Windows 7 Beta on the Dell XPS M1330 Laptop continued…

January 15, 2009

Last night I took the plunge and downloaded the beta release of Windows 7 and installed it on my Dell XPS M1330. This is the story so far:

Regular reads of my blog will know that I like to keep abreast of software and hardware developments as and when they happen and this is how I come to be writing this post from Windows 7. I am not a Windows fan but wanted to know what the new update is like and what Microsoft will eventually be asking customers to shell out more money for.

Ok, the install.

I went for an upgrade from Vista Premium at first which took an amazingly long time to complete, about 2 and a half hours. It ran fine, however the internet refused to work which I worked out was because Zonealarm was installed. So, rather than weed out any other conflicts I decided to do a fresh install, working out at about 45 mins in total. And yes, now the internet is working. Wireless works out of the box also, no drivers needed. Display drivers for the M1330 by Nvidia from Dell also work fine. If I have any problems with any other drivers I’ll be sure to post an update.

Windows 7 on the Dell XPS M1330

Windows 7 on the Dell XPS M1330

For the new features Microsoft lists as new / improved in Windows 7 I will refer you to this wikipedia article.

I will no doubt be referencing these in future posts on this beta release.

For the main part I notice only a few cosmetic differences after using the operating system, but that is only after an hours proper usage.  Battery life does however seem to be improved when running off it.

I am going to set up a special static page on my blog for listing software that works and does not work with this beta.

That’s about it for now, check back for updates as and when they happen.

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Windows 7 beta

January 15, 2009

I am currently testing Windows 7 beta on the Dell XPS 1330 laptop.

To be continued tomorrow….


Reasons why Linux beats Windows everytime

September 28, 2008

Found an article of 100 reasons why Linux is a better Operating System than Windows.

Here are my pick of the bunch:

  • You don’t have to “activate” Linux by phone or Internet.
  • If you change your hardware and re-install Linux you don’t have to call someone to justify it.
  • You can install Linux on as many computers as you want.
  • You can give it away to friends and family.
  • You can download it and you can burn disc after disc.
  • You don’t have to enter obscure product keys stuck onto your computer.
  • You don’t have to store product keys for safety.
  • Nobody ever sells a second-hand computer with Linux on it and then has to deal with buyers complaining they were “ripped off” because Microsoft Word isn’t installed.
  • You don’t need to defragment Linux. At all. Ever.
  • You don’t have to worry about viruses
  • Linux is the a major OS in high performance computing. The first computer to break the petaflop barrier – one quadrillion calculations per second – was an IBM supercomputer running Linux.
  • In fact, over 80% of the top 500 supercomputers in the world run Linux. Windows just doesn’t have the capability for high performance computing.
  • Linux will revitalise your old hardware, with snappy performance.
  • It’ll make better use of your modern hardware, too, delivering faster performance and better memory management than Windows.
  • The Linux check for software updates will update everything – not just the operating system or vendor-supplied apps. It will facilitate updating all your software, in one convenient spot.
  • You don’t have to lust after software you can’t afford. The software is given away.  You don’t have to pirate software you can’t afford. The software is given away.
  • Linux doesn’t crash without any apparent reasons. A crashing web browser can’t render your system unusable.
  • Linux doesn’t reboot by itself! Automated software updates won’t force your computer to reboot if you leave it alone for a while. Don’t you hate it when you’re downloading a huge file and go to bed thinking it will be done when you get up just to find Windows sitting at the login prompt again with the cheery “Your computer was rebooted to apply important updates” message?
  • Also contrary to rumour, Linux supports a whole mess of hardware out-of-the-box. There are more drivers bundled with Linux than Windows. You don’t have to resort to finding the vendor’s site or using Windows Update to make things work.
  • Linux brought about the entire Netbook subnotebook market. The Netbook wouldn’t have seen the light of day if it weren’t for a license-free operating system and suite of applications to help slash the price.
  • The open source philosophy protects you from malice due to the inordinate amount of peer review it offers. You wouldn’t have the G-Archiver Trojan stealing Gmail passwords if it were open source, for instance.
  • Linux is released when it is ready. The software is free so there is no pressure to release it before it is ready just to achieve sales targets.
  • You can give Linux to your parents and grandparents and know they’ll have no problems. It will boot fine, let them check e-mail, browse the web, share photos, print and write letters without fear of their online safety or software crashes.
  • Linux is designed by people who genuinely seek to maximise performance, not maximise profits. The overall speed and experience is monumental.
  • Not to mention the large industry-wide backing Linux receives. Such large organisations like IBM and Sun Microsystems and Oracle and Red Hat and Ubuntu are feeding into the advancement of Linux. Yet, only Microsoft is working on Windows. As a result, Linux is advancing beyond what one corporation could achieve and has major enterprises invested in its success.
  • Linux Just Works

Ok, so those are my hand picked reasons from the list.  I basically picked them because they were the more general, universal reasons in the list.  Have a toddle over and read the full 100 at iTWire if the mood takes you.


Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Alpha 6 on a Dell XPS M1330 Laptop

September 26, 2008

I normally upgrade my Ubuntu installation to the latest Alpha when it becomes available.  I just love being an early adopter for no other reason than that.

However up to Alpha 5 I have been unable to get the M1330 to boot using the install media or a direct system update via the net.  Black screen crashes with each method.  So along comes the Alpha 6 yesterday or the day before and I try over again.

And we have success.  I have tested both the distro upgrade via the net from 8.04.1 and also a direct, clean install from the i386 live cd.  Both work flawlessly.  The only bug I had, which was resolved it seems by an update released shortly after I upgraded, was the wireless, which didn’t work correctly.  However, like I say, this is now working fine too.

The system itself seems to be slightly faster and more responsive.  Other notable features?  To be honest to look at and use on the surface 8.10 looks and feels pretty much like 8.04.1, but we are in an early alpha stage.

I know that there are features under the bonnet that have been upgraded.  The new kernel, new xorg, ACPI support and others.

I’ll say well done to the Ubuntu team.  This really does feel like a stable and a faster machine with Intrepid Ibex on it.  I look forward to more rolling updates to see where it goes from here all the way up to the final release in October.


Google Android SDK 1.0 with Ubuntu 8.04

September 25, 2008

For those of you of programming nature I have found an excellent step by step, hold your hand guide to installing the Google Android SDK under Ubuntu.  It’s an idiots guide and that’s how I like it.

Anyway, I have it all installed and will be playing around with it today with the idea to possibly develop applications for the Android market place.  We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, here is the link.


Pod Munch: Episode 1

July 9, 2008

So I have done the first episode of the podcast I have been talking about.  Yep it’s very rough around the edges content and production wise but I intend to improve, like a fine wine, with age.

Give me your feedback.  Best way to help me improve!

Show Notes:

  1. Viacom vs Google / YouTube
  2. Gmail’s new security feature
  3. Google launches Lively virtual world
  4. Samsung starts to produce SSD’s on the cheap
  5. KOffice 2 Alpha 8
  6. The Alarm Clock that can get you the sack
  7. Green Israel
  8. iPhone 3G
  9. 7Digital

Apple

July 7, 2008

Apple logoI have always been a reluctant Apple user but over the past year or so I have found myself surrounded by more and more Apple products and you know what?  I like them.

Yes they can be over priced, yes they do overly use DRM, and yes there is an element of style over substance.

So am I that superficial that I can be converted despite all of those things or even because of them?

Well not really, my love affair began fairly simply with my other half wanting and getting a iPod shuffle last year.  I scoffed of course having never used iTunes and read all the negatives about it’s DRM and how it limits the way you can use your downloads and devices associated with it.  And I still hold those views.  But iTunes really is a very slick and user friendly piece of software.  It makes downloading podcasts, which I listen to lots of, and other sundry simple via an Ipod.  However I don’t use iTunes for the negative reasons I stated.  However I still like Apple products.  Again, why?

Well since the day of my partners pink Shuffle I have been curious and as such have tired the majority of their products to the point of now writing this on a Macbook (as you will have an idea of if you have read my previous posts).

I like the iPods, especially when using them under Linux using software that allows you to edit as well as you can with iTunes if not with a little rougher UI.

Having used the nano, classic and shuffle I have found the zenith in the Touch.

My iPod Touch isn’t used for music or podcasts.  Why?  Because I have jailbroken it to use it as a very capable handheld mobile PC.  There isn’t much I can’t do with it using the inbuilt wifi.  It is use to check my email on the fly, sign in to an IM, check on the news, browse the web, check the whether and basically any other operation you can think that you might want to do on the move.  Of course it can’t replace the functionality of a fully fledged laptop but what it can do is replace my Asus EEE 701, which has now been handed down to my partner.  Yes, I love my Ipod Touch, not for it’s Ipodness, but for it’s functionality, when jailbroken of course.

So I guess I can move on to the Macbook.

I had never used an Apple computer until I got my hands on this one.  I knew what to expect from the style and looks; as I mentioned Apple products are simply stunning for the most part.

But hardware and OS X wise I had to lose my virginity.  OS X is slick and smooth, there are problems getting some freeware tools and programs that I am used to using, but  I am happy to be using a system that is close to Linux in it’s Unix core although I have yet to really get under the bonnet.  I haven’t even opened a terminal yet.  As such I can only comment on the GUI and it is functionally simple with installs via downloads very easy and it’s overall simplicity over complexity works well.

Hardware wise I am impressed.  The Core Duo model I have runs fairly fast after my upgrades.  I have installed 2 gigabytes of RAM (The maximum for this model I was rather sad to read), to replace the default 1 gigabyte.  I then changed the hard drive from a 60 gigabyte to a 120 gigabyte model.  What I noticed most doing this was just how easy it was to install the upgrades.  Remove the battery, undo three screws and you have access to everything most users would need to upgrade.  The whole operation can be done in under 10 minutes.  Now I come to my favourite aspects of the Macbook, and these alone are almost enough to keep me on it as my main machine.  The screen is simply gorgeous, the best I have seen on a laptop.  It is clear, bright and unbelievably crisp.  But the coup de tat is the battery life.  5 or 6 hours during my normal usage!!!  Brilliant, and coupled with the above, a deal sealer for me.

Yes Apple.  You have a convert.  Not because you are beautiful, although that helps.  You have your downsides in software availability  compared to a Windows or even Linux machine; and your DRM is horrible.  But your hardware is brilliantly designed and that coupled with the functionality of your devices… well, like I say, the Macbook will be my main machine for the foreseeable future and me and my Ipod Touch are never separated.

Maybe its time for me to try the Iphone?  I just hope my other half doesn’t read that!