TechEd 2008 Developer started as good as always. Excellent presentations, excited developers, exhibitors, experts… Just what you want…
On the second day, the unexpected happened: while blogging to the Hungarian Devportal, my notebook started to demonstrate strange behavior, and in a few minutes later it wanted slowly say goodbye to this world. In half an hour later, it remained only its own shadow…
Bad time stories
No problem (#1), two days ago I created a hard disk image with my (that time favorite) software. When I restored the image, it said the restore was successful, but it was unable to start Vista… That was the point when I really needed a Vista DVD to recover the situation, but I did not have any.
No problem (#2), I am at the TechEd, full with Microsoft people, any of them can give me a Vista DVD… After I had asked all the available stuff there I realized no one had a Vista DVD, everyone used images for installation.
No problem (#3), I am an MVP, I have MSDN subscription, and I will download the Vista DVD image… It seemed easy, but I had not my own computer. The computers in the communication center did not make it possible to download 3 GByte and no one else wanted to undertake the download for me…
At this point I almost gave it up. “Ok, I spend the remaining three days without my notebook”. I was depressed. Then the solution suddenly came!
Two weeks ago at the PDC we had been given a mobile HDD full with software kits, whitepapers, etc. On that hard disk I had Windows 7 installation kit (some pre-Beta).
With the help of a very good friend of mine Jean-Marc Prieur (a great DSL guy working for Microsoft) the image went to a DVD and I found myself installing Windows 7.
I Can See the Light
The installation went embarrassingly slowly. While Vista generally installs in 30 minutes on my notebook, it took one hour while Windows 7 went on. During the setup I was very unbelieving in it. “If the setup is like a snail, what should we expect from the OS?”
And then the miracle happened! After Windows 7 had been installed and initialized itself, in half an hour I became a believer!
A few seconds after I had logged in, everything instantly started to work. I could search in the Start menu, I could open the new Explorer, I could see what’s on the hard drive and so on. The UI was so responsive that I could hardly believe it!
In a few seconds later all my network settings were done. I could connect to the TechEd wireless network. Windows 7 recognized a lot of devices on my Dell notebook where I had to download drivers from Dell’s homepage when running Vista. Windows 7 immediately recognized that my Bluetooth mouse want to communicate with my notebook and installed if after one confirmation click.
I was really amazed by this speed!
I started Internet Explorer 8 to download my Vista DVD image. It took almost four hour (the network bandwidth was like that in the conference center filled with almost four thousand attendees). I used this time to play with Windows 7.
I installed my most frequently used software portfolio (including Office 2007 and many others). I was surprised because 11 software kits from 12 installed successfully. The one that did not actually queried the OS version number and decided at the very beginning that it does not support this Windows version. I am sure, if it had not refused installation, it could work smoothly.
When I downloaded the Vista image, Windows 7 could burn the ISO image immediately to the DVD-RW disc.
At that point I had the so-much-wanted DVD and managed to solve my problem in a few hours during the night.
The Best Passes Away First…
After killing Windows 7 (by restoring the image from the backup) I was sad. My plain old Vista took me back to reality: slow responsiveness, long startups after login, and all those stuff you are also familiar with. I even did not try many features in Windows 7 and I had to release it…
If the pre-beta state of Windows 7 is what I experienced during that few hours, then I really want it! I wish the Microsoft guys to go on the way they started! If Windows 7 keeps its spin I want to be one of the first geeks having it on his notebook instead of my homely Vista!
Nov 14 2008, 10:38 PM