This Is Not The Best Time Of Year

No matter what others might think, I have never liked the latter part of January for the electronics calendar. The time is after the introductions of the Consumer Electronics Show, and while sometimes there may be great anticipation of new items coming down the pike, in many parts of the industry, the letdown while waiting for new supplies of introduced product is palpable.

This year, like many in the computer industry, there is more reason for that letdown. Windows is moving along, but there is nothing in the wind telling us about coming changes. As a matter of fact, the whiffs of a Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 have many people asking why. Windows 7 has settled into a place where it is moving along, with nothing major in the right or wrong columns.

The big news, if you can call it that, from CES, was 3D television, something that many would not wish for until 2D television is perfected. The DTV transition may not have been the apocalypse, as many would have thought, but there are still many bugs that surface for those who are not in the very highest areas of signal strength. The problems with DTV in the outlands, where I am located, are the same as with satellite television. When the weather changes, the signal fades in various ways, and when rain appears, many channels disappear and reappear at random intervals. The advent of 3D television does not seem to be targeted at those solutions, so for many the response is “so what”. There is the question of cost as well, which further complicates things.

The only other thing in the flow from CES was the e-reader. For your interest to be taken by that you must buy into the idea that it is a good plan to have one. I am not in that camp, nor are many people I speak to. We differ in our reasoning however, because I believe that buying into another item that puts forth digital rights management as a positive thing is all wrong, and others I speak with are simply afraid they will make the wrong choice, purchasing a unit that will be little more than a fancy paperweight in a year or two. In this economy, many feel that a couple of Benjamins, or more, wasted is a very bad idea.

Personally, I have just put a machine together with a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, and though I have not had one problem with the installation or usage of it, I must say there is not the joy I feel there should be. Mostly what I am finding is that I get very upset with the amazing number of programs, add-ins, and utilities that don’t work with Windows 7. Since this is my first foray, for myself, into 64 bit Windows, I am not sure how much of the problem is Windows 7 and how much is Microsoft and their changes with 64 bit in general. I’m sure I was not looking as closely when I was repairing other’s systems, nor did I really care about the programs they were running. Whatever it is, I am feeling less than giddy about this installation, and am wondering if removing this and putting a shiny new install of Windows XP Pro would not be better for now. Coincidentally, I am finding articles about why there are not more 64 bit programs available. Though there are the Microsoft warnings about XP and Internet Exploder, I would immediately be replacing Exploder 6 with Exploder 8, and only using that when forced. Since I have a much better video card now, I’m certain I could pull out my copy of Window Blinds and closely approximate what I am now using.

Soon, things will be taken up with the many people upgrading their computers, having purchased new motherboards, and having problems, with others doing their spring cleaning, and finding that they have “cleaned” the wrong things, and they will need help with restores and repairs, and with the new users of Windows 7, perhaps being like me, and finding that the wow that was now to have been very fleeting, when it gets down to doing actual work.


Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration.

Thomas Alva Edison

Known as the “wizard of Menlo Park, and quite the inventor, but the real genius of that era was a true genius called Nikola Tesla, who died penniless, but discovered things that make Edison’s contributions pale.