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Old 7th Feb 2008, 02:16 AM   #1
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Default Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

So people... for the sake of future Full Spectrum tech sections, I'm writing this from Internet Explorer 7 running on Windows Vista Ultimate. Yeah, you can expect a review for Full Spectrum 2 or 3.

So far it seems okay. But well... it's still Microsoft...
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 02:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

I need my dose of non-Microsoft software. So far I've installed an antivirus, a firewall and the Opera browser which seems to run faster than on XP.
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

Vista isn't for everyone but enough people like it it's staying around.
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 11:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

Try to ignore the "Microsoft" name and accept that it does some things differently to Linux (as Windows users have to when we start using Linux).

I use Firefox for web and Thunderbord for email on Vista. I am alternating between OpenOffice and MS Office 2007 for wordprocessing etc (I have to support clients on Office 2007, though I don;t like the new "ribbon" thing).

The Vista firewall is reasonably good (certainly better than the XP one) so if you are using a router you don't need to install a firewall. You do need AV though; I use NOD32 which is commercial software (there's a 30 day trial) though AVG Free will probably do for your review. Don't install Norton/Symantec as the performance hit is significant and will give a lesser impression of Vista.

Also, go to Control Panel, Classic View, System, Advanced System Settings, Performance and turn some of the animate and fade stuff off.
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

I sometimes run Vista side-by-side with Mac OS X. I personally think Vista is better than XP
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 08:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

Things I loved about Vista:
-Start search. I got Launchy for XP after downgrading because I missed this feature.
-Breadcrumb navigation in explorer
-Aero does look pretty
Storing different security profiles for different networks, so for example it's easier to lock everything up when you're on a public Wireless access point, but have File and printer sharing enabled if you're on your home network.

But why the hell does the screen flash, and move the cursor to the middle a minute after booting or unlocking the machine?

That said I ran Vista in Classic mode. Just disabling Aero and going to Vista basic saves a lot of resources.

Also I think Miaplacidus knows his way around Windows software. Some of his screenshots show the AVG tray icon.

Symantec is one of the only companies that I strongly un-recommend their products. The number of machines I've seen brought to their knees because of norton is amazing. It rendered a PIII with 256MB RAM unusable.

I also ran Windows Firewall on Vista and also run it on XP, because it seems very high performance and unobtrusive. That and I've never been able to get Tiny personal firewall to run properly on XP, and haven't seen as good a product elsewhere. On Win9x it was the best firewall software I've ever used. Much more flexible than Zonealarm and much smaller footprint. Didn't even notice it was running on my 486.
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 10:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

Vista pros:

- incredibly sexy interface
- easier navigation
- start-menu search
- sidebar gadgets
- more logical
- DX10 support (though not much to show for it yet)
- drivers and plug'n'play ease of use - recognises almost anything plugged into USB without any other drivers being needed for basic functionality.
- better Windows Firewall and Defender


Vista cons:

- runs slower than XP (though to be expected, given the new 3D use in Aero and new different ways to utilize GPU which should be taken advantage of in time)
- BSOD often for first few months, but now patched up and working 100% stable for me.
- Program incompatibility with some old programs, but justified since if they kept using the same system under the hood with all new versions of Windows no progress would ever be made.
- It's not a clone of Windows XP, Linux or OSX, which some people seem to want it to be (but then, why don't they use XP, Linux or OSX and stop complaining?)
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Old 8th Feb 2008, 09:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex89 View Post
- BSOD often for first few months, but now patched up and working 100% stable for me.
There were a LOT of problems in Vista as released. Crashes, very poor performance, excessive nags from User Access Control (UAC) etc. I tried it early-on and gave up because of this. I tried it again 6 months later, and with all the patches from that first six months it is a lot better. I haven't had any BSOD crashes with it on my laptop.

There are a couple of annoyances still, the main one for me being the speed of copying files to or from a file server. I think the release of Service Pack 1 in the next couple of months should clear up most of the outstanding niggles. This is the point where business and corporate users will start looking at it more seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex89 View Post
- Program incompatibility with some old programs, but justified since if they kept using the same system under the hood with all new versions of Windows no progress would ever be made.
Many program incompatibility issues can be worked around by running the program as administrator. You get a UAC message when starting the program but it then runs fine. You can also use the compatibility option in Windows to make the program think it is running on an earlier version, which helps sometimes too.

For software released in the last 2 or 3 years there are often patches or updates on the publishers' website to fix Vista issues.

There were similar issues when we went from Win98/ME to Win2000/XP and earlier from Win3.1 to Win95. Microsoft try to ensure compatibility where possible, but with changes to technology it sometimes isn't possible.

Compare to the change from Mac OS 9 to OS X. It was a completely different architecture and the only way to make some older programs run was to have OS 9 on the computer with/under OS X. That option was no longer possible from about OS X 10.2, rendering all OS 9 software obsolete. This is not intended as any criticism; it is simply showing that the issue is not unique to Windows. It's just a result of progress.
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Old 8th Feb 2008, 03:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

My family's new computer runs vista - the system itself is very nice, and it has more than enough memory to effectively run vista with all settings on. I like it, it's fancy and cool looking, but I don't see that much actual difference from XP.
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Old 8th Feb 2008, 04:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

Paul_UK - indeed, I quickly discovered the evils of UAC a week after installing Vista is a lot more pleasant to use. =)

I'd never go back to the strange, illogical structure of XP. XP seemed to want to make you memorise the required steps to do anything to it, whereas Vista has the controls and tools exactly where you'd expect them to be and labelled so non-MS employees can tell what they are.

Eg: right-clicking on desktop in XP - to change wallpaper, screensaver etc you went down to "properties", which just gives filesize and basic info for folders and files, but means "customize the desktop" in this situation.

In Vista, it's labelled "Personalize" which makes a lot more sense, and takes you to a window that clearly labels everything like "change desktop background", "change window colours" etc. However, you can set it to the XP style if you really want, which should keep everyone happy.
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Old 22nd Feb 2008, 03:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

I run Vista Home Premium but my PC also has PClinuxOS, Ubuntu and I'm thinking of installing CentOS. My web server runs on CentOS 4.. Never putting Windows on it.


But as much as I HATE Vista, it does add some new things to the table. And overall it runs pretty fine on my system.. But that wasn't until I went up to 4GB of RAM lol.
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Old 22nd Feb 2008, 07:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Windows Vista... (yeah you read that right)

I have just upgraded the RAM in our Vista laptops from 1GB to 2GB which has made a worthwhile improvement. It is most noticeable when using heavyweight apps like PhotoShop Elements and Dreamweaver which need plenty of RAM.

With Vista, Thunderbird, Firefox and NOD32 (anti-virus) running about 850MB of RAM is being used. So with 1GB there's not a lot left for other apps. 2GB is much better, and for stuff like gaming, video editing or running loads of apps simultaneously then 4GB would be good.
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