Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seven steps to heaven

The Windows 7 Release Candidate build has been humming away happily on a test PC here for the last month, and I'm impressed up to now. So much so, in fact, that I'm very tempted to install it on my main working machine. Like I said before, it's stable, lightning fast, and has a host of useful improvements and additions.

The hands-down coolest feature I've come across this week, though, is the Problem Steps Recorder. This little applet is the answer to the prayers of helpdesks, independent developers (i.e. your humble servant) and anyone who's had to talk their parents through troubleshooting a faulty modem over the phone. What it does is record every action the user carries out in an application, allows him to comment on the problem and highlight problem areas on screen, then produces a simple but thorough step-by-step report including screenshots, full text and technical background, plus a slide-show of the same, in HTML format, zipped and ready to send. It works like a charm.

All I need to do now is persuade my customers to upgrade to Win7 pronto...