Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I haven’t really been using my computer much this week. I’ve been smokin’ busy at work, so by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is spend MORE time in front of the screen. Everything is on track now for a business trip tomorrow, so starting this weekend when I get back everything should slow down again… until Monday. :)

The last post I made about Windows 7 I mentioned that the fan was acting weird. I went to Dell’s support site and there was a new BIOS version for my specific laptop. I installed that and the fan began behaving as expected, so thank you Dell. I’ve still got i8kfangui running, but just in informational mode only so I can see the CPU temperature.

feedback Every window has a “Send Feedback” link up next to the minimize, restore/maximize and close buttons. I read today that there’s a registry hack you can make to turn it off if it really bugs you. I don’t know why you’d find it annoying though, it’s a BETA TEST of an operating system. It’s provided free of charge in exchange for reporting metrics, crashes and other things… LIKE FEEDBACK. It’s actually pretty cool. There’s a dropdown that you can select what category you’re reporting on, and then some stars to give you a choice of how well it worked (or didn’t) and then comments.

feedback_dropdownThe dropdown list itself is pretty encompassing, too. Everything from Accessibility features, printing, faxing, security settings even Tablet PC functions. Finally at the bottom there’s an “other” category.

So far I’ve sent between 12 and 15 feedback “emails” to the team. Some of them have just been “This works exactly as advertised and as expected”, a couple suggestions and a few negative ones, too. I sent one when I crashed IE the first time the other night, too. Being a beta, you’re not supposed to use this as your “main machine” and in fact, part of the terms of use specify that you won’t use it ‘in a production environment’. I WILL be implementing it in a production environment in a couple months at work. I’m planning a pilot project for myself and my co-administrator, as well as a couple people who are tech-savvy to run Windows 7 with all our line-of-business applications to iron out any kinks that come up over the next year before we start migrating to it (skipping over Vista) in early 2010 when it’s released.

I wrote on the 2009 advancement plan at work that if I tried to upgrade people to Vista that we’d have a mutiny on our hands. I’ve been running Vista on my laptop since last December when I got it, and forcing myself to use it on my desktop at my last job for almost a year previous so I could get to know it before I had to start fielding calls about it. While Vista came out of the gates flaccid with few compatibilities with existing hardware and software, it was something that needed to be done. If Vista hadn’t come out when it did and been a dog, then there wouldn’t have been new drivers and new versions until Windows 7 came out. Then *IT* would have been the dog that nobody wanted. Vista was the pain of living with no floors in your home while contractors reinforced and rebuilt your foundation and drainage. It sucks, and it’s hard, and it tries your patience, but in the end, what you built on top of it was all the better for it.

While I could have rolled out Vista Business with Aero Glass turned off and the “classic” skin/theme selected to make it look like Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 7 takes that option away. I might have been able to slip it past a few people if it LOOKED like the old Windows :)

What everyone seems to forget is that in 2001, XP was hated just as much as Vista is, with people decrying the “Fisher Price toy” interface and the new double-wide start menu but as people actually used it and adapted to it and started to reap the benefits of the new system, they liked it and ultimately loved it (evidenced by extension after extension for the availability of Windows XP for OEM systembuilders).

The difference between 2001’s hate-in for XP and 2007’s hate-in for Vista is a 24-hour news cycle and a lot more people  out there trying to justify their employment filling column-inches. Vista’s missteps were a convenient mule to whip.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 9:34:50 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Tech | Microsoft | Windows#
Sunday, January 18, 2009 1:57:38 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I don't quite understand your argument. On one hand you say that people would mutiny against a Vista roll out and how hard it is to work with and around. But, then you finish up by saying that Vista's issue is just bad press?

No, Vista's issue is that it sucks! It still takes a full four seconds to delete a 0 byte text file on my Vista infested laptop. The same operation on the same hardware running XP or Linux takes the few milliseconds that it should. That's only one instance but, it's a significant issue for such a common task.

But, more telling to Vista's issues is that we are now fully one year on since the public release of Vista and it still takes that long to delete an empty file. The issue should have been fixed long ago but, they haven't fixed it. Why? Because they can't. The slowness that I describe is a result of their DRM infestation and they can't improve the performance without gutting the DRM which they are still unwilling to do.

The perception that Vista sucks is earned and deserved! That people may become accepting of it after extended use does not change the fact that it sucks.
Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:03:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
OK, you got me there. Four seconds to delete a file is a pain in the ass, and I agree that DRM is the real enemy. Aside from a few warts, however, Vista isn't AS bad as it's been made out to be. For starters, the start menu search I think is fantastic and wish it was in XP. ditto the search box in the upper-right corner of every Explorer window that's context-sensitive. On the other hand, it takes 4 seconds to delete a file that should be instantaneous. There's no way to blame that on the UI/eye candy either because it's almost the same in XP and it's hella faster.
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