Browser choices launch via Windows in the European Union

As part of the settlement Microsoft lost in the European Union, Microsoft is now required to provide a Windows update that offers computer users in the European Union choices for web browsers.   I encountered the site early this morning while browsing the web and found it to be utterly amusing.   If you would like to see the site for yourself visit Browser Choice Site. You can also read my reviews of browsers.

Windows 7 x64 Enterprise edition!

For my new workstation, I installed the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Enterprise edition.

Install from start to first log in took 15 minutes.

System reboot from pressing shutdown to seeing the clock on the desktop 34 seconds!

The install is currently occupying  12.6G of hard drive space on my Intel X25-M SSD.  That includes all of the latest Windows updates and:  Adobe reader and Flash, Amaya, Firefox, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, Sun JRE and Windows Live Essentials.

I am reasonably impressed by the performance of Windows 7 Enterprise edition on the new workstation.  If you must use a Windows operating system, Windows 7 is a pretty decent choice.  Be sure to purchase the 64bit version of Windows 7 Professional.

Windows 7 technical review release to expire soon

Just a reminder that the Windows 7 technical review release ends in two weeks.  Time to weigh the alternatives.   I planned to re-install Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit.   On doing so today I found that the OS takes up 30G of hard drive real estate after you apply all of the latest updates.  This is not an acceptable solution on the 37G partition of my SSD that was occupied by Windows 7 Ultimate(approximately 9G).  I installed XP Pro 64bit.  Takes a scant 9.22G of space with all the software I typically use installed and the latest updates applied.  It boots in less than 20 seconds too!

Windows 7 is finally released

Windows7 is now available.

I am not terribly impressed.

I have been using the Release Candidate Technical Preview of Windows7 Ultimate 64bit edition for about 7 months.

A few comparisons:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit takes 20 minutes to install and approximately 4 hours to get all the “right” stuff installed.

Fedora 11 x64 takes 6 minutes to install and approximately 2 hours to get all the “right” stuff installed.

When I say right stuff I am using the same right stuff on both Windows7 and Fedora.

Winner Fedora.

Fedora 11 x64 boots faster.  43  Seconds to a usable desktop for Fedora.  61 seconds for Windows7 Ultimate 64bit.   On the same system.  Windows7 has the advantage of the sweeter “spot” of the hard drive at the first primary partition.  Fedora is at the tail end of the same hard drive.

Firefox works well on Windows7 Ultimate x64 and it works equally well on Fedora 11 x64.

Windows7 Ultimate x64 costs $319 (suggested retail)  I can actually purchase the OEM version for $169.

Fedora 11 x64 costs Nothing.  Yes that’s right it’s FREE!  Since I get most of my software free as a Microsoft Core Beta Tester and a Technical software reviewer this does not actually impact me.   Those who would have to pay for Windows7 might appreciate the lower price of Fedora.

Wimdows7 Ultimate x64 requires a virus scanner installed.   Typical high quality Anti-Virus Suite costs $60 – $90.  ESET Smart Security version 4  is $96 for two years.  You can use Avast or AVG free versions in non-commercial home use only scenarios, but they are not as effective as ESET Smart Security Suite 4.

Fedora 11 x64 has no need of a virus scanner typically.  If you should happen to actually need one for your Mail server on Fedora, you can download Clamav/Freshclam/Klamav for free.

Speed for your average day to day tasks is very similar for the two operating systems.

Windows7 Ultimate x64 with all the applications I use installed, occupies 29.84G of disk space.

Fedora 11 x64 with the full compliment of applications I use occupies 6.87G of disk space.

Not really an issue unless you are purchasing an SSD drive for your operating system.

Technology costing analysis. Why you pay for Sparkling wine, instead of the draft.

I have formal training and certifications including: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, US Government certified Terminal Area Security Officer, with various other lesser certifications. I have 25 years of data technology experience. I build some of the fastest servers.

The fact that my profession requires more of my personal time than most other professions to be well educated and informed is a reality. So, yes it is a labor of love.

If you want solutions to your problems that work, hire a professional. Have a professional do it right the first time. When someone comes to me after a network is in extremely poor condition, the dollar signs roll in my eyes. It costs three times as much or more to repair an improperly maintained or engineered network than it does to do the job right from scratch or maintain as it is needed.

Those of you considering information technology as a means to make lucrative six figure salaries would be better served to study law or medicine. You’ll make more money quicker with less of your personal time occupied by your professional requirements. The rules of science and law change SLOWLY. Information technology changes occur daily.

In my years of providing professional support and services I have had one client of note that OVER SPENT on Technology. The Client has a small office with eight work stations and purchased $150,000 of server hardware and software from an organization. They would have been better suited to spend $28,000 or less. I suggested they sell the excessive servers that they could not even afford to maintain correctly.  Then to purchase more cost effective solutions. There are companies out there that will take advantage. Before you spend $20,000 or more on technology, get a second or third opinion.

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit edition VS. Fedora 11 64 bit edition

To keep it simple I’m referring only to the versions in the title of the post unless otherwise noted.

Initial Cost (retail and otherwise)
Windows $99-349
Fedora $0-$59

Speed about equivalent for both. Minor variances on this or that but overall not significantly different for everyday tasks.

Security Risks:
Windows – connected to Internet 18 minutes without Anti-virus and firewall – INFECTED
Fedora – connected to Internet 18 months without Anti-virus and firewall – CLEAN

Total Cost of Ownership – primarily cost of ongoing updates and various other maintenance per workstation, or desk top. Laptops slightly higher.
Windows $300 per year on average
Fedora $100 per year on average

Costs for additional software
Windows $750
Fedora $0

Stability
After cost, this is the most significant factor:

Windows7 – Stable 10-12 days between critical errors over a period of 3 months.

Fedora 11 – Stable for the entire 3 months. No critical errors during the same 3 month period.

Security and time spent securing windows is a significant factor in the Total cost of ownership. All figures projected from actual figures compiled from multiple clients of various residential and business demographics in Southern California. Your mileage will vary, especially in different regions of the country.

Windows. Why do I still use it?

I just received an email from an old friend after reading today’s post about Fedora. He said “You still use Windows, don’t you?” I replied in the affirmative. I do still use Microsoft Windows Operating Systems. There are only two reasons.

1) I need to be able to support my customers and clients that prefer to use Windows. I charge the same amount per hour to fix a Windows issue as a Fedora issue.
Fedora customers need fewer fixes per year.

2) When I am creating or modifying a web site hosted on Microsoft servers, I am required to use Microsoft Windows.

Those are the two times you will find me using Windows. The rest of the day I use Fedora. This server is running Fedora 11 x64 with Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It is sitting right next to me in my home office. This system I am using as a workstation has Fedora 11 x64, Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Fedora 12 x64 and Fedora 11 installed in a multi-boot configuration. Fedora 11 x64 is what I use most.

Windows 7 Hype

There seems to be quite a lot of this around today. Various news sources are ramping up the fufara and fanfare for or about Windows 7. I have installed the Release Candidate of Windows 7 on my QX9650 powered workstation. I am not terribly impressed. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Relibility Reporting. This allows an Administrative user to see how often Windows has issues, their severity, and gives a 10 point scale of your system’s reliability.

On Windows 7, my system is operating at the 5 level of reliability. In 15 days it has had 8 days when there was a critical system error. Same hardware running Fedora 11 or Windows XP x64 has exhibited no major errors. The cost of Windows 7 is expected to be about the same as Windows Vista. Fedora 11 costs the same as Fedora 10. It’s free. Even Mac OS isn’t quite that inexpensive.