A paradigm shift – from workstation & laptop to just a laptop and docking stations

When I started corneredge in 2001 laptop technology was pretty good but for performance I needed to have a workstation at home and at the office.  We have used that model at CES ever since.  The ability to run VMware, graphics apps, do video editing all required a dedicated workstation for speed, storage space etc..

Now, with SSD laptops that can handle mutiple hard drives, docking stations that can handle dual DVI connections for monitors, and the flexibility in windows 7 to quickly boot into all these different docked/un-docked modes, we are making a complete shift away from all the workstations and towards living off of laptops only.  We are also saving energy and operating in a more “green” fashion this way.

So, when considering a replacement computer for your power users, I strongly consider a nice laptop and docking stations again.

A great collection of windows 7 tips and tricks

For all of you considering or using windows 7 on your computers now, check out this great collection of windows 7 tips and tricks:

windows 7 tips & tricks ebook

Tips include:

Access Jump Lists with the Left Mouse Button
Application based Volume Mixer
Assign Keyboard Shortcuts for Programs
Check Windows Version
Copy Command Prompt Output
Create new instance of an Application in Windows 7 Super Taskbar
Customize the Windows 7 log-on screen
Customize UAC in Windows 7
Customize Windows 7 Power Button Action
Desktop wallpaper Slideshow : Shuffle Desktop background
Disable Wallpaper Change
Display a Message at Start Up
Display Multiple Clocks in System Tray
Dock Windows to Left Right Up down
Encrypt USB drive using BitLocker
Find out How Healthy Your Battery is on Your Laptop
Find Windows 7 Keys for all Versions
Find your Computer Uptime
Font Issues: Make easier to Read Screen Text
Get Vista like taskbar in Windows 7
How to Create Themes in Windows 7
How to disable restrict USB/Flash Drive in Windows 7
How to Remove “Folder opens in New Window” Problem
Install Windows Vista and Windows 7 using bootable USB storage device
Jump lists Customization
Jumplist in Taskbar Application
Launch Multiple instances of an Application
Lock The Screen Shortcut
Network Access Protection : Secure your Network
New Autoplay & Autorun options in Windows 7
On Screen Keyboard
Parental Controls in Windows 7
Prevent Windows 7 from Automatically Rebooting after Installing Windows Updates
Problem Steps Recorder
Remove Recycle Bin in Windows 7
Remove/Show Notify Area Icons
Rename Admin account in Windows 7
Rename Multiple Files @ Same time
Retrieve Built Details & other Information of Windows Installed
Set Ctrl+Alt+Del Options in Windows 7
Show Desktop Icon in Windows 7
Start Menu Customization
Sticky Notes Text Formatting
Super Taskbar
Turn off Balloon Notifications
Twenty Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts
Upgrading From Windows 7 RC To Final
User Account pictures in Windows 7
Windows Application Compatibility Mode
Windows Media Player 12 : Customize Playlist
Windows Media Player 12 : Preview a song before adding to playlist
Windows Media Player 12 Jumplist feature

Windows 7 upgrade? NOT SO FAST

Ok, I posted about how impressed I was about the windows 7 upgrade process here

And the main reason I was so impressed is that I did the upgrade to my workstation with the following specs:

– Easily 10 different USB devices & 2 different hubs plugged in at all times
– Firewire used for video editing
– close to 100 applications installed from all over the place.
– VMWARE workstation installed running test machines & extra virtual network devices
– 12 gigs of ram
– two different RAID Configs for two sets of hard drives etc…

bottom line, its NOT a simple computer to upgrade.  I work the crap out of this machine daily, and it upgraded fine initially.

And that’s where I’m starting to struggle.  Just today:

  1. I lost the nice Windows Aero feature.  Seems pretty hard to get back, which doesn’t make any sense.  The troubleshooter can tell me that my desktop manager services aren’t running, but I can’t turn them back on.  WHY so complicated?  Running this OS without the Aero is dull, I feel like I’m being punished and thrown back to a retro windows 2000 look now.  Let me switch it on if I want!!  I guess I’ll have to troubleshoot it for hours now to fix it.
  2. I lost audio randomly, but after 5 minutes of waiting for the “troubleshooter” if fixed the service that wasn’t running.. how did it get turned off?  But wait my youtube videos don’t play sound now??
  3. I’ve had a few programs crash/not work… a crystal reports runtime issue mainly for now…older programs, but still….
  4. Backup – I have a buffalo terastation, an incredibly simple network storage device that I use for backup on my network.  The new Microsoft BACKUP program will NOT allow me to send a backup to a device without Network authentication of some unknown kind, so I can’t do a backup of files to my incredibly simple network storage unit.  YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!  I have to setup a Microsoft machine on my network for backups???  COME ON!!  I literally tried basic auth with a user name and password I was able to config and test, Microsoft backup won’t use it.  sweet!  I know, I’ll use an incredibly simple file replication tool instead.  Just use Karen’s Replicator if you need to run a backup.  It actually works over the network.

SO, hang in there, and don’t upgrade yet.  Microsoft has some patching to do and I’m stuck grumpy in windows 2000 land with crap I have to fix.

Windows 7 upgrade – its EASY!

Over the weekend I took the plung and upgraded my main workstation from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate.

Initial impression:

I’m extremely impressed by Microsoft.  They did an AWESOME job with the upgrade.  Everything works, my machine is faster, it boots faster, etc.  Adobe Premiere CS4 works including all the special codecs I installed before.  All my user settings like saved passwords, outlook, firefox, IE etc… all migrated seamlessly.

This is by far the easiest “upgrade” of an OS I’ve ever done.  I’ll post more after I’ve used the machine for a while.


Can I upgrade to windows 7? Here is how to check

In our testing at Corneredge Windows 7 has performed well.  I’ve already loaded it on two machines that could not even run Vista and they are running great.

SO, I’m tempted planning to upgrade my workstation.  Microsoft seems to have really done their homework with the upgrade this time, and I’m looking forward to the features in windows 7.

If you are thinking the same way, download this tool to get a nice checklist of what you need to do before installing windows 7.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor