Do you feel a chill in the air today? A sense of some dread, like the earth has suddenly lost some RPM’s and may soon send us all floating off to the stars? If you do, it’s all my fault…..sorry. I have finally purchased a new Windows OS. I know….I know…. it was bound to happen. It’s not brand new anymore, the tires have been kicked and burned quite a bit already, but for me it has been like winning the lotto. I am that guy when some of my friends and family upgraded to the new OS who LOL’d and swore XP was going to reign supreme. I shrugged off the fact Microsoft themselves would at some point stop support for XP in the near future. My “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” attitude has lasted the better part of forever, and finally has been changed.
Being an Industrial / Commercial Electrician working in the service sector I am forced to always learn new ways to service all sorts of equipment. With this in mind PC’s have become a larger part of the everyday tool to service all sorts of customer needs. It’s no longer a person and his tool belt. With all these new control systems comes the need to service said products. Doing what I do has long been a continuing of education and skill sets. Until recently, my trusty desktop (Windows XP home built) and laptop (dare I say … Windows 2000 Dell something or another) have served me well. If the dino-top couldn’t handle it, the desktop could.
It finally happened, a collection of software needed to service a customers equipment required the use of Vista or newer in order to run. It felt as though the air was sucked out of my lungs, I was forced to buy a new laptop or decline the work asked of me. I felt betrayed a little; all this time XP has done everything I could have ever asked of it with hardly a hick-up. In order to “stay with the times” I had no choice but to upgrade. I picked up an ASUS K523E laptop from Best Buy. It’s packed with an i3, 3GB of Ram and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Nothing insanely fancy, but more then enough to get the job done for me.
From the start I was impressed with the performance of the machine and Windows 7 itself. After the bloatware removal process, and install of the new software needed for work (as well as several updates from Microsoft) I was back in the game. One of my biggest fears was the driver install for several older pieces of equipment I use on a regular basis ie: scanner, printers etc. That ended up being rather easy as well as manufacturers have kept up with the demand of the newer OS drivers. The desktop is impressive with it’s many new features aimed at making multi-tasking easier, it’s rich visual display, and better restructuring of the folder directories make using the pc as a whole better. While it’s only Windows 7 Home, I do get the option of upgrading to 7 Pro via Microsoft download in the event I wish to make use of Windows XP mode. This will become useful when it comes time to use older software that I’m sure won’t have any updates for Windows 7.
The ASUS laptop itself is very nice as well. 3 USB 2.0 ports, DVD optical, HDMI output, and VGA output, and an SD card reader are imbedded in it’s frame. It’s rather light when compared to my old POS laptop, but it’s my understanding there are lighter laptops out there in this price range. Battery life has been running me about 5 hrs thus far with me exploring it’s potential. I do feel sad in one regard, this laptop outperforms my desktop by far. This has me now thinking of building a new desktop and I know a new OS will be in order.
If you are reading this and are the same kind of person I am, thinking Windows 7 will never replace your XP, trust me it’s worth the look. It’s not shiny new, but for me it’s been a wake up call to how far things have come and the benefit of that advancement. So join myself and other reluctant Windows XP users out there and help make this world a colder place.