VL7 Standard? I hope it works for you.
Since this is an alpha, you'll probably be installing new versions until Final comes out. If you have room on your hard drive, leave room for another partition for when the next release comes out. Then keep them both. I always do that and it makes it much quicker to install and configure the new release. I copy lots of stuff from ~/home on the old release and if I have libraries I need for some third-party program on the old release, I just copy them to the new one. My "big" data (photos and videos) is on a FAT32 partition shared with Windows, so it's no problem. I just mount that partition in my new VL installation.
It's also a good safety net just in case the new version and your computer don't get along. It happens sometimes. You can just continue to use your previous installation and not skip a beat.
Your feedback on the alpha is VERY important. The more people who test, the better the chances of finding and fixing bugs.
I can't speak for uels, but we're doing fine. We have about two feet of snow on the ground, but that's true nearly every winter. We didn't get big dumps of snow during the coastal storms because we're too far north and west, but we did get about 14 inches yesterday. GrampaGeek is having ambulatory surgery for carpal tunnel in six weeks. That's a long time to put up with the pain, but his nighttime brace is helping some.