Vista smash!

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | Published in

I've been provided with a free copy of Vista Business edition by the university which I've been playing with. Seems ok, if a bit slow, but as far as I can tell so far it really isn't much of an improvement on XP - it looks a bit shinier, and has a few nice toys like flip3d, but its general buggy bitchiness kind of outweighs this at the moment. It's exactly the same as when XP came out - far too many irritating little glitches that just shouldn't be there if the product has been properly tested before release.
The main irritation I suffered was in persuading it to connect to a network just after installing it. It could see my network card, had the proper drivers, but would it hell let me connect to my home network... After much arsing around and swearing it seemed to just start working. Typical Windows.
The other major irritation is the lack of decent drivers from companies like Nvidia and Creative - both have released crap, bare-bones drivers with large chunks of features not working. For example, with my Soundblaster Audigy SE the official Creative drivers give me sound, but only stereo. No 5.1. And there also seems to be nothing in the way of a Creative speaker settings app. To get surround sound from media players I've had to use the XP drivers and settings apps. These work on the media players and some of my games, but I still only get stereo on most games. Yes, I know its a cheap card, and I know that they've sorted this out with the expensive cards (hmm...), but it worked fine under XP and really should work with Vista. Otherwise that could be considered as a downgrade, couldn't it?
Anyhow, I'm sure that like XP, Vista will improve with time, but really, given how long it spent in development it should work. What have they been doing all this time? They still haven't managed to make it as pleasant to use as Linux. The installer is nearly there when compared to installers for distros like Ubuntu or Suse, but still takes too long; the desktop and the gui still aren't as nice to use as KDE, which just seems to keep getting better all the time; and the amount of processor power and ram required just to run the OS is obscene.

Never mind. Maybe they'll get it right next time.

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