My tribute to Windows 7

There will be emptiness

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 by anotherside | Discussion: Windows Discussion

I have no interest in phones and smartphone OSes.

I like desktop software. I like Windows and Linux. I am not a fanboy. I have been dual-booting for 8 years.

Windows 7 is the best desktop OS. Everything is more refined than Linux. Except one thing: package management.

As a home user you are supposed to download exe-files. Back in 2009 I tried the Impulse client. It was fast. It had delta updates and I was impressed.

I thought if Microsoft buys Impulse then Windows can have a great package manager. Microsoft didn't buy Impulse. They created a store with toy (touch) apps.

Pretty useless if you are running Windows on a desktop or a laptop. Microsoft wanted to expand into tablet/hybrid territory.

A couple of weeks ago I tried Chocolatey. It's a package manager for Windows. I liked it. It's not as refined as Impulse. It's not as fast as Linux. But it gets the job done.

I have installed it on two Windows 7 machines. I did encounter a few hiccups, but now everything seems to be working. There is a package called ChocolateyGUI to give you a graphical interface. Everything is pretty straightforward. They have a nice homepage:

If you install ChocolateyGUI on Windows 8/10 it needs to run in Windows 7 compatibility mode and also as an administrator. This is what Windows has been missing for so long. There are a lot of packages/applications. Everything I use actually. Only paid apps are missing.

Right now I am enjoying Windows 7 more than ever. I use Odrive to get (OneDrive) placeholders. Only downside is that I have turned off updates because Microsoft has become an Advanced Persistent Threat to my Windows 7 installations. Offline updaters can solve this problem.

I don't mind Windows 8.1. It's pretty nice. You can uninstall all Modern apps and make it a true desktop OS. But Win 8.1 doesn't really give me anything I can't get in Windows 7. My point is: Now that I have found Chocolatey it feels like Windows 7 is in full bloom.

But there is also sadness. Desktop computing might never get better than this. In a way I am clinging to the past, but I don't want to let go. And this makes me feel like an old grumpy man. Windows 95, Windows XP and Windows 7. Those were the days! When Windows 7 dies there will be great emptiness. [e digicons]:'([/e]

Reply #1 Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:54 AM

I am old am grumpy and will stay with W7 till its not supported anymore.  I did like 95 but got that blue screen.  Windows 3.1/2 was nice but ya had better have a grasp of DOS.

Reply #2 Wednesday, February 10, 2016 6:20 PM

Thanks for your comment. I wanted to write about Win 7 because I have been using it since it was released.

What really bothers me is the trend we are seeing in software: In Win XP there was a lot of freedom, in Win 7 a little less, in Win 8 even less and in Win 10 there is not much freedom left.

I don't like the transition from desktop to mobile (touch). But the transition from openness to locked down is even worse.

When I write freedom I mean the ability to tweak and customize your OS. Skinning was easier on XP than on 7. And Win 10 seems to be the hardest yet.

Basically I want more freedom. Windows 7 was the last release I found acceptable.

Now I am stuck in the past. Windows 10 is like a dark cloud on the horizon. Eventually it will be right over us. Likening Win 10 to a cloud might not be completely inaccurate.

Reply #3 Thursday, February 11, 2016 12:54 AM

I have to agree with you on many points, anotherside, Windows Oses are getting worse, more restrictive, less user friendly.

While I quite liked Windows 7, I moved to Win 8.1 because it is faster and more expediently completes assigned tasks.  Having said that, however, I was not impressed with the exclusion of Aero, Windows Media Centre and other useful tools in Win 8.

Sadly, with the way MS is operating to get everyone using its latest offering, Windows 7 and 8.1 many not be viable for much longer... on new/modern hardware, at least.  And yes, one has to disable automatic updates to prevent one's OS being changed when one isn't looking.  I install updates manually, and anything I don't need, or like the look of, gets hidden from future downloads.


As for Windows 10, it's not going anywhere near any machine of mine.

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