Windows Vista - the sick slug

Windows Vista makes the claim of "faster boot times". Faster than what? tectonics?

I upgraded from a single-processor 1.5GHz machine running XP Pro to a dual core 2.3GHz with 256MB graphics accelerator and bloody Vista, and the dang thing runs slower! It boots slower, it shuts down slower, it copies files slower.

I don't have the time, skills or inclination to do a scratch XP build on this machine. Sigh. No wonder Mickeysoft fell on its face with this one: it is bloated crap. As the saying goes: like a sick slug crawling up a wet nudist.

A couple more pet hates about Vista:

  • staring at a totally black screen during startup - seriously stressful, the first few times. "Is it ever coming back?"
  • watching a screen that says "0 seconds remaining" for extended periods

One more thing: the Economist had an article recently (can't find it right now) on how IT accounts for several otherwise inexplicable percentage points in world annual GDP growth over the last decade. If my experience of Vista is being repeated in millions of homes and offices acrosss the planet then Microsoft may well cause a measurable reduction in world GDP growth with this dog.

Lucky for them the recesssion came along just in time to mask any measurable effect. Hey! you don't suppose.....

[Updated: on the other hand it just might be a ploy to charge even more for XP]


Microsoft do it to the world again with Windows 7

How do Microsoft continue to get away with this? Why does the world keep going back for more? Is this some kind of sick co-dependent masochism? This alarming report from ComputerWorld

Most Windows 7 PCs max out their memory, resulting in performance bottlenecks...
the 86 percent mark for Windows 7 is more than twice the average number of Windows XP machines that run at the memory "saturation" point, said Barth. The most recent snapshot... pegs only 40 percent of XP systems as running low on memory....
The low-memory condition of most Windows 7 PCs is even more notable considering the amount of RAM in Windows 7 systems... "Windows 7 machines have almost twice as much memory to work with," said Barth, "but the numbers show just how much larger and more complex Windows 7 is than XP."...
Other data ...quantifies peak processor workload and I/O performance. Both of those measurements are also higher for Windows 7 systems than for XP machines. While 85 percent of the former are running at peak I/O loads, only 36 percent of the latter do...
"This is alarming," Barth said of Windows 7 machines' resource consumption. "For the OS to be pushing the hardware limits this quickly is amazing. Windows 7 is not the lean, mean version of Vista that you may think it is."

Do you remember all that bullshit about "Gosh sorry Vista wasn't the lean mean Windows we promised you but this time Windows 7 is. Really. Honest"?

I'm on the Ubuntu road and I'm never coming back to Mickeysoft.

Gartner says skip Vista

I guess I have to agree with Gartner occasionally. i do when they say skip Vista. personally I won't be going Win7 though - Linix is looking good around 2014.

Another Vista fan

i could bury the blog in Vista-haters but I liked this one from my favourite mag, The Economist

running Vista side-by-side with XP has confirmed all you are led to believe about Microsoft’s propensity for devising cumbersome bloatware....

Apart from the sheer frustration and the extra mousing around needed to navigate Vista’s security features, the locked-down nature of the operating system makes it run as slow as molasses and require far more computing power than XP to perform similar tasks. The extra security features also create a host of instability and compatibility problems. In short, Vista breaks lots of things users take for granted with XP.

So, why bother upgrading to Vista? It’s not as though XP is riddled with holes these days. With its second service pack, released in 2004, XP gained a range of security features that put IT managers’ minds at rest. By the time a third service pack arrived in 2008, XP was locked down as tightly as Vista but without the mindless restrictions.

Along with hundreds of millions of existing Windows users, your correspondent decided there was no compelling reason to adopt Vista—especially after Microsoft agreed to provide upgrades and security patches for XP until 2014

XP good until 2014 - hasta la Vista Win7!

The good news in that Economist article above was that I can run XP until at least 2014 with support (and as long as I like after that of course). Microsoft arer only digging their grave deeper with news like this :

With Window 7, Microsoft provides a direct upgrade path only from Windows Vista, not allowing a similar scenario when it comes down to Windows XP. However, despite this detail, Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrades are indeed possible, but customers will have to turn to an alternative path, provided by the Microsoft Deployment Tool 2010. MDT 2010 is a tool offered by the Redmond company as a free download and offers components such as the User State Migration Tool, a solution capable of making sure that user settings for applications and the desktop as well as user files are transferred from XP to Windows 7 in the upgrade process.

Well why not just friggin' include it in the install then?!!! because if you didn't go Vista you have violated the sacred trust, the implicit deal that you will shell out for every version of Windows no matter how crappy. "Skip one? You're on your own pal and we'll make it as complicated and fraught with risk for you as we can".

Well MS can stick Win7. They have dumped crap on me once too often with the Vista experience. There will be no forgiveness. I'll run XP as long as I can then look at whatever flavour of *nix has evolved as the most user friendly. By then Google Docs will be an Office-killer - the rate I'm moving to Docs I'll be free of Office long before 2014. I'm happy with Office2003 until then.

Sing along now: "♫ Microsoft can kiss my arse, I've got alternatives at last ♫"

Kill Vista

I did it! I finally did it!!!! I trashed f****** Vista and went back to XP. My machine is now startlingly fast, boots like a burned cat. And the video driver is better than the one that Compaq pre-installed - crystal clear. But oh the speeeeeeddddd!!!! Wheeeeee.

I needed a super-geek in attendance to get me through it (thanks Peter!) and we are still researching why my boot drive is H: not C: but man it's fast. And it is good old XP - it is gonna work. i wait with interest to see if the machine stops hanging, and my phone will sync and all the other grief goes away. I'll report back....

upgrade vs. preinstall

Last month our team was "forced" to go to Vista. It wasn't an OS upgrade, we were simply given new laptops after our data files were transferred. I dreaded what was to come but, so far, it has worked like a champ.

The interface is still taking some getting used to, but its been faster and more reliable than my prior XP laptop. (Of course, the new duo chipset helps). Overall, I'm glad we did it.

preinstalled copy of Vista

Given that I am not a lone voice in this and that we recently had a case of a commenter inappropriately not revealing their identity, can i suggest that an anonymous post has little merit here. I congratulate you on your successful experience. You have a right to be glad because many many people do not share it. My machine too was a preinstalled copy of Vista on a Compaq Presario SR5160AN, not an upgrade. I have now set it freee and it runs like the wind.

Vista by XKCD

I've seen countless criticisms of Vista but none as witty as XKCD

Vista does it to me again

Lord help me find the words to express how much I hate Vista, and how much I detest Microsoft for having done Vista to me. (I'm still procrastinating on doing the downgrade to XP but after this latest experience I have blocked out two days to do it)

They've changed the Tunga font. I'm viewing my first book, Introduction to Real ITSM, on two PCs, one with XP, one with Vista. Both are running Word 2003. Both are looking at the same file on the same disk. In Vista the Tunga font is a different size and the formatting of the entire book is screwed.

You coud do worse ...

Why not "upgrade" to Windows 7 beta and see where that journey will take you?

doing worse

Haha, you mean Windows 7 would be "doing worse" right? Reportedly W7 is a hack of Vista, so if Vista was munted W7 wil be...?

Holden Kingswood HQ 1974Holden Kingswood HQ 1974I drove a 1975 Holden HQ Kingswood from 1986 until 2002 when I stupidly left it behind in Australia. Last time I cried in public. Really. Most of you don't have a clue what an HQ is, but if I tell you it had a three-seater vinyl bench seat in the front (that I fitted with wooden-bead seat covers) and three-on-the-tree column gearshift, you'll get the idea. I drove that car so long I could parallel park it in its own length or double-declutch it into first taking the Hoddle Street hill while changing lanes in peak hour traffic. It took six people, all their gear and their beer, and Cold Chisel [you foreigners download some] on the stereo sounded like a train smash in heaven. It's cruising speed was 30kph over the legal limit, it had more go than a burnt cat, and it could get many places that a 4WD could (they were designed as "farmer's cars" with enough room for a bale of hay in the boot/trunk). It cost next to nothing for service and parts. Of course it drank petrol but not as badly as a V8 - it had what was reportedly a reworked 1950s Chev 202 straight-six truck motor in it that was virtually unbreakable. It took the fireroads of the Blue Mountains and the four lanes of the Hume Highway in equal comfort (admittedly not much of that: the only "aircon" was the manual winder handle in the door. But with all the windows down in the Aussie heat and shirts off listening to Midnight Oil [download them too] nobody cared much. In winter the heater rocked). It had no airbags, and the seatbelts only recoiled because I fitted new ones. But in a collision it was the other car that needed the airbags. There were reportedly quarter of a million Holdens running around Australia (they are much rarer in NZ - the sea air kills everything). Every mechanic learned on them. Every back-blocks service station had parts. They don't die unless you shoot them.

Now Holden make huge tin boys-toys with as many computers as a Jumbo jet and electric everything. They still guzzle gas and they still take off like a bee bit them, but they regularly score next-to-bottom of the heap on reliability surveys, just ahead of Fords. The Japanese piss all over them.

XP is a HQ Kingswood. I want it back like I want that Kingswood back.

goin home: downgrading from Vista to XP

Well I've had enough. Vista is fired. The hang that lost me a burst of creative writing was the last straw. Booting the Vista machine and the old XP one next to it at the same time didn't help either. Wish me luck because I am downgrading from Vista to XP.

(The funny bit is that I clicked "Help and Support" to check model numbers and the machine hung for a full two minutes before coming back with a window saying "loading help content" and asking me to wait. I know it was two minutes because the machine was so hung up the clock display stopped.)

Found someone else on the Web who's done it with almost identical model (same mobo and chipset)

Cut the Vista recovery disks.

Got all the drivers (haha famous last words).

Buying an XP COA with a Compaq PC attached to it for a few bucks on TradeMe, the local eBay.

Borrowing a vanilla XP+SP2 install disk from a friend.

Was always on Office 2003 anyway, never got sucked in by O2007.

Goin' home. Fingers crossed.

Windows 7 is a bastardised Vista

Someone else who thinks the same way. the bad news for me is that Windows 7 is a hack of Vista to get the memory footprint down.

hands up who thinks that will improve the reliability?

Vista is beyond bad

Sorry to go on about this but I am beyond aghast. Empty machine, nothin else running, delete 12,000 files 400MB of data, permanent delete shift-del, not even recoverable delete, TEN MINUTES!!!!

20 files a second

Why aren't there burning PCs on Microsoft's front lawn?

Mothers tell your children not to do what I have done

It's not too late: save yourselves. DON'T BUY VISTA!!!!!!

If I had wiped the hard disk as soon as I bought this new machine and rebuilt it on XP, I'd have lost no more time than I have with Vista problems. Right now Vista hangs about once a week. Total hang; no response to CD insertion or alt-ctl-del or anything. Back to that tectonic reboot.

XP licences are cheap: buy an old PC on eBay just for the COA sticker. heck, get them to post u the sticker :)

Do as I say, not as I do

Foolish of me to buy a child a lap top PC with Vista installed. How hard can it be to connect to a wireless internet connection that took 30 seconds under both Linux and XP? Two and a half hours using ipconfig which I don't think is a typical consumer level tool. My Xmas pudding had gone cold.

I rebuilt my Vista machine today

I rebuilt my Vista machine today because:

Installing Zonealarm for Vista caused a BSD (Blue Screen of Death). Can't recall ever seeing one of those on XP. The ethernet drivers were gone forever, unrecoverable.

Twenty minutes to do a restore back to install, fine. then Vista starts up and says "please wait". I make my lunch. I eat my lunch. I paint the house.
No just kidding about the last one, but after an hour of no messages, no clues as to how long this is going to take, I notice that an external USB attached hard drive is chattering away. That's right: first time you eagerly await your new Vista machine, it decides to index every bit of attached storage it can find. Without telling you what it is doing. With no progress bars or any clues as to whether you have time to go into town or not.

Luckily I unplugged the 3Gig hardrive before it found that.

THEN, eventually the screen changes and starts displaying marketing pap. And what's the first thing it says? "Getting it done just got more fun. Time is precious..." By this point I'm apoplectic, so I go have a wee lie down.

TWO HOURS after kickoff, my machine has dragged itself up onto its knees and is groggily asking for my password. It'll take me a full day to deinstall Norton and Office 2007 and all the other crap I don't want, turn off indexing, reconfigure the desktop and generally get me back to where I was when I got up this morning.

Microsoft wouldn't know a good user experience from something that crawled out of their ass.

Vista - the best marketing program for Macs


It was about 3 years back when I paid $180 to hear I needed to re-upgrade my XP to overcome an issue caused by upgrading it to from NT to XP. I used my Visa card just in case. I followed the instructions like a devoted Spanish Inquisition foot soldier. I even double checked the Microsoft Knowledge Base and FAQS, and a few independent forums. A day later it was up and running, but without about 400Mb of the most precious data that used to reside on a fairly new but evidently device unknown hard disk.

As you can image there was no way back and actually no way to recover what had been lost. On my next call I was advised I should have upgraded the BIOS. I checked the KB - no entry - two days later - there was a new entry explaining exactly this!

On that day I abandoned Windows - it went out of the nearest window. I spent thousands on a new G5 screaming Mac and replacement software. Last year I upgraded to Leopard - took 15 minutes - and a breeze... and I kept all my data! Luckily I was able to recover my Visa spend on the premise service was not received!

So - I sympathize deeply and can only suggest the best advert for Apple is Vista and stories like yours about upgrades and patches.... If only I could wean myself of off MS:Office - I'd be set...

tired & wired


expired: Apple vs Microsoft
tired: Microsoft vs Google
wired: Google vs Apple

(original w/ apologies to Wired Magazine)

Charles T. Betz

Windows 7 may come too late

I wonder if Windows 7 will come too late to stop a new surge to Linux (yes OK you Applets, to Mac too).

That's assuming they don't cock 7 up too, but there is a pattern here: [edited:] 3.1 crap, NT pretty good, 95 ballsup, 2000 mediocre, XP good, Vista back to cockup again.

Either they get every second or third release right and they'll fix it with 7 ... or the Borg has lost the plot. Perhaps both Windows and Microsoft are so fat and bloated that the whole thing is beyond them. Windows long ago became the largest written work in the history of mankind, for an operating system for heaven's sake! It's a long way from when I helped rewrite the SCAMP opsys down below 4k of object code. Operating systems are supposed to be lean and mean, not grotesque lumbering dinosaurs. The hardware vendors love it and collaborate in foisting it on the public, but two factors may be fueling a backlash: upgrade fatigue amongst the mug punters, and Microsoft's inability to cope with their own monster.

Missing Piece...


Your missing one of the highlights here -- Windows NT. Overall, it was one of the most solid and developer friendly OS platforms I've worked on. Even in the early days of MSDN when we used to get 30-40 CDs at a time with diff stuff and a seemingly endless stream of pre-release versions of software... including WinNT. There really wasn't an issue with NT, until MS trashed the architecture to stuff Plug and Play (PnP) support into it and breaking it in the process. David Cutler and the team did a great job, only to find the requirements change and have their work sacrificed out of expediency. True PnP support really called for a fundamental rearchitecture, but MS couldn't (apparently) admit their error publicly or stomach the pricetag of a new OS that had it from the ground up.


Show Stopper!

This book, ShowStopper was one of the greatest reads I had about NT and Microsoft. It is sad that a great piece of software like NT has been butchered!

Good Find

Thanks for the prompt. Think I'll check my local library and see if I can find this. Will be a nice read for my holiday break.

Yeah, break... as if!


Some say Windows NT is a

Some say Windows NT is a play on VMS. Shift each letter in VMS one letter and you get WNT. Much like HAL and IBM in Clarke's 2001.

Some believe Windows NT is a wholesale re-write of VMS, steals parts of OS2, and was written by the former employees of the people who wrote VMS. Dave Cutler was the primary architect of both NT and Digital's VMS.

Second Chances...

Heh. Never thought about the shift in letters... that's either extremely funny or ironic.

I don't have many references left from that period of time, but your recollection is accurate. Indeed, it's one of the reasons why I think the early version was successful. The team had a vision for it that took things to the next level and they did a great job!

When I'd first heard of the proposed changes to the OS architecture to accomodate PnP, I actually tried calling MS about it. Needless to say, MS - 1, kengon - 0.


Way, way too late

Now Microsoft is asking users to use an alternative browser as IE has a critical new bug.

Ever get the feeling...

"Getting it done just got more fun. Time is precious..."

The universe is not laughing with you. Its laughing at you.

While you have my sympathies, your post brought a loud series of guffaws to an otherwise humorless day.

Can be improved

My one and only Vista machine used to run like a dog, and became unusable after SP1 was installed. I've just about got it up to speed again by:

- Installing and using the latest version of VistaManager
- switching off indexing and defrag
- setting up secondary cache

And changing my anti-virus software - I suspect this has had the biggest impact.What I'm not sure of is whether it was a fault with the actual product, or a conflict with other security related programs

Before making these changes CPU and memory utilisation could both be running at 45%-50% even when the machine was supposedly idle.

Thanks for the tips JamesBy

Thanks for the tips James

By increasing memory to 3GB (I'm told Vista cant use any more than that) and turning off indexing I've got performance to be actually faster on my 2x2.3GHz than it was on my 1x1.6Ghz, but the boot and shutdown times are still shameful.

Not exactly an OOTB experience is it?

Wait for Windows 7

So what is Windows 7?
It's the next version of Windows for PCs, and it's the result of working hand-in-hand with our partners and with people who use Windows in the real world every day. We're paying particular attention to the things they're telling us are important to them and will make their PCs work the way they want them to—things like enhanced reliability, responsiveness, and faster boot and shut-down. We're also trying to make their everyday tasks easier, like connecting and syncing devices, browsing the web, and managing a home network.

I noticed "... things like enhanced reliability, responsiveness, and faster boot and shut-down."

trapped behind the learning curve

Microsoft can't keep playing this vendor-bullshit game of foisting crap on the community then promising to do better next time. They spouted all that "listening to users" drivel over Vista

I've paid for Vista and now I should pay for the next release to get me out of this hole? Get serious.

I'm trapped behind the learning curve of getting off MS-Word and Excel and Outloook. The day someone gives me a true emulation on Linix, Windows is dead round here.

The fact that a company with all the money in the world and lots of smart driven minds in nice suits can produce such an enormous cockup is of great comfort to we little guys

Did I mention....

...that all my latest computers have been linux machines, and that they all now run OpenOffice? Seems to work for me.

power user

I tried OpenOffice and its all very nice and such but it is a whole new tool, whatever they say, it only vaguley emulates the basics of MS. I just spent a decade becoming a power user of Word and Excel. just cant afford to repeat that investemtn

Funny that

I swapped to Open Office because I found the learning curve for Office 2007 too steep! Version 3 is pretty darn close to office for basic functionality, though not an exact match. In Office 2007 I'm still struggling to do the basics even though I know the underlying product is very powerful. Mind you in that different country where I used to cut COBOL code I spent months complaining that a page editor was harder to use than a line editor.

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