Monthly Archives: September 2009

Migrating to Windows 7

Yesterday, I upgraded my work PC to Windows 7 professional.  I wanted to give the upgrade a try and see how it would go, but normally I prefer to do clean installs.  The upgrade process took about 2-3 hours but did retain all my applications and most settings.  I did have to remove some HP software that came with the PC, but overall it wasn’t too bad.  I had some additional trouble with Ultramon that caused some errors and weird behavior with the taskbar.  Here are some observations so far:

1. The taskbar is taller and takes up more screen real estate.  This isn’t necessarily bad, but takes some getting used to.  It makes the icons look smaller. 
2.  The quick launch bar has been transformed into something different, mabye better, not sure yet.  I was dismayed to find out that the upgrade had wiped out my quick launch folder completely, all my pre-arranged shortcuts were just gone!  I found a way to work around this by creating a new quick launch folder manually and moving shortcuts that I wanted in the list.  I wish I had backed up my quick launch folder before the upgrade! 
3. The transparency is nice, but at times a little weird.  Since the top inch or so of many apps is now transparent, it seems like your apps are not maximized or as if there is a big gap at the top of the screen. 
4.  I think its cute how the new network connection icon in the task bar looks like it has a pitch fork in it.  🙂
5.  I like the new start menu, specifically the ability to expand options for programs such as RDP.  Now when you go to RDP in the start menu, it gives you an expandable list of recent connections, which I think is nice, even though I use mRemote to organize my RDP connections.  
6. Performance seems good, the PC boots up pretty fast especially considering it was an upgrade install. 

The official upgrades for my home computers will be available in a few weeks, so I’ll post back later on with more observations.

Switching from Windows Mobile to the iPhone 3GS

Last week I upgraded my cell phone from an HTC Tilt running Windows mobile 6.1 (custom cooked Rom) to the 32GB iPhone 3GS.  I wen to the at&t store on Dale Mabry and Henderson and was surprised at how nice of a store it was.  I had no lines and no waiting and was able to get in and out with my upgrade in about 10 minutes. 

So now that I’ve had my new iPhone for  a week now, here are some thoughts and notes about my switch…

Things I miss from Windows Mobile:
   1. The ability to control the volume for PDA sounds and the ringer separately.  At night I used to mute the PDA sounds and leave the phone ringer on maybe 2 bars.  This worked out great for me as I’m on call 24/7, so witching my phone to silent or even putting it on vibrate is not a great option for me.  Maybe one day this will be available as a feature on the iPhone.

   2. Easier file management.  I miss being able to just connect my phone to my PC and copy files back and forth via windows explorer.  Having to use iTunes to simply put files on my phone is a bit of a pain, epsecially when I’m not around my home computer and want to copy something to my iPhone.  I know there are 3rd party apps out there to help with this, but the lack of built in file management is a bit of a pain.  Not to mention that much more limited range of file types you can actually use on the iPhone.

What I love about the iPhone:
   1. The interface!  Its easy to use, visually appealing, clean and responsive.  Windows Mobile can be a bit slow at times and more complicated to navigate through screens and various settings. 
   2. It just works, right out of the box I was able to connect it to my bluetooth radio in my car for hands free calling.  I didn’t have to run through any setup wizard to align my screen or anything like that.  It just worked. 
   3. Easier to get apps!  There are many apps for windows mobile, but you have to go hunting for them, and most of the good ones cost money!  The iTunes app store has many apps available and a good number of them are free, some good ones too!  I love being able to tap “install” and it just goes to work and then you can open the app and begin using it.  

Some problems with the iPhone:
   1. The mail client lacks the enterprise grade functionality and reliability that I’ve come to get used to with Windows Mobile.  I’ve tried different types of mail accounts (activesync and MAPI, etc), and I’ve seen inconsistent behavior with the push functionality.  For example, I have an Exchange account setup and sometimes I’ll notice an hour delay in getting notified of new mail.  I can be on either 3G or wifi and it still happens.  Its just not as reliable for instant e-mail notifications. 

   2. I really really wish I could control PDA sound volume (email alerts, notifications, etc) separately from the phone ringer.  This is huge for me! 

Overall, I love my new iPhone.  Its awesome to have my mobile phone and my iPod all in one device.  It works great with other technologies I employ in my daily life.  Some people get a little uptight about losing some enterprise business features or reliability on the iPhone, but thats not really the target audience anyway.  And really, most post people are not going to care if they can’t edit Microsoft Office documents on their iPhone, they just want to be able to read and reply to e-mails on the go and are completely happy to do the PC work on the PC and just enjoy the iPhone for what it is.