Vista Revisited

December 14, 2007

EDIT: As far as I have found, there is no way to use FairUse4WM with Vista successfully. I may be dumb and not be doing it correctly, but what I read leads me to believe this. There are supposedly other programs and ways to use Ruckus on Vista the same way as you would on XP, I haven’t tried them.

Yesterday I was pleased to learn that I was granted MSDN access at OS level. Basically, I am allowed to download Microsoft products for free up to and including select versions of Windows. As a result, I have Vista Business Edition running on my main computer now.

I guess the first reaction is to say “Ooh, pretty!.” The interface is, at top level, leaps and bounds nicer than XP. Installation was ridiculously pain free; the only input required by me was the key to prove it was valid and then a username and password at the end of installation. During installation Vista gathered up info on my machine and actually installed proper drivers for everything. Ubuntu and XP, try as they may, always fail to get my video card drivers right, so score one for Vista there.

Only driver that wasn’t installed off the bat was my D-Link WDA 2320 wireless adapter. I used the old drivers off of the CD that came with the adapter to get that “working.” Almost as soon as I got done with the installer, the D-Link drivers crashed head-on with Vista. It was pretty bad. The entire system seemed to slow down because of this conflict, and it took me a few minutes of looking around Vista’s new menus to figure out what to do. Basically I just disabled the D-Link applications from starting up using msconfig and things got happy again. I was able to download the Vista-specific drivers from D-Link’s site and since then I haven’t run in to any problems at all with Vista.

Things I like about Vista:

  • More than anything Windows Key+Tab scrolling through programs is convenient. Like Compiz/Beryl but a bit more limited
  • The sidebar and gadgets are handy. I no longer have to compulsively check weather.com, I have a gadget to tell me that kinda stuff. Gadgets may be stolen Widgets, but that idea was stolen from Konfabulator anyway so it all works out
  • [My] Computer shows a visual representation of free space on each partition of each drive. A perpetual reminder that I need to buy a new 750gig hard drive
  • DVD playback is available out of the box. When XP was released, we were all using VHS apparently 😉
  • WMP11 is nice. Nicer than iTunes for sure. Unfortunately, I have to do some configuration to get Ruckus and FairUse4WM working together
  • All my stuff runs on Vista fine as far as tested
  • Sound control is better
  • Vista isn’t nagging me to install the crappy Nvidia IDE drivers that were giving me so many problems before; XP wouldn’t start up without asking about them after I uninstalled them.
  • The theming of Aero is just so pretty. I like the frosted transparency. I truly do. The animations don’t bug me at all either.

Things I’m not totally thrilled about

  • Driver conflicts are initially harder to identify. Not only that, but the computer seemed to slow to a grind when I had one. Perhaps it is just limited to the conflict I had, but it still wasn’t cool. Easy to fix though.
  • User Account Control. It’s good to some extent, and Microsoft HAD to put that in there so people couldn’t whine about “Waaah, something got a hold of my computer and ran malicious crap without me telling it to!” but it does get annoying after about 3 minutes of use. Turning it off is tantamount to destroying The One Ring (and then I Googled it. If Sam and Frodo had Google, their journey would have taken so much less time!)
  • Edition. I am only using Vista Business, since it is what was on MSDN for me. But that is definitely good enough for me. I wonder what differences there are, and then I think: Wikipedia…

Additionally, there were some complications with activation. I kept getting a message about how the license store wasn’t valid. Turned out, as I found on other forums, that it was because I had my RAM either in the wrong configuration or that I have a bad stick of RAM. Took out one stick temporarily and activation went smoothly. Put the stick in in a different DIMM and everything works fine still. MemTest86+ shows no RAM errors at all, so I am banking on the configuration venture.

It’s 10am, I just turned in my Structures final, and I have class starting…now. Running on 3 hours sleep and a lot of stay-awake food and drink.

See you, space cowboy.

Advertisements

iPhone BEGONE!

July 2, 2007

Alright tech bloggers, it’s time to move on to headlines other than “iPhone this” and “iPhone that.”

I’m looking at you, Gizmodo…

It’s a cool looking product, but my RAZR does everything it can do, and my RAZR was also about $450 less.

-Browse internet? Yup
-Check email? Yup
-View Google maps? Yup
-Play music? Yup
-Take pictures? Yup
-Take video? Yup?
-Make phone calls? Yup
-SMS? Yup
-IM? Yup
-Function as voice recorder?
-Function as a calendar? Yup
-Remind me of important events? Yup
-Cost me my firstborn? Nope
-Play video? Nope
-Has fancy glass screen that breaks from a fall of two feet? Nope
-Touchscreen controls? Nope

Blogged with Flock

James Kim, a million Tech TV fans mourn your loss.

Hmmm….

September 10, 2006

Windows XP: start > run > “ipv6 install”

*cough*

technorati tags:

Vista and Flock

June 28, 2006

Today was a bad day for me technologically. What went wrong:

  • Wireless router went wacko, causing me to disconnect every 5 minutes
  • Installed RMA’d DVD writer, which apparently caused my XP install to need to be activated again
  • Wouldn’t you know it, I can’t activate with my 100% legit key anymore, because I have used it to reinstall more than 5 times
  • None of the cracks worked
  • Haha, it’s all a funny joke right? My RMA’d DVD writed doesn’t work. Or does it?
  • First install of Vista failed miserably

What went right:

  • Second install of Vista went well
  • Got my DVD writer working. The DVD I was testing was just poorly burned (should still be able to read it though…)
  • Router calmed down without me touching it

So, how is Vista? Meh. That’s the only term I can come up with right now. I love the visual themes, and there are some neat gadgets (widgets to Mac users, and Mac didn’t come up with them, so don’t start that crap). However, the install was about 45 minutes, which is ridiculous to me. I can get XP up in 30, and Kubuntu up in 20.

I do like the fact that the install process is a lot more hands off. Of course, this is only the beta. And there is more security built in to the OS by default. There are confirmations for almost everything (which can get annoying at times) and bundled with Vista is Defender and Windows Firewall.

What I don’t really like is the fact that about half of my devices were not supported by default. Once I got stuff set up, everything worked, so I’ll chalk this up to betaness.

Navigation has been redesigned. The start menu is a bit different, and it works to some extent. Personally, it will take me some time to get used to it.

One thing that really suprised me is the fact that the test DVD that didnt work earlier works perfectly with Vista. It definitely has better DVD drive support.

As an operating system, I’d give Vista a 7/10 (compared to Kubuntu’s 9/10 and XPs 7.5/10). As a beta, I can only hope that it gets better. There are some performance problems that need to be addressed.

technorati tags:

Blogged with Flock

Jogging is a Funny Word

June 12, 2006

How am I trolling? It’s just easier to call me names than give me advice, so typical.I’m more talking out of frustration than anything. I was excited to use something other than Windows, so I’ve tried several flavors and still cannot easily play MP3’s and AVI’s. Also, how do I easily playback songs from a Windows share? I drag the files from Nautilus into XMMS and it doesn’t even show the length of the song, I have to drag it onto the desktop and then into the playlist (what a pain). If the Linux community wants to make a person change his mind about using an OS then these little things need to be SUPER EASY for the average computer user. IMO, they have a long ways to go to make such common tasks easier to perform./frustrated user

Neowin.net – Ubuntu Linux 6.06 Released

I’m
glad Linux is still somewhat idiot-proof. If they can’t think to look
up the procedure for a simple apt-get for a package that would solve
their problems, they should stick to OSX/Windows for the time being. And wouldn’t ya know it…

Linux All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, 2nd Edition

I have this, because I am not the greatest at using Linux. But at least I know that I am not a pro, and actually seek help instead of whine about “I can’t get this feature to work by doing nothing…” For goodness sakes, take up some initiative to learn before you whine.

/techrant

So I’m starting a new workout routine: actually workout. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Basic plan:

  • Jog 10-20 minutes
  • 20 minutes on the rowing machine that’s older than me
  • Pushups. Bunches of em
  • Crunches. Bunches of em
  • Use freeweights for punching practice (sounds painful, but I really think Bruce Lee proves the usefullness of this exercise)
  • Run 7-15 minutes

And that’s it. Simple, and it should help me a bit. And it should be repeatable daily, instead of my older bi-daily routine.

“Jogging. I believe it’s jogging or yogging. it might be a soft j. I’m
not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time.
It’s supposed to be wild.”

Blogged with Flock

Que?

May 24, 2006

So, Avast was foiling some photo funtionality in Flock. Time to find me a new antivirus/firewall. Maybe one with a smaller resource requirement.

 Wordpress got new themes. I like this one.

It’s late. Sleep now or never.