Giving Vista (Another) Try

So.  I went to a Microsoft Developer Conference this past week and decided to give Vista (another) try.  I've been using it for several days now and have some preliminary thoughts:

  • Great for email.
  • Great for surfing.
  • Not too shabby for coding.
  • Sucks for gaming.

The biggest gripe that I have is gaming.  Because the Aero interface is using GPU resourcing to draw all the pretty glass, it's sapping those resources that could otherwise give games another 10fps.  Even when the Aero interface is turned off in favor of Windows Classic, I still don't get the frames per second that I get in my Windows XP installation.

It is pretty, don't get me wrong.  Having the windows zoom, fade in/out, etc. is a joyful experience, but if I can't play the games that I like at a descent frame rate, then I'm not sure it's worth keeping.

Everyone rants about the Accept/Cancel tedium that one has to endure in order to do a lot of things, but I myself actually like it.  It keeps me aware of things that I'm trying to do.  I just wish the experience of it popping up wasn't so jarring.  It'd be cool if it faded in, rather than with a flash, it makes the screen go dark and there's a Cancel/Allow popup on the screen.

Another thing I don't like is the removal of the 'up directory' button in Windows Explorer.  I use this quite a bit in navigation, but the not-so-intuitive UI improvement I accidentally found, is that I can click on the directory names in the tree to accomplish the same thing, albeit in a much quicker way.

Vista Navigation Bar

I installed the Ultimate version of Vista, but one of the biggest things that I can't understand is it's 10GB installation footprint.  It really bothers me that the base installation is bloated.  I really wish that I could turn off and uninstall a lot of features that I know that I won't use on my workstation.  For example, let's get rid of Media Center.  I don't have a tuner card installed, so I won't watch TV.  I don't watch DVDs on my computer, that's what my entertainment center is for.  I don't need x.  Don't need y.  Why won't you let me remove them?!  I want to be able to have just in case I want to use them, but please! I want to have a little bit greater control than you're giving me!

So will I keep using it?  Well, I didn't enter my license key, so I have at least 30 days to decide that yet.  From what I read on the Internet, I can keep rearming the counter a couple of times, so I think I'll give myself at least that much time to settle in.  Funny thing is, I did the same thing when I was still debating to make the leap from Windows 98 to XP...

Stay tuned.

Posted on Mar 8
Written by Wayne Hartman