Tag Archives: Windows 7

For the first time in nearly a decade, I’m using Windows as a primary OS

I have to admit, I haven’t used Windows on a machine that I own since 2006 when Microsoft wanted me to pay for a new license for the copy of Windows XP Pro that I legally purchased as an upgrade to the same computer I had been using since 2002. Microsoft–to put it mildly, and in plain terms–royally pissed me off that day, and I swore off their products for what might have seemed forever. I switched to Ubuntu 6.06 and became an instant fan of Linux, reliving some of my youth spent digging around in MS-DOS and writing lines upon lines of code. I ran various flavours of Linux for years all the while staying sure of myself that I could run anything just as well as I could with Windows.

In 2010, that all came crashing down–literally–when a bookshelf fell from the wall in my tenement apartment and crushed my laptop. I did the best I could to revive it, but the hardware was circling the drain. It was time for a new computer. I bought a MacBook Pro.

I’m a fan of OSX at its core level. The system is based on UNIX (“It’s a UNIX system. I know this!”), so it’s sorta like Linux…except that it just works. No muss, no fuss, and no compatibility issues that need to be sorted. I’ve been happily using OSX going on 5 years now, but for the VCR, I was not going to attempt the foolhardy pursuit of building a hackintosh. Ubuntu proved very capable in building a functioning software suite, but when I got to the higher end of the project’s performance envelope–namely in areas regarding emulation–Ubuntu’s OpenGL processing was simply falling short.

Finally, for the first time in nearly a decade, I have installed Windows as a primary operating system on a machine that I own. Thankfully, I missed the Vista era (as Vista is to 7 what ME was to XP), and in my experimenting with Windows 8 at my day job, I knew that tiled monstrosity wouldn’t see day one on my network! Windows 8 is a jumbled mess that can’t decide if it’s going to be for desktops or tablets, showing the shortcomings of both and the advantages of neither. Even the 8.1 upgrade still managed to take away a lot of the core functionality that I would rely on for the VCR. For this reason, I took the plunge and bought a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium.

So far, the $99 price tag has shown its value against my open-source mistress in the gaming realm, allowing me to play my entire games library without complex compatibility layers or other desenrascanço. I can even purchase new games from Steam and Good Old Games to go along with the hundreds of titles I already own! There are a few key functionality options in Windows that one does not enjoy in Ubuntu as well. The case in point: EventGhost. Ubuntu does have an ability to program macros to various events in the OS, but only in Windows is there a GUI that walks you through setup quickly and easily.

The bottom line: Linux is fantastic and an unbeatable bargain for the price (free), but for the foreseeable future when you need a little extra multimedia support, it’s worth dropping a Benjamin to get DirectX.

How To Fix Unresponsive USB Ports In Windows 7 Home Premium

I was working with the VCR today when, after a reboot, all the USB ports went dead. After much consternation (and a little bit of cussing), I was able to determine a solution.

Fortunately, I already had TeamViewer installed, so jacking in remotely was a snap. Without any kind of remote access, this process would be nigh impossible since the entirety of input devices are USB.

  1. Navigate to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Device Manager (listed under Devices and Printers).
  2. The last item in the tree should be Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
  3. Expand the USB Controller branch to expose the list of USB devices connected to the computer.
  4. Right-click and uninstall each of the listings, thus removing it from the system. One or more of the controller drivers was likely corrupted and removing all of them will ensure a clean installation.
  5. Reboot and allow Windows 7 to recognise and reinstall all the connected USB devices. Everything should work like new again!

More information on this problem as well as other solutions can be found here.