Tag Archive for vista

Where Are the Vista Apologists?


Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

I’ve become more and more impressed with the MacBook I’ve been evaluating. Between reader comments and the things an Apple rep has showed me, I’m starting to really see the appeal of OS X.

The much-touted ease of use is really there. With no more instruction than “click here and here,” my son has fallen in love with PhotoBooth. The picture above is one of many he took while playing around, and he often asks me if he can play with the MacBook. I’m looking forward to showing him the Comic Life demo I downloaded.

I’ll be talking more about my MacBook experiences in the future, but for now I have to wonder, where are the Vista apologists?

I write a single post about my Mac experiences, and I’m swamped with comments and traffic spikes. There was no zealotry, just helpful advice and encouraging words. Meanwhile I’ve slagged Windows, especially Vista, several times, and there’s hardly a peep from my readership.

I’m on an email list for Illinois technology educators that has hundreds of members, and there’s a lot of talk about Vista headaches ranging from poor printer and hardware support to it being a massive resource hog. There are a few people who claim to like it, but they’re more interested in some of the administrative or security tools than anything a user might get excited about. Or, if they do like Vista in general, they have either turned off several features or they just accept the system’s quirks.

I read a column recently (I wish I could find it) that made a great point: Mac users love their systems. Windows users, meanwhile, just grit their teeth and reboot. This is why guys like John Roling, a former Windows power user, suddenly become Mac enthusiasts. This is why guys like me start exploring other options like Linux, and are willing to at least entertain the notion of purchasing a Mac.

This is why Dell and IBM are forced to offer XP as an option on their systems, and Vista was only installed on 39% of all PCs sold last year. This is why Best Buy is doubling the number of stores stocking Mac products this month.

The only thing the Windows, Mac and Linux camps can agree on is DRM and proprietary multimedia formats suck.

In the meantime, I ask again, where are the Vista apologists? If you’re out there, speak up!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Vista Crawls

I didn’t intend this to be tech day on the blog, but now I’ve found this CNet article talking about how Windows XP is a lot faster than Windows Vista. My first reaction was “tell me something I don’t know.”

While I’m not a big fan of Windows XP, I do admit it’s the best system Microsoft has put out. Vista just doesn’t impress me at all, because in my eyes if you’ve got a current machine, whatever software you put on it should hum. On a brand new ThinkPad I purchased, Vista was very pokey, even with the eye candy turned off.

In the article, one of their VP’s says:

“Frankly, the world wasn’t 100 percent ready for Windows Vista.”

Ah, yes. When Linux has headaches, it’s not ready for the desktop. When Vista has delays, canceled features, etc., it’s the rest of the world that’s not ready. Nice.

When co-workers and parents come to me asking to buy a computer, about half of them are asking me where they can buy a machine with XP on it. They’re not asking me what I think of Vista, or if they should upgrade, they’ve already heard that it’s no good, or that they should wait until Service Pack 1 comes out. Two parents have asked me if they felt their kids could still get college work done on a Mac (and I said “Of course!”, of course).

There’s a few people who tell me how great Vista’s new features are, but how many of those apply to Joe End User? Very few. There’s some great stuff in there for network admins and for securing Vista in a large network, but not a lot that the kid down the street surfing the Internet and typing up essays is going to take advantage of. I really hope Microsoft is getting the message on this one, and that the next operating system they claim they’re working on solves a lot of these problems.

Until then, people are going to be paying more and more attention to the Apple Switch ads and the similar Linux ads. (I find it all the more interesting these Switch spoof ads are run by Novell, who partnered with Microsoft for greater Linux interoperability.)

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Let Me Count the Ways

I’m not a fan of Windows Vista at all. The chief reason is because it’s a resource hog: even on a brand new machine with a fast processor and a gig of RAM, it just kind of pokes along, even without enabling the fancy Aero graphics. And that’s before running an app on it. User Account Control is such a nuisance that most people turn it off, thus voiding all of its protections in the first place.

I’m apparently not the only one, as Vista sales are in decline. More and more people I talk to are considering their first Mac, as am I. Our superintendent was impressed with Garage Band and other tools on the Mac, so I’ll probably have a Mac to play with by Spring and our school will quite possibly have some Macs next year. Dell has to offer XP and Linux machines or face losing sales to Apple. I’ve even sent people to Tiger’s refurbished machines so they can stick with XP at (what is for them) an affordable price.

Now there are two more reasons to hate Windows:

First, they pushed out a new version of Desktop Search that’s bringing machines to their knees. At least half the machines in my district are out of date and have the bare minimum to run Windows, much less Office and all the online stuff the students throw at them. I don’t care what their excuses are, my update servers are set to only install critical updates and security patches on my network without my having to say so, and IMHO this qualifies as neither. Plus, nobody was running Desktop Search, and suddenly it’s on everybody’s taskbar. The number of trouble calls I’ve gotten from people asking “what is this stupid thing?” is bad enough, and the fact that it slows their machine to a crawl is even worse. Inexcusable.

Second, and more important, is there’s a new botnet out there called the Storm Worm that essentially fools your antivirus into thinking there are no viruses on the system. I was wondering if this would be a cross platform problem, but no, it’s not (at least not yet). It essentially infects Windows’ “brain” and delivers its own messages, so you think your antivirus program tells you everything is a-okay. Meanwhile, the botnet has its way with your system. No system is completely secure, but to be subject to such a major security flaw is likewise inexcusable.

I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with our lab upgrade at work next summer. I’ll probably be stuck with Vista, and to be frank, that scares the hell out of me.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.