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Computer Software Recommendations

Product Software

There are hundreds of products out there.  Some good.  Some excellent.  Some necessary.  Some poor.  Some harmful.  I am good at what I do but I make no claims at knowing everything.  Find your local expert for this.  I wrote product and precision software for 35 years.  Precision?  Nothing is as precise as software that goes into phone systems.  When you push the '9' key, you want a '9'.  An '8' is not close enough -- and you sure do not want a '0'!

Back to business.  I have listed some software products here.  I think that my opinion of these is valuable.  You may have different opinions.


Pure Opinion

I hate invasive software.  I hate this concept of getting more than you asked for or wanted in the first place.  I understand it.  I understand the reason for the companies wanting to do it but I hate it.

What am I talking about?  For example, yesterday I got a prompt for a new version of Adobe Reader.  You know, the program, the ONLY program, that reads .PDF files.  Adobe Reader Version 8, on its own volition, downloaded and installed this slide show program,   As far as I am concerned if Adobe makes it, I hate it.  Their programs are counter-intuitive, abysmally slow, and crowd out other things.  I have no idea why anyone would want a .PDF file in the first place but somebody likes them as they are popping up everywhere and I  understand full support of the darn things is included in Windows Vista.  But after tolerating the installation of Adobe Photo Shop Album Starter Edition, the darn thing automatically inserted itself as the default operation on opening any picture files.  Installing yourself so that I can use you is one thing.  Installing yourself such that I must use you in place of programs that have already proved themselves valuable is just plain vulgar.  I never uninstalled any program so fast in my life.

The other complaint I have is getting a collection of software when I only wanted one.  You can end up with the Google toolbar and Weather bug and a whole bunch of other programs on your system when you are not looking just because they come with a product you want.  This is sort like the Adobe problem but not exactly.  The Adobe things came together.  These other programs are apparently unrelated but grouped more or less for increased visibility.  Do not get me wrong here, I sort of like the gadgets of the Google toolbar,  They are sort of cute and I understand that Windows Vista has its own gadgets.  I think will shall be seeing a lot of that word.  I have my own toolbar with its own gadgets.  But when I want a toolbar, I shall ask for it.


Software Common to RVers


Microsoft Streets and Trips.  My opinion of this is long enough to have its own page!

System Protection Software is critical -- and these are as good as anything you can buy -- and are all free

Inbound FAX is good for those people (like doctors) who do not like email.
In the rare event that your hard drive fails is corrupted, this Disk Recovery program is better than the store experts use.

Internet Explorer 7 is really bad -- do not install it!

Firefox is a browser for everyone.

Other Software

Ultimate Registry Cleaner

This malicious program cleans your registry like throwing the baby out with the bath water.  All of the other free scans ran for 3 to 10 minutes scouring all sort of things and came up with fairly consistent error findings.  This program ran for about 15 seconds and came up with some similar large error counts.  The problem is that I have no idea whether or not it did anything useful.  I am still recovering from the damage -- and they offer no refunds.

For example, every folder on the screen linking to a directory was removed.  I keep many such links so that I do not have to go searching for my files.

Ultimate Registry Cleaner cleaned my system tray up and removed the little speaker ICON for adjusting volume.  A few toggles in control panel put it back but Ultimate Registry Cleaner had no business removing useful and legitimate ICONs.  My eFax ICON is still there but it is blank -- I have to look for the blank space or move the cursor down until eFax announces itself.

Ultimate Registry Cleaner also cleaned up a bunch of programs in the startup process.  I am still finding things that no longer load automatically.  My DVD43 encryption program was one of the ones eliminated.

Ultimate Registry Cleaner also destroyed the registry database for some of my programs.  For example, ZoneAlarm lost its database:  all the programs had to be re-authorized.

Microsoft Word will not print to my printer; it just hangs up and I have to abort it.  It took a while but I got that fixed too.

Attempting to recover to the day I installed this malicious program fails with the message saying no changes made and to attempt another restore point.  It says this to any restore point.

I wonder what the new blank entry in Control Panel is.  Maybe it is not new but when I click on it, nothing happens.  So I have either lost a function or it just inherited a blank entry.

Maybe the other cleanup programs would have caused the same damage but I think that since they took much longer to scan the registry, their analysis was probably in the ball park and not over the left field fence like Ultimate Registry Cleaner.

In other words, buy something with a little guts and not just an off the wall wannabee.  Calls to support seem to be a means for you to be their guinea pigs to improve their product.  They could do better by comparing their results to a real registry cleaner product.

After running the Ultimate Registry Cleaner with the above results, I ran the RegCure product.  It again ran for about 15 minutes and again came up with about 1200 registry errors.  So other than causing a lot of damage, the Ultimate Registry Cleaner did not really do any good.  Maybe the "baby with the bath water" was not a good analogy.  Maybe "baby instead of the bath water" would have been better.


Dragon Naturally Speaking

I had to try it and I got it at a really good price.  Dragon is speech-recognition software --  I think it is the best that there is but...
This program ONLY inserts text into existing text pages.  It does NOT give you any voice command or response capabilities for your computer.  That costs another $2,000.  In other words, you cannot tell your computer to start a new email and then insert what you say.  You must manually open the email form, click on the text portion and then start talking.  It will not tell you that you have email and then read it to you.

And control of your text is complicated.  Getting it to correct errors causes you more typing than if you typed the entire text yourself -- and much more frustrating. 

My recommendation is to wait for something substantially more useful than this toy.

Suggested Software

Beware of "Light" Software Versions (comes with other products)

I received a disk with my camera.  It has picture viewing and editing software.  This is normal as many people do not know how to use the standard Windows software for doing these things. Some legacy camera makers (i.e. Kodak) have interfaces that require you to use their programs and not standard Windows options. But!  I mean: BUT!!! What came on the disk is a program called ACDSee.  The standard version may have installation options.  I hope so because the version that came with my camera is pernicious.  It has installed itself all over my system.  I cannot open any menu without seeing ACDSee there at the very top.  Any graphics file automatically loads ACDSee.  I hate it.  It is my computer and I have tuned it to where I want it to be.  When I add software I hope to have some control over where it goes and how it is used.  ACDSee just installed itself everywhere.  I always try to say "I do not like being treated as stupid as you are".  I, of course, can never say this as people treat it as an insult.  But the idea is that some of us have more experience than others, some of us really are smarter than others (it took me a long time to learn that this is true) and of course there are different value systems.  In this context, if you give me software, give me menu choices as to how much and in what context it is to be used.  Do not presume that I have the same values, knowledge, and intelligence as yourself and just install your shitty software all over my system.  Yours, OK.  Mine. No.  It may not be fair but because the camera company made a mistake, I will recommend against using ACDSee.  This means that hundreds of people in my classes this year will hear: ACDSee?: Never under any condition."


Beware of "Free-Download" software!

Many “free” software products that you find on various web pages are only half free.  For example, a registry cleanup program, Windows Registry Repair Program Pro, downloads, installs, and runs for free.  It finds many registry errors and tells you about them.  Great.  But the next step is the zinger: if you want it to correct the problems, you must pay.  This is NOT free.

Prices

I do not like paying high prices for software.  I like free software but I am wary of it.  Those that I recommend I have used for more than one year and have seen positive results in doing so.

I understand the need for McAfee and Norton to charge high prices.  They have high expenses and advertising costs.  They have neat little bubbles that pop up and down to let you know they are working.  This costs money.  More money (high price) does not mean better.  A salesman with threats of disaster does not make it better.

There are plenty of Freeware and Shareware programs out there.  I used to like Shareware but not so much anymore -- they are mostly like "free download" software.

Donations

Many free programs are developed by individuals trying to make the world a better place.  Many of these individuals are on tight budgets.  I have seen several good products lost because their authors could not afford to continue them.  If a free program that you value asks for a donation, give them a donation!  If you use it, donate something.  Free things are not free to the people supporting them.


Note:  I recommend any of these.  Never use two Anti-Virus programs simultaneously.  Never use two Firewalls at the same time.  Using two of any system program can cause irregular results.

System Protection Software

I suggest the following software to keep your system operational.

All of the programs listed here are really free: no special copies,  just plain free.

Firewall

Company:   Zone Labs

Product:   ZoneAlarm

Website:   www.zonealarm.com

Description:   This is the premier firewall – around for years before Microsoft even thought you needed one.  You can have it working transparently like the MS firewall or with extensive options including information on attacks to your computer.

Warning:  You need a firewall if your are going wireless.  This is not a choice.  A firewall is good if you are dial-up.  Don't procrastinate -- use a firewall.  The Windows XP SP2 firewall is a minimum firewall.  It is good enough.  If you really want to be confident, use Zone Alarm.  There is no better firewall than Zone Alarm.

Anti-Virus (1)

Company:   Grisoft

Product:   AVG Anti-Virus

Website:   www.grisoft.com

Description:   The Grisoft Anti-Virus automatically downloads updates and maintains itself in current operation.  This is a corporate anti-virus than is available for free for personal use.  Downside:  This program schedules  periodic file scans of your entire system.  If you have gigabytes of files as I do the time spent on this is aggravating.

Warning:   You need an anti-virus.  This is not an option.  Either one listed here is good.

Anti-Virus (2)

Company:   Avast

Product:   Avast Anti-Virus

Website:   www.avast.com

Description:   The Avast Anti-Virus automatically downloads updates and maintains itself in current operation.  It claims to be the basic driver program for several of the primary better known anti-virus programs.  Unlike Grisoft, Avast scans your total files once at installation and then  periodically scans new files.  Both programs scan all emails.

Anti-Spyware

Company:   Patrick M. Kolla

Product:   Spybot Search and Destroy

Website:  www.spybot.com

Description:   This is rated one of the best anti-spy products.


Company:   Grisoft

Product:   AVG Anti-Spy

Website:   www.grisoft.com

Description:   I have not tried this but since I like the AVG ANti-Virus, I am sure that this is of the same high quality..

Warning:   You need an anti-spyware.  This is not an option.  Here is the deal.  If you are infected with a malicious spy, anything you type, including your account numbers and passwords are sent to someone else.  It is highly unlikely that you will like the results.  Spybot S&D is very good at finding spies on your system.

Anti-Spyware -- Activex

Company:   Javacool Software LLC

Product:   SpywareBlaster

Website:   www.javacoolsoftware.com/products.html

Description:   This software prevents various Activex Spy programs from being able to attach themselves to your system.

Note:   You need both an anti-spy program and an anti-Spy ActiveX program.

Warning:   You might want this program.  It keeps spies from attaching to your system.  Spybot S&D will eventually find them but SpywareBlaster keeps them out in the first place..

RAM Manager

Company:   Yourware Solutions

Product:   FreeRAM XP Pro

Website:   www.yourwaresolutions.com

Description:   Improves Windows Memory Management.  I find this handy but not essential.  If nothing else it makes me feel good.

Files by FAX

Inbound FAX

Company:   eFax

Product:   eFax

Website:    www.efax.com

Description:  This ingenious program is invaluable for mobile people.  There are pay-for options and free options.  I use the free options.

Process:  Go to the website and register.  You will be assigned a FAX number somewhere in the USA.  You really do not care where –– if where is important, you can pay for a number in your desired location.  You need to tell eFax your email address among other information.  When someone sends a FAX to your number, you receive it as an attachment to an email.  You can then read or print it.

Why? Doctors and Financial advisors will not use email – but they will use FAX (do not tell them it is emailed).

There is also an outbound FAX option but it costs money.  I use other services for outbound FAX.

Outbound FAX

Company:  FaxZero

Product:  Outbound FAX.  This is not a program but a website service that will Fax your files (and add a cover page).

Website:      www.faxzero.com

Description:  Like eFax this website is invaluable for mobile people.  There are pay-for options and free options.  I use the free options.

Process:  Go to the website and register.  You can send 2 free Faxes every day.  You can send more if you want to pay for them (price is by Fax and is low).  Or you can pay for every Fax and have their cover page (with advertisements) removed..

Why?  Sometimes you just need to Fax.

Recovery Software

When my malicious SONY not only cleared my hard drive, but also cleared my external backup drive, I went to Google and searched for "recover hard drive software".  I got pages of companies which recovered hard drives and some software packages to do this.  Since my  professional life was devoted to software hardware drivers I went immediately to some of these sites.  I downloaded three products:

  1. Bitmart.net        Restorer 2000
  2. r-tt.com              r-studio
  3. QueTek.com     File Scavenger V2 

The first 2 found nothing at all to recover except the new files -- which needed no recovery.  The interfaces of the two products were virtually identical and could have been written by the same person.  They did list several hundred of what I think were directory entries with unintelligible names with red 'X' through them.  Cozy but useless.

The Quetek program ($40) was able to identify virtually the entire 65G of backup data.  It took three days to identify the data and another week to recover my critical files -- but the Quetek program worked as advertised.  It took three months to recover my picture files -- about 200,000 of them.  I am totally impressed.

Internet Explorer 7

I am one of those people who have the highest respect for Bill Gates, his charity, and his software.  But Microsoft really blew it with this new browser.  Worse than that Bill Gates has gone on TV and said that he has produced a new and better browser and that some people are not wanting it.  Now I have lost respect for him.  I cannot warn you strongly enough to NOT download IE7.  If it works, and that is a big if, it is very, very slow.:  As you are aware, I do computer consulting work for individual PCs.  Until a couple of weeks ago I saw zero PCs on which IE7 worked.  Now they are rolling in working -- but slow.

Last August, I started download Beta versions of this software.  They crashed my computers.  When the official release came, I tried that -- same results.  When I saw others with the same problems, I wrote this section.

If you do instal it, regardless of what the installation notes say. it cannot be uninstalled.  If you manage to uninstall it, it leaves behind new network interface software that slows everything down.  In several cases, Windows Recovery refused to recover to any date prior to the installation of IE7.

Friends who have gone to the Microsoft Help site were informed that they could not uninstall it.  The IE7 blogs are full of people with the same problem.  My daughter tells me that it was on national news to not install it.  A month later Bill Gates went on TV.

If your IE ICON is a small 'e' with a BLUE halo, you still have IE6.  You are still safe.  To not install IE7:

  1. Download and Install the Firefox browser.  This will guarantee that you will have some way to browse the internet in the event that IE7 accidentally downloads and causes problems.
  2. Take a System Restore Point.
    1. Click the Green Start button.
    2. Click Help and Support.
    3. The Help page varies by your manufacturer. Someplace on the screen there is a link to "System Restore"
    4. Click on "System Restore" to open a new window. Close the Help Window
    5. Select "Create a System Restore Point" and then click "Next".
    6. Type a name so that you can remember the restore point. Then click "Create".
    7. When the restore point has completed, click "Close".
  3. Update Automatic Updates
    1. Click the Green Start button.
    2. Click Control Panel
    3. Double Click "Security Center" then close the Control Panel.
    4. At the bottom of the window, click the "Automatic Updates" words/link. Then close the Security WIndow.
    5. Set your computer to the second Windows Automatic Updates option: "Download updates but let me choose when to install them".
    6. Then click "Close".
  4. Installing Updates
    1. When updates are ready to install, there will be a yellow shield in the system tray (lower right). There will be a bubble telling you this.
    2. Click the yellow shield and a window to install will pop up.
    3. You have the choice of "Standard" or "Custom". Select "Custom".
    4. You will see a list of all updates to be installed. There is a checked box next to each update.
    5. If you see the installation and text indicating Internet Explorer 7, UNCHECK only that box. Leave all others checked.
    6. Even if you read that IE7 can be uninstalled later, ignore it - this is a lie.
    7. Then click "Next" or "Install" or "Close".
    8. The other updates (if any) will now install.  You may be warned that the unchecked boxes will not install.  THis is exactly what you want to happen.

You may have to repeat the last step ("Install Updates") periodically.

FireFox

While we are on browsers, you might download Firefox (www.firefox.com).  As far as I can tell, Microsoft created IE7 to catch up to the things you get for free from Firefox.  The differences are that Firefox is faster, it does not damage your computer software when you install it.,  and you get a whole bunch of features that you soon cannot live without.

Voice Over IP (Voip)

There are many of these popping up.  To me, by far, the best is Skype.  One of the worst is Net2Phone (their FAX option lies about confirmations and your destination may receive a totally black page).

Here is the concept:  The Internet is a data transmission process.  Data Transmission was useful for intra-corporation communications.  The Internet was originated by the DOD as ArpaNet.  In the 1990's  public usage of data networking and the Internet exploded.  The voice companies transmitting analog (even digitized analog), got swept away (sort of like the Big 3 auto makers by the Japanese) because they could not see past their paradigm and their profit margins.

In any case, recently the data transmission protocol (TCP/IP) was modified to carry a priority flag (voice needs priority) and Voice Over IP was invented.  At first it was choppy but as transmission speeds improved, VoIP got better.  No one will say it is perfect but it is effectively free.  You can call anywhere that there is an Internet connection through the normal Internet.

What costs you is the service (Net2Phone, Crystal Voice, and Skype, etc.) that you use to translate what you say into a microphone into data to be sent up the line.  Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Google are getting into the act.  I like Skype because they encrypt all of their messages and it works better than some others.  Skype also has many free calling options.

Commercial Web Page Comments

News Sites

www.msnbc.com

I like this site for their news.  Any attempt on either of my computers to see their movie clips causes my browser to hang.  I have sent multiple support requests to them.  No reply.  No nothing.  Their news is centrist and a little more "balanced" than I like.

www.cnn.com

I like this for their news.  The format is ok, not as "pretty" as msnbc.com but the news clips work just fine.

www.foxnews.com

Don't get me started.  This is nothing more than full time adds for the the Bush Crime Family.

www.yahoo.com

This used to be a good news site.  I liked their configurable content and format abilities.  But they abandoned this in favor of more glamour and loss of content.  For example, previously they had a currency convertor section.  You could specify which currencies you wanted to watch.  This is gone.  Instead they contracted with a French company to provide a canned set of conversions.  You can no longer watch currencies unless you want to interrogate them individually each time you visit the site.  This means I can no longer watch the Mexican Peso conversion although I can watch the Japanese Yen.  Maybe the French at Yahoo want to watch the Yen.  Mostly I want to watch the currencies that I must deal with -- and Yahoo no longer provides that.  As of this week, there is no Yahoo choice so I shall stop using Yahoo.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista is not as bad as you have heard: IT IS FAR WORSE!

Software written for XP will not work and your only resolution will be to by a new product version.

Registry Saved File Path

One difference is a small change in how program addresses are stored.  Under XP, Windows stored directory addresses missing the final backslash.  Under Vista, these same directory entries include the terminal backslash.  The problem is that to reference a file in that directory, the program needs to have the backslash.  Without the backslash, a program looking at the saved entry does not know if the entry is a file or a directory.  The problem is that Windows in all versions should have saved the final backslash.  Adding this in Vista makes all program products that worked under XP (and inserted their own backslash) to fail under Vista (as the full address now has a double backslash).  Vista could have treated the double backslash as a single backslash and solved the problem for everyone.

Memory

Real memory here, folks.  Not disk drive size.  The price of each of these has dropped so fat that not only is more better but it may be all you can get.  In the 1980's and 1990's disk drives went from a maximum of 32M to Terabytes.  In 1993 you could buy a 500M disk drive (with extra drivers) for $500.  Amazing to those of us who grew up on IBM mainframes. Now you can not even find one that small and can buy a 1 or 2 Terabyte drive for about $180.

But you will need many Gigabytes as the Windows interface for program products is clumsy and needs very large software modules to operate.  People call it "bloatware".

But the Vista problem is real memory called RAM.  Under XP, few users needed any more memory than 500M. In fact additional above 500M could actually slow you down. Under Vista you start with 8 times this much and go up from there.  In other words buy 4 GB of RAM with your Vista computer.  HP sold me my laptop with 1 GB although the Costco page advertised it as having 2 GB.  When I complained, HP support offered to sell me the missing 1 GB.  I bought the 4 GB elsewhere.  Why?  WIth only 1 GB, Vista on my laptop took over 30 minutes just to power up as it copied programs and drivers to page space.  Every time it powered up.  With 4 GB it only takes 5 minutes.  Currently I am only running this HTML editor and my Vista performance meter indicates that I am using 40% of that 4 GB.  40%!!! That is 1600M. More than 3 times what XP used while executing everything but the kitchen sink.

I grew up on computers that measured memory in Kilobytes.  I cannot even envision what you would have to do to use up 1 gigabyte.  And I need 4 Gigabytes.  RAM may be cheap now (buy it while the price is down) but 4 GB (And maybe 8 would be better?)

Video Display

Here Vista did it right but only if you have "Dreamworks".  Here is the deal.  You can have a blank background (called "Wallpaper").  Wherever you do not have your program active in a Window, and there are no Windows ICONs, the screen is "painted" with a background color -- which you can specify.
Which color you choose makes no difference to speed or memory requirements and you must have at least a chosen color for Wallpaper.  Repainting happens every time you open or close or move a window. It is a simple operation: move to each video location (pixel) a value representing that color.  Pretty fast as these things go.

You can have a centered picture for your Wallpaper.  Windows loads the picture into its memory space (RAM)  and where that picture exists on the screen, the corresponding color value from the picture is moved to the video pixel.  Where your picture does not cover, your background color is painted as if you had no picture.

You can have a tiled picture so that multiple copies of your picture are displayed with no sign of your background color.  This is also fairly rapid as Windows just translates each pixel to be repainted against your  picture.  A simple multiply for each of the vertical and horizontal painted locations.  This is true whether you have a small brick making thousands of bricks on the screen or a picture of your kids displayed 4 times.  Not a problem.

But Centered or Tiled changes as you increase your screen pixel density: the pictures appear smaller and smaller.  People do not like this.  The easiest solution is to take a picture editor and enlarge the picture to the size of your screen.

But "stretch" is a different problem and Windows likes to prefer stretch.  Why prefer? They can take a generic picture and make it cover your entire screen regardless of your screen size or screen shape or pixel density.  This is great for them but the cost to you is really, really high.  For each pixel on the screen to be repainted, that pixel must be translated into the original picture and moved to the screen memory.  Remember. For no picture, just a color move was needed.  For a centered picture, a choice of background color or an exact location within the picture is needed. For a tiled picture, a simple move from a virtual grid of the same picture is needed.  But Stretch must translate every pixel to be repainted against a picture of a different size and shape.  This is at least 8 times as much effort as any of the other backgrounds -- and for each repainted pixel.  For the entire screen this is from 500,000 to 4 million pixels!  Unless you have a very, very fast processor and memory card this is so slow that you can watch it happen.

In other words without the Vista "Dreamworks" option and on any previous version of Windows (including XP), treat the "stretch" option for Windows background with the same respect as you would a black widow spider.  Removing stretch is an instant 10% improvement in your system performance.

But here is where Vista did it right.  When you specify "stretch" or "full window" (new), Windows makes a copy of your picture and saves it.  This copy is exactly the same number of pixels as your screen both high and wide. This picture is then used in place of your original and is treated as a centered picture.  Fast -- and you never see what they did -- unless you are like me and play with the copy.

Device Drivers

I cannot tell you what Microsoft did here but most devices need a Vista-specific driver which will also, probably, work under XP.  You can imagine why: either decreased tolerance of sloppy interface or additional status requirements. In any case I just returned a printer that came with an XP driver disk.  I went online and installed their Vista driver download.  Their drivers were so bad that I just gave up and returned the printer.  Here the Vista customer and the Vista developer both lose.

File Security

Under DOS and WIndows, a file directory entry included a byte for protection status.  This included; HIdden, Read-Only, System, and Archive attributes.   Window NT (read: Windows XP) added security levels similar to UNIX.  That is, each file and directory has a grid of permissions.  This grid includes users and operations.  For example, only user group Beta can both read and modify the file.  Any one from Group Alpha may read the file.  Only George can delete the file.

Under Vista, this permission grid is so complex that it is possible to create a file and never see it again and never know where it went.  For example, I download a group of picture files from a news group onto a set of directories on an external hard drive that I originally used under XP.  Vista will not permit me to copy these files from their download directory to a directory that it did not  create. You can waste many ours attempting to generate matching or compatible permission attributes for these files.

The Windows Explorer will lie to you about these permissions.  For example, you can display a directory and get a little green box next to a status line.  This indicates that some of the entries are "Marked"  If the box is clear, none are marked.  If the box is checked, all are marked you may tell Windows Explorer to remove all of the marks or ad all of the marks and will it proceed to display pretty ICON pretending that it is doing something useful.  It may do this for hours.  When it is finished you will find that nothing has changed and the little green box will reappear.  The same is true if you go into the Security dialog and attempt to update the security grid.  This feature would not be a bad thing if explained carefully to the novice and it worked properly.  With no explanation and not working, I have done my best to remove all permission from all files and all directories that I can find.


Windows 7

It's coming.  Windows Vista will become the 21st century Windows ME.  But.  Window 7 is built upon WIndows Vista.  Why not?  Supposedly Microsoft has heard the crying and weeping of its customers and made WIndows 7 more friendly.  In truth I suspect that what they have done is given the software vendors a couple of years to get used to Windows Vista.  Time to make their own products more compliant with Vista while acting to make the customer interface more like XP.  The Vista interface may go back to working like XP (maybe) but it still uses the Vista software and the only help you get will not be from Microsoft but software and hardware vendors that want to sell you their stuff regardless of how high Microsoft makes them jump.  Given a choice I would keep XP until Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is released.  And certainly buy no version of software that says Vista compliant or you will need to buy another copy when you go to Windows 7.

Suggestions?  Questions?  Comments?  Push the Home/eMail above.
Written:  2003          Updated:  April 18, 2011          Back To Top