Page 2 of 3
Consider that a clean install will take 30 to 45 minutes while upgrading can take anywhere from two hours to 20 hours depending on your computer, how many programs you use, and how much data is stored on your hard drive.
Add the time it will take to download all your software again and you should probably prepare to spend a full day configuring your system with Windows 7.
Judging from the reviews, it's all going to be worth it when you come out the other end.
Lifehacker.com has a must-read article "Prep Your PC for Window 7" that will walk you through the process of backing up your files, software, etc. and make your life as easy as possible.
The eyes have it
Staring at a computer screen all day long is not great for your eyes.
When you sit down in one place for an extended period of time, like on a plane, you always need to stretch a little when you stand up. When you sit with your eyes focused on one confined space at a set distance - usually less than two feet - your eyes will also stiffen up. They also dry out, as people typing, watching screens, etc. tend to blink a little less than normal.
In addition to focusing, there's also the fact that screens are generally bright enough that if you look away quickly there's some ghosting. Your pupils are generally narrowed in a consistent way while staring at your computer, which is why the real world can sometimes appear dim after a long day in front of a screen. The opposite occurs when you walk from a dark room where your pupils are widened into a world that seems much too bright.
The bottom line is that eyes get tired. You should always take breaks from staring at a computer - read a paper report, or just stare out the window for a while. You can also do eye exercises, holding a pen in the air and following it with your eyes (not your head) while you move it around.
But there's another option you might want to consider - tinted glasses.
A few companies are making and marketing a series of grey, red or yellow-tinted "gamer glasses" that do a number of things. One is hold in humidity, which prevents your eyes from drying out over a period of time. Another is to filter the light emitted from your screens to make them seem less bright, but without diminishing colours or vision. In fact, the lenses can bump up contrast and make screens seem even more brilliant than before. Add to that a coating that reflects glare from your screen, overhead lights, etc. and your eyes will feel great according to reviewers.