Lately, I had some trouble installing a new Nvidia display driver:
During installation of this driver Vista told me that “Age of Empires II Update 2″ was not compatible with Vista… Er…? OK…..? The Nvidia installer ended without actually installing the driver and Vista then asked if it should try installing the program with recommended settings? Well, go ahead I thought… Now the Nvidia installer was sure it wasn’t running on Vista and quit. I rebooted and tried my luck again – no success. Still the installer quit because it could “run on Vista only” – though I was quite sure I was running Vista at this time! I guess the “recommended” settings emulate some kind of Windows XP environment – but I couldn’t turn this off again for this Nvidia installer. Well, I’m sure there would have been a solution to this but I wasn’t in the mood searching for it.
Vista and current hardware should be no problem. But what about some more ancient piece of hardware? OK, step by step…
Before installing Vista I upgraded my motherboard’s BIOS to the latest version (which by the time of writing was “F5″ for my Gigabyte “GA-M55S-S3″). I think that wouldn’t have been absolutely necessary but I also hoped getting rid of my Linux “noapic-problem” – which I sadly didn’t… As already mentioned, installation of Vista was peace of cake and video, sound and ethernet worked right away. As I like to play “World of Warcraft” I did install the original vendors drivers for video, sound and chipset for better performance. No problems so far. Same goes for my Terratec Cinergy DVB-T USB stick and my HP Photosmart printer.
Today only two screenshots made with Vista’s “Snipping Tool” (by the way, very cool)…
This is the new Windows Control Panel with all new icons and the new “Windows Update”:
Just to give you some impressions.
Again, to be continued…
I finally did it… I told you, the voices in my head… I couldn’t resist any longer… Yeah, I’m weak… Argh, what the heck, so I ordered “Windows Vista Home Premium” at Amazon and installed it. In the following I’d like to share my first steps in this shiny new “World of Vista”.
First a little more detailed view on my hardware:
- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200 (Dual Core)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-M55S-S3 (nForce5)
- Videocard: Gainward Bliss 7600GT 256MB
- RAM: 2GB
- Display: Samsung SynMaster 205BW (@1680×1050)
- Scanner: Agfa SnapScan 1212U
- Printer: HP Photosmart D6160
- MP3 Player: Creative Zen Xtra MP3 Player
- Digicam: Canon Powershot S40
- Webcam: Logitech Quickcam Express Plus
- TV: Terratec Cinergy Hybrid T USB XS
Some of it works great with Vista, some doesn’t. I’ll come to that later.
Installation of Vista went really smooth and Microsoft finally managed it to make it as easy as most modern Linux distros. No ancient Windows NT blue/white installer anymore. With Vista you’ll boot into a GUI right away. Answer a few simple questions like entering registration code or partition to use etc. Only one reboot and two or three more simple questions like i.e. user name and you’re set. The whole installation process took about 30 minutes and Vista was running. So far so good. I can say that I’m quit familiar with any Windows version prior to Vista, but I have to work my way through this new version. It’s quite different and reminds somehow at OSX. I guess you could compare moving from Windows XP to Vista is like moving from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows XP. Especially the directory structure differs a lot from WinXP.
A big grin rushed over my face when I saw BadVista.org. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Windows, in fact I like it and use it myself. Windows made it possible for thousands of people to use a computer, including me. Well, not because it’s easy to use, safe or secure (or cheap) but just because of the fact that it’s pre-installed on almost every new computer and it’s the first thing the majority of computer users are seeing when booting a computer for the first time. But: Windows is not “easier” to use than any other (Desktop-)OS. But as it’s the first OS most users get to know, they might think that the way Windows makes things work is THE way. If you’re not interested any further you’d stay with what you know.
For every day work you won’t need Windows and in fact, there are only very few apps (mostly games, like Civilization IV or, very important: World of Warcraft!) that make me keep Windows. So, if you’re a gamer there’s no alternative. But for “every-day-work” I don’t need Windows and don’t use it. And I think most users would not need Windows. Having that said, I have to admit that I probably will update to Vista… someday… Not because it’ll be necessary but just because those voices in my head keep telling me to update everything… It’s a curse but I’ll have to live with it…
OK, now back to “BadVista”. I think it’s a good thing to hear the “other side” not contaminated with MS thinking. There are a few very scary things about Vista, including the fact that USA’s NSA helped to make it “more secure” (at least that way you know who’s listening) and the integration of DRM (Digital Rights Management). As I like to stay boss of my computer I can’t accept the fact that Vista’s DRM might like to “know” what’s better for it. Windows, being closed source, can’t do much to make those bad feelings about it go away.
Keeping in mind that – as well as Microsoft – BadVista.org might not be 100% objective, I’d recommend reading some of the blogs. It’s worth it and maybe you think twice before installing Vista and consider an alternate OS!