[APG Public List] Windows 7

Terry Reigel terry at reigelridge.com
Wed May 5 17:08:41 MDT 2010

LBoswell wrote:

> Anyone with Win7 installed lately. Any problems with gen
> or related programs?  I think what I'm looking at is a 64
> bit version, which makes me nervous because I couldn't
> get the equivalent in Vista to work with some programs
> and had to switch to 32 bit.


I bought a pair of Windows 7 64-bit very quiet PCs from a custom vendor last fall - for me and my wife.

While 64-bit is supposedly faster for applications written for it, very few are so far. The real reason to buy 64-bit today is because you can use more than 4G of RAM, which I find very helpful in avoiding delays as I switch among the many applications I always have open. It should also be helpful if you use high-memory applications like image and especially video editing.

The price of using 64-bit is that older applications will not work on it, and you may have difficulty getting full-functioning drivers for your existing printers, scanners, etc., even if they aren't that old. Even when drivers are supposedly available, I find that in some cases only the basic functions work (my two fairly recent HP printers now refuse to tell me the level of remaining supplies, for example).

There is a partial solution for old applications - if you get one of the more advanced levels (Professional and above, I believe) of Windows, you can install for free "XP Mode" - which is actually a copy of 32-bit Windows XP. It does work, but not seamlessly. I find the response speed on one program painfully slow, some very old applications will recognize only the "virtual" hard drive, which makes backups more complicated, and printer sharing in awkward, among other issues. But if you have some old software that you can't update, it may be worthwhile.

The only genealogy program that I use that has any issue with 64-bit is sending reports to a word-processor in TMG. I address that by installing TMG in both normal and XP Modes, and running reports from XP Mode. I don't do that often so it works for me. My old version of PhotoShop Elements, which I use because I don't like the newer one, says it has some potential issues, but works find. I had to update to a current version of Quicken because Quicken 98 wouldn't work, and IBM had virtually abandoned Lotus 123, so I finally had to switch to Excel. I have a couple of other ancient apps that don't have upgrades available that I use rarely, so I'm using them in XP Mode.

I found the increased security features in Windows 7 to make networking with other computers running older versions of Windows to be a real pain - I don't know that it's any worse in this regard than Vista, because I never used that. On the other hand, compared to XP, there are some nice interface improvements. 

Terry Reigel

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