Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Moving to Vista

The desktop support group here would like to move the organization to Vista. Apparently, a lot of the compatibility programs are fixed (although, I understand not all of them.) But I have fairly simple needs: as long as I can run Office and Firefox, and access the LAN, I'm pretty much ready to do work.

So I've volunteered to be a "guinea pig" in the Vista test-rollout. They should be stopping by my office later today to upgrade me.

I'm being upgraded in place, which isn't typical here. Usually, the support folks just replace a desktop or laptop with another of the same "tier". But maybe the replacements aren't available right now? Anyway, they'll completely blow away my Windows XP system and re-install a fresh Windows Vista image. No upgrades.

I'll be curious to see if this fixes any of the problems I've seen in Windows since my move: printer setup, moving desktop icons, Windows Explorer not sorting icons, confusing dialogs, broken ctrl-backspace, to list a few. We'll see.

I'll post more later. Stay tuned.


  1. The transition should be as crushing as your move from Linux to XP, in terms of performance. Ever notice how on game boxes, the minimum system requirements usually need a much better video card, and at least double the RAM for Vista than the exact same software installed in XP?

  2. I think you're right, Noobix. My hard drive light is always on. The system is VERY sluggish.

    I'm holding out some hope that the system is configured to encrypt the hard drive as I go, and that by the end of today things should be back to normal. We'll see.

    I'll post a new blog item about Vista later today - if performance settles down.

  3. Check out the alphabetizing by name thing... I have reason to think they've changed the behavior of that. I'm not convinced it's better -- it's behavior has tended to annoy me in new and interesting ways -- but I forget what it does exactly, and don't know what the Linux file managers do, so there's a *chance* it'll do what you want.

    (I'd say don't count on the performance improving, though maybe there is something weird going on.)

  4. Evan, the hard drive settled down. I was right - it was encrypting the contents of my hard drive. But I haven't done enough with it yet to say if performance is any better or worse with Vista, compared to Windows XP.

    I ran out of time today to post a blog item about the upgrade experience. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

  5. Hi there! I bought a Vista laptop last year and have had very few problems. Of course, it was optomized for Vista from the start, (3GB ram, 140GB hard drive, etc.)

    The big issue was getting used to the new look. The file structure, files, directories, etc. is different. As Evan said, the alphabetizing has been corrected. Now a file named "100stuff.txt" is listed after "24stuff.txt". The alphabetizing goes by the numer total, not just the first digit. This can take some getting used to.

    If you can figure out Linux, you shouldn't have any trouble with Vista.

    I have a Walmart Linux box sitting in the garage that is basically a doorstop because I can't figure out what to do with it. Also, the monitor is fried. I think.

    Anyway, good luck, cadet!


  6. Ralphie: "Now a file named "100stuff.txt" is listed after "24stuff.txt"."

    Windows has done this for ages AFAIK; are you saying the behavior in Vista is changed from Linux, or from previous versions of Windows? (For the record, I consider the fact that most Linux utilities don't do this by default really dumb. I had sort of forgotten about that annoyance as I have 'ls' aliased to 'ls -h --color=always --sort=version' so it behaves sanely.)

  7. Evan: "[On Linux] I have 'ls' aliased to 'ls -h --color=always --sort=version' so it behaves sanely."

    Ah, if only other operating systems allowed this same level of flexibility!

  8. Good luck with that.

    And welcome to the world of pseudo sudo: UAC.

  9. Seriously, IT Depts that WANT to move to move to Vista are brainwashed morons who don't need their jobs to begin with. Nobody truly needs Windows period. It's just the fact that people want to code their web-based content based on internet exploder under the assumption that's what everyone uses. Bill Gates understands that adults hate change and they'll use winbloze and internet eploder even if it drives them into an early grave.

    I had a boss tell me to prepare for Vista rollout and I made him agree to a raise. =)


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