Thursday, January 13, 2011

Windows 7: Scaling Back the Ambitions

I was installing Windows 7.  I had spent nearly two weeks learning about it and tinkering with some of its possibilities.  I had learned quite a bit, and was impressed with much of what I saw.

At the same time, I was sobered by the prospect of spending additional weeks in this exploration.  It did appear that a commitment of that kind would be required to follow through with the Windows 7 projects I was looking into at that point.  Although this period of almost two weeks of tinkering and exploring had been brief compared to some periods of computer-related investigation that I had experienced in the past, it was still a large chunk of time, some of which I would rather have spent focusing on other things.

I had pulled back from my ongoing Ubuntu exploration, near the start of this project, because of its time requirements and the drawbacks I had experienced with it.  During these past two weeks, I had found that Windows 7, while being a sophisticated operating system, was still not entirely stable.  The plan of building a whole structure of RAID arrays and bootable virtual hard disks (VHDs) on Windows 7 was beginning to look like another indulgence that would continue to demand large amounts of time, not only to learn more about it, but also to maintain and repair it.

Certainly I could work toward setting up a RAID5 array eventually, as need and conditions dictated.  I could stay attuned to developments in the area of VHDs.  No doubt I would continue to refine my system in various ways.  But for purposes of my primary scholarly work, as distinct from various other projects of secondary interest, it was not essential to have RAID0 performance for my data partition or, with the aid of a bootable VHD, for my Win 7 boot partition.

As I pondered these thoughts, it seemed that my pullback from Ubuntu, a few weeks earlier, had been a sign of a change of direction with the arrival of the new year.  I liked improving my system and learning about these things.  Indeed, I believed I would like those sorts of activities more, if I approached them less ambitiously, with more patience to learn about and explain an occasional system development.

I still had some issues to work through, to achieve the more ordinary functionality that I did need.  Even those issues had the potential to consume another week or more.  But in the big picture, I felt that the time had probably come to scale back my system plans.  Accordingly, I decided to focus, perhaps for the coming year, on improving aspects of my system that seemed most crucial, particularly in the areas of reliability and trouble-free functionality.