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Windows 7 RC

WINDOWS Vista was probably one of the most annoying OSes ever made. Regardless, I've been using it since it came out. The animations are nice, and I seem to be able to do things quicker, but the lack of an up-one-folder button was annoying, and not to mention the insane amount of resources that the operating system hogged for it's own dark devices.

The RC (release candidate) version of Windows 7 had been recently released to the public at large, free of cost, from the Microsoft website. Windows 7, in short, is what Vista could have been but wasn't, and then something more.

It's fast, efficient and looks sleeker than any other OS before. There's a lot of changes to the interface for this one. The sidebar from Vista has been removed, instead replaced by Gadgets that you can place on your desktop. Does the essentially same job as Sidebar minus less RAM usage.

The sweetest change has to be the taskbar, and the most prominent. The quick launch toolbar has been dumped, and you can now 'pin' programs to your bar. Say, for example, you've pinned Windows Live Messenger. Clicking on the icon opens up the actual program, and the icon becomes highlighted. Any further windows opened under WLM stacks up with that icon. Hovering above the icon pops up the opened windows, and thus allows for select. (See screenshot)

The Basics
The Windows Security Centre is now the Windows Action Centre where from Windows manages protection and maintenance. The Games explorer remains mostly unchanged. Recently used programs now has menus to open documents of that nature. The Wordpad has been revamped much to look as Office 2007 does, and the Calculator is improved with new features and a new look. Paint, too, has undergone change.

Windows 7 lacks any integrated mailing software- Windows Live Mail is however provided with the Windows Live Essential pack. Also, there's a simple and very easy to use DVD Maker. Select files, and click finish.

The Cools
Dragging a window and dropping it at the top renders the window maximized, dragging it back restores it. I found this so cool; I played with it far more than it's probably healthy. There's a rectangular button at the far left of the taskbar- a show desktop button known as Aero Peek. Hovering the mouse over it blanks out all the windows giving you a clear view of your desktop. Clicking it once minimizes all windows, and a second click restores. Maximizing windows no longer makes the Aero features opaque. Windows 7 comes built in with several themes, backgrounds and sound schemes for you to enjoy. You can set your desktop background to a slideshow mode, or static.

Windows Media Player 12 and Internet Explorer 8 are packed in with this OS. We've all seen IE8, so there's nothing new there. WMP has gone through some interesting changes with the Library Mode and the Now Playing mode two different kinds of windows.

Users are equipped with a Library for Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos. You can include as many locations as you want for the libraries, so if your music collection is scattered around a few places, you can have them all together in your library.

And so on
There's a lot of other tids and bits all over the place, that makes for Windows 7 to be an easy to use, efficient, and most importantly a fast (a lot faster than Vista ever was) Operating System. The requirements are that much lower, so even if you're using a Pentium 4 computer, you'll be able to use it mostly comfortably. Or so I'm told. And it takes very little time to install too. You'll need around 16 GB of disk space, though. And if you've downloaded from the Internet, you'll need an optical drive, a DVD writer to write the installation on a blank disc. Please note, that it's best to do a fresh installation. But, I've heard of people who've used virtualization softwares to try it out. Your pick.

Where from:
Follow the link below to get your copy (you'll be provided for a serial number- keep that safe) of Windows 7 RC. I've also made a tinyurl for your convenience. Enjoy.



If you've used Windows 7, you can tell us how you like it, and what's your take on this new OS.

By Emil

PDA Extreme : Get a 'proper' room!!

YOU come out of the practical lab, slinging the apron over your shoulders, every bit tired in the scorching heat and wishing nothing but to go home and relax a little… when suddenly your eyes wander across the steps of the Curzon Hall, where an oddly proportioned couple sitthe man a balding middle-aged in sunglasses (with a blazing pot-belly at that) and the woman decked in chunky jewellery and kotkota lipstick, as if she just stepped out of the “Beder meye Josna” movie-setand suddenly YOU are the one feeling out of place in your own campus as you grimace in frustration“What the hell?!”

The majestic Curzon Hall and its gardens have undergone some notable beautification measures in recent years. The seemingly endless stretches of lush green grass, birds twittering upon the towering trees, the floral fragrance in airCurzon Hall is a colourful heaven at the heart of this harsh concrete city. And while this provides a soothing environment for the students and a phenom of interest for the tourists, it also attracts certain other types of 'visitors' whose extreme presence may sometimes range on the level of irritating.

Yes, we are talking about the charade of the love-birds and their infamous practice of PDA (Public Display of Affection). Honestly, no matter how strong the urge of being close to9 one another (ahem) and understanding one's feelings may be, a public university campus hardly seems the right place for it. Yet whenever there is an occasion (or not), be it the Valentine's Day, Pohela Falgun or Pohela Boishaakh, the Dhaka university campus is crowded with throngs of love-struck couples, hand-in-hand and all that mushy stuff that follows. “These people are mostly outsiders of course, because our own students run a high risk of exposing their relationships to classmates, seniors and even teachers if they date publicly in campus, which can get a little embarrassing,” informed a DU student, while another complained bitterly, “Outsiders or not, young people are one thing, but the middle-agers? They treat the place like Ramna Park or something!” One other student sounded rather exasperated, “You run from labs to labs pouring over thesis books and when you look out the window, instead of catching a whiff of fresh air you catch people snogging behind treesugh! Some of us come here to study, you know….”

Now, nobody is denying people the freedom of choosing whoever they like or whoever they want to be with or wherever they want to go and…afterwards…(ahem again),but it seems only level-headed to not choose an educational institution campus for sharing emotional times like these. And even if so, there should be a limit to certain actions, considering the decency and appropriateness of the situation. Public universities, even with the word 'public' in them, are still universities- as in places for study where classes take place- not amusement parks or decorative gardens where people can do whatever they like.

By Raisa Rafique

Back to Bangladesh

IT was a beautiful day. I woke up to the sound of some birds chirping outside my window and the sunlight's radiance crawling over my face. It was the second day of winter vacation, and I was prepared to do absolutely nothing all day. I got out of bed with this half-smile on my face, and commenced a journey to walk around my house aimlessly for a couple hours to kill some time. As I head to the kitchen, which seemed like the logical choice, especially for this 12-year-old boy, my mom said some things to me that I will never forget.

“We are moving back to Bangladesh,” she said as I grabbed the turkey bacon. I took no heed of what she said, and it was only when I was eating did it hit me.

“Say what?” I asked. I thought it was a joke. I mean, why would we move back to Bangladesh now? I was born and raised in California, as was my sister. My parents had been settled here for 20 years. It did not seem like change was coming into our lives.

“Your father and I have been discussing the idea for a long time now. We think living in Bangladesh would do you some good. Plus, we want to spend some time with our parents. We are moving this summer,” said my mom.

That was the day my world came crashing down on me.

The move itself was really quite difficult. I had to get used to the thought of no Taco Bell or McDonalds, no TNT or ESPN basketball, no movie theatres, no fast internet, no friends, no nothing. It was so painful the first couple of days. I would stare at my computer screen as it loaded a web page and ask myself what I had done to deserve this.

Once school started, at least I had something to keep myself busy. Plus, the set-up of AIS/D was not too different from my previous school. It is just that the people and cafeteria food were. It took me months to get used to the life at school here. After a while, though, it was not so bad. I managed to get by, and I was doing a pretty good job at it. It had taken 4 months, but I finally thought I could learn to enjoy myself in my new environment.

And enjoy myself I did. As I sit here and look back on the past 4 years, I see that I really changed as an individual in ways that I could not have done back home. I got to see and experience my home country. I've been to places I could never imagine going, such as Agra or Kathmandu. Yet, the best thing about moving here were the friends I made. That is the one thing I actually think worked out for the best. And I guess the lack of fast food helped me stay in shape.

By Ihsan B. Kabir


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