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TheTedinator
26-12-2011, 08:12 PM
I've got a mac, a 2008ish Macbook Pro. Sometimes I'd like to be able to play games that aren't for mac. However, Windows 7 is super expensive. Do I need it, or can I get by with an earlier version? What's the cheapest version I can get?

Kadayi
26-12-2011, 08:25 PM
I'd say you're best bet is still Win 7 tbh as XP is ancient and Vista is a resource hog Vs Win 7. Home premium is what most people have, however you might be able to get away with basic. I'm not sure how advantagous 64bit vs 32 would be on a laptop though.

DigitalSignalX
26-12-2011, 09:10 PM
Win7, when you chop off all the flashy gui bit and unnecessary services has a dramatically lower processor / memory footprint then XP/Vista. I was really surprised at how well it runs on older hardware.

Althea
26-12-2011, 09:18 PM
I have Win 7 64bit Home Premium - I think it's fine for me. You're probably going to have the least amount of issues with 7, or at least the best chance of decent support.

The Tupper
26-12-2011, 09:46 PM
For the first time I can remember, Microsoft seem to have released an operating system that is unversally acclaimed. I'm still running XP (which is fine, considering my elderly PC infrastructure), but I'm genuinely impressed by everything I've heard about Seven.

Can anyone tell me if there is a 'classic mode' option to make the Win 7 shell look and work like Win 98 (or my most fondly-recalled OS, Windows 2000) [edit - and as there is with Win XP]?

Althea
26-12-2011, 09:58 PM
It has a classic setting, anyway. It won't be exactly the same, but it can look somewhat similar to the Classic Mode of XP. It's the one I use, actually.

Chauvigny
26-12-2011, 10:10 PM
For the first time I can remember, Microsoft seem to have released an operating system that is unversally acclaimed. I'm still running XP (which is fine, considering my elderly PC infrastructure), but I'm genuinely impressed by everything I've heard about Seven.

Can anyone tell me if there is a 'classic mode' option to make the Win 7 shell look and work like Win 98 (or my most fondly-recalled OS, Windows 2000) [edit - and as there is with Win XP]?

Hi,
Yes, Windows 7 surprised me positively with it's stability, speed and general look & feel.
I can fully recommend it.

Regarding your question about the classic mode.
You can go from this:
http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/7533/newxw.jpg
To this:
http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/221/oldxm.jpg

Within 20 seconds.

The Tupper
26-12-2011, 11:43 PM
Brilliant. And well demonstrated too, Chauvigny - thanks.

Some time this year I'll probably have to upgrade although my PC (which has become merely a Skyrim delivery service over the last month) still serves amazingly well.

Not sure if anyone here will know this as it's outwith the scope of gaming, but I make music and often rely on a freeware sound editing package called Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/)that has an option of 'stereo mix' which, basically, takes any sound coming from my sound card and allows it to be sampled. My (possibly incorrect) understanding was that Vista had taken this functionality away to appease rights holders. Anybody know if direct sampling is possible in Win 7?

evilbobthebob
27-12-2011, 06:17 PM
Vista, and by extension Windows 7, did not remove Stereo Mix input. That is a decision that can be made by sound card manufacturers if they choose. It tends to only be very, very bad onboard sound devices that strip out stereo mix. Even the slightly naff Realtek HD audio on my motherboard has Stereo Mix.

Nova
28-12-2011, 09:54 AM
Can anyone tell me if there is a 'classic mode' option to make the Win 7 shell look and work like Win 98 (or my most fondly-recalled OS, Windows 2000) [edit - and as there is with Win XP]?

As far as I know you can't bring the old start menu back, though. Not that anyone should want that.
The longing for a 13 old GUI never ceases to amaze me anyway.

Christian
28-12-2011, 10:59 AM
As far as I know you can't bring the old start menu back, though. Not that anyone should want that.
The longing for a 13 old GUI never ceases to amaze me anyway.

That's what I was thinking. Could somebody please explain?
Win 7's UI isn't just eyecandy, but also brings so much improvements that help a lot regarding productivity and usability. As I not just play games with computers but also do work with them a lot (for a software company), I don't want to miss the advantages the UI brings any more.
Alone the aero-peek-feature and the search function integrated into the new start-menu (along with the fine list of most-used programs and being able to pin apps to it) are such time-savers.
And on every pc with a decent (that is maybe not older than 5 years) GPU and more than 3 GB RAM, there shouldn't be any noticeable performance gain by disabling all of those features.

So I'm just curious here why someone would not want to use these features. The same discussion came up with all the background stuff like the auto-defrag and the memory-optimizing stuff with people turning that off and manually messing with the OS. In my experience Win 7 is the first Windows ever not getting slower over the years.

So yeah, go with Windows 7 and at least have a look at the features it brings or IMHO you'll be missing out on some great stuff.

The Tupper
28-12-2011, 02:09 PM
Vista, and by extension Windows 7, did not remove Stereo Mix input. That is a decision that can be made by sound card manufacturers if they choose. It tends to only be very, very bad onboard sound devices that strip out stereo mix. Even the slightly naff Realtek HD audio on my motherboard has Stereo Mix.

Thanks for that. I read (and, evidently, only half-understood) some of the complaints regarding Vista when it was released and appear to have lumped the absence of Stereo Mix I've seen on two laptop PCs running Vista to be down to that.

My PC has Realtek HD as well, although I reckon next time it's due for an update it'll be a full upgrade rather than simply an OS swapout.

Thanks again.

TT

The Tupper
28-12-2011, 02:15 PM
That's what I was thinking. Could somebody please explain?
Win 7's UI isn't just eyecandy, but also brings so much improvements that help a lot regarding productivity and usability. As I not just play games with computers but also do work with them a lot (for a software company), I don't want to miss the advantages the UI brings any more.
Alone the aero-peek-feature and the search function integrated into the new start-menu (along with the fine list of most-used programs and being able to pin apps to it) are such time-savers.
And on every pc with a decent (that is maybe not older than 5 years) GPU and more than 3 GB RAM, there shouldn't be any noticeable performance gain by disabling all of those features.

So I'm just curious here why someone would not want to use these features. The same discussion came up with all the background stuff like the auto-defrag and the memory-optimizing stuff with people turning that off and manually messing with the OS. In my experience Win 7 is the first Windows ever not getting slower over the years.

So yeah, go with Windows 7 and at least have a look at the features it brings or IMHO you'll be missing out on some great stuff.


Because I am old and novelty scares me, obviously.

To be honest, I grew up using the shell from Win 95 onwards (currently running XP) and any advantages that new versions I've tried (especially the Aero from Vista) seemed not worth the bother - I can make my machine do anything I want using 'classic' setup, so I stick with what I'm familiar with. I tried the standard shell for XP for a while but it just got in the way more than helped.

Having said that, I've not used Win 7 at all, so can't comment on that.

pmh
28-12-2011, 04:07 PM
That's what I was thinking. Could somebody please explain?
Win 7's UI isn't just eyecandy, but also brings so much improvements that help a lot regarding productivity and usability. As I not just play games with computers but also do work with them a lot (for a software company), I don't want to miss the advantages the UI brings any more.
Alone the aero-peek-feature and the search function integrated into the new start-menu (along with the fine list of most-used programs and being able to pin apps to it) are such time-savers.
And on every pc with a decent (that is maybe not older than 5 years) GPU and more than 3 GB RAM, there shouldn't be any noticeable performance gain by disabling all of those features.

So I'm just curious here why someone would not want to use these features. The same discussion came up with all the background stuff like the auto-defrag and the memory-optimizing stuff with people turning that off and manually messing with the OS. In my experience Win 7 is the first Windows ever not getting slower over the years.

So yeah, go with Windows 7 and at least have a look at the features it brings or IMHO you'll be missing out on some great stuff.

I've never found Aero-peek useful and Aero itself tends to interfere with overlays and alt-tabbing in games, so that usually gets disabled. Nearly all of my work involves single windows with multiple tabs rather than multiple windows, and the title of the window is enough to go on in those other rare cases.

In my experience, the start menu is only marginally more useful than the old start menu (basically, I don't have to use "Run" anymore). I'm no faster with it (the Windows 7 menu) than I was at using the classic XP menu. It's likely faster for those who weren't/aren't power users of the old menu. The rest of windows search is unfortunately still an incoherent mess.

Christian
28-12-2011, 04:33 PM
I've never found Aero-peek useful and Aero itself tends to interfere with overlays and alt-tabbing in games, so that usually gets disabled. Nearly all of my work involves single windows with multiple tabs rather than multiple windows, and the title of the window is enough to go on in those other rare cases.

Hmm, ok. Then I see that it might not bring you the same benefits as me..I've got at least 6 different programs open at any time, most of them with multiple windows (3x Windows Explorer, a few browser tabs, SQL-developer, SQL-Management-Studio, multiple Office-documents, a VM and some internal tools we use), so peak helps me to quickly find what I'm looking for, also when I'm at home and just browsing with Chrome or Firefox..it's nice to have a preview of all open tabs.



[...] The rest of windows search is unfortunately still an incoherent mess.

I'll give you that: searching is one thing that has become increasingly worse with each iteration of Windows (or at least it was way better in XP). Searching with stock Windows is a pain and they should force the people developing it to use it for a whole week. That should drive them mad enough to fix it.

@The Tupper (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/member.php?3424-The-Tupper)
Just to put my words into context: I grew up using a C64 and then an Amiga and DOS, and used each iteration of Windows since 3.1, so yeah, it took some getting used to myself ;)

Nova
28-12-2011, 05:13 PM
I'm no faster with it (the Windows 7 menu) than I was at using the classic XP menu. It's likely faster for those who weren't/aren't power users of the old menu.

You have to explain that. With Win7 you can open a program in less than a second with the run/search field. How do you do that with the classic XP menu?

Hmm, I never had a problem with alt-tabbing.

pmh
28-12-2011, 06:07 PM
You have to explain that. With Win7 you can open a program in less than a second with the run/search field. How do you do that with the classic XP menu?

Hmm, I never had a problem with alt-tabbing.

For keyboard navigation, I ended up running almost everything via a keyboard combination or the run dialog (which usually ends up being the same amount of keystrokes due to the dialog history or short executable names). The Windows 7 start menu search also has a slight delay before it finds an app, so typing in only part of an application's name usually isn't any faster than typing the whole thing. For mouse navigation, I had a quick launch menu with 3 commonly used apps visible (explorer, Firefox, foobar) with the rest in the expandable menu; that was my equivalent of "pinning".

One case that just occurred to me where the Windows 7 menu is certainly faster is for navigating to specific control panel pages (of course once you're there, it's a click-fest to find the now super-hidden option you wanted to change).

Nova
28-12-2011, 08:01 PM
The Windows 7 start menu search also has a slight delay before it finds an app, so typing in only part of an application's name usually isn't any faster than typing the whole thing.

That's where the SSD enters the ring. No delay for me. Apart from that a small delay doesn't matter if you know the proper first letters of your desired application, because if you hit enter it runs that as soon as your drive reacts.

That said I'm surprised a "power user" uses the windows explorer.

DigitalSignalX
28-12-2011, 11:11 PM
On the topic of alt-tabbing I have grown quite fond of the various options win7 has for different situations. You can flip larger versions of your apps/windows with windows key - tab, you can hold down alt-control-tab and have it stay on your screen for glances back at full screen versions, and then alt-tab itself if you leave it up for a second will show the whole screen view instead of just the thumb nails. Quite handy when you have a dozen things open and you need to just glance back at something but not be concerned about cycling through the whole group again to get back on point.

Danny252
29-12-2011, 12:13 AM
Hmm, ok. Then I see that it might not bring you the same benefits as me..I've got at least 6 different programs open at any time, most of them with multiple windows (3x Windows Explorer, a few browser tabs, SQL-developer, SQL-Management-Studio, multiple Office-documents, a VM and some internal tools we use), so peak helps me to quickly find what I'm looking for, also when I'm at home and just browsing with Chrome or Firefox..it's nice to have a preview of all open tabs.

Don't the names of the windows give you a hint? The Win Explorer titled "Program Files" is self-explanatory, MS Office also names itself by the currently open file, etc.

As for open tabs in programs, have I got entirely the wrong idea of what the "Peek" thing is? I was under the impression it was the little preview when you either use alt-tab, or hover over something in the taskbar, and hence far too small to actually read text.

Christian
29-12-2011, 01:08 AM
Don't the names of the windows give you a hint? The Win Explorer titled "Program Files" is self-explanatory, MS Office also names itself by the currently open file, etc.


Well yes, but if you have enough windows open, they'll start stacking anyway (in XP) or you'll have a huge long horizontal list along your taskbar. And if I'm searching for something, let's say the right explorer window, it shows a neat little preview which you can hover over to briefly see the whole window pop up. It really is more effective (took me about a workday to remember that it was there and to get used to using it, after that I wouldn't want to work with XP anymore because it just feels so slow and crowded).



As for open tabs in programs, have I got entirely the wrong idea of what the "Peek" thing is? I was under the impression it was the little preview when you either use alt-tab, or hover over something in the taskbar, and hence far too small to actually read text.

Nope, that's the thing. A bit like what MacOS does AFAIK. The good thing is, it also shows you all of the open tabs in browsers (so I barely use Chrome's built in tabs to switch between them) and if you have two Word-docs and three Excel-sheets open, the preview mostly is large enough (on everything > 21") to see at a glance if it's the one you're looking for.

I'm not trying to advertise anything here, I'm just really amazed myself in retrospective how it changed my work.

[edit]
and I learned something today: didn't know about the alt+ctrl+tab-thing. Now I hope I remember to use it ;)

pmh
29-12-2011, 03:17 AM
That's where the SSD enters the ring. No delay for me. Apart from that a small delay doesn't matter if you know the proper first letters of your desired application, because if you hit enter it runs that as soon as your drive reacts.

That said I'm surprised a "power user" uses the windows explorer.

I have an SSD. The delay is miniscule (maybe a few hundred milliseconds to a second), but long enough that I can finish typing the app name I want.

Why are you surprised that a power user uses windows explorer (as opposed to something like midnight commander I assume)?

Nova
29-12-2011, 10:02 AM
Then you seem to have a strange SSD...? If I type "xn" (e.g.) I see XnView the moment I press the n-key. Also, as i said, you don't have to see it you can just hit enter.

Well, the windows explorer is no power tool or is it? Something like Total Commander or Directory Opus comes to mind.

There are a few other useful functions in Win7, too. The jumplists, if you have word, excel, etc. in the task bar you don't have to search the document or open the application first you can just right click, and open the last 10 files from there + pinned ones.
Win-key + number opens the corresponding application from the taskbar. You have more usable space in the taskbar in general.
The easy to use window pinning and ordering.

pmh
29-12-2011, 04:45 PM
Well, the windows explorer is no power tool or is it? Something like Total Commander or Directory Opus comes to mind.

Windows explorer certainly isn't a very powerful tool, but that doesn't preclude you from being a power user of that tool. That said, I stopped bothering with 3rd party file managers long ago both because I'd end up working on systems where they weren't installed (and I couldn't install them) and because I never got much of a productivity gain out of the file manager portion. I do typically replace the search with some other application on my development machine, but my new dev machine runs OSX.


There are a few other useful functions in Win7, too. The jumplists, if you have word, excel, etc. in the task bar you don't have to search the document or open the application first you can just right click, and open the last 10 files from there + pinned ones.
Win-key + number opens the corresponding application from the taskbar. You have more usable space in the taskbar in general.
The easy to use window pinning and ordering.

I agree, the Windows 7 task bar is much improved over XP's.

Arona Daal
01-01-2012, 10:04 PM
Windows XP has Problems with higher DirectX games,but is dirt cheap.

Windows Vista is a Crime against Humanity (with his ugly brother windows ME),avoid at all costs.

I upgraded to Windows 7 Professional 64bit half a year ago,buying from a professional seller on Ebay (Thibaud Trading it was ,i think) for 40 to 50 bucks.

Compare here which win 7 Version u want/need :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_editions

They resell Oem versions which were meant for Bundle Sale with new Computers.
So you essentially just get an Dvd in an Envelope with an Serial,but its completely legal and worked flawless for me.

You have to be careful though ,as some Dvds,especially the private sold OEM win7s ,are just for a certain Computer type (Dell for example).

btw.: If you get sick of Aero,you can turn it off under windows performance options.
Ah and a few older games dont run well under win 7 ,for example Space Empires 5,but all in all win 7 is ok.
But it needs more Ram than win xp,about 2 gb should be good.

Mistabashi
02-01-2012, 07:08 PM
I upgraded to Windows 7 Professional 64bit half a year ago,buying from a professional seller on Ebay (Thibaud Trading it was ,i think) for 40 to 50 bucks.

Compare here which win 7 Version u want/need :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_editions

They resell Oem versions which were meant for Bundle Sale with new Computers.
So you essentially just get an Dvd in an Envelope with an Serial,but its completely legal and worked flawless for me.

Sorry to say this but that definitely wasn't legit. Even the OEM version of Win7 Pro costs several times more than what you paid.

Never ever buy Windows on ebay (that goes for most other software for that matter), you might as well just pirate it if you're going to do that as all you're doing is lining the pockets of a scammer.

Christian
03-01-2012, 02:29 PM
I don't think it has been mentioned here before, but MS offers 90 day trial-installations for Windows 7 (like here (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/evalcenter/default) for Enterprise). 90 days should be enough to find out if it's right for you, and it's easy enough to install to just put in on a spare drive for testing. It should also be possible to put it on an external drive..so just take it for a test-drive I guess..

Arona Daal
05-01-2012, 05:04 AM
Sorry to say this but that definitely wasn't legit.

Had it registered from Day one and never had any Problem with it.Illegal Copies usually get blocked after a few Weeks /updates
The Company sells em since years (beside other Stuff) and has more than 20000 satisfied customers.

Ebay is fine, you just have to double check what you buy and from whom.

crossangel2012
03-02-2012, 01:58 AM
does anyone heard about Chrome OS??

soldant
03-02-2012, 02:32 AM
does anyone heard about Chrome OS??
Runs on specific hardware only. There was a guy who did custom builds of ChromiumOS, but they're fiddly to get working, and they're usually very slow when you've got it to run.