Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Windows 7: It Looks Right

This took me a while as I have been doing nothing but playing Guild Wars and Call of Duty as of late. But despite this, there are a couple of things needed to archive and burn to a blank DVD. So in order to do that, I decided to install two applications: ImgBurn and Alcohol 52%.

Alcohol 52% was a trivial matter, since the backend or foundation for which the virtual drive system works with wasn't compatible or usable in Windows 7, at least at first. But a recent update to the backend now adds preliminary support for the new OS. Hopefully there will be additional support down the line. I will have to check to see if the entire virtual drive system works completely, since I have recently deleted a few disc images to free up space.

For ImgBurn, getting it to run is a simple matter. But working with it is a different story. Unlike some of the bigger and more versatile disc burning software, like CDBurnerXP or Nero, there isn't an easy-to-use interface for assembling files together for disc writing. CDBurnerXP, while being free, has a few quirks. I do not know if the developer(s) have fixed this. But I found it to be bothersome and annoying. I may give it another try when Windows 7 is finished and I acquire a copy of the final/RTM disc. Nero is perhaps the strangest out of the bunch of burning software out there. It isn't strange in that it has a weird interface. But instead the drastic change in direction from what it used to be. Years ago, Nero started out simply as a CD burning application. Not only did it has a simple and straightforward interface but it was slim and small, a necessity when you only want a single feature and want the software to do it elegantly. At the time, there were one or two other CD burning programs out there, one of which was the bloatware Easy CD Creator. Since trying out Nero, I have stuck with it for a while. But as the development for Nero continues, the software and the developers started to take aim in other matters, namely CD ripping and MP3 encoding. Later on, they started adding other features which are unnecessary. Before long, Nero has blown up into a giant software suite capable of everything except the kitchen sink.

So as of "writing," I am burning a 720p encode of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It fits nicely in a single DVD and the software appear to work. But what surprised me is how Windows 7 displays certain things on the taskbar. For example, if you were moving/copying a bunch of files and a progress meter window shows up, the Explorer icon will turn into a progress meter of its own, enabling you to minimize all the windows and not wonder how far until the operation completes. At this time, I do not know if this is something the author of ImgBurn programmed into the software or if Windows 7 recognizes the progress meter in it. Either way, it's a nice little thing that you get and makes using Windows 7 all the more better.

The more I am using this, the more it feels like I'll be glad that I didn't splurge on getting Vista when I needed an x64 build of Windows to use all 8GB of RAM I have installed.

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