Saturday, February 10, 2007

Vista Wow? More like Boo!

So, as part of my research into software and operating systems, I purchased a cheap OEM version of Vista and installed it on my new and shiny Core 2 Duo system. I also installed OpenSUSE 10.2 as a dual boot to test comparative installation times and ease of use.

Vista looks good, Microsoft has really done a sterling job with Aero and the look-and-feel of the operating system. The menus are approachable and easy to use, and the desktop is definitely one of the nicest out there, with the exception of Mac's stylish workspace. However, I became easily exasperated by Vista's new security features, particularly the User Account Control (UAC). As a power user, I like to be in control of my operating system, something that is very difficult to exercise in Vista. While I know that this will make the new OS tremendously secure, I found the constant prompts when I wanted to do something a serious nag factor. Worse, I could not even delete files! Sure, I do not want a virus, spyware or zombie master taking over my system, but I would like from time to time to delete a file or two if I feel like it.

A more serious problem that I've encountered is that my favourite software does not work in Vista. An operating system is only as strong as the applications you can run. My anti-virus did not work (BitDefender), neither did iTunes, Winamp and my motherboard's tuning software. Firefox encountered serious problems when I tried to install plugins, and whenever I tried to install anything, chances were that the features were not compatible with the operating system. I know that this is a problem that is shared by other 64 bit architectures, but I felt that the application support is woeful.

To round things nicely, nothing works in OpenSUSE. It seems like the Linux driver support for my chipset is not there, so I did not have Internet access right away. Seems like I'm stuck with XP for a while.

Update: This is my first post from Vista though.

6 comments:

GSake said...

Being in the middle of creating a review for Vista Ultimate, I must say that I am also impressed by the stability of the new kernel engine so far. I did not have a sinle crash during 3 weeks of hard usage, testing applicatiions like Corel, Office, and heavy D3D games. Graphics are better, smoother, despite the fact that only some features are eneabled from my beta nvidia drivers. I will continue testing the OS to find more issues.

By the way, Winamp works perfectly on my laptop! the only bug is the sidebar in the playlist window that cannot be controlled with the mouse wheel, but only manualy, by dragging up n' down the bar. Try the lite version (I prefer it to the more WMP "modern" one) and search for old plugins from winamp's fora, to directly drag the dll file into the plugins' folder, cause old plugin installers are buggy.

DopeFish said...

I've got Vista installed and it doesn't run as I expected but I'm sure that Vista shall become a great product. Remember Windows XP?? Everyone had something against it, but after some years of ironing out some minor or major features, bugs etc. you can really rely on it.

Regarding BitDefender, I have it installed and no problem with it. Have you downloaded the Vista ready version?? v.10.2?? I got it from their site: http://download.bitdefender.com/windows/desktop/antivirus/final/en/bitdefender_av_v10.exe

But for now I'm gonig to stick with BD 10.2, but on Win XP... :(

Andres Guadamuz said...

Hello George,

Thanks for the tip regarding Winamp. I've had some hardware problems, video capture does not work with the native ATI drivers. I like the look of it, but some operations are slower, I'm guessing because of user control and drivers.

My plan is to leave both XP and Vista installed, while I am using a EasyBCD plugin to manage my dual boot. The tweak can be found in:
http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

Andres Guadamuz said...

dopefish,

I will try that, thanks! I only found the Vista-ready version of Internet Security, not the AV.

As I said, I'm sticking with XP, but I will start adding software to Vista until I can do everything with both computers.

DopeFish said...

Trust me that link I gave you is good for Vista. Buta as you don't wish to use it anymore... :D

GSake said...

Good evening Mr. Guadamuz,

I just checked this little tool you mentioned and I thank you so much! I was trying to find a way to install Ubuntu or Suse without having LILO or GRUB teaking the Vista MBR, and as it seems this will do it with minimum risk!

As I have heard so far by ATI users, there are serious incompatibility issues with Vista, since drivers are not well built - NVIDIA is way ahead due to the Dx10 forthcoming release, so with a little tweak "poor" 6800 GPUs like mine can enjoy the drivers' releases...

The Vista native WDDM driver might be horrible for gaming but does it not provide minimum functionality for the software? it should do - otherwise, ATI has a lot of work to do!

ps: still looking for a light player, 24 bit directsound output and smooth fading... pity winamp ended up to a buggy WMP in its full version... VLC is also good, but...