February 22, 2007

Vista: Ahead of its Time?

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I was one of those people who jumped on the Vista bandwagon the day it became accessible to Cornell ECE affiliates. I thought I might give this “revolutionary” piece of software a try. After two weeks with Windows Vista, I can most certainly say that my “WOW” is one of utter disappointment. One of the highlights includes some face time with that lovely Blue-Screen-of-Death, which, along with some “official Vista”
drivers that seem like they were hacked together in minutes, messed my new setup and caused me to waste yet another entire day doing a reinstall.
Wow, I love reinstalls, especially after I just did one.
The ‘Flip3D’ feature also deserves an honorable mention. ‘Flip3D’ is Microsoft’s imitation of Apple’s Exposé, except done poorly and for nearly all purposes unpractical. The key difference is that Exposé makes use of the entire screen as opposed to just the center portion. More screen real estate means I can see more. Wow, that was obvious, right? Personally, if I wanted to find something quickly among some objects, I would prefer them spread out on the table rather than in a pile.
On top of all that, there’s the software compatibility issue that everyone’s been talking about. It’s true.
I now have to clock in some time at the CIT Lab in Phillips Hall to get my research done. Bear Access also does not play nice with Vista, and requires some extra work to get it set up right.
And what about games? With the whole ‘Games for Windows’ campaign and the exclusive DirectX 10 API, games are supposed to play better within Vista.
But wow, it’s all just a bunch of bullocks: I’ve gotten nothing but slowdowns. Whatever optimizations DirectX 10 brought were more than undone by the steep demands of the operating system itself.
My advice right now is to stay away from Vista. The novelty of the new eye-candy quickly wears off, and I was left with something that is bad for my computer and also, in fact, my self-esteem, since I was ridiculed by my lab TA for joining the ranks of the computer illiterate.
Windows Vista: ahead of its time where it doesn’t matter (system requirements), and lacking where it counts.