Ok, well needed update on the semester of running Windows Vista. It’s been good and bad but mostly good. I’m writing this post on my Dvorak practice machine so please forgive any typographical errors and other weirdness. Let’s do this list style of the goods and bads:
- Everything works, so it seems most of the compatibility problems can be resolved by buying a computer preloaded with Vista, I realize this is a lame solution but it means the smart money is still to wait until it’s time for a new computer as there’s no rush to upgrade right now.
- The new interface is smooth and clean if a bit hardware intensive, and little improvements speed up my day to day tasks. The new user directory structure is much closer to a *nix style system which I really liked. It’s helped me stay much more organized. The search/run box under the Start Menu is immensely efficient by allowing all of my common tasks to be executed with short “keywords” and such.It’s definitely something I wouldn’t want to give up
- Fairly shallow learning curve. If you’re familiar with Windows XP or 2000 you can pick this up really fast. The new features and nuances aren’t obtrusive or a hindrance, all of the old tricks I knew worked (Not that I knew that many old tricks to begin with).
- Stability. For once it’s rock solid, I couldn’t even crash it when I tried to. I know this is a really hot button topic about Vista so I’ll dedicate a post to it later.
- The multiple program specific volume control thinger is excessively cool. Not much to say about that other than try it out and see what you think of it.
- And the most important part: I haven’t once felt like my computer is a hindrance to getting my work done. It has performed admirably at every challenge and has been an exceptional tool for my education, and isn’t that the true purpose of a computer? To be a reliable tool to assist me without giving me trouble? In this regard Vista is indeed very successful.
Of course it isn’t perfect and there is plenty of room for improvement, here’s some of the bad
- Aero is pretty nice looking, but it really eats up too much system power to accomplish a (In my opinion) lesser effect then something like Beryl/Compiz for Linux. This could be greatly improved. My older Dell laptop could run Beryl/Compiz with virtually no performance hit, whereas it would never have run Vista well.
- User Account Control. Where do I begin? The intention was great, the actual implementation is terrible. It becomes so needlessly annoying you have to disable it to get any semblance of work on the system done. For even a regular user it could rapidly prove annoying, and once disabled it clearly isn’t having it’s intended effect. Though it was pretty easy to turn off once you found the proper control panel for it….
- Speaking of that, they rearranged some of the lower level stuff. This is unlikely to trip up casual users but it was a tad bit annoying to myself the power user.
- The new wireless network thingy is just plain irritating and useless, but I use Access Connections in it’s place so not much gripe there.
- Still no decent interface for recording optical media that is compatible with the rest of the world. In fact the integrated ’software’ included in Windows is still as reasonably useless as ever.
Well that about sums up this post. Sorry for the long lapse between updates, at a full 19 credit-hours plus extracurricular activities I am very very busy.
If you have any specific questions about how Vista fares in a certain aspect, feel free to contact me or comment here, I’ll do my best to answer it.