Windows 7 and various radio programs

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N9JIG

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Windows 7 Report:

In my home office I have been using 4 Windows machines (3 XP-Pro and 1 Win98SE) to run various radio applications like Trunker, Pro96Com and Arc-xx as well as my RadarBox. I had replaced one of the XP boxes with an HP i7 desktop computer (2.67 GHz processor, 9 GB RAM) last year to run my RadarBox. While the Vista Home Premium it came with worked OK for me I was hearing too much chatter about problems with compatibility issues and security concerns. My in-house IT guy (otherwise known as my kid) who does IT for a living told me that Windows 7 was a vast improvement to Vista in just about all ways and was well worth the cost of the upgrade.

I decided upon Windows 7 Pro since it has "XP Mode" that is basically a virtual Windows XP machine running within the W7 OS. If it works in XP it should work here is the mantra I have heard. I figured this would be great for me, since almost everything I need works fine in XP, so if I can't get it right in Win7 I have a fallback.

I went to Costco and found the Win7Pro upgrade for $179, $20 cheaper than BestBuy. I got home, and started the install.

I had planned on doing a straight upgrade, but apparently you can't do this from VHP to Win7Pro. This meant I would have to start from scratch and reinstall my programs etc. From what I have heard, this is probably the better course anyway. I went ahead and did so using the 64-Bit DVD from the Win7Pro box. (It comes with 2 DVD's, one 32-Bit and the other 64-Bit.)

After a few clicks and name entries etc. the screen said I was done and it would take a few minutes to complete the install. I came back after supper and it had completed and I restarted. All the hardware on my machine had installed properly, I just had to download drivers for a couple external USB-Serial adapters and my RadarBox.

After I did this I went out to the Web and downloaded the latest versions of all my radio programming software packages, such as Pro96Com and my ARC-xx products. I also got things like Adobe Reader and OpenOffice.

I also downloaded the XP Mode software (free from MS) and installed it. I had to make a quick BIOS change, but the instructions are pretty clear so it was not a big deal.

So far I have been able to run everything in Windows 7 directly, I have not had to use the XP Mode set up yet.

I am running Pro96Com, the AirNav RadarBox and Arc-XT Pro all at the same time.

I then configured my best remaining XP box (Dell Dimension with 3.0 GHz. Pentium 4, 3.5 GB RAM and 2 serial ports) so that it will run the old DOS Trunker (I still love this program!) and control a second radio. I can also use this to run a second instance of Pro96Com, an ARC product or RSS for other radios as needed.

All this allowed to retire two WinXP Boxes to the basement and reduce some of the clutter in my office.

I have found a couple neat things about Windows 7 that are improvements over XP and Vista, including better Windows Updates (Just click a single button if you want them now) and that it queries not only Windows Updates for device drivers but also manufacturers sites automatically.

I have yet to try some of my other applications in Windows 7, such as MS Office, FileMaker (I just ordered FMP v11, it should arrive soon) Audition or Acrobat, but I suspect they will work fine.

While it still doesn't approach the Mac for ease of use and stability, it is by far the best Windows I have used, and is a darn sight better than Vista or XP. For radio work I haven't found anything that won't work properly in it.

Updates will be posted as appropriate.
 

unixfreak0037

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Glad to hear you like it. I do software development for a living, and after having stared at a Windows XP screen for the last forever years, it's nice to have a change of scenery.

The only issues I've had are with security permission issues, but are usually easy to work around. I run LOTS of different applications. Windows 7 seems to be stable. There are some older VPN software we use at work, but I just run those under Windows XP under VMWare.

As far as radio programs go, I run PSREdit 500 and Arc 500 myself without any issue. I did have some issues with Win500.
 

n0nhp

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I had a couple of issues (I don't remember what atm) that were corrected by placing a shortcut on the desktop and through the properties tab, running the program in compatibility mode. It will usually pop up the admin changes box when starting the program but will work without any problem.

Love my Win7 machines.

Bruce
 

loumaag

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...While it still doesn't approach the Mac for ease of use and stability, it is by far the best Windows I have used, and is a darn sight better than Vista or XP. For radio work I haven't found anything that won't work properly in it.
...
Rich,

I have similar good things to say about Win7 with 2 differences. I do have one older USB->Serial adapter that they have not issued an update for the driver yet, but I am sure they will get to it eventually.

And 2nd, I am running it on a MacBook Pro in Parallels. With the exception of one program (not radio related) that refuses to allow me to store the data on the Mac side, everything seems to work just fine. It also gives me the ability to run those Windows based programs I love (especially all the radio stuff) and maintain by backups using TimeMachine since I store all the data on the Mac side (except for that one pesky program.) So Rich, you can have the best of both worlds. :wink:
 

N9JIG

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I had difficulties with a USB-Serial adapter in Vista before I upgraded, I replaced it with a new one that worked fine in Vista and now in W7.

I am thinking about putting W7 on my MacBook Pro as well, but at $180 a crack, it gets a bit pricey...

How much does a multi-computer license cost for W7 anyway? I have up to 10 machines I could upgrade here if I could afford it.
 

loumaag

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I had difficulties with a USB-Serial adapter in Vista before I upgraded, I replaced it with a new one that worked fine in Vista and now in W7.

I am thinking about putting W7 on my MacBook Pro as well, but at $180 a crack, it gets a bit pricey...

How much does a multi-computer license cost for W7 anyway? I have up to 10 machines I could upgrade here if I could afford it.
Guess if they don't come up with an upgraded driver sometime in the future, I will just buy another one, the one I referred to above I got back in beginning of the decade. :lol:

As for the multi-license thing, back some 11 years ago, I would have had a better chance of giving some hard numbers, but I stopped working as a MS Partner back then. Try starting here for an overview and then see if you can find a Solution Provider or other MS Partner somewhere around you to see if they can help you out. There actually is a noticeable break for over 5 licenses.
 
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