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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Removing the Blog Cobwebs

Summer has bit me in the butt this summer when it comes to projects...apparently I like just hanging out doing nothing...or I traveled a lot for work and have gone through 3 reformats on my computers and 3 reformats on my Blackberries. It was crazy, I didn't travel on an airplane for work a single time in 2009...now 2010 has seen me going to Germany, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Ohio, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. And the majority of those all came in the month of June.

Along with that I had my laptop blow a screen, so I got a brand new Lenovo T510. I don't have a lot of love for IBM now Lenovo laptops, but so far this is a pretty nice one. I received it the day before leaving on a trip, and I was pretty excited because it was supposed to come with Windows 7 on it, and I was ready to move on from XP to see what all the hype was about...of course as I pushed to get the laptop as soon as I could because my other one was broken and I didn't want to be in an old intermediate laptop for too long, it ended up coming with XP. No time to reformat now, I'll have to travel with it. Gotta say...it sucked. It was almost jittery...which a Quad Core Processor with 4GB of ram should never ever ever be jittery....it was. Finally when I arrived back in the office, I was able to reformat it to Windows 7. Much better. I think it was actually too much machine for XP, which lead to XP having to try to decide what to do with all the excess processing power and caused jitters. I liken the situation to XP wanting to bounce a ball against a wall, but my computer had so many resources instead of hitting a wall and bouncing back, it was like throwing a ball into a field and having to run after it. However, Windows 7 did give me a problem...I was getting BSODs after installing certain programs. Programs that I've seen installed on other machines and programs that should have no problem (one was Microsoft Sharepoint Designer 2007...Microsoft!!) The BSOD pointed to the antivirus that my company runs which is F-Secure (an aside? This program sucks) however uninstalling that made no difference in the installation process except instead of a BSOD my computer just locked up instead. Then came Safe Mode and System Restore to the rescue. Of course, I was about to go back on the road so no time for another reformat, this led to installation of Windows XP Mode. What is this you ask? Why, this is a program that acts like Windows XP so you can run programs in an XP environment. In other words...it's a repackaged Windows Virtual PC. I was a little disappointed to learn this, because I've never seen virtualization work really well and really seamless. Thankfully, I was completely wrong. Virtual PC works so flawlessly within Windows 7 and when you're working inside of it, you swear you're using a standard Windows XP machine. The second thing that is really nice is that it's very easy to share files between the harddrive and the Virtual Harddrive. Loaded up with virtualization I continued on for a few more weeks, then just last week I was able to get a new reformat finished. Thankfully, no BSODs any more, so now I'm back in rebuilding mode.

Along with the computer stuff, I was also very very glad to see the launch of the new iPhone4. Of course, this was not because I was able to get one..I don't want one. However, it meant that the manager of my department was able to get one and I was able to slide myself into a Bold 9700. Fantastic device, smooth as silk, optical trackpad, 3G...just great. Of course, that means I had to reset up the phone as well while I'm messing around with resetting my computer, all while I'm traveling around and starting to pack up the house for the big move.

Soon I'll have some follow-up posts to talk about the new Blackberry and some new apps I've discovered, along with possibly some Windows 7 widgets and goodness.