions of the apps you selected
(even based on your local country settings) and taking care of the
installation.

What I like even more is the fact that you can
"suggest" other applications to the author of the application
, so i
quickly poked him to add both MIRO and Putty to the lott.

After
everything was installed I had a completely installed and working
Windows system, and was surprised how many things that I do on a
computer DON’T use applications installed locally. Beside Twitter (I
like tweetdeck)
the larger part of my daily computing life in a Windows environment..
Is done in a browser. It seems that Windows Vista (that chased me away
from using Windows at all) had pushed me higher into the cloud then I
had suspected.

But in all , i’m not displeased with Windows7, because it behaves a lot more like XP
then like Vista. I must confess that the "simplified troubleshooting
ways" of Vista are to be found in Windows 7 also. For some reason, I
could never figure these out. The simpler Microsoft TRIES to make the
troubleshooting of your pc,
the harder it becomes for me. I have NEVER figured out things like
"simple file sharing", I get lost in the new version of the network
manager ( Sorry , network and Sharing center). I can’t make heads or
tales of libraries (Collections) and am lost what the difference is
between the "locations" you can choose from. Have I become so out of
touch with Microsoft that I have a hard time with all of this ?

So i’m going to give this Windows7 VM
a little spin this week
. I’m pleasantly surprised its pretty fast (even
with the meager 512 megs of ram I have given it) and will give you an
update when I : 1: am tired of it an chuck it off  2: Become so annoyed
with it I delete the VM and burn the harddrive I installed it on. 3: Become so overwhelmed with it that I’ll ask Steve Balmer to adopt me.

Links : ninite.

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