I had originally set aside the funds to buy a retail full version of 7 professional, but decided to go with home premium instead, I don't need the remote desktop feature, I have had it for years with XP Pro and never used it.
I decided on the upgrade package to save even more money, i figured I would deal with the hassle of having to install XP again first, so I ended up grabbing the family upgrade pack.
for shits and grins, I ran the upgrade installed on this machine that I have been running hte release candidate on for the past couple of months; now, MS said that you couldn't upgrade that way, you had to have a fully activated version of XP or Vista... well, they were wrong! I installed my upgrade, copied my user folder back over and only had to reinstall a couple of things, and was back in business in no time!
so, onto the laptop. older dell
inspiron 9100. the DVD drive wont read the DVDS! says i need a drive than can read UDF format... wth? so I pull an IDE DVD drive out of a box and connect it via a USB adapter and install it that way. that was a little slower, but it worked. my laptop is running faster and boots faster than it ever did with XP
now the third machine, my old AMD box.
you would think that they would have SATA drivers built into the damn installer by now, but no.. I had to load drivers still. it took 2 attempts to install windows 7 on that machine because of driver issues and hard drives vanishing. that box also has an older soundblaster card in it (audigy 2zs) and there are no drivers for it that work apparently (not officially anyway, I found some though)
I have been getting my home network sorted out again, setting up my new "home groups" (special network shares for windows 7 machines only), been getting all my software installed again on each machine and testing everything.
for someone who hates change, I am happy with this.