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Windows 7 Gripes

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Needless to say, Windows 7 is here to stay. After all, not everybody can work on a Mac or generic Linux.

Three things about Windows bugs me from the start. They are the default power settings, User Access Controls (UAC), and that an Administrator account isn’t really an administrator unless you launch the program as such with a right click.

Power Settings

I don’t waste electricity and generally run Windows in a VMWare Fusion context. It seems to me that a desktop should assume operation unless a user configures it to suspend itself after a time limit. Windows 7 assumes the opposite, suspension is automatic in 30 minutes, unless you overwrite the settings.

You change it from the default by navigating to the Control Panel and choosing Hardware and Sound and then Power Options, or you put the interface into Icon mode. Icon mode lets you choose Power right away, eliminating a mouse click.


Click the Change plan settings link. You should then see the default values of Turn off the display set to 10 minutes; and Put the computer to sleep set to 30 minutes. If you’re using virtualization, like me, set them both to Never, as shown:


Click the Save changes button and it is now a worry of the past.

Disabling User Access Control

Windows 7 doesn’t do away with User Account Control (UAC), it enhances them. From my perspective, the user interface probably causes hesitation when you want to disable it. If you need more than my short version on disabling UAC, there’s an excellent post on the myriad ways to turn UAC off here. I’m not keen on the ads for that page and didn’t test them all.

The simplest way is to launch the Control Panel and choose System and Security. In that Window, click the Change User Account Control settings link to continue disabling UAC.


When you click that link, you’ll see this screen. Simply drag the gauge to the bottom to disable UAC, like this:


It hasn’t taken affect yet. Like every other change in the Windows Registry, you must reboot the operating system for this to take effect.

Running as the Administrator

Just because you’re account is an Administrator doesn’t mean you run programs as one. This is actually wise based on how easily the Windows OS can be infected. You must right click the executable to say Run as administrator or you can’t edit files like the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts file.


If you do things first, you should have trouble with any of the setup issues for the Oracle Database 11g, or the OPAL stack with the Zend Community Server.

Written by maclochlainn

November 25th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

4 Responses to 'Windows 7 Gripes'

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  1. Windows (aka Bill Gates) has always had a skewed idea about what an Administrator is on an Operating System.

    They had no real relevant or significant experience with really great tangible OS’s (UNIX or VAX/VMS) in the past other than CP/M which was the “joke” that DOS was built on.

    An Administrator on OS’s that understand that role is “god”. Nothing (no file, program, directory path or anything else) is inaccessible.

    Once long ago, when I was getting ready to take a machine and put a brand new version of a UNIX operating system, I decided to have some fun. At the root level (in those days on a monitor it looked like this “/”) I issued the command rm -r *.

    This is a lethal command in UNIX because it says to remove every single file and do it recursively.

    UNIX does not issue “Are you sure?” questions. As an administrator you must know what you are doing or you can get into serious trouble.

    The OS was running and quietly in the background every single file that was necessary for the OS to function was being deleted. There were no messages like “This file is being used by another program …” or “This … is inaccessible, Access Denied”

    Eventually, the OS in memory need to call on something that was not there and it finally hung. That was the ONLY time I can ever remember a UNIX OS, in good working order “HANGING”

    For this reason, the lack of clearly defined Administration principles, I have never liked any version of Widows implementation of “Administrator” functionality.

    You wrote:
    “Just because you’re account is an Administrator doesn’t mean you run programs as one. This is actually wise based on how easily the Windows OS can be infected. You must right click the executable …”

    Microsoft is the MASTER of Tedium. Extra Mouse clicks and redundant operations is their specialty.

    Wise, if you don’t want to “run” things that you are not supposed then DON’T LOG IN AS AN ADMINISTRATOR! DUMMY!

    The fact that we (KNOWLEDGEABLE ADMINISTRATORS) have to tediously CLICK a RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR option every time we want to do something is INFURIATING, TEDIOUS, STUPID, FUTILE and REDUNDANT! Just to name a few things. We ask why can’t we have a real ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT that simply has the power to do what we want without all of the extra menu clicks.

    From ages past, Bill’s skewed notions about giving programs more control over the OS than people have given rise to the huge amount of problems they encounter from “rogue” programs that implant virus’

    It’ been an idiotic OS from the initial PC-DOS on the original PC, actually it was an idiotic OS when I used CP/M on a mini back in 1978.

    But, as you say Windows is here to stay like it or not.


    9 Dec 09 at 5:26 pm

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