The Big Switch (Part 1)

Like the average computer-using human, I have always used Windows for anything I do on the computer. In fact, I still remembered using Windows 3.1 when I was around, I think 3 or 4 years old (back when I still have to type “win” on DOS to get to the Windows proper). Since then, I have gone through almost each and every desktop version of Windows out (95, 98, a bit of 2000, XP, a bit of Vista, 7 and tried the Developer Preview of 8 on a VM).

The default Windows 7 desktop

Each year, the default desktop got prettier and prettier, and that I agree with because let’s face it, if something we face everyday is not easy to look at, chances are using it is pure and absolute torture. But at least with this line of operating systems, it comes with a price – each release (or maybe every other release), you need to buy/upgrade new hardware each time.

Case in point: Let’s look at XP’s recommended System Requirements (I’m not looking at the minimum because it’s bound to be a to run on those things).

  • 300 MHz CPU
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 1.5 GB of available hard disk space
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter with at least 8 MB of video RAM and monitor
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Network adapter
  • Sound card and speakers
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

Then here’s Vista’s (Windows 7’s should be almost similar to Vista’s):

  • 1-gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit (x86) processor or 1-GHz 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of system memory
  • Windows Aero-capable graphics card
  • 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
  • 40-GB hard disk that has 15 GB of free hard disk space (the 15GB of free space provides room for temporary file storage during the install or upgrade.)
  • Internal or external DVD drive
  • Internet access capability
  • Audio output capability

Big jump, right?

The projected jump from 7 to 8 is not as big, but judging from the release pattern of “good Windows (XP), horrible Windows (Vista), good Windows (7)”, patterns dictate that I should not be getting my hopes up.

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

Now I know computer parts become considered as obsolete after 6 months of being out in the market. But not everyone has the funds to buy the latest and greatest every six months, right?

Then there are those typical Windows problems that just won’t go away, like the constant threat of security breaches, viruses, malware, Spam (yummy! And platform independent too.). Or the fact that each passing day of use, boot times get longer, and to get from desktop to web browser takes long enough for one to be able to make a cup of coffee while it’s loading (okay, I’m exaggerating here. Or am I?), or is it that you have to defragment your PC regularly because NTFS does a poor job with file journaling?

Maybe I should try making friends with ol’ Tux and see if that changes things.


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2 thoughts on “The Big Switch (Part 1)

    • Im using a Dell 8250 with P4 and 1 gig RDRAM, with a 40gig, yes 40 GIG hard-drive. Tried Windows 7, was like swimming in molasses. Glad you pointed out the problem with Windows, all personal stuff aside, it has no real fallback version like Linux(xfce, lxde, etc etc). Not ragging on windows itself, just the fact that it does obsolete computers that do not need to be. Continue the good points.

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