Monday, November 22, 2010

What You Should Know About Going to Windows 7/64-bit

Since everyone will undoubtedly go to a 64-bit platform eventually, I thought I'd let you in on what to expect. Everyone's biggest worry is whether their older 32-bit programs will get the kiss of death. My experience has been that some will work on a 64-bit OS just fine. Others will work if you run them in XP Mode (you have to right click on a program and choose to run it as administrator). A few others won't work at all, although I'm told that they may if you're using the Professional version of Windows 7. That enables you to download the free "Virtual Machine" app from MS. It basically does something along the lines of partitioning part of your hard drive as XP 32-bit, and then installs those troublesome programs to that partition. Sounds like quite a hassle to me, so I haven't done this. Also, if you have the Home edition of W-7, I'm sure there must be some 3rd party software that will do what virtual machine does except with your Home edition.

Most of my older programs run fine. Believe it or not, I had trouble with Word 2000, but I still had a copy of Word 97, and that actually runs okay. My old version of Premiere 6.5 wouldn't install, but I wanted to go to another NLE anyway. The drivers for my nearly ten year old scanner wouldn't install either. Scanners are cheap though, so I just bought a new one. If you're an old hand at making and uploading web pages, you'll be happy to know that the ancient, venerable WS_FTP95 LE still works like a champ.

All in all it hasn't been too bad. It's like learning to swim. You just have to jump in and start splashing. You'll get where you're going eventually. There's gonna be some cost involved, but what are you going to do? Things change. I made my last machine build last over seven years. I can't complain. I got my money's worth.