15 Minutes With Windows 7

i wanted to like it

Photo by: Flickr / techedlive

Windows is weird, you know?

It's all at once the huge commercial success everyone is using and develops for, and a retarded kid with down's syndrome everyone hates but you kinda-sorta-want to see him do something great.

I've been using Windows XP at work for years, and I've totally skipped Vista. Hadn't even tried it (until 2 weeks ago). Sure, I don't like XP, but I've grown accustomed to its rough edges and I can live with the bad parts (at least once cygwin is installed).

I'm setting up a new build server right now, and the machine just got racked up and paved with a fresh install of Windows 7. I was curious to see what 9 years of development time since XP have brought; I don't really care much about the look, I'm mostly interested in the GUI getting out of the way and letting me be productive. In this case, that means installing the latest JDK, Apache Ant, Subversion, CruiseControl, Cygwin, adding an ANT_HOME environment variable, adding Ant and the JDK tools to the $PATH, etc.

I don't mean for this to be a contrived, unrealistic, test to point fingers... this is really what I need to do today: pull up a few terminals, install some dev tools, setup auto-builds, and get productive. I spend a LOT of time at the command line, so this is the perfect test case for me: how good is the Windows 7 terminal after years with this old one: no tabbed shells, no resizing of the window, awkward copy and paste?

Fast forward 9 years:
Still can't resize that window. But it looks prettier, right?

Next let's add an ANT_HOME environment variable for this user and add the JDK tools to the PATH. This is really annoying in Windows XP because your PATH is probably a mile long and you can't resize the window:

Maybe it's better now:
Well, it's more blue. And it... even took more clicks to get here.

So that was a fun first 15 minutes with the latest and greatest.

To be fair, I hear there's some really great system administration tools in there, so I'll stick with it and see... I wonder if there's a way, now, to see which processes have which files open, in a default OS install? You know, like lsof?

Pre-emptive snarky comment:
- Oh, I suppose editing your ~/.bashrc is faster?
- Actually, yes, I'm pretty sure it is. (⌘+space, termi <ENTER>, vi .bashrc <ENTER>)


jkealey said...

I guess they focused on the features your grandma needs instead of creating Windows JP 1.0 :)

jpdaigle said...

Yeah, going for the mass-market is the right thing to do but... I'm still disappointed.

What about virtual desktops? That might be a better example - Unix window managers have had virtual desktops for 20 years, Mac OSX has had them for 5 years, and it seems like something with great mass appeal, but Windows 7 doesn't have them.

任何時間 said...