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5 on 5 May 8, 2007

Posted by sk in Microsoft.
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Since the fight about whether Microsoft is dying (not dying… dead – the company died of a heart attack in 2004), I’ve upgraded the memory on my system and installed Windows Vista on it. There have been several articles about the OS, most of them unanimous about the fact that Vista sucks. That was one reason I waited all this while to install it on my laptop (I’ve had the DVD for about 4 months now). I finally mustered up all the courage I could find and installed Vista Business last month on my laptop, which is not exactly Vista Premium capable. I’ll admit that I was a little worried, but thankfully, I’ve not had any problems (so far) and it’s been fun using it. You can find a lot of reviews about it at other places so I’m not going there. Instead, I’m going to focus on the five things that I like/dislike about it. So here goes…

Likes:

  1. Chess – What’s the big deal? It’s just a game. Well, it’s beautiful. It’s a pleasure playing it on Vista. One move that I learnt really well is Ctrl-Z. Yup, you can undo your way right to the beginning of the game. While it’s not the best thing to do, I’m learning to beat the computer without having to do it (of course, that’s only at level two of ten possible levels).
  2. Aero – It’s very cool. I love the transparent toolbars. Flip3d (I think that’s what it’s called) is also fun to use. If you don’t like Flip3d, you can find Expose’ clones for Windows Vista.
  3. Searching – Press the Start key and in a few keystrokes, you can open any application/file you want. Yeah, it’s been done before, but it’s almost painless here and doesn’t come in the way of anything.
  4. Folder address bar – this is actually copied from Linux. When you open a folder, it doesn’t show you the address (for example, “C:\users\user_name\documents…”). Instead, a link is provided to each parent directory, which makes navigating a lot easier. Clicking on an empty location in the address bar brings up the address.
  5. Folder previews – you can preview files without opening them now. For example, you can listen to a song without having to open WMP or iTunes or some other player. Same with other file types.

 

Dislikes:

  1. Aero – The damn thing drains the battery. I’ll probably switch to the Vista Basic/Windows Classic interface once the initial excitement wears out.
  2. Software/hardware support – This really hasn’t been an issue for me. All my hardware was detected and works well. I had a problem with Gaim 2.0 beta 5, but Pidgin 2.0 runs fine in Vista. Another open source tool for normalizing mp3 music sound doesn’t work.
  3. Windows creep – Every version of Windows (actually every OS) slows down after a while when new programs are installed/uninstalled. So far, Vista has been great but I don’t know how bad it’ll get.
  4. Wireless connectivity – When you resume your computer from hibernate mode, it takes 30 to 40 seconds to connect to the wireless network. OS X, Ubuntu, and XP all do it in less than ten seconds.
  5. Deleting small files – This takes ages sometimes. The problem, apparently, is that Vista takes time to calculate the time required (which it does more accurately than XP) and by the time it figures out how much time is required, the file has already been moved to the Recycle Bin. Get the point?

 

Turns out to be 5 on 3. Not an even match. I can’t think of any more dislikes right now and will update the list when I can come up with something. There are actually a few more things about Vista that I like and haven’t mentioned here. I actually mentioned only the stuff that people haven’t focused on. Also, several people have cribbed about UAC. I have found it to be fine. It’s definitely better than Sudo on Linux. So, as I mentioned earlier, Vista has been surprisingly good on my system. One of the reasons may be the lack of crapware that comes preinstalled with OEM computers.

 

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Comments»

1. Tismarkhan - May 9, 2007

Dislike No. 3 is rather vague but seems like dislikes are dominated by speed issues…

2. ish - June 14, 2007

I have Vista Ultimate Edition and it’s pretty much similar. You’re pretty right about the battery problem. Another problem is old software that hasn’t been updated. Some of the programs still refuse to work even after you try making them work the WinXP way.

Deleting files is a pain and sometimes it just acts way to overpossesive. If you have both XP and Vista installed simeltanously, Vista doesn’t let you access the XP files with ease. You’ll have to mess with a number of security options to finally figure out. Setting up a broadband connection was a mess for me too, some things are way too complicated about Vista. And about the getting slow part, it does manage to get awfully slow if you put on LimeWire and Windows Media Player at the same time and ultimately it starts acting like it’s dying. That again depends on your hardware configuration but the display effects take up a lot of resources.


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