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My Attempt at a Review of Vista

post #1 of 5
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Everybody's heard of the new Windows Vista operating system. Some have tried it and liked it, some have tried it and didn't like it, and some haven't tried it and bashed it (I dislike you people the most). I just want to tell you the experience I had with it. I mean, Vista's great, but impact-wise on the community, it's not Core 2 Duo great. Get it? Let's move on.

Hour 0 - Windows Vista also uses full colors for the installation! What does that mean? Pretty much nothing. I guess it helps with the overall presentation. I could also use my mouse during the installation. How about that! Years of progress and we can finally use our mouse during this intense and complicated process (remember, XP installs only accepts keyboard commands). The installation was just overall more friendly.

Hours 1-2 - The time it takes to get you to the desktop is about an hour after it starts installing. There was a lot of loading bars, so if you have a fetish for such a thing, you'll love it! I downloaded all the important and recommended updates, including any Ultimate Extras. Shutdown takes forever. I don't know why, but it does. When you're also restarting because of Windows updates, it adds an extra few minutes just to configure the things.

Now, let me divulge you on the software I had to install to get my system working in a proper fashion:

1. The first thing I noticed off the bat was that it wasn't set to use Aero from the start. This is because Windows Vista considers my video card to be so ahead of its time that it doesn't know the drivers it needs. So, I go to NVIDIA to download the drivers. I installed it, restarted, then I was finally able to get 1680x1050 resolution an whatnot. Now, as for the drivers, either I installed it improperly (although I don't see how), or these were the most horrible drivers NVIDIA has ever pushed out. nvlddmkm.dll decides to crash at any given opportunity when you use the latest drivers. Luckily, Vista can recover from such an incident, so that's a plus. Ironically, I use tweaked Vista drivers over at http://www.tweaksrus.com and the problem went away.

2. I had to download Vista-compatible drivers for my X-Fi sound card also. I installed that, along with the control panel it came with my X-Fi CD. They work in conjunction just fine in Vista. At one point it will screw up, but it will work fine if you don't mess with the wrong settings.

3. I installed Firefox. And then it worked perfectly. How about that?

Hours 4-5 - So what's new in Windows Vista, you say? Let me just say a few things about the new things that show up on the Start menu:

Windows Calendar - They took the calendar function from Outlook and made it a standalone version. It does everything to organize your life except tell time.
Windows Contacts - Your little black book in paperless form.
Windows DVD Maker - Want your photos and videos into a DVD? This does just that.
Windows Fax & Scan - Fax things without a fax! Scan things to a computer with a scanner!
Windows Mail - Outlook Express. Not much else different except the name makes it more obvious that it involves e-mails of some sort.
Windows Meeting Place - This is NetMeeting. It's like a chatroom, but you can SHARE FILES! WITH UP TO TEN PEOPLE! WOAH!
Windows Update - This is here so you don't have to go to their website to download updates. In fact, you can't.
Connect Your Desktop to a Network Projector - Now this is the wave of the future! This finds available network-based projectors in the network and connects to it.
Snipping Tool - It's basically Print Screen but you can be selective with it, such as a certain window or just a certain area.
Sound Recorder - You press a button and it records things.
Sync Center - This will automatically compare files between a device (i.e. flash drive) and your computer and will overwrite files as necessary between the two.
Windows Sidebar - This is some column on the side that shows gadgets.

But that's just software, just little programs offering a little more convenience in your life. The real features, however:

Aero - Why, this is the brand-spanking new UI that is supposedly worth over a $159 price tag. At least, that's how much you'll have to pay for a version that contains this! The Aero "glass effect" is basically making the window bars transparent and making things behind it blurry. Your programs will also be 'sucked' into its taskbar location upon minimizing. As for taskbar thumbnails and the Flip 3D effect, those have been cloned into XP at one point so it's not a great selling point for Vista. However, although those are all the effects, the outcome of it all is very pleasing.

BitLocker - 99% of consumers will never use this. Basically, BitLocker claims to have some sort of unparalleled security because upon having two partitions, the partition where Windows is installed will basically have this condom where once it's protected by BitLocker, if your laptop or computer is stolen, you'll be making it doubly hard for the hacker to take any information off that partition. But like I said, I think only about 1% will ever really use this. Maybe if you're a member of Congress and you hide dirty pron in your laptop, then I guess BitLocker would come in handy.

Shadow Copy - Shadow copy is a feature where Vista save certain files as part of a restore point. You can retrieve them from a previous point in time before of any recent changes.

DreamScene - Subtle video as your wallpaper? This is an awesome idea, but it's only cool for five minutes. This has also been ported to XP.

Instant Search - This has been done and ported to XP by Microsoft themselves.

Hours 6-7 - There are some other things about Vista that it doesn't list as big features but are still useful. Unlike other versions of Windows, you can now shrink existing partitions under "Disk Management." This is extremely convenient when, for example, you do want to use BitLocker, but since it uses two partitions, you may be out of luck when you've already used your entire HD space for your single partition.

The Vista sound panel is able to turn off sound from individual programs, not just your sound as a whole.

(I decided not to do gaming benchmarks because it's already proven that it doesn't do that well in DX9 games)

---

Didn't read all that? I figured as much. This is pretty much all I said (or didn't say, actually):

Pros
1. Installation is easy and simple
2. Definite security upgrade
3. Additional subtle refinements to the operating system
4. Improved Windows "tools" and new programs
5. Aero provides that "polished" computer usage experience
6. I personally think DreamScene kicks ass and I think you will too

Cons
1. Slow to fully shutdown and restart
2. Vista selling points are mostly gimmicks or otherwise contains software or features that are readily available without having to have Vista
3. Gaming performance is subpar with current games (This is not Vista's fault, but this is currently a con if you are considering to use Vista)
4. Driver issues (Again, not Vista's fault)
5. User Account Control is absolutely bothersome

Vista, overall, is not a bad operating system. However, it does require the rest of the industry to migrate to Vista in order for it to perform at its best.

With that said, Windows Vista, right now, is a joke. At least, the way Microsoft presents the product is a joke. I mean, just look at the selling points of the different versions of Vista: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pro...ns/choose.mspx

Windows Defender? Windows Firewall? That's free! And so is Desktop Search and IE7! Therefore, why would anyone think to upgrade to the Home Basic when it has virutally no real improvements? At least with Windows XP Pro, it was ADVERTISED to offer faster performance than its predecessors. It fact, it was advertised that it is 34% faster to start up compared to Windows 2000. Nowhere in the Vista features page does it say it makes anything faster (which is funny to me).

But hey, that's my two cents. I installed Vista because I was tired of my friends making fun of Vista when they themselves have not tried it. Then they ask the age-old question, "Why are you running Vista?"

Because I ****ing want to.
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post #2 of 5
Mine Vista loads really quickly and shuts down even faster. It only took me about 23 minutes to install Vista. I agree UAC is a real pain, but it is a good idea. I haven't really had too many driver issues with Vista x64.
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post #3 of 5
What about windows media centre, it comes free (with premium and ultimate) and i personally think it is awesome.

Nice review, but whta is this dreamscene you talk about? Can i use it on Premium
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by IcedEarth View Post
What about windows media centre, it comes free (with premium and ultimate) and i personally think it is awesome.

Nice review, but whta is this dreamscene you talk about? Can i use it on Premium
Dream Scene is a Vista Ultimate extra. It is a moving backround. You can put any movie you want it there. They have a couple ones that are soft on the eyes, like bees on some flours, a small waterfall, rain falling on a sidewalk, ect.

Pretty cool (for about 5 minutes)
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post #5 of 5
Ahhhh right, sounds pretty cool but it is nothing i would pay attention to none the less it is a cool feature to have.

Thanks for the explanation.
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