I finally got Vista.
By "finally" I mean "idiotically".
Why oh why did I do it so early? It came out less than 3 months ago, and it's still several months away from a service pack. And everyone knows not to buy a Microsoft OS until the first service pack…
I was commendably slow to adopt XP, 98, 95, and 3.1. Actually, I didn't start using Windows 3.1 until 1996, when Windows 95 was already out. Yep, that was very commendable of me!
So why did I get Vista now? Why oh why oh why? Let me enumerate my not-so-commendable excuses:
- My work PC had become unstable, with increasingly frequent crashes. I needed a new PC. And my favorite tech gurus were recommending Vista over XP for a new PC. So I listened to them.
- I wanted to save money. It's cheaper to buy Vista Ultimate OEM ($195) now instead of XP Pro ($139) and then upgrade to Vista later ($100+).
- I knew I'd eventually need Vista for work (for testing). I reasoned that the sooner I got Vista, the sooner I could start testing with it, and the more effectively I'd be able to help my co-workers migrate to Vista later.
That's it. Those are the only 3 reasons I bought Vista. I was utterly uninterested in any improvements to the interface, security, or performance, because:
- I prefer "old school" interfaces; I still use the Windows 98 interface in XP. Aero schmaero. The fancy 3D and transparency effects are utterly useless. So are all the automatic thumbnails, "personalized" menus, wizards, etc. Within minutes of installing Vista I turned off the stupid desktop sidebar, switched the start menu to classic, switched the control panel to classic, and shook my fist at the retarded UAC UAC UAC UAC message which I will discuss next:
- What is "UAC"? "Unnecessary And Crippling"? "U Are Cursed"? "Ugh Another Context-switch"? Yeah. That sums it up. Or maybe "UAC" simply stands for "UAC Always Cries-wolf"? Whatever. The fact is, Vista's idea of security is bound to backfire. UAC seems so ubiquitous, arbitrary, and cloying that it's only a matter time before we all disable it. It's like a watchdog that bites its owner so frequently that the owner feels compelled to shoot the hound in the head with a bazooka. If you think I am exaggerating, then you have not tried Vista.
- Performance? Huh? The gaming benchmarks show that Vista is significantly slower than XP. Even Company of Heroes, Microsoft's "flagship" for its new Games For Windows line, can get much laggier on my Vista PC than my XP PC… even though my Vista PC is a Core 2 Duo w/ nVidia 8800 and 2 GB RAM while my XP is a 5-year-old Athlon 2100 w/ 6800 AGP and 1 GB RAM. There's absolutely no reason that Company of Heroes should scroll so painfully slow on my brand new PC. And don't tell me it's a hardware problem; if I reboot Vista, the problems go away… so it's definitely a memory leak or some other hardware glitch. The hardware is fine, but Vista is not.
So will I revert to XP? Probably not. As long as I can do all my work and websites on my Vista PC, I'll stick with it. Game performance doesn't really matter, since I rarely play games. I can always fire up my old 2002 XP box if I want to play games.
Of course, at some point, I plan to replace XP with linux. And then, eventually, once we get decent remote desktop to a Vista PC in the office, I can dual-boot Vista w/ linux and only use Vista for the occasional game. Better yet, if my favorite games start coming out for linux or a good Windows emulator comes out, then I can say goodbye to Microsoft forever…
Except I also need Microsoft for Cakewalk Sonar (which is currently Windows only). Come on, Cakewalk, please give Linux a shot! Except no one expects to pay for Linux software, do they? Well, I would. I think. Hmm… Actually, if a Sonar clone came out for Linux, I think I'd say bye bye to Cakewalk as well. I'd love open source everything. Free everything. Yeah.
Funny how this post starts talking about Vista and ends talking about open source. I bet a lot of geeks and semi-geeks are looking longingly at their pure-Linux comrades. Well, not in that way… but you know what I mean. Vista, schmista, I'd rather talk about Linux. And those sexy Linux users. Yum.