Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Vista #1 Vista #1

Yesterday, I got my new computer, connected it up, booted it, and had my first experiences with Microsoft Vista (Home Premium). I had been dreading this, and now it was upon me. But, since I had essentially purchased the OS, I figured I might as well try it out.

The good news is that it wasn't as bad as I expected. The bad news is that it is still very questionable. First some of the good, before we get to the bad:
  • Nice new spiffy interface (that sucks CPU and memory). Icons are more three dimensional.
  • I could actually connect up to my local network and the Internet w/o as much trauma as I expected. Much better than XP Home Edition, whith makes connecting to other computers almost impossible.
  • Possible to set up standard shortcuts for starting to look for files.
  • Vista comes with IE 7, which has a lot of Firefox features, esp. the use of tabs.
  • Vista finds the other computers in the local network almost immediately. No five minute lag until the next update, etc. No having to search for computers you know are there because they are both hooked to the same hub.
Now some of the bad:
  • Its a bigger pig than I thought. I have two 3 mhz processors, and it still doesn't run that fast.
  • With over six times the processor power that I have on my server running Windows Server 2003, it still takes notably longer to boot.
  • Microsoft seemed to go out of its way to change things around. This was esp. bothersome as configuration stuff that went together intuitively, isn't together any more.
  • Most old drivers don't work. This was esp. bothersome with my MSFT keyboard and mouse - I spent twenty minutes tracking down the right drivers for my MSFT hardware. You would think that the company could at least include drivers for its own hardware.
  • No Tweakui. That means that I can't get rid of any number of annoyances that I have in the past, such as removing "shortcut" from all the shortcuts I create.
  • When you first sign on, the default security is so ridiculous that you have to approve of every program you run, even MSFT programs residing in the Windows directory.
  • Eventually, you can turn that off, but not without getting nasty error messages whenever you boot.
  • MSFT and HP have taken their tie-in advertising to a new high. You have to stand on your head to use your own ISP. There are dozens of shortcuts on the desktop, in the favorites, etc. that need to be dumped. It is about twice as bad as XP, which was pretty bad already.
  • A lot of nice features are in other versions of Vista, but to get them all, you have to upgrade to Vista Premium - for another $169. For example, there is no FAX software in either of the Home editions. And you can't play media with the Business edition. In other words, what used to be standard features are now only available through an expensive upgrade.
These are just off the top of my head. I am sure there will be more. So far, if I had been given the choice of XP or Vista, I would have picked XP in a heartbeat. I would never have paid for Vista, and am only using it because it comes bundled with new systems and XP does not (and I was never a fan of XP).

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