Your Opinion on Vista?

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SamG
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by SamG »

The aforementioned notebook, which I bought earlier this year, is a T5500 1.67 GHz, Intel graphics, 2 GB RAM, with an Aero subscore of 3.6. Not a hot machine on the video side (gaming graphics subscore is 3.1 :( ), but with the shipped 512 MB RAM, a Vista Home Basic machine.

If I ignore the 3.1 subscore, the Aero subscore becomes the lowest. Processor is 4.7, RAM is 4.5, and hard disk is 4.3. Again, this doesn't demonstrate that Vista is a resource hog, but it does, I think, give people some basis in fact for having that impression.
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by AdamR »

Indeed. I only just achieved a 5.9 rating (the highest) only when running a Quad Core Q6700, 4GB of DDR2 1066, 2x8800GT's in SLi, and 4x500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s. That's the performace Vista is looking for when it gives a 5.9 rating and nothing else will get that rating. For everyday application use, a 3.6 is a very decent "score."

Oh, as you can tell, I built this machine to last me a long time ... at least in computing years.

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ideastone
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by ideastone »

I think vista is a decent operating system, but it's not a big "improvement" in the ways that you would really want. For the average end user, you could use Ubuntu Linux or Mac OS X and have a faster, more enjoyable experience most of the time. That being said, at least it's not as bad security-wise as XP was those first few years. Talk about disaster...
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by SamG »

ideastone wrote:...it's not a big "improvement" in the ways that you would really want.
And this is the heart of the question as far as I'm concerned. It's fair to ask whether or not the total cost of ownership is worth it. There is no right or wrong answer to that question as far as I can see, since it depends: Which version of Vista are we talking about? What are you upgrading from? Etc. But it is a fair question, and sometimes Microsoft defenders seem to think that even if it is a fair question, the answer is obviously "Yes!". That's not clearly the case to me, and apparently to many others. :)
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

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ideastone wrote:I think vista is a decent operating system, but it's not a big "improvement" in the ways that you would really want.
It also depends on which particular area of the OS you want to examine. While the driver model that is put forward with Vista changed a ton of stuff (which resulted in manufactures being a bit "lax" on their drivers), the results of this change won't be seen for years to come, and possibly only in the next version of Windows. If we're talking about the new TCP/IP stack and networking in Vista, it is a massive improvement over XP. If we get into WDDM for GUI improvements, once applicatons are designed to take advantage of its full capabilities, we'll see huge breakthroughs. In terms of security, Vista is also a ridiculously large leap ahead of XP.

In terms of the user experience, it's not that much different unless you consider its media capabilities with Movie Maker, DVD Maker, and Media Center.

It all depends on how you look at it. ;)

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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by symbolicpixel »

Question about Vista's reaction to hardware. Even with a "Vista Capable" decal slapped on a CPU base, does it still put the internal hardware at a risk of being burned out even if running normal?

My answer would indeed be a YES. A few possible signs of hardware failure could range from frequent display of blue screens to crashes to 100% CPU usage. Or is that right?
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

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symbolicpixel wrote:Question about Vista's reaction to hardware. Even with a "Vista Capable" decal slapped on a CPU base, does it still put the internal hardware at a risk of being burned out even if running normal?
As I've said already, an OS will not inherently "burn out" hardware. Vista may, however, cause more "load" on the hardware, which is obviously to be expected. For example, Vista will typically use the HDD while the computer is idle in order to perform defragmentation or index files for search functionality. This by no means defines "burning out" the hardware. Now if said hardware is already old, of low quality, or defective, it naturally follows that it will "die" much faster than if the computer was idling all the time. This doesn't mean Vista is the culprit at all.

Take for example phpBB.com's server. It handles quite a load every day from the amount of traffic it receives. The HDDs never have time off. Does this mean that there's inherently something wrong with the way phpBB.com's server's OS handles access to these files? Certainly not. If a hard drive goes bad it's because the hard drive, oddly enough, went bad. ;) The more miles you put on something, the faster it's going to wear out. However, those miles achieved better functionality in the mean time so it's not wasted. In terms of HDD life, I'd wager we're talking a month or two of time before failure over the course of 7-8 years provided you have a good quality HDD in the first place.

That being said, because of data integrity and the "randomness" with which HDDs go bad (I've seen HDDs last 3-4 hours up to 10-12 years), I typically recommend replacing HDDs anyway every 3-4 years to stay on the safe side. Pulling data off of a mechanically failed HDD isn't exactly fun ... or cheap if you don't have the ability to do it yourself. ;)
My answer would indeed be a YES. A few possible signs of hardware failure could range from frequent display of blue screens to crashes to 100% CPU usage. Or is that right?
If you constantly have 100% CPU usage, it's usually one of two things: 1) An application running in the background that's completely pointless or has "locked up" and been set into an infinite loop, or 2) A driver that keeps crashing and the OS is constantly reloading it.

Back in the days of Windows 95 and 98, Blue Screens actually weren't all that "serious." When dealing with the Windows NT kernel, however, (and especially Windows 2000 and above), a BSOD was a sign of a true system failure. Blue screens are definitely most commonly a sign of hardware issue, most often bad memory or motherboard. Hard drive issues usually cause corrupted system files and the computer fails to boot the next time around (chkdsk + "copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system" for the win) . Occasionally they'll cause BSOD's.

In Vista, rarely does a driver cause a BSOD, unlike in 2000 or XP. With Vista, most drivers (with the exception of a few) run in what's called "userland." They don't have immediate access to the kernel of the OS. This means that if they crash, it doesn't bring down the whole OS in a BSOD. The OS has the opportunity to simply close the driver and reload it.

One thing that's being focused on in Windows 7 is "MinWin" which is a minimalistic version of the Windows kernel. Not only will this make Windows more "lightweight" and significantly faster, from what I've read, Microsoft is aiming for a truly modular design at the base level of the OS which means that unless the kernel itself fails or there's serious hardware failure, the OS can quickly and easily recover from essentially any type of crash without the user even knowing about it.

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Tripp
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by Tripp »

I think you give Microsoft TOO much credit but that's just me. I don't think they're nearly as good as you make them out to be.
The box said 'You need Windows XP or better' .... so I installed linux.

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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by AdamR »

god0fgod wrote:But should it crash in the first place?
Name one piece of software that is immune to crashes. ;)
Drugs wrote:I think you give Microsoft TOO much credit but that's just me. I don't think they're nearly as good as you make them out to be.
I give credit where credit is due. The issue with Microsoft is not the talent, but the management. Take a look at Microsoft Research. The products that have been pumped out of there showcases the talent and potential of Microsoft. They just just need to start listening to the community.

If this were a topic about Apple, I'd be making different comments. OS X and Linux are perfectly fine OS's in their own right, and the talent behind them is also impressive. But this is a topic about Vista. ;)

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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by god0fgod »

AdamR wrote:Take a look at Microsoft Research. The products that have been pumped out of there showcases, the talent and potential of Microsoft.
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The talent and potential of Microsoft is copying, is it? And copying badly?
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Tripp
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by Tripp »

Adam, have you ever called Microsoft for support? And if you have, who did you talk to?

Here's my MS experience...

My parents bought me a legit Windows XP Home Edition in like '03 or so. I reformat a lot, about every 3-5 months. Well, I came to find out that you can only activate XP an 'X' number of times, which is reasonable and understandable. This helps prevent piracy.

Now, it's not reasonable when I have to call MS every time I reformat after I reached my X number of activations. Especially when you're connected to someone in freakin' India whom you can hardly understand. Do you know how hard it is to understand that 40 digit code they give you to activate your Windows? Very hard for me...and to add insult to injury, they told me there was no way they could "reset" my number of activations. So basically, I would have to go through that everytime I would reformat. That's unacceptable to me...I had a legit XP Home Edition but yet I'm supposed to go through that headache everytime I reformat? I don't think so.

Now I use a pirated XP and let me tell you...it doesn't take HALF the time to set it up as it comes already activated. The only thing I have to do is run a tool to make it genuine so I can get updates.

So Microsoft wonders why people pirate their software...hm, I really wonder...because it's a lot easier then dealing with activation and all this other crap despite being a genuine customer.
The box said 'You need Windows XP or better' .... so I installed linux.

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Tripp
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

Post by Tripp »

First off, it's on 90% of computers in the world or close to it, therefore, most software runs on Windows.

Windows isn't a complete waste and it is a decent OS but I think there are numerous improvements they could make.
The box said 'You need Windows XP or better' .... so I installed linux.

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AdamR
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Re: Your Opinion on Vista?

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god0fgod wrote:The talent and potential of Microsoft is copying, is it? And copying badly?
I had a lengthy reply all written to this statement, but I'd rather go down this route as I think it would prove the point I'm trying to get at better: give me a few examples of what Microsoft has copied and I'll provide counter arguments. At no point will I argue that Microsoft hasn't copied. On the other side of the coin, at no point will I say that Microsoft has copied any more/less than any other company. ;)
Drugs wrote:Now, it's not reasonable when I have to call MS every time I reformat after I reached my X number of activations. Especially when you're connected to someone in freakin' India whom you can hardly understand. Do you know how hard it is to understand that 40 digit code they give you to activate your Windows? Very hard for me...and to add insult to injury, they told me there was no way they could "reset" my number of activations. So basically, I would have to go through that everytime I would reformat. That's unacceptable to me...I had a legit XP Home Edition but yet I'm supposed to go through that headache everytime I reformat? I don't think so.
As far as I'm aware, activation is not based off "X" amount of times. I've activated my copy of Windows XP Pro probably 10-12 times by now, and not once have I had to make "the phone call." The reason I did not have to do this is the hardware hadn't changed since my other activation. And to be honest, activation takes 5 minutes of your time for something which, in most scenarios, is going to be installed for years. My question is, rather, why exactly are you reformatting so much?
Drugs wrote:Adam, have you ever called Microsoft for support? And if you have, who did you talk to?
I've only called Microsoft twice for support. The first time had me on the phone over the course of 3 weeks which ultimately resulted in a bug being found in the way the TCP/IP stack worked in Vista and a hotfix released which ultimately made it into Vista SP1. Let's just say I was talking to Tiers in Microsoft I didn't even know existed and we were all completely stumped by the issue. ;) The second was when DRM permissions got corrupted and every attempt on my part to reset and/or repair these files failed.

The key to dealing with Microsoft's support is being bold: If you can't understand someone, say so and request to be transferred to someone who you can understand. Secondly, demand right off the bat to speak to a Tier 2 support representative.

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