What a Wonderful World

It’s another relaxing Sunday and I’m sitting in Coffee Bean with Louis Armstrong’s classic *What a Wonderful World *playing on the speakers; very fitting for the day here. Accomplishment-wise it’s been a hugely productive morning. I think I’ve whittled away my task list more in the last hour than I have in all of last week. A bunch of online quizzes are done, the rental lease paperwork for 2011 university season in PA is updated and emailed, and I’ve applied for another handful of internships across the US—each with its customized resume and cover letter. Summer in Dallas, Texas is a slight possibility.

Final exams are around the corner and I feel the familiar freeze on studying approaching again. I just am not good at cramming for exams at the last minute, instead, kind of cramping up and waiting in horror as exams get closer and closer, and then usually getting an ok grade anyway.

Tonight we are having a potluck dinner in a neighboring apartment; we is the small gang of cooking pals I’ve found in McKay Village. Later I plan on attending a birthday party off-campus for a friend. Tomorrow has a micro-economics exam, Tuesday is a math exam, Wednesday is a Holiday!, Thursday is an accounting exam, Friday there is nothing out of the ordinary scheduled yet, although I am certain that will change before the week is up.

A few weeks ago I did gadget consolidation, which consisted of selling a myriad collection of electronics—Kindle, Palm handheld, seldom-used iPod—on eBay. With the proceeds I purchased an Apple Touch and pocketed $300 cash. The Touch is almost a laptop replacement with it’s email and web browser, allowing me to leave Bulky at home most of the time. It syncs with Google to keep my calendar and email up to the minute. I can now Facebook, read the news or ebooks, or browse the internet without a laptop while in class. It’s the greatest thing for distracting me.

I promised to write more about Windows 7… A few weeks ago I bought Windows 7 Professional from Microsoft for $29 student price and installed it on Bulky. Because I went from Vista Home Premium to 7 Professional I had to do a total reinstall, including wiping out all my programs. I still don’t have all my programs back, although I did finally purchase Office 2007 and have it installed legally. I will admit that buying programs is hard for me when I can get them free online, but I’ve vowed to go clean and legal from here on out. Now it’s in writing.

I don’t have much to say about 7. All my programs and hardware drivers seem to work perfectly with no malfunctions to date. Below is a screenshot of the top of my screen, displaying Windows 7 with my peculiar druthers, taskbar at top because I happen to like that layout from Mac, and the OS dumbed downed with the Classic Theme. Classic just runs so much faster and I prefer the clean uncomplicated layout. A minor complaint I have is that the Mozilla icon does not display the header of my Inbox like Vista and XP do. The tradeoff is the ability to view more running programs, but I miss being able to keep an eye on the inbox without mousing over the icon. There are tiny programs I could install that allow me to do just this; I think the OS should be capable of this without third party intervention. The window sizing feature is awesome and works much better than the third party app I used with Vista. Drag a window to an edge of the screen to instantly resize to fill a half, full-screen, or minimized area. Speed-wise the OS performs about the same as Vista, but startups and reboots are much faster. Third party task bar icons are hidden by default, eliminating the long string of icons sometimes present on Vista and XP.

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The reason I sprung for Pro instead of Home was the extra networking and virtualization features Pro includes. I no longer need third party software to connect to the campus network as I did with Vista. I store my homework on school servers and use a virtual private network configuration to access them from anywhere in the world. With the VPN I can also use heavy programs like Visual Studio, Visio, and Project that are running from the business college’s servers via remote desktop without having to purchase them, aka virtualization. Setting up these networks and remote desktops with Pro is much easier and reliable than it was on Vista. Of course all of this coolness is worthless without a good internet connection.

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