Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Windows 7

When I knew I needed to replace my old Dell pc I had two choices - stick with the evil empire (microsoft) or try a Mac. My older kids have Macs and they love them so why not me? Yes, I knew some of my apps would not run but there were a few programs available to run windows on a mac and allow windows and mac apps to communicate, if crudely.

My macbook was hot. Things just worked and when I loaded Parallels, I could run windows in a window (yes, you have to buy windows all over again). But the data transfer between windows and mac did not handle charts. Since I do charts for a living it was a problem. And mac hardware is stupidly expensive. I never really let mac take over my setup.

But my old Dell was pushing eight years old and even though I run it clean (registry fixer, spyware killer, antivirus, cookie controls, etc..) it was feeling its age. Eight years may be 56 to a dog but to a pc it is probably more like 160.

Then there was Vista. You all know about Vista and most would agree with my NFW (no way) sentiment. I even got a low end pc for my youngest kid and "downgraded" it to windows XP from Vista. No wonder Microsoft stock was languishing. I was not alone and even Dell acknowledged the problem by allowing selected pcs to come with XP.

But again, old Delly was on its last legs. I bought an external hard drive just in case. And its a damn good thing I did because my hard drive crashed about a month ago. It was backed up minus about two weeks of documents but most were recoverable online and all of my applications were online, too.

Enter the new Windows 7 machine. Very sweet. Very powerful. A little confusing since it looks a lot like Vista but I'll consider that a learning curve to tackle.

Apps loaded themselves. The system went out to the web without me asking to find drivers. Things just worked. Sure they looked very mac-like but at this point that is not my problem.

So I am cruising along restoring everything and lo and behold the evil empire asserts itself. You may not run Outlook Express they said. You must run Windows Live and be part of our Matrix. We own you and your information.

Just the reason I wanted to move to mac. So I fire up Thunderbird, which is not as good as Outlook Express, in my view, and get back to work. But the backup files I made of my address book and all my emails are in Outlook format. All of these email programs want to import direct from the other app and not from a file you save somewhere. Please tell me if I am wrong.

So, it looks like I'll have to find an XP machine, fire it up and somehow get it ready for Thunderbird. I am sure there is a way.

But let's bring this back to the markets. Is it any wonder why Microsoft is soaring? All of this pent up demand to be released. Windows 7 is pretty good, though.


bmbull said...

You could try the 'advanced alternatives' to move your Outlook Exp. files to the new machine and import them into Thunderbird.


Thought I haven't actually tried it...

Anonymous said...

This past week my PC began to fail--I thought. I has been saved. I worried very little bec I use Carbonite. for $55/yr everything is backup at all times. It has saved me from myown stupidity already.

Today my PC is taking 15 minutes to boot. I purchased an annual memberhsip at www.experts-exchange.com. $120/yr I think.
I go there, explain my problem and in 5 minutes I have 3 suggestions. After several hours back and forth, "we" solved it. I give 500 points to the guy (?) who came up with the fix. A house call would have cost $300 and they probably would have reformatted my drive etc etc.

both of these services are well worth the modest investment. If you ran a construction business, you'd insure your tools. If you run a "brain" business heavily dependent on a PC, $200 per year is very cheap insurance.
(I have no affiliation with either outfit but I am a happy customer.)

Anonymous said...

oops, forgot my main point.
join EE for 30 days free and ask how one goes about getting OE backups into Thunderbird. I'll bet you get at least one workable response.

Michael Kahn said...

good stuff, thanks