So I am converted to the Windows 7 side of the Force. I am totes not even ashamed.
Dell Dock: Better Than Quicklaunch
The Dell Dock thing at the top of the desktop is awesome, not least because when I click on the top of anything that's on top of the desktop, it pops out, so I can add my desktop shortcut there. I missed the quicklaunch for about five seconds, then when I downloaded the dock I didn't anymore. It pretty much takes the place of the quicklaunch and better, because as of last year I had added pretty much every shortcut I use daily in there so I didn't have to keep going to the Start Menu or desktop whenever I wanted something.
The Need for Speed
Windows 7 is fast. I mean, I get most of it is I've lost all the excess clutter from two years of XP and a clean install of a new OS and a ton of useless shit, but it's so weirdly exciting for startup not to take the time it takes to make a cup of coffee and have a muffin. Which really does argue I need to just suck it up and start doing a format/reinstall when I buy new computers and once a year, because srsly, this is working for me. The partition does encourage easy format/reinstall without angst.
Effects do seem to cause a minor delay, but I've always stripped out windows effects fairly early on for performance. This time around, I am going to enjoy them for a bit before I start working out what I can live without.
Windows Explorer Pin
Pinned to the taskbar is a Windows Explorer that pretty much is the access to everywhere I ever wanted to go--I assume this replaces having to have My Computer, My Network Places, et al as sepate desktop shortcuts when they can all be in one-folder shopping. I like the Library containers immensely for the multilinking of different folders that have similar things but not necessarily need to be all together in the same location. Even moreso when I'm really inconsistent with where I keep pictures and graphics depending on what they're for. Precreated containers to hold links to all the various places I keep media is nice.
I do not like I can't get Control Panel into Favorites to save my life.
Organization Is Key
You know, I've never actually, except with my experiments with John Sheppard I, had the chance to build my file systems and organize from the ground up like this. Especially with everything I want self-installed and without bloatware I have to remove in pieces when I find it. I get the feeling a lot of my enthusiasm at this point is being able to set up everything from the start intuitive to how I think, and Windows 7 really doesn't fight me the same way XP did.
Actually, that is a main point of my enjoyment; I love XP like whoa and my hatred of Vista is beyond words, but Windows 7 is--and I don't believe I am saying this--really intuitive and about ten times easier to use. I can't tell, however, if this is because it's just that more user friendly, or I've been online for long enough that I can adapt to pretty much any user interface out there because God knows, it's not like fangirls don't learn to roll with it when we're confronted with a GUI that makes no sense.
For the first time, my desktop is pretty much clear; the only things beside the Dell Dock and two widgets are the recycle bin and a shortcut to my writing folder. Everything else can be handled by the dock or in the pinned Windows Explorer folder.
The only thing I regret is adding Office and Firefox and iTunes to the OS partition; originally, I thought the trade-off of having to reinstall was worth it for the speed, and there's still nine G in there for the page file, but OS updates and driver updates are going to eat that space. I'm thinking when it gets below 7 G free, I'll move Firefox and iTunes onto the Adam partition and leave C just for Microsoft. Though I have to admit, the paging file isn't getting much use so far. RAM is handling everything and then some.
So far, turned off the User Authorization thing since it was driving me crazy. Office kept giving me the EULA every time I opened it until I hunted down the reason is because I have to go into Properties and check Run as Administrator. I am sure there are other things I will stumble over soon to make me wonder wtf, but that day is not today.
I'm figuring out how much of the visuals are worth keeping. There's a tiny but to me noticeable delay when typing, which I can't tell is a driver issue or the fact my graphic card is working like whoa to keep up with the OS graphics and Windows effects. I kind of like them now, so I'll wait until I'm feeling impatient to start stripping for performance, since I'm not sure that's what's causing the typing problem. I need to check and see if there's anything on keyboard drivers that I need to update again. I mean, there shouldn't be, it's a basic laptop keyboard and very not special, but still. My card is updated to max and I think I grabbed everything else that wasn't nailed down except bluetooth, which a.) I never use anyway and b.) for some reason really does not want to install. It's currently not even showing up in device manager anywhere I can find, but as my phone doesn't need it and that's the only thing I used it for, I am letting it slide.
I'm still only installing programs as I need them and just leaving the ones I don't in the Download folder until required. I am not looking forward to reinstalling my Perl libraries again and the interface to retrieve them. That was two separate days of work to accept I had to move them to root access and I hate having things at root access that aren't system files. I want them in neat folders under User > Jenn > Programming > Perl as God intended. Putting them to root on Adam still hurts a little; I want them at D > Programming > Perl. And a pony.
I am starting to sound kind of evangelical about this. Honestly, I really, really did not want to change from XP--I knew it! I didn't hate it! It was like a favorite sweater, chewed on by children and kind of fit wrong, but I loved it because it was old and familiar. This is very shiny and apparently, it does in fact mean Microsoft is capable of making improvements that are actual, y'know, improvements. Color me shocked.
Okay, the keyboard delay thing is getting more annoying. Hmm.