Polish news site CentrumXP posted several
Polish news site CentrumXP posted several
Polish news site CentrumXP posted several
Already talk about Windows 7 has moved forward to Windows 8, as Microsoft last month began hiring for posts within that division. With this in mind I thought that, from a usability standpoint, I’d take a good in-depth look at Windows 7 and see what changes could have been implemented already and what we can perhaps look forward to in the future.
I want to start with Windows Explorer because this is essentially the same beast that we saw in Windows 98. Okay, so Microsoft overhauled the main interface with Vista by introducing the breadcrumb bar, but if you open an explorer window today in a basic installation of Windows 7, you’ll be very used to what you’ve seen for over ten years.
Why is this a bad thing? If we take a trip back to the good old-fashioned 20th century then we’ll see a time before the mass adoption of MP3 players, portable video players and digital cameras. The files we stored on our PCs were sparse and usually consisted only of office type documents and PDFs.
Now of course things are very different and we all have a plethora of diverse files on our PCs. For some reason however, and even though you can change the settings, the default explorer view is of mixed file types all sorted alphabetically. The option to change this to, for instance, my personal choice of grouped by file type, isn’t the easiest feature to find.
There are other omissions in the Windows 7 version of explorer too including the fact that we’re still seeing drive letters by default and compressed drives highlighted in blue when we really don’t need to any more.
Don’t get me wrong at this stage. I love Windows 7 and want it to be the best product it can be. It’s just a shame though that while Microsoft overhaul great chunks of the user interface they’re missing certain small usability issues that go along-side these. I’ll write more about this in coming chapters. (story Link)
The recent Facebook phishing attack we reported on the other day has apparently continued at least for a second day.
This report on Silicon.com notes that the first one, using the FBaction.net domain, was stopped within a few hours. As we warned, it came back the next day with another domain, in this case BAction.net.
The attack comes to you in your Facebook inbox as a terse message with a link in it. Click on the link and you are prompted to log in to a fake Facebook login page. Log in and the attackers have your credentials, which they then use to pass the attack on to everyone in your Friends list. Always be certain when you log in to Facebook that you are actually logging in to facebook.com.
If you or one of your friends has this problem and Facebook finds out you may end up with Facebook resetting your password for security purposes. Be on the lookout for notices from Facebook about this. (full Story)
The S360 lacks the S-Video connection that was on the S350 but retains the HDMI and component video outputs that support HD video formats. Like the LG BD370, the S360 also features coaxial and optical digital audio outputs for greater flexibility when connecting to an amplifier that may not support HDMI audio. As with most Blu-ray players, the S360 settles for a composite video cable; manufacturers should include HDMI cables, instead, for superior picture quality and simplified setup.
An Ethernet port on the S360 allows simplified firmware updates over a broadband connection, and a USB port can be filled with 1GB or more of flash storage to enable support for BD-Live downloadable multimedia features. The cheap cost of flash memory nowadays should make this optional upgrade standard, but at least this player's USB port is hidden out of sight; the LG BD370 leaves the memory sticking out the front of the player.
Unlike other $300 players such as the Samsung BD-P1600 and Panasonic DMP-BD60, the S360 doesn't support Internet-based streaming of services such as Netflix's Watch Instantly (Samsung) or YouTube (Panasonic). The player supports JPEG and MP3 multimedia file playback, but only from a recorded disc (Blu-ray, CD, or DVD) and not also via USB like other players, including the aforementioned Panasonic and Samsung models.
At 41 seconds, the S360's Blu-ray load time is 2 seconds faster than the S350's. When the S360's Quick Start feature is enabled, it reduces the time the player needs to start up and eject its disc tray from 23 seconds to 7 seconds. The S360 is below average at quickly scrolling through long menus, however: It took 22 seconds, whereas the LG BD370 needed only 15 seconds.
The S360 is better at upconverting standard-definition DVDs than any other Blu-ray player I've tested. The challenging HQV Benchmark DVD showed that the S360 could minimize jagged-edge artifacts better than the Panasonic DMP-BD60. And the S360 nailed all of the benchmark's film cadence tests that check for preservation of detail when dealing with some of the more common frame rates used video production—including the rate of 24 frames per second (fps) in which most movies and prime-time TV shows are captured.
Most Blu-ray movies are stored in the 1080p24 format (1080p resolution, 24 fps), and the BDP-S360 can output this video format to a compatible display via HDMI. But unlike the Panasonic DMP-BD60, the S360 upconverts DVD movies not to 1080p24 but to the more commonly supported 1080p60 format that can introduce judder, which is noticeable in slow panning shots.
On my tests, the S360 displayed exceptionally detailed 1080p Blu-ray video, but it was slightly less capable with 1080i, the format commonly used for bonus material and some animated titles. The 1080i HD HQV Benchmark's video resolution test revealed some flicker that could result in a minor loss of detail; this has been a consistent issue with all Sony BD players that I've tested, including the PlayStation 3. (full Story)
It's safe to say that netbooks are here to stay, and they could even come to dominate the laptop landscape in a couple of years. Since their humble beginnings as cheap laptops that could be used to surf the Web, compose e-mails, do light office tasks, and play music or videos but not much more, they are evolving into more substantial machines. Set against their low price and portability are limitations such as screen and keyboard size, and lack of a built-in optical drive. But perhaps the biggest differentiator between netbooks and other laptops is performance. We know netbooks can easily handle the sort of basic tasks I mention above, but how do they do at more rigorous tasks such as resizing photos, transcoding videos, or ripping an audio CD? And how do they stack up against mainstream laptops?
Key to the performance of any PC, netbook or otherwise, are its processing parts. The vast majority of netbooks (including the two we'll focus on here) run on an Intel Atom processor, a small percentage use VIA processors, and a scant few with processors from Texas Instruments and ARM have trickled out. Netbooks typically ship with 1GB of memory, while bigger laptops are standardizing at 3GB and 4GB now. And let's not forget that graphics components and hard drives can influence the performance of a netbook.
Performance-wise, netbooks are configured with very few differentiating features between them. But how do they fare against other laptops that cost a little more, run faster processors, and pile on memory? Is improved performance commensurate with the increase in price? Well, we took two netbooks—the Acer Aspire One (10-inch) and the Dell Inspiron Mini 12, which cost $350 and $500, respectively—and compared them with mainstream laptops that aren't outrageously expensive (ranging from $700 to $1,300) but cost considerably more than your average netbook. —Next: How We Tested >
Today’s the big day. Windows 7 RC will finally be publicly released by Microsoft. Remember, Microsoft has said that it will provide an unlimited number of downloads this time, but they will only be providing it until June 30th. Beta keys will still work with the RC and you can download the RC from microsoft here.
But before you download and install Windows 7 RC, here are 12 very important things you should know beforehand:
As we saw with the public release of Windows 7 Beta, Microsoft’s servers crumbled from the traffic generated to their site. The same happened with the Technet/MSDN subscriber-only release of the RC. They even sent an email out with this phrase bolded:
So you don’t need rush to make sure you get your copy. When you’re ready to download the RC, it’ll be waiting for you.
Still think Microsoft is going to try their best to keep their servers up tomorrow? If you’re fast enough, you might be able to access the download. If not, luckily you have some alternatives:
Most users won’t have to burn a single DVD to install Windows 7 RC. You’d have to burn a DVD if you want to install a 64-bit edition of Windows 7 and you’re running a 32-bit edition of Windows or vice versa
Since Windows Vista, you can now install Windows even after already booting up into your OS. After you have downloaded the .iso image file, instead of burning it, simply download an archiver program such as WinRAR, extract the contents to a folder, and run Setup. And yes, you can install Windows 7 on the same volume as your existing OS.
Bonus Tip: If you want to install now and backup later, choose Custom Installation instead of Upgrade Installation during the setup wizard. Windows will store all the contents of your C Drive in a folder named Windows.old once Windows 7 is installed.
Microsoft has stated that they’d prefer users to either do a clean install or do an upgrade install from Vista to help them evaluate how they can support the most real world scenarios possible. Unless you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7 Build 7077, you won’t be able to perform an upgrade install. To help with Microsoft’s testing process, I would recommend testers to help MS out on this one and go for a clean install or Vista upgrade.
Microsoft realized not too many users would be happy if they made everything impossible so they have provided a workaround for users to still perform an upgrade installation for Windows 7 Beta. The workaround is very simple. Simply extract the image, browse to the sources folder, and open cversion.ini. Then edit the MinClient value to 7000.
Running Windows 7 Setup in Windows XP or Vista will not allow you to access the Disk Management options during the setup wizard. Instead, you would have to do this manually.If you plan to resize partitions, I highly advise you to backup your files.
If you are running Windows Vista or 7, open up your Start Menu, type Disk Management and push Enter. Right click any area of Unallocated Space and create a New Simple Volume. From there, complete the wizard to create your new volume. Once created, make sure that it is a Primary Partition. Now you’re all set and good to go with the installation.
If you are running Windows XP or you’re having problems dealing with parititions in Windows Vista, you can download the EASEUS Partition Manager. EPM is only compatible with Windows XP and Vista. The process for creating a new partition with EPM is the exact same as above, except that you must select to create a Primary partition as shown below:
If you just want to briefly check out the RC, you may want to consider the option. However, you won’t be able to fully take advantage of all the features of a full installation such as the Aero Interface. Also keep in mind that Virtual environments are incapable of running hardware intensive apps such as games.
In Layman’s terms, running Windows 7 under a virtual environment is like running an Operating System (OS) inside an OS, so you don’t have to worry about putting your actual computer at risk. You can start by downloading Virtual PC here for free. For further instructions please check out the tutorial here. (The tutorial is for running XP in Vista, but works for Windows 7 too. Just select Windows Vista at the OS Menu. When your mouse is in the Virtual PC area, press Right-Alt to drag your mouse back onto the screen of your current OS.)
If you still want to burn the image onto a DVD, make sure it is done properly. I know a few people that actually just took the ISO file and burned the exact file directly onto the DVD. That’s not the way to do it. The DVD should show the ISO image’s contents (not just one .ISO file) once you have burned it. I recommend using ImgBurn, which is a free and easy tool for burning ISOs.
Windows 7 contains updated hardware drivers so chances are you won’t need to install a single driver if your hardware isn’t as old as Zeus. Once you’ve got Windows 7 installed and running, perform a Windows Update and Windows should download the necessary drivers.
If you run into any incompatibility problems, then you may want to install the Vista driver instead. You can find it on the manufacturer’s website. Once you’ve downloaded the driver, if you run into compatibility problems, you may have to run the setup file in Vista compatibility mode for it to work. Consult this guide for more help if needed. (full Story)
Windows XP Mode (XPM) allows you to run your Windows XP apps in a virtual environment alongside your Windows 7 apps in the same desktop. It was designed by Microsoft to ease the transition from XP to Windows 7, particularly for small businesses that are reliant on their legacy apps.
Here is a quick screenshot tour from getting Windows XP Mode ready to publishing apps directly into Windows 7. You can click on screenshots for full size view.