The operating system on the computer I will be working on? You guessed it - Windows 7.
The last time I used Windows full time XP was still still the latest stable Windows release (cause lets be honest, I don't consider Vista a stable release). Kubuntu 7.04 was the first Linux LiveCD I ever burned and I haven't looked back since. Its amazing all the little things you miss when you don't have them any longer.
I was working in two applications at once, so instinctively I went to move the second application to a different workspace...
Only to realize I couldn't.
I went to find a copy and paste manager, there wasn't one installed. So naturally I sought out the package manager to install one...
Wait, there isn't a package manager?
Comon - even the smart phones most people carry around have a "App Store" which is really just a front end for package management! Sure, I could just search for whatever application I wanted on Google - but installing applications that have access to system data from random internet sources just doesn't seem terribly safe.
The biggest annoyance I ran into (and someone please let me know if I can make Windows 7 do this)? alt+left click to move a window. I didn't realize how often I used that when pushing applications around on my screen. It just feels terribly inefficient to have to move the mouse all the way to the top of an application to relocate it on the screen.
It's really funny the things you don't realize you have gotten used to having. Needless to say the 20 hours a week I will be working on campus for this next year will be a trail in patience with technology for sure.
I hear you; I recently had to help my friend set up her laptop (which ran Windows 7). Having used exclusively Linux for the past few months or so, I suddenly realized how cumbersome and inefficient Windows is in contrast to what I am used to using.ReplyDelete
Try deleting a bunch of files at once...first it has to prepare to delete...finally it will attempt to delete which takes forever. Linux wins hands down.ReplyDelete
...please. That's just nonsense. I'm working on Windows 7 right now and cleaning out my downloads folder. There is no problem deleting.Delete
WOW it can delete files with no problem!!!Delete
Microsoft really are at the cutting edge of technology :P
HAHA! Nice oneDelete
When I was on Windows I always used this site to get the necessary software because Windows never feels complete out of the box.ReplyDelete
http://ninite.com/ is also good for getting the most popular software very quickly, it makes a customised installer. No license agreement or directory screens or anything. Just download and it installs.
Everything is free and best in their class most often. Enjoy (well, kinda, because W7 is kind of shit). :)
If you haven't picked-up a copy yet head on over to Amazon and get a copy of Windows Annoyances for win7 or visit their website at http://www.annoyances.orgDelete
Happens with me too, from the past one month I'm now working with a XP machine,ReplyDelete
I tried pressing alt+F2 for the launcher.
Tired arranging my tasks on the task-bar, which XFCE allows me to do.. only to find the them fixed!
Jeff, I'm an undergraduate research assistant. I used to be in a very similar situation.ReplyDelete
I had a windows XP computer for about a year. Windows finally completely conked out the day I got an upgrade (from a Pentium 4 -> Core 2duo).
I got some extra monitors, put SuSE on my old PC, and will soon have 4 monitors (2 on the windows PC, 2 on the SuSE PC) linked together with Synergy (do a google search for synergy). I'd try and hunt down an old computer and get permission to install Linux. If you are a CS guy, it'll probably be pretty easy to explain to your boss that you want an auxiliary Linux Box - specifically if it is free or near free.
Check if Illinois State has surplus. I managed to grab a bunch of hardware (6 monitors, mice, keyboards, docking station for me and my coworker) for like 10 bucks from them at my University.
With a little bit of ingenuity, you can get yourself a nice setup.
You can use the Windows Key and the up down left and right arrows to easily move windows around on Windows 7 Very handy if you want to have two windows side by side,also use Windows Key and Tab key to switch between running applicationsReplyDelete
I'm ashamed to say I only discovered this a week or two...Delete
I just got an Eee netbook in November. Today, I installed, like, third or fourth open source graphics package. Because the package management in Windows is what it is, all of them come with their own copy of the bloody Python runtime and libraries. (Of course, nobody bats an eyelid at that in Windows. Every app comes with a giant load of sometimes redundant DLLs, after all.)
Agree with anonymous above. Why are you trying to use Windows 7 as if it were Windows XP ? Read the documentation !!!ReplyDelete
Read the documentation with regards to what? Is there a copy and paste manager and a package manager hiding in there that I simply haven't found yet?ReplyDelete
Have you tried the F1 for help and/or Google your issues? Tyr this:Delete
for keyboard short cuts.
Copy and paste manager is called Clipboard,
give this a try
Hope that helps,
Will take a look at the links - thanks. Honestly I hadn't searched much as I only had to use the system for less than an hour on my first day.Delete
Yes Jeff it's the little things (annoyances), the missing functionality theat really bugs me when I'm forced to use Windows, (which at the moment is about 10 ours a week). It's always such a pleasure to get back to an OS one can configure to work exactly the way it suits one.ReplyDelete
Yes going to some 3rd party website (even if carrying a logo that state malware and Virus free etc, is to my mind a rather risky affair. Better tthe package manager here you know the software has been vetted by your distribution packager, and is guaranteed to install only the minimum necessary extra software to amke the application work, and I course it's just so much easier.
Yup! It's a relief when you get back to your linux boxDelete
Use VirtualBox to run Fedora or something under Windows 7. Problem solved :-)ReplyDelete
why even bother working in windows when you can run a live linux system from usb or cd? you never have to even worry about installing. windows can stay where it is, stinking in the corner, while you work in the environment you want to, with full access to the windows and linux filesystem. is there a specific reason you have to use the windows system they have on there? university specific software?Delete
Software for the job I have to do. Crappy, closed source software.Delete
Might fire up Bodhi in a VM - thats a good idea.
I must use Windows for about an hour every other day and in addition to the points you've raised (alt-click, workspaces, reliable access to packages), I would add a few niceties that I miss.ReplyDelete
Middle-click in scroll bars to jump the slider to that position.
Horizontal scrolling with the middle button (Z-axis) on a mouse.
The X Window System copy-n-paste method (left-drag to select, middle-click to paste). This in addition to the CTL-C/CTL-V permits me to easily move two different selections simultaneously (for example, a URL and its name/description).
Focus-follows-mouse - my preferred method of handling window activation. It is an extreme pain not to be able to scroll a "background" window without actually popping that window to the top.
Double-clicking on a URL in a web browser's location bar selecting the WHOLE URL (not just a single word in it).
The web-browser one is not, in fact, my experience. The difference I've noticed is that the first click highlights in Windows, whereas in Linux versions of the same browser it usually just gives text-focus (by default). Apart from focusing the address-bar, I've found the behaviour consistent across platforms: Single-click positions cursor, double-click selects "word", triple-click selects the whole URL.Delete
Didn't know about the copy-n-paste method you mentioned, should be very handy I guess. Focus follows mouse is also my preferred choice for handling windows. It's strange how this little things can make your ride using an OS so much smoother when they're there.Delete
Personally, I think Win7 is in most ways a vast improvement over XP, but there's always room for improvement. I'm a relative Linux newbie and have only barely learned to make use of workspaces so I don't miss things in Win7 that I haven't met yet in Linux (this column and comments can be an education for me), but I sympathize with your general sentiment about missing the things you've come to rely on. Let me add another vote for www.techsupportalert.com: great source of information for freeware and utilities that can really improve the user experience.ReplyDelete
Follow-up question: can anyone suggest a website or two where one can learn about such goodies as alt-left-click? I would definitely like to improve my Linux desktop foo, but it's kind of hard to formulate a Google search to ferret out that kind of thing. Tx.ReplyDelete
Honestly it all depends on what desktop you are using with your Linux. Each one is fairly different. For example if you are using Enlightenment I would suggest starting with the Bodhi Guide to Enlightenment.Delete
I'm sure there are similar guides for KDE/LXDE/whatever else you may be trying out.
I've been using Linux for the past 2 years and have mostly learnt these kind of things from the comments sections such as this one. The specific websites that I go to are mainly about linux and open source news and stuff. I'd suggest just trying to explore your desktop, try out new DE's, customise it and visit a good number of linux blogs as well. DE and distro reviews on youtube might also help in one way or the other. Just telling you how I learntDelete
I feel exactly the same on the occasions when I have to use Windows especially the point you made about moving applications to different workspaces. It's like 'OK I have these three windows here, let me go to the next one to open (application name)' Moving the mouse to the bottom right corner you just remember 'Oh..I can't'ReplyDelete
There is certain functionality in windows that is extremely limiting (for example: no virtual desktops).ReplyDelete
But the most important is the command line.
install cygwin and mintty to get a decent shell.Delete
install virtuawin for virtual desktops - it's slow but better than nothing.
focus follows mouse can be enabled via a registry setting - not great either but it works.
I get sick every time I have to use windows.ReplyDelete
I feel your pain, Jeff... every day, from 9 to 5...ReplyDelete
I've been working for the government (Canada) for over a decade, and we're on XP. Up until about a year and a half ago, it was tolerable since the place where I worked gave us local admin rights. You could install software and pretty much admin your own box, so my machine was tweaked to death, all kinds of third-party stuff.
I moved... better organization, better position, much better salary, career progression etc.
...and a totally locked down XP box.
I can change:
1. The wallpaper
2. The window theme - woo, Classic (with a variety of vomit-inducing colours) and three versions of Luna
3. The position of the taskbar on the screen, whether it autohides, stays on top etc.
I can't even hide the desktop icons (I demand a clean desktop as it is otherwise distracting!)
So, I have a beautiful background of a tropical sunset, I have put as many shortcuts as I can into a folder, and I have the taskbar set to not only autohide but to be on the bottom so I don't have to look at it...
I re-educated myself as to the various keyboard shortcuts for Windows XP and try to work with applications full screen as much as possible.
It almost makes it tolerable.
Almost... still stuck with Internet Explorer 7, we're not allowed to use Portable Apps (they actually monitor for this, believe it or not) so if I want reliable, fast, fully featured web browsing, my Android phone gives me a better experience - seriously.
I'm probably going to bring a personal laptop from home to tether to the Droid.
I mean, it isn't like I'm surfing all day long on non-work related stuff - I need to use the web for my job, and I'm given the worst tools to do it!
I've been retired a while now, and can please myself, so we no longer own a Win machine. Still have a friend's old laptop with an old XP partition, just in case he needs his stuff again. T'other partition is Bodhi - the performance comparison is embarassing, particularly since XP benchmarks faster than W7 on all our hardware.ReplyDelete
When I bought a new box a while back it came with W7, we played with it for several weeks in an attempt to come to terms with it - but like Jeff we were un-delighted.
Having said that, I gather from friends/former colleagues that W7 is pretty stable and if you get the right after-market tools it is reasonably web-nasty resistant. That's a vast improvement over both Vista (train-wreck) and XP). So MS have finally done something tolerably good!
But the user interface just lacks basic things like workspace switching.
Did (re-)learn a lot of the Win short-cuts that had carried over from the earlier versions of NT (NT3.1, NT4, NT5=Win2K, NT5.1==XP, NT6==Vista, NT6.1==W7). But despite giving it a chance it was just too slow and memory-hungry c/w various Linux flavours that have been tried/installed on the machine. Add that to the virus vulnerabilities and the need for after-market stuff to make it safe and it got wiped - after I'd copied some of the rather nice background art across.
But then, I can please myself now. Commiserations with all those constrained by unenlightened management.
When walking in a cow-pasture be careful not to step in the management!