Robert’s Ramblings

Robert Alonso’s Thoughts on Technology and More…

Microsoft’s Windows 7 was released today and the consensus is that it is a great new operating system for PCs. It is fast, elegant, stable and even visually appealing. Windows 7 has plenty of features, but features are not its claim to fame. Microsoft is stressing the fact that it is a streamlined piece of software that works well. After its Vista debacle and the bad publicity that it garnered for the company, I am very heartened by this new release and can recommend it unequivocally.

Unlike its predecessor, Windows 7 works well with almost all hardware and even has functionality built in that will enable you to see a picture or drawing of new hardware that you connect to it. Next time you buy a printer or digital camera and plug it in via a USB port, you may be surprised when you see a picture of the device on your screen confirming that it is recognized and working.

I am very fond of the BitLocker technology that is included with the Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. With it, you can encrypt and password protect your computer’s hard drive. This protects your data in case your machine is stolen or lost. It is particularly useful for laptop and netbook owners since these are often stolen from hotel rooms. The BitLocker To Go technology makes it possible to also encrypt removable hard drives and USB thumb drives.

The Libraries feature allows you to group related folders together under a category like documents, music or video. This simplifies the task of backing up groups of documents or creating music playlist from music that is stored in multiple locations. You can use the new Windows Backup utility to create those backups and even schedule complete backups of your PC. I love this new backup tool because it will also create a system repair disk for you that you can use to restore your machine after a catastrophe.

It is important to note, that some older versions of software do not work with Windows 7. Two that I know won’t work are Norton Ghost and the various versions of Microsoft Fingerprint Reader software. Symantec is working on an upgrade for Norton Ghost that will be compatible and Microsoft is offering rebates to owners of the Microsoft Fingerprint devices and software.

Perhaps the only real issue I have with the new release is that it comes in too many versions. Microsoft is selling a Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise version. It is also selling versions that are for 32 bit and 64 bit computers. It is confusing as to which version is good for office, home and notebook use. It is also unclear whether a machine can handle the 64 bit version. It is so confusing that Microsoft has put up a web page that compares the versions.

Alonso Consulting can help you decide if upgrading is the right move for you. If you decide to upgrade your existing machines, we can guide you through the planning process, back up your existing data and then upgrade you to the correct version. Users of Windows XP do not have a direct upgrade path with Windows 7, so all data and applications have to be backed up and reinstalled.

If you prefer to buy new machines, we can provide you with a great deal* on Dell computers preloaded with Windows 7 Professional. Once we install the new machine and port your data over, we’ll erase your old PC’s hard drive, remove it and give you a $100 credit for it that you can use towards additional support from us. We will also provide you with a pass-along gift certificate worth $250. It is our way of saying thank you.

Call us at (973) 575-1414 to start upgrading to this excellent new version of Windows.

Thanks,

Robert Alonso
Alonso Consulting

 

* Here’s the deal:

clip_image001You get a Dell PC with Windows 7 Professional worth $765. You also receive up to two hours of service to install your old applications and data. We will remove your old PC and give you a $100 credit for future support plus a pass-along gift certificate worth $250 so you can share our services with a business associate. The total value is $1,365. If you decide to upgrade and pay on our web site by October 27th, you will receive the PC, our service, a $100 credit, and the gift certificate which is a total value of $1,365 for only $899 per PC. Here are the specs on the PC:

 

Processor

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E7500 (2.93GHz, 3M, L2Cache, 1066FSB)

Operating system

Genuine Windows ® 7 Professional 32 bit

Monitor

18.5 inch E1910H Flat Panel Monitor

Memory

3GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHZ – 1x2GB 1x1GB

Optical drive

Single Drive: 16X DVD-ROM Drive

Hard drive

250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™

Video card

Integrated Video, Intel® GMA X4500HD

Security software

Norton Internet Security™ 2009 30 Day Trial

Sound

Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio

Keyboard & mouse

USB Keyboard and USB Optical Mouse

Adobe software

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Resource DVD

Resource CD and DVD

Setup guide

System Quick Reference Guide

Network interface

Integrated PCIE 10/100/1000

Warranty & service

1 Year Manufacturer’s Basic Limited Warranty and 1 Year NBD On-Site Service

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