Sorry for the long lags in-between posts but the year is coming to an end and a lot of loose ends are in need of being tied up. So busy times are upon us once again. So much even that I came home yesterday and crashed on the sofa without even taking a look at my computer. ( How’s that for cyber-fatigue). The computer I was planning to look at however was sporting a rather unusual interface. Something that is not seen everyday at Casa Knightwise. I must admit my fair friends that I have fallen into the abyss of oblivion and have installed Windows Vista. ( Seriously , I had to play around with it cause when my new job rolls around I’m gonna be meeting more and more computers installed with Microsofts new moneymaking scam)
After downloading a (trail) copy I decided to give it a try on my hp NX7110 laptop. The thing has a centrino 1.8 and a gig of ram, so it should be able to at least "install" Vista .. right ? The installation was very smooth. Compared to the XP install that still gives you the blue and white dos screen to make you select hardware partitions, Vista gives your the look and feel of actually installing something fairly high tech. Design wise : 10 points ! The installation does not take that long but afterwards the disappointment came as swift as did the login screen.
After entering my password it was time to face up to the fact that I did not, in fact, possess a grade A supercomputer able to calculate the trajectory of every object in the universe ( and playing solitaire on the side). This was made painfully clear by the absence of Vista’s fine and fancy interface called "Aero Glass"." Bless the Matrix !" I shouted as I was relieved to see that this processor cycle eating abomination had decided to forgo its torturous techniques. Vista decided to punish me for my blasphemy by giving my computer an overall "Vista experience rating" of 1 ! .. ONE ?? I stared in disbelief and was wandering how many Playstation 3 machines one would have to cluster together to get a score of 8 and above. What kind of operating system is THIS demanding.
Going online to find an answer to this question proved to be challenging. My Wireless card (a standard Intel 2200 chipset) was not recognized. A frown skidded across my face as I wondered what had gone wrong. Did Vista not come with all the drivers for all the hardware devices ever produced on the planet ? Why would something so obvious as my wifi card be excluded from this party. Even the last to versions of (dare i speak the name) Ubuntu managed to get the card working. And the last one got WPA working out of the box.
A wired quest across the internet made me install some XP drivers for my wifi card (found in a dodgy corner of the net) because HP decided not to make any working ones for Vista. Once that was up and running I poked around in Vista for a few days .. Carefully at first (not be overwhelmed) wading my way through menus and options. And I must say : It was a barren wasteland. Major innovations where not really found, things to click on and try out where scarce and the things that WHERE new where sometimes only variations on the implementation of old things.
I thought that Vista would offer me a little bit of a fun ride. Or at least give me things to tinker with, to try out .. or to laugh at. But stripped of its aero glass interface the one thing that is left is a slightly different version of XP. With a hard drive footprint of 8 gigabytes I can only wonder what Microsoft has parked on my hard drive ? I was going to give Vista a fair try. Even without the aero glass ( I would have disabled it anyhow) but was strangely surprised to come to the same conclusion I had drawn before trying Vista out in the first place.
Vista (to me personally) is an overpriced, hardware hungry, beta-impaired bloated version of Windows XP. I’m sorry to say I was unable to prove my initial intuitions wrong but there is not a lot to be said for Vista right now. It requires too much of your computer (and your wallet) and gives far too few improvements back to the user. Never before has the value for money gap been this wide when it comes to the difference between Vista and the dual booted Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. Call me linux biased; but if I have to compare the Vista’s naked install to Ubuntu’s … Its not a pretty picture.
As for now i’ll just install the Zune theme on my XP and stick with that untill Microsoft decides to make something decent for a change.