Sunday, May 06, 2007

A week with Vista

I have to admit that the thought of installing Vista last November sounded like an exciting but expensive proposition. I knew when it was rolled out last December to the small business crowd that I could have spent some dough and got Vista ahead of the official release at the end of January, but I waited. I looked at the software a little more seriously and decided that the best path would not to be to purchase a new PC with Vista, but to purchase a PC with Doze XP and get an upgrade to the Home Premium version of Vista along with my Business edition that I got with my MS software license.

In February, I installed the business edition on its own partition while keep XP on the system. Vista was not bad, but it was far from perfect. It took a lot more effort to use the Office 2007 apps because the ribbon was just is not as intuitive as the menu system that I have used for the last 15 years. Plus, all of my work is in the 2003 version of Office so it is really hard to work on the new version of Office while everything I perform for work is on the older version.

So last weekend, my Home Premium Edition arrived in the mail so I took the time to wipe the business edition off the hard drive and I put the Home version with the Media Center tools to use with my tuner in the media center PC. I also installed both the 2007 version of the Office as well as all of my old 2003 software. Now, I had a system that I could use XP to keep my iPod working and my Vista version to work with part of the time using my usual apps in addition to my migrating to that horrible ribbon interface. (Perhaps the ribbon bar is good for Word, but it does not make any sense in Excel and Access. Perhaps time will change that opinion.)

I have to admit that Vista is more appealing to view with the Aero Glass interface. Although, the eyecandy in Ubuntu Fiesty Fawn does a lot more than the see through look of the windows borders. Now that I have been working with the Vista for a week, the one thing that I have noticed more than anything else is that everything that is not "Glass" is blue and there is no way to change it. I have a hard time believing that Microsoft would release an OS and GUI without the ability to change the colors of the interface, but this time they have succeeded. I know that the Fisher Price interface was limited, but this is ridiculous. Oh well, yet another reason to go with Ubuntu flavor of Linux.

And the most shocking thing that happened to me today was I experienced a "Blue Screen of Death" for the first time in about 4 years. That is right, XP has not blue screened on one of my PC's in the since the the middle of 2002 when I loaded it on a Pentium II running 128 MB of ram. Now I am running Vista and it crashes as much as Windows 95. Talk about steps backwards, this is worse than Windows ME.

Maybe I will be more pleased with Vista in a few more weeks, but the first week has been terrible. It should get better. Yea, it should but I have a feelin' that I will just grow accustomed to the bugs and the fact that I will be running a computer with both XP and Vista. Yep, the more thing change the more they stay the same. Perhaps Vista would have been better had Program Manager made an encore appearance.

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