Windows 7

Resource Monitor :: Windows 7

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If you’re a hi tec power user or a gamer, chances are you have mucked around with resource monitors to get a peak at your system’s innerworkings. The Resource Monitor embedded in Windows 7 displays real-time information about all of the processes running on your system.

Vista’s “Resource View” is a cut down (way down) version of what Windows 7 will offer. One problem with Vista’s version is that it is not customizable. Even if you try to make a custom view and save it, all of your column spacings and arrangements are lost when you open it again (unless there is a trick I never discovered). A lack of customizability makes the Vista GUI practically useless for serious resource monitoring, not to mention the lack of detail and process control. Everything you wanted but didn’t get from Vista’s resource monitor is realized in Windows 7’s Resource Monitor. The improvement is drastic, comparable to the difference between Windows Task Manager and Sysinternals’ Process Explorer

The Overview Tab

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The picture above, shows the Overview tab, which looks similar to Vista’s Resource View. However, this time it’s customizable and you can save your customized views. But the most useful improvement is the addition of filtering: If you want to view only the data related to selected processes, you can filter the detailed results. When you select a process, it becomes the filter, so that the rest of the information displayed is only for that process (can be multiple processes). The graphs also reflect the filter by adding an orange line that represents the resources used by the selected processe(s).

Resource Monitor now gives you process control features like Process Explorer. Right click and the context menu gives you the option to “End Process”, “End Process Tree”, “Suspend Process”, “Analyze Wait Chain”, or “Search Online”. Analyze wait chain might be especially useful in debugging unresponsive windows.

CPU Tab

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Most process monitors clump MS services into single processes with the name “svchost.exe”. So, when you find svchost.exe churning some CPU cycles, you cannot see whether the culprit is upnphost, WebClient, or one of the other 10+ services represented by svchost.exe (LocalService). Now you can.

The Services table and chart in the CPU tab of Resource Monitor lets you see what each individual service is doing. Selecting a process shows you only the services associated with it. Right click on a service and the context menu gives you options to stop, start, restart, or search online. What’s more, the Handles & Modules tables show the files, registry keys, events, and directories used by the selected process.

The detail and control available in the CPU tab is certainly a high point of this program. However, if MS had a forum with a “Wishlist” or “Features Request” thread (ha! imagine that), I would request the following functions that are missing from the context menu: “Unregister dll”, “Close Handle”, “Open location in Explorer”, or even “Properties”. Fortunately detailed info and controls like these are provided by Nirsoft’s freeware monitors RegDllView (for dll’s) and OpenedFilesView (for opened files).

Network Tab

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I am not very knowledgable about networking, so I will mostly let the screenshot of the Network Tab speak for itself. I will point out, however, that the amount of detail in the Network tab is greater than that in Sysinternals’ TCPView and Nirsoft’s CurrPorts. But, surprisingly, the “Close Connection” function offered in these free utilities is not found in Resource Monitor.

Conclusion

There is also a Memory tab and a Disk tab, but these don’t appear to offer anything noteworthy.  In all, Windows 7’s Resource Monitor is much bigger and better than the Vista version and task manager in window XP.  Its unified GUI incorporates a variety of views and functions that resemble some of the utilities offered for free by Sysinternals and Nirsoft.  Unfortunately, it is only available within the Windows 7 OS.  If you have already dived into  Win7, give it’s Resource Monitor a try (just type “resource” in the Start menu search box).
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Sticky Notes :: Windows 7

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One of my favorites in the new Operating System. In Windows 7, there are sticky notes that are native to the operating system. You can use them to set notes and reminders for yourself, to write a to-do list or jot down anything else that you’d use a pad of paper for. Just open Sticky Notes by tapping the Start button . In the search box, type Sticky Notes, and then tap Sticky Notes in the list of results. To create additional notes, click the New Note button. You can also open a new note by pressing Ctrl+N.

To create a Sticky Note, click Start→All Programs→Accessories→Sticky Notes.
Windows opens a new blank note on the desktop, positioning the cursor at the beginning of the note.

Type the text of the note.

You can also format the note text if you want. Just select the desired text and then press the appropriate shortcut key: Ctrl+B for bold text, Ctrl+I for italics, and Ctrl+U for underlining.

You’ll notice that the text automatically wraps to a new line, and if your text doesn’t fit on the note, Windows automatically expands the height of the note to accommodate the length of your note.

When you finish entering the note text, simply click somewhere on the desktop outside the sticky note itself.  Alternatively, you can click the New Note button (the one with the plus sign) to start a new sticky note. The note you create will stay on the desktop. If you use sticky notes, you’ll want to get acquainted with the Sticky Notes Quick Launch button on the taskbar. Click it once to temporarily hide all the sticky notes on your desktop. To bring all of your sticky notes back to the desktop or to the top of the windows on the desktop, click it again.

To color-code a sticky note, right-click the note and then click the color you want. Your choices here are Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, White, or Yellow.
To delete a note that you no longer need, click its Delete button in the upper-right corner. The first time you delete a note, Windows asks you to confirm the deletion. If you don’t want to see this alert again, select the Don’t Display This Message Again check box before you click Yes.

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Microsoft Simplifies the PC With Windows 7

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NEW YORK — Oct. 22, 2009 — Today Microsoft Corp. announced the worldwide availability of its new Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 delivers on a simple premise: make it easier for people to do the things they want on a PC. The new operating system offers a streamlined user interface and significant new features that make everyday tasks easier and allow people to get the most out of computers of all styles and sizes.windows-7-aurora-green-wallpaper

“With Windows 7, there’s never been a better time to be a PC,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together with our partners, we’re bringing more choice, flexibility and value to the market than ever before. With Windows 7, you’re sure to find a PC that fits your life.”

Building Windows 7 has been a collaborative process from the beginning, with Microsoft’s engineers and designers working with customers and partners to build an operating system that delivers on the vision of the PC, simplified. In a speech in New York, Ballmer thanked the millions of volunteers who helped improve the product by testing early versions.

“A project with the global customer reach of Windows can only be done as a team,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, speaking at a launch event in Tokyo. “We are grateful for the valuable contributions from customers, partners and developers around the world that helped make Windows 7 such a collaborative project.”

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On Sale Worldwide Today

The global availability of Windows 7 is joined by an unprecedented array of new PCs and software programs. With more PC options available for customers today at a wide range of price points starting under $300, customers can choose the PC that fits their personality, style and needs, from netbooks, ultrathin notebooks and highly interactive multitouch laptops to all-in-one desktops and high-end, water-cooled gaming machines.

A newly launched section of Windows.com called PC Scout will guide users through selecting and purchasing the right PC. Customers can purchase PCs with Windows 7 or software upgrades online or in-store from technology retailers or at the new Microsoft Store, launching today in its first retail location in Scottsdale, Ariz., and expanded online. Retailers and technology partners are also featuring a series of limited-time offers for customers looking for great deals on Windows 7-based PCs, devices and software. Information on these offers can be found at http://www.windows.com.

To show how Windows 7 simplifies the PC, today Microsoft is launching the next wave of its global “I’m a PC” campaign. The global enthusiasm of Windows users is also contributing to the way many people around the world will experience Windows 7 for the first time. Tens of thousands of customers have volunteered to host launch parties or meet-ups beginning today, showing off Windows 7 to friends and family members.

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Simplifying the PC

Over the past 18 months, feedback from more than a billion opt-in customer sessions and 8 million beta testers validated Microsoft’s research on how to simplify everyday tasks. Here are a few of the many ways users will experience a more simplified PC with Windows 7:

Simplifies Everyday Tasks

Taskbar. The go-to spot for launching programs and switching windows, the taskbar has been completely redesigned to help users work smarter, cut clutter, and get more done, with features such as thumbnail previews of Web pages, documents — even running video.

HomeGroup. Users can easily share their files and printers with other PCs running Windows 7 in their home.

Windows 7 Device Stage. This shows the status of all connected devices such as cameras and mobile phones, and makes it easier to synchronize and manage them.

Photos and videos. Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker (available via download) offer customers great, free options to edit photos and videos and easily share them with loved ones.

Snap. Users can drag an open window to the screen’s border to automatically re-size it. Snap two different windows to the left and right borders for a perfect comparison.

Shake. Users can click on a window pane and shake the mouse to minimize all other open windows, then shake the pane again to restore the windows to their original sizes.

Internet Explorer 8. Microsoft’s fastest, easiest and safest browser ever offers smart new features such as Instant Search, Accelerators and Web Slices to help users get more out of the Web.

Works the Way Users Want

Faster on, faster off. Every Windows 7 user will benefit from the focus on underlying performance, faster startup, resuming and shut down time, and enhanced power management.

Mobile made easier. All of a user’s mobile computing settings are in one place with the Windows Mobility Center.

Protecting the PC. Safeguarding the data on a PC is easier with advanced backup capabilities and the free Microsoft Security Essentials download to help protect users against viruses, spyware and other malicious software.

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Makes New Things Possible

Windows Touch. Users can interact with the PC with a touch-screen monitor, using their fingers and multitouch gestures.

PlayTo. Users can stream their digital music, videos and photos to other PCs or devices such as an Xbox 360 console connected to the TV.

Internet TV. New content providers and an improved interface make it even easier to watch TV on the PC.

Rich gaming and graphics. Windows 7 includes performance enhancements that take power gaming and entertainment to a new level, with 64-bit support and DirectX 11 graphics.

Location-aware printing. Documents are sent to the right printer whether it’s at home or at the office. And with Offline Files users can work offline and automatically synchronize between a PC and documents on their office network.

Partners Rally Around Windows 7

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Along with increased customer involvement, Microsoft’s partners had a closer, more involved role in the product vision and planning process with Windows 7. The collaborative approach to engaging partners to inform development efforts has resulted in improved performance for PCs as well as compatibility with a broad range of software and hardware across the Windows ecosystem. More than 50,000 developers from 17,000 companies are enrolled in the Windows Ecosystem Readiness Program to build solutions for Windows 7. Together, these partners are developing hardware, software and services capable of reaching more than a billion PCs around the world.