I mean right here, as in a box sitting next to me, and I don't mind saying that I'm apprehensive. And not just because this is the first time since DOS 6.0 that I've upgraded to the newest Microsoft version immediately upon release.
In fact, I never even saw Windows XP. I stayed with Windows 98 right up until I got a new computer last year that came loaded with Vista – and trouble!
See, Vista was an initial calamity for me. So much so that I sent back the first computer I'd bought because of it and I waited five months until I felt I was psychologically prepared to tackle Vista again.
And when I got the computer I'm using now, I really was prepared. I had relived the horror that was Vista again and again in my mind, and I'd gained more coping ability with each flashback. Of course I'd also done some reading and learned about the things I was doing wrong, as well as the Vista quirks, and I'd reconciled with the fact that Microsoft had arbitrarily moved and hidden everyday aspects I was used to accessing routinely.
And even then, as I detailed last year, I still suffered serious attacks after I thought I'd tamed the beast. But that's the nature of a wild animal, isn't it? It's the prime reason why we're advised not to have them as pets, much less running our computers!
Now, I do an incredible amount of tinkering with my OS, and I'm a freeware junkie, so I'm constantly trying new and relatively untested programs. Thus a lot of my troubles are my own doing, but at least some of the major ones aren't – like the time I turned on my computer one morning and it wouldn't boot.
Because something had become corrupted or because Vista was on vacation, I never was able to determine which. Luckily, I had downloaded a wonderful freeware backup program literally days before, and amazingly, it worked flawlessly. My computer was restored in about an hour.
Except that you never know if the backup will work until you need to use it. If it hadn't, all would not have been lost, but I would have had to start from scratch with factory settings, reinstall SP! and SP2, DotNet3.5, all the Microsoft security upgrades, my programs, and reconfigure my settings – a multi-day operation involving much screaming and several silent strokes!
Now if you're unfamiliar with the Microsoft intricacies, you may not know that you don't get a backup program with home editions of Windows. There is something MSFT calls "backup," but it only works if your installation hasn't been totally corrupted.
Luckily, and only recently, free programs have become available that do restore your C-drive from scratch – three programs to be exact, and I've only found one that works.
I say that because I've since tried the other two. One may work, but the backup took up too much space and required nine hours to back up, so I never tried to restore anything, and the other literally took four days nonstop to restore the drive. Of course, I didn't wait that long, I stopped it after nine hours when it was 9% complete. When I wrote the author, he advised that apparently the bootable CD the program created didn't recognize something on my computer… like a CLOCK?!?
I mean, mine is a Dell with Vista HP. What could be more mainstream?
Anyway, that brings me back to the box containing Windows 7. Everything I've read says that Win7 is a welcome relief, but these observations are made by actual geeks, not schlubs who know just enough about Windows to be a danger to themselves and their family.
I so want to just rip open this box and install my Lucky…
…but I already know that there are changes that I'll see immediately and which the geeks have assured me are for the better. I'll be the judge of that!
Because I've also heard that some of my favorite little programs may no longer work, and that unlike Vista, there's no "compatibility mode" that allows old programs to run under old rules, and while I was able to get 99% of my old programs to run under Vista, there were several that I loved which are now history, and the absence of two of them causes me no end of nuisance to this day.
And my life-saving backup program? Will I only be restored to Vista, or will it work with the upgrade? You know when I'll find out…?
So I wonder how many of you will feel the apprehension I'm feeling? I mean, I know Windows 7 will be an improvement… it almost has to be, but how much agony will I have to endure before I'm 'enhanced?"
THAT is the question Hamlet never had to ask, and he STILL almost killed himself!
So what are my chances?!?