Windows 7 64bit works!

Windows 7 64bit finally works! This is the first 64bit OS I could really use in my daily acitvities. I tried Vista 64bit, it was unreliable. It would show blue screen right when I am about to make a presentation to the CEO. Until Microsoft released SP1, Vista 64 bit was not usable at all. Then came Windows 7 beta. I immediately tried the 64bit version of Windows 7 beta. It was even worse than Vista. It would crash every now and then – waking up from standby, trying to do livemeeting share, switching screens, plugging in external USB drives and what not. So, I patiently waited for the final version to come out before I get on installing it on all my laptops. Happy to say, the final version works perfectly on HP tx2000 Tablet PC, DELL Vostro 1500, DELL Inspiron 1520. Once you do a full windows update and install some drivers here and there, it all works perfectly. And let me say, Windows 7 is beautiful. I found back the joy of working on computers again!

Working on 64bit Operating System is challenging. You don’t always find the right printer driver. Your cool external USB speakers won’t work – even if it is made by Microsoft. And above all, there’s that C:\Windows\Winsxs folder which keeps increasing forever. By the time I was done with Vista 64bit (two years approx in business), my Winsxs folder was staggering 26 GB eating up every bit out of my C: partition. I had no choice but to format and start over. It seems like this folder keeps copy of every single DLL version it ever sees. The more windows update I do, the larger it gets. Now on a fresh new Windows 7 installation, after installing VS 2008, Office Applications, Windows Live applications and some handy tools, the Winsxs folder is 5.62 GB. Let’s see how it keeps growing over the year. A useful information for 64bit wannabes, make sure your C partition is at least 60 GB. I just installed Windows 7 64bit 3 days back and it has already taken 31 GB space.

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Since I am doing a totally useless post, let me sprinkle some productivity tips on it before you lose interest reading my blog.

I realized I do a lot of context swiching. I get over 200 mails per day, so I pretty much switch focus from Visual Studio/Browser to Outlook once every minute, which is big cencentration killer. So, I tried the above setup on my 25” screen and it works great!

The left half of the screen is visual studio and the right half screen shows Outlook and my todolist. As you see, I can see the emails coming up on Outlook without ever switching. The Visual Studio screen width is the right size to read code without horizontally scrolling. The right bottom half of the screen shows my toodlist so that I am always doing the right task from my todolist and not wondering around heedless. If I browse, I bring up the browser on top of the Visual Studio and keep the right half same so that while browsing I am not missing important mails and I still have an eye on my next actions.

I have been using Toodledo for a year. I love it! It has a geat iPhone app which is the only reason I use Toodledo and not other alternatives. The ajax interface is slick, especially when you use Google Chrome to make an application out of it on your desktop. You can turn on keyboard shortcuts and then the toodledo inside Google Chrome’s application like view becomes the best web based todolist application out there. Whenever I file a task, I hit ‘n’, enter the task title, press tab, 1/2 for priority, hit enter and I am done. How convenient! Especially when I read mails and file actionable tasks at least 40 to 60 times per day.

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Published Sat, Sep 19 2009 12:52 by omar
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