With the recent launch of Windows 7, there is a lot of interest around the subject of upgrading from previous versions of Windows to Microsoft’s latest and greatest. Connect Magazine’s Deon du Plessis provides a few pointers to remember that will help with the process.
1. Before you’ve even bought Windows 7, download and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor Beta from Microsoft to determine whether your system can run Windows 7. The rule of thumb here is that if you’re running Windows Vista, your PC should be ready for Windows 7, but if you’re unsure this tool will give you a definitive answer.
2. If you’re a Windows XP user, you can use the Easy Transfer tool on the Windows 7 DVD to back up your data (documents, videos, music, application settings, bookmarks, e-mail etc.) for easy transfer to your new Windows 7 installation.
3. You can back up your data using the Easy Transfer tool to an external hard drive, a network drive or a USB flash drive (basically anywhere that will accept your data). If you buy Microsoft’s Easy Transfer USB cable, you can even transfer your data directly to another computer.
4. Migrating from Windows XP using the Easy Transfer tool does not automatically transfer your installed applications to Windows 7. You will need to reinstall all your applications when Windows 7’s installation has completed and only then import your old data.
5. You cannot upgrade from a 32-bit operating system to a 64-bit operating system (and vice versa) due to the fundamental differences in the underlying programming code of eacg. Doing that requires a fresh installation on a formatted hard drive (once you’ve backed up all your data, of course), and there is no way around it.
6. It is possible to upgrade from Windows Vista without the need to use Easy Transfer, but only if you’re upgrading in the following way:
– Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
-Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
– Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate
7. Upgrading in this fashion means that all installed programs and data will make the transfer to Windows 7; to be absolutely safe, however, it is highly recommended that you back all data up beforehand anyway, just in case.
8. Upgrades to versions of Windows 7 different to their Windows Vista counterparts are not possible; for that users will need to do a clean install. A move from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional, for example, requires the use of the Easy Transfer process, just like the move from Windows XP to Windows 7.
9. Each Windows 7 DVD contains all versions of the operating system. This enables customers to upgrade to any version of Windows 7 by going through a relatively simple telephonic upgrade/unlocking process. If you started off with Windows 7 Home Premium, for example, and you fancy an upgrade to Windows 7 Professional, it is possible. The upgrade is not free, however.
10. Programs that were once a part of the operating system such as Windows Live Messenger have instead been made available as part of Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials pages. Once you’ve completed your migration and connected to the Internet, head on over to the site and download your selection of useful, everyday applications like Mail, Photo Gallery, Writer and Movie Maker to complete your Windows 7 experience.
This week we look at Risen, the new role playing game from Piranha Bytes.
• Beautiful environments
• Challenging but fun combat
• For Xbox 360 and PC
Price: R399 (PC); R699 (Xbox 360)
Fans of the Gothic series will be pleased to see Piranha Bytes’ latest efforts at creating a similar, but pleasingly different role playing game in Risen. Players take on the part of a shipwreck survivor who gets washed up onto the shores of a strange island where mysterious temples have risen from the depths of the earth, releasing all manner of nasty beasties in the process.
Two factions are vying to gain control of the treasures the temples have brought with them; the fighter faction, led by The Don, is filled with thieves and ne’er-do-wells, while the Inquisition is made up of religious zealots that prefer magic and staffs to swords and axes. Each faction has its own motivations, and it’s up to the player as to which one to join.
The environments in Risen are very well done, bordering on “spectacular” if not for the foliage that moves rather unrealistically when the camera turns. The entire world has been hand-crafted with a great deal of attention to detail applied to each area, and there is also a complete day/night cycle and animals and people behave accordingly, even sleeping when the sun is down. There are plenty of animals and strange creatures to fight, and the combat mechanic, while it takes a lot of getting used to (and only gives the feeling of progression quite far into the game), is well-implemented and not just a button-mashing affair.
With an interesting story, professional voice actors, a combat mechanic that takes brains to master as well as excellent graphics with a high level of detail, Risen is easily one of the better role playing games to come along this year. It also represents an evolution for Piranha Bytes from the somewhat inaccessible Gothic series to this, a far more polished and fun to play game.
Risen can easily take you more than 30 hours to finish thanks to the depth of the main quest and the amount of side-quests, some of which feel like storylines within themselves. Characters are believable, the situations that the quests relate to make sense in the context of the game’s core premise of mysterious temples arising from the earth, and the combat and character levelling system is addictive. Many a night did sleep suffer when that “just one more fight” feeling took over.
If you like RPGs and you appreciate the European game design philosophy that doesn’t follow the formulaic and clichéd American approach, Risen comes highly recommended.
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)