Saturday, June 28, 2008

What's So Terrible About Vista?

I've been using Window's Vista since December 2007. That's when I was compelled to buy a new laptop. I seriously considered buying a business class laptop with XP; however, I found such a good deal on an HP laptop that came bundled with a digital camera and printer that I bought it. Alas, that laptop came loaded with Vista. I could always retro-upgrade to XP, couldn't I?

There were a few hiccups at first. It took me awhile to get the hang of connecting it to wireless networks. As I recall, I had to download a patch to run Office 2003 and at first it wouldn't see the server on my office LAN although it would print and connect to the Internet. The biggest annoyance was a tendency to "hang up" when I shut it down while it was connected to my office network. I'd have to press the power button to shut it down. SP1 seems to have cured that. It still isn't perfectly networked, but that is due to my own ignorance of networking and the fact that I haven't called in help. I haven't had any problems in months though.

The specific version of Vista I'm using is Home Ultimate. The laptop's CPU is an AMD Turion running at 1.9 GHz and the laptop is equipped with 2 GB of RAM. It is equipped with an Nvidia MCP67M integrated graphics card. So we're not talking a high end super laptop here. Yet Vista seems to run fine. I can have multiple programs running and windows open without any problem. I can't remember ever getting a blue screen of death and if one program stops running it doesn't take all the others with it. It seems very stable. Restarts are rare. The user account control (UAC) pops up occasionally, but not inappropriately. That is, it appears when you ought to think about what you're doing and should make sure it is the right thing to do. Clicking the allow button is no big deal.

I usually find that people who are eager to tell me how "horrible" Vista is have never used it. One friend, who ought to be computer savvy, told me that he used it for a short time but "couldn't get anything to work with it" and "you can't use Office 2003 with it." He seemed shocked when I told him that I use Office 2003. I had to wonder if he even tried. I use a legal industry specific program (Amicus Attorney) from 2001 without any problem as well as other relatively obscure legal industry programs.

Ironically, as I was typing this one of those Mac/PC switcher ads came on. I watch them because I think they're funny not because they're true. In this one, a Vista PC therapy group is meeting and one of the PCs says, "We have to come to grips with the fact our operating system isn't working like it should." Hah, hah. I'm no expert but for me Vista seems to be working exactly like it should. What's so terrible about Vista?

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