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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:11 am   

Time for a new computer
 
I don't know what it is about December/January/February, but I swear that most of my hardware problems all occur during that time period each year. I think the Gremlins must be sneaking into the office during our holiday break.

Today my Vista system disk started getting errors. These are low-level errors that actually cause Vista to almost hang for a couple of minutes as it continuously retries reading the disk.

Ran CheckDisk and it found a couple of bad segments, but not all of them. This is the same Vista system disk that gave me so much trouble back when I first installed Vista onto this computer. If you are a long-time reader of my blog, you might remember that I had an issue with the Acronis Disk Director software not properly formatting my new SATA disks for Vista. Ultimately I thought I had properly reformatted, but there still seems to be a fundamental hardware problem with this disk still.

When I try to run Acronis TrueImage to make a backup, it also identifies the problem sectors on the disk. My last system disk backup is several months old because Vista was always giving me various problems when I tried to back up the system disk. Perhaps those problems were an indication of these more serious failures.

I spent a while today debating what to do about this. Here are my thoughts:

1) Buying the Windows 7 upgrade for Vista is $110 by itself.
2) Buying a new hard disk is about $100 (for 1TB)
3) Upgrading Vista to Win7 "in place" is asking for a lot of possible problems
4) Installing Win7 as a fresh install and then reinstalling my apps would take just as long on a new computer as on the current computer
5) Transferring the existing failing system disk to a new disk would also take more time
6) The current computer *is* getting old (single processor, 2GB ram, etc)

After researching new computer options, I found one that I think would be pretty nice for a good price: Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004. It has an Intel quad-core Q8300 with 8GB ram, 1TB disk. The 400W power supply is good enough to run my current dual-DVI video card instead of using their onboard video. It has both PCI-Express 16 slot for video as well as legacy PCI slots. Big case for expandability with lots of SATA ports. It has gigabit Ethernet. Price of $649 and in-stock at our local Best Buy so I can return it if it has trouble.

Seems like a pretty good deal. It would take me a few days to reinstall apps, but I'd have a clean Win7 system instead of an upgraded Vista system. And I'm getting pretty fast at installing software these days. Delphi would probably scream on a system like this...Delphi loves lots of RAM, and Win7-64 would finally let me go beyond 2GB.

Sounds like a better way to spend my time and money rather than trying to fix the current disk and then later do the Vista->Win7 upgrade. I don't have any experience with ASUS computers, but I love their motherboards. The reviews seem decent (especially when you discount the reviews that are having problems with Win7 and not the actual computer hardware). But if anyone has experience with ASUS, or with this specific computer, I'd love to hear about it.
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mr_kent
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Joined: 10 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:20 am   
 
I'm a fan of HP w/ Intel chips & MB. I used to have a very low opinion of HP computers but purchased a cheap one with the thought that it was disposable. If it broke, I hadn't invested much to begin with and hopefully would have more funds to purchase a better system the next time. It's still used daily after more than 5 years (2.6GHz P4 w/ HT). After owning this computer for a little over a year and having no problems, we bought another one for the wife and then the kids.

Prior to getting these, I went through three computers in less that three years. One was built by a buddy and was sweet while it lasted but the MB had some kind of fault that eventually made it stop working. That computer sold for about what was paid for it. The buyer wanted to practice repairing MB circuitry or something.

I don't know anything about Asus computers but heard good things about their boards.

Were I in your shoes, this is what I would go for, along with the available extended financing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883147037

It is half-again what you're looking at for price, but HP w/ Intel has made me a believer.

I couldn't find this model for this price on the HP site but it would appear that leasing might be an option to consider. Lease payments apparently can be written off as a business expense.

Not the feedback you were looking for...it's just that you've had so many issues over the years and mine stopped once I got over loathing HP.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:18 pm   
 
Thanks for the feedback, but I'm afraid I'm not over my own personal loathing for HP. I've had many many problems with HP in the past. So it's going to take a while to get over them. I also know several people who have worked for HP (they used to have a plant here in Colorado Springs, along with their Compaq acquisition, but have moved most to Albuquerque lately).

The problem is that *everybody* is using cheap parts these days. The margins on computers have gotten so small that companies don't have any other choice but to use cheaper components (and outsource their tech support, etc). But HP has fallen into the same trap that Dell has in that they install so much *crap* on their computers. They make deals with all sorts of vendors (Symantec, McAfee, etc) to preinstall Trial versions of stuff to try and increase their profit margins since they can't make money on the hardware anymore. I really want a *clean* system to start with, and ASUS doesn't install as much other stuff on their computer.

Now, the system that you linked to seems better than most of the lower-end home systems that you find in the stores, and at least it has a fullsize case so that it can be upgraded. Most of the HP, Dell, and Gateway systems being sold these days are in smaller slim-line cases that are harder to upgrade. I also didn't see any spec on what size power supply it uses, nor are there enough reviews of it yet to make me feel comfortable.

Right now I am not keen on ordering a new computer online. I've had so many troubles that I would rather buy one at a local store with a good return policy so that I can swap it if I get a lemon. I know you NewEgg has a good return policy, but there is a lot of time involved in shipping stuff back and forth. I love NewEgg and have used their financing before, but I just can't see myself buying an HP online given my past experience with them.

Leasing can be bad. You don't need to lease to write it off as a business expense. I can write off the entire purchase cost of the new computer as a business expense already. Leasing is bad because you are forced to do something with the computer at the end of the term: either pay a large sum to keep it, or get a new computer (and reinstall everything). The first Zuggsoft.com dedicated web server was a leased machine and I got completely burned on it by the leasing company. Probably spent twice as much as just buying the computer at the time.

What I *do* agree with you on is that I'm done building my own systems. I have done a lot of that in the past because I was convinced I could build it better and cheaper. I've build my own gaming rigs for many many years. But with the prices these days, it's hard to build a system cheaper for what you can buy it for. And as I learned with this Vista computer, it's very hard to build something that is rock solid and stable. Many parts just don't work well together like they should. E.g.: the motherboard and Sata disks that gave me so much trouble on this Vista machine.

If I still had the time to build my own systems, and still found it fun, then I might still do it. But it isn't very much fun anymore to deal with all of the potential problems trying to find the perfect set of matching parts.

Anyway, it's nice to hear that HP might be improving. They certainly seem to have a lock on most of the retail stores these days. I used to think it was a no-brainer to buy a Dell, but I haven't had a very good experience with Chiara's Dell laptop, so I think they are declining. But I don't think I'm ready to go with HP yet when I have found the Asus system that seems just as good for a bit less money.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:23 am   
 
Picked up the Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004 today. Here are first impressions for anybody else who might be considering this computer:

1) Overall, I'm very happy with it.

2) During the initial Windows 7 setup, the ASUS Installer runs. It hung during the installation of the Intel Graphics Accelerator driver. After killing the process, Windows finished it's own setup then notified me that the ASUS setup failed and there was a button to run it again. I clicked that button and it was successful the second time. A bit odd.

3) Perhaps as a result of #2, or maybe just an oversight, but the default Theme is set to No Theme, which makes Win7 look more like Win95. For somebody who isn't familiar already with Windows 7 and who knows how to set the Theme, it gives a pretty bad first impression. Once the theme was set to the Win7 default, then it was all nice and shiny. Pretty minor.

4) System score is 7.2 for CPU (vs 5.6 on my Vista system), but only 3.5 for Graphics (vs 5.5 on Vista with my ATI card). So I'll definitely be swapping graphics cards when I'm done with the setup. Pretty minimal graphics card, but pretty typical for an on-board video. It *does* have an HDMI connector, which is nice for people with newer displays. Also has both VGA and DVI. But only one display can be connected. For dual display you'll need a different graphics card. Fortunately, there is a PCI-Express-16 slot available for better graphics (but just one slot, so no dual SLI gaming config). The 400W power supply will handle a single improved graphics card without trouble.

5) Comes with something called AIManager, which is a utility sitting in the upper-left of the screen with various ASUS utilities. In particular, it has the temperature monitors, fan speed monitors, etc. Nice to see that installed by default. Lots of problems these days are caused by overheating computers. It's a bit annoying since the window stays in front of other application windows, but it's easy to minimize to the system tray. Don't see any options to make this the default though, so I might remove it from the startup.

6) Very little "bloatware". Adobe Acrobat 8, which is actually pretty essential. Just needed to delete the icon from the desktop. For antivirus it comes with Trend Micro Security. Easy to uninstall and reboot to install your own antivirus software of preference.

7) Contrary to the description at Best Buy, instead of Microsoft Works (which is useless), it comes with Office 2007 Student Edition Trial preinstalled. Since I already got a license key for Chiara's new computer, I went ahead and activated it (you are allowed to run it on three computers, which is nice for a change).

8) Have I said again recently how much I LOVE MOZILLA applications?! Just install Firefox, Thunderbird, and Sunbird, then copy over the Profiles from the AppData/Local and AppData/Roaming directories on my other computer. Then rename the profile directories to be whatever the default profile created on the new computer is (and delete the default profile directories that were created). Poof...all settings are transferred. All email setup, caches, bookmarks, extensions, calendars...everything. Up and running with basic email, web browsing and calendar in a matter of minutes. I LOVE the fact that Mozilla stores stuff in files instead of using the System Registry!

9) The slanted front panel is a bit weird at first, but then you notice that it elevates the front bottom edge of the computer off the floor and has an extra air intact at the bottom. Nice for airflow. I'll probably add a case fan after I'm done messing with it just to make sure it stays nice and cool. Only fans inside are the normal power supply fan and the big CPU fan. The big CPU fan makes a *lot* of noise when you first start the computer, but apparently that is pretty standard these days as a CPU safety issue to make sure the case isn't hot. Once the system has been running, it becomes very quiet. Actually quieter than my Vista computer.

10) [Edited] Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The 1TB disk was partitioned into a "Win7" and a "Data" partition. Not all of the disk is available because of how OEMs normally reserve space for their system recovery partition, but still, the Win7 partition was 380GB or so, and the Data partition was 500GB. Nothing was stored in the Data partition yet (thank goodness!) so it was easy to run the Windows partition software, delete the Data partition, then resize the Win7 partition to take the entire disk. No need for multiple partitions these days with SATA drives, so I'm not sure why they bothered. If you want to organize your "Data", just make a "Data" folder on the main disk. Anyway, glad I noticed that before I started installing software.

That's about it for the first hour of use. After running Windows Update (which wasn't bad at all...I think there are more updates for Vista and XP then for Win7), I have booted my MemTest86+ CD and will let it run the memory test overnight to make sure I don't have any hidden problems.


Last edited by Zugg on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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bortaS
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Joined: 10 Oct 2000
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Location: Springville, UT

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:24 am   
 
TigerDirect has a lot of good barebone systems over here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_tlc.asp?CatId=31&name=Barebone-Kits

I recently upgraded my system to this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?SRCCODE=WEBLET12&EdpNo=4601609&csid=_21 This thing lets me have about 4 VMWare images, 2 instances of Visual Studio, several browsers, and many utilities, all at the same time. This took me only about 45 minutes to put together. I moved my hard drives and video card over, reinstalled the OS and apps, and was good to go. I've had this system for about 2 months.

I've had very good experiences with TigerDirect in the last couple years.

I'm with you about not building my own systems. I found that getting barebones from reputable places is a good compromise, since I don't have to shop for individual parts anymore.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:41 am   
 
Yeah, but again, not a big fan of mail order computers these days. Just too much time and hassle if something goes wrong and you need to return it.

But yes, I'm *really* looking forward to my new VMWare installation. With a 1TB disk, I'll have *plenty* of space. The Vista computer only had a 200GB partition for apps and data. And with 8GB of RAM, VMWare should be pretty happy, even running Vista. My goal is to get rid of Vista on our computers here and only have Vista within a VMware image. Should be really nice. Although I'm a bit worried about how smoothly (or not) the Vista virtual install will go.
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Tech
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:34 pm   
 
Glad to see the new computer experience going so smoothly so far. I've been a fan of multiple partitions for some time, so I'm curious as to why you say it's not really needed for SATA disks.

My WinSxS directory has grown big (which makes me hesitant to get an SSD any time soon) but I think I may just redo everything.... Just in case. My upgrade to Win 7 was an in-place install.. but I dual-booted Windows Server 2008. The VM are pretty good these days though. VM, VirtualPC and SunVirtual Box are all pretty solid. I've also toyed around with the idea of doing all my computer from Windows 2008 Server and have all other OSes (Ubuntu, Win 7, React OS, Web OS etc) run from the Hyper-V framework.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:09 pm   
 
Well, if the multiple partitions are on the same SATA drive, there is no performance difference between having a file in a different partition or just having it in a different folder. The drive operations to load the data are the same. With NTFS file systems there is no difference in performance having a different partition on the same physical drive. I'm not sure if the same is true for IDE or not and I don't know anything about SSDs.

The downside to having multiple partitions is that you have reserved blank space on both partitions instead of just having one big area of blank space.

Back when there were size limits on partitions, it made sense to have multiple partitions on a drive (drives were getting larger than the allowed OS partition sizes). But these days there are not any limits. If you just want to organize where files are located, it's easy to just create some top-level folders, such as "Data". Partitions are just one of those things that used to be necessary, but are no longer needed.

Back to the new computer: It ran without problem over the weekend. Today is my last day to finish moving over software. I'll also finally open up the new computer and install another hard drive and swap my better graphics card into the new computer.

Now that I've worked with Windows 7 for a while longer, I'm liking the new task bar. But I missed my old Object Dock fly-over dock for applications. On my Vista system I had several folders on my dock for "Programming" and "Other Applications" that contained the various commonly used programs and tools that I run. I played with enabling the Quick Launch in Windows 7, but it doesn't have any way to hover the mouse over a folder and display the shortcuts in the folder.

I found a *great* little utility to help with this. It's called "True Launch Bar" and it interfaces via the normal task bar Toolbar system. It lets you add multiple toolbars with some great features. Including the feature to hover the mouse over a folder and automatically show the items in the folder.

So now I have my Windows 7 task bar on the left side of the screen with a toolbar containing my "Programming" and "Other Apps" folder. Works very well and now I don't need Object Dock and can take advantage of the new Win7 taskbar features.

Oh yeah, I had one *big* annoyance with the Win7 task bar: The icon spacing is too large! If you set the task bar to show "small icons", the spacing between icons is ridiculous! Apparently this is to help people with Touch systems. But I don't have a Touch system, so why should I be forced to have such a large spacing? I did some Google searching and haven't found any way to reduce this icon spacing, so I guess we'll have to wait for Microsoft to fix this. Lots of people are complaining. For now, I found that placing the task bar on the Left side of the screen improves it, although it makes the task bar wider than it needs to be.
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ReedN
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Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:04 pm   
 
I still like to use partitions for one simple reason. I keep installed OS and programs on one drive and data on another partition. Then if my OS gets corrupted, slow, etc, I just blow it away with my last good image. Since the data is on a separate partition it doesn't need to be restored or touched at all.
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wrym
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:05 pm   
 
Yeah, my reasoning for partitions was always windows is gonna go haywire when it does BYE BYE mess, hello clean restore!
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:57 am   
 
You can still do that without partitions. Just backup the "Data" folder.

The problem is that if both partitions are on the same physical drive and the actual drive starts to fail, having separate partitions isn't going to help you. But whatever...do what you want.

When you have separate partitions, you need to keep the Windows partition big enough for the future. And the extra space reserved for the Windows partition goes to waste instead of being treated like the rest of the unused space on the disk. Also, putting Program Files and Program Files (x86) on a different drive letter is tricky. On my Vista system I had Vista installed into a separate partition (V:) and my apps on the C: partition. But there was still always a Program Files on the V: disk, and applications still put stuff in there. There was also a V:\ProgramData directory that some software was using. So I just reserved 100GB for Vista, and it was using 49GB. That extra 50GB was just going to waste as a buffer for that partition.

On Windows 7, I just put everything on C:. With Acronis Home Image doing the image backup, I can still restore the data as needed.

Applications and Windows are so intertwined via the System Register anyway that I'd never trust just restoring one partition or the other. If you just restore your Windows partition, what Registry are you getting? Doesn't that blow away any applications you installed since the backup?

Let's face it...Windows just doesn't have a good separation between the Windows System and the User Applications. I don't see how messing with partitions makes it any better.

Back to the new computer: I got the video card moved to the new computer and have physically moved it into place under my desk and hooked up my primary G15 keyboard and mouse and two monitors. It's now working as my primary system. I put an old video card into the Vista system (no onboard video) and have it attached to the 2nd input of one monitor so I can still access the files as needed until it finally dies.

I spent a LONG TIME getting Subversion all set up again. I made the mistake of trying to use the VisualSVN software, which is supposed to be a nice one-click SVN installer for Windows. Problem is that it doesn't work properly. I get an error about the certificate not being valid because it is self-signed. Apparently it is installing an Apache server, which is overkill for what I need. I got rid of VisualSVN and just went back to a standard SVN server. Then Google'd about how to create the SVN service manually. That finally worked and I've got access to my version control again. I never used it much on Vista, but plan to get back into good habits with version control again this year.

The drive that I was using to store backups on the Vista computer was actually an old 300GB IDE drive rather than a SATA drive. I don't want to put any IDE drives into the new computer, and 300GB isn't very big anymore. I have a 500GB USB FreeAgent drive that I'm going to try using for the backups. The nice advantage of the USB drive is that I can just grab the drive out of it's dock if I needed to leave the house in a sudden emergency (like a fire) and needed to save my files. So far the backup to the USB drive only takes a few minutes longer than the internal SATA drive. Seems like the internal drives should be much faster than USB 2.0 on paper, but apparently Windows never uses the full SATA speed for some reason.

In any case, backups are now working. Tomorrow I need to rewrite part of our local order database so that it fetches order emails directly from our local IMAP server instead of fetching them via the Outlook COM API. I decided not to install Outlook on the new computer and I've been meaning to rewrite my database software to use IMAP directly. Now is a good time. I might even make it my first Delphi 2010 project.

I've got Delphi 2007 and Delphi 2010 running on the same computer without any problem. The only issue that will cause a headache is that I updated the Developer Express 3rd party components to their latest version. When I tried to compile CMUD in Delphi 2007 I found that their TreeView component has significantly changed. Apparently they released a new major version last summer. So I'll be spending a couple of days figuring out what changed and fixing CMUD to work with the new version. Hopefully there won't be any big problems with it.

In general, the Windows 7 application compatibility has been pretty good. The only software I had which doesn't run on Windows 7 is a small utility called "Color Picker". It was an application that let me point to any spot on the screen and grab the color of the pixel. It was really useful for web development. I'm sure somebody else makes something similar. The author of Color Picker has no plans for a Win7 version.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:15 am   
 
One of the new "features" that I hate in Windows 7 is that Microsoft has disabled AutoRun from USB drives. Yeah, right, I know all about the reasons...help with security by preventing stupid people from installing viruses via their USB flash drive. So instead of giving power users an option, Microsoft just disabled it completely.

Come on Microsoft...I run up-to-date virus protection. I only use the USB drive between my desktop and laptop. I am running RoboForm2Go on the USB drive so I can move my secure passwords from one computer to another. It's a complete PAIN to have AutoRun disabled for this USB drive. Stop treating all computer users like idiots, even if some are. Don't ruin it for the rest of us just because some people don't know how to keep their computer secure.

You want to know how to make your computer completely secure? Turn off all network drivers. Or maybe just don't allow the computer to be powered on at all! Just because turning off something might make a computer more secure doesn't mean you should do it. Yeah, I know, Microsoft just wanted to look good in the press to seem like they were paying attention to security. Blah.

Fortunately, there is at least one solution. It's called APO USB AutoRun. The author is no longer updating the program because of lack of time. But it's free and it works fine on Windows 7. You basically keep it running in your system tray and it monitors your removeable drives. When it detects a USB drive, it looks for the Autorun.inf and then runs it.

Works great, and now I can run RoboForm automatically again when I insert the USB.
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bortaS
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:18 am   
 
Zugg wrote:

In general, the Windows 7 application compatibility has been pretty good. The only software I had which doesn't run on Windows 7 is a small utility called "Color Picker". It was an application that let me point to any spot on the screen and grab the color of the pixel. It was really useful for web development. I'm sure somebody else makes something similar. The author of Color Picker has no plans for a Win7 version.

If you only need to pick colors off websites, then ColorZilla might work for you. It's a Firefox add-on

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/271
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:36 pm   
 
No, it's not just picking from web sites. It's picking colors from any part of the screen. I'm often doing this when in Fireworks creating a graphic image, or in my PHP editor building a CSS file, and need to pick colors from either a web site window, or another graphics/photo window.

I found something called ColorPix that seems to do the job for now. The UI is a bit odd (you have to press a key to "select" the color from the screen, but the key you press still goes through to the application underneath). But it will help for now. It *does* have a good interface for copying the #RRGGBB value to the clipboard for easy pasting into a CSS file or into Fireworks.

Edited: Decided I didn't like ColorPix since it didn't have any easy way to modify a selected color (like make a darker shade, etc). Found a *very* nice set of designer tools that sit in your System Tray called PicPick. Not only does it have a Color Picker and Palette editor, but it also has screen capture and a quick/simple graphics editor, and all sorts of nice tools. Works on Windows 7 and is free and still actively developed. Very nice.


Last edited by Zugg on Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:49 pm   
 
I love my Win7 task bar on the left with the True Launch Bar addon. Here are some screenshots:

Here is the normal Windows 7 feature of hovering the mouse over a running application icon that has multiple windows. Having the Windows taskbar on the side of the screen (instead of the bottom) really makes this a nice and natural way to work, showing the running window previews.


Here is the True Launch Bar addon managing my normal Windows Quick Launch bar. Notice that you can set the size of each icon differently (small My Computer and small Trash can). Hovering the mouse over one of the virtual folder menus assigned to the launch bar shows the applications I have added to that menu.


Here is a second True Launch Bar toolbar that is docked to the far bottom edge of the Windows taskbar. This toolbar just has a single icon assigned to the Windows Start folder, showing my installed applications. This gives me both the Windows 7 start button (at the top-left corner), along with a WinXP-like installed application list with this lower-left icon.


Note that the width of the Windows 7 task bar is set by the Large Icon view mode and cannot be changed. You can see the extra white space that Windows adds to the left and right of the running task icons. This ends up working pretty well since this is also the width needed for the clock at the bottom and it allows for two columns of small icons for the System Tray notification icons at the very bottom.

Since I am using a dual-monitor setup, and both monitors are wide-screen, I have lots of horizontal screen space. Putting the Windows taskbar on the left frees up more scarce vertical screen space. I'm really loving this setup.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:07 pm   
 
I've got my local order database working again now. It used IMAP directly to fetch our incoming order emails, so bye-bye Outlook!! I ended up doing the update to our order database within Delphi 2007. Delphi 2010 still needs some updated 3rd party components and I'm not ready to decide yet whether to buy the updates to try and rewrite my code to do without them. I am using a lot more 3rd party components than I realized.

I also rolled-back Developer Express to their previous TreeView version, so now I'm able to compile CMUD within Delphi 2007 again on the new Win7 computer. I decided I didn't want to mess with the new DevExpress TreeView at the same time as trying to get the next beta version released. I'll deal with the new TreeView when I work on the Unicode conversion for Delphi 2010.

Everything else on the new computer is going well. I haven't needed to access the old Vista system in the past couple of days, so it looks like I've got everything moved that I need. Still working a bit on tweaking my backup schedule so that I get the proper weekly/daily backups that I want.

Very very happy with the new Win7 computer. It is very stable and fast. Several problems that I was having with Vista have magically vanished (like sometimes I would run Microsoft Word from the Vista start menu and the main Windows Explorer task would crash...annoying). Definitely worth the time and money to switch to Windows 7.

Still undecided on the new screwy interface of Office 2007. I just can't find *anything* anymore. Another example of Microsoft breaking something that didn't need fixing. Really hate the entire "ribbon" concept. Hey guys: there was nothing wrong with MENUS! Anyway, if I continue to get annoyed at Office then I'll start using OpenOffice more and more as needed. Now that I no longer use Outlook, the minor amount of Word and Excel that I need isn't anything fancy that OpenOffice can't handle. Couldn't pass up the $50 for three Office 2007 Student licenses, but it might have still been a waste of money. I can't imagine how pissed off and annoyed people who use Word/Excel on a daily basis must be with this huge interface change. So much for any time/money people have spent in the past on Office training.
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Tech
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Location: Atlanta, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:58 am   
 
The ribbon took some getting used to and I've actually come to like it. While it's very annoying at first I enable the menu still. The ribbon just gives me the stuff that's relevant at the moment which has proved quite useful.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:36 am   
 
Office still has a traditional menu?? Do you remember where the option is to turn it on?
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:19 pm   
 
Well, this is just sad. When I was looking for a way to enable the "classic" menus for Office 2007, I came across the Classic Menu for Office addon. OK, so somebody has created an addon to restore this function. Notice what they are charging? They are charging the same cost for this simple menu addon for Office as I charge for CMUD itself!!

Like I said...it's just sad.
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Rebecca Saunders
Newbie


Joined: 17 Dec 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:42 am   
 
Hi, I have read your issues about your computer and you are planning to purchased a new one. Just in case, you would want to and have decided that issues cannot be resolve anymore, I think you do have the right option. I also would agree on an Asus Brand and ithis I think has a good specifications compatible with your own needs and budget:)
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