December 22, 2009

I need Windows 7

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:02 am by dgcombs

I got a very frustrated call from my grandson, Tyler. “Grampa,” he said, “I need Windows 7!”

I’d built Tyler a nice little computer. 250Gb hard drive, 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor on an Intel motherboard and 2Gb of memory. I went all out and put a 6800 Nvidia graphics card in it. When I gave it to him for his birthday in February, I put Ubuntu on it. I added Avant Window Navigator, which looks a lot like the Mac OSX dock. He loved it. His favorite game ran like a top and best of all, he could do his homework right on the computer and print it on a network attached printer! Or maybe it was the other way around, homework and best of all the game. I forget.

Then he started talking to some of the kids at school and his mom. “So is OSX a good for games?” Well, uh, sort of. I shuffled around a bit. I’d been installing Hackintosh (OSX86) on a couple platforms to see how it worked. I had to admit that Leopard was pretty interesting and it had some features that Ubunt did not. Was it good for games? and more importantly, was it good for Tyler?

So I installed Hackintosh on his computer. It worked pretty well! He was ecstatic with the whole, “I got an Apple” thing. His game worked flawlessly and best of all, the OpenOffice allowed him to do his homework. Or maybe it was the other way around. I forget.

Then he started talking to some of the kids at school. Apparently, they were able to create characters on their computers using interesting characters like 

Ð and Ģ

and he wanted to do the same. So we figured out how to make oddball characters using the OSX operating system. He was pretty happy about it. For a while. Then one of his friends, Angel, I think, showed him how he could “dual-screen” on Windows. This means opening the game with two windows and playing two characters at once so you could make twice the number of points! Only, you couldn’t do that with Mac OSX. The best you could do is play in Windowed mode where the game window can be shrunk so you can fire up a browser and look up games hints online. And when the update to Leopard 10.5.8 broke his sound, his disaffection started to grow.

The last straw came when the game update failed. Twice. Apparently Electronic Arts, the game’s parent company still expects Leopard software to run on PowerPC. The updates wouldn’t run properly unless we used Rosetta, the most amazing software you’ll never see. But that didn’t help Tyler’s disposition. And that’s what prompted his frustration. If he couldn’t get the software to run properly without calling me, it wasn’t a good system.

So I installed Windows 7 Release Candidate on his computer. And it runs like a top and his game runs like a champ. And best of all, he can still get his homework done on his computer. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I forget.

Tyler’s verdict: Win7 is better than OS X which is better than Ubuntu. I think he’s got a point.

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