Vista, 5-Minute Review

When I graduated from college, I lost my license to use Office*, and had various other key things shut off. I was given an opportunity to purchase Vista (Business Edition) Upgrade and Office 2007 (Enterprise) for $20 each, so I figured I should, since I had no media for XP or Office. And then I remembered I had a spare 60GB partition for Windows on my 160 GB drive from when I’d intended to dual-boot, so I just installed it here. A few thoughts:

  • The install was “easy” but frankly not that great. I’ll dock a small number of points because, unlike the Ubuntu installer, it’s not a LiveCD: I can’t use the system while it’s installing. When your installer takes 20-30 minutes, it’s very nice to have a browser or game or something going. It also seemed to take forever, and at the end, went to reboot, but gave me a “Reboot Now” option, which I took. It never ejected my DVD, nor did it tell me to, so I figured I was supposed to leave it in…
  • …So it booted into the installer agian. I closed it, and got a message that I couldn’t use Windows if I didn’t install Windows. (Thanks… Though I suppose there are people who actually need that message.) And then it warned me that if I cancelled the installation, my computer may reboot.
  • Of course, I wanted to reboot my computer, so I said OK. My computer did not reboot.
  • Everything feels much more polished!
  • It spent several minutes “evaluating [my] computer’s performance” before going away with no indication of what had just happened. (I knew enough to find it, though: a 3.1. This bothers me slightly, since it’s a fairly meaningless number, but I digress.)
  • All of my text is blurry. Yes, I’m at the native resolution. (Which was detected automatically.) I assume it’s related to ClearType (or a lack thereof?), but I can’t find anything about it?
  • I set up wireless very easily. (Well, after I found the icon in the tray.)
  • Windows is obsessed with popping little bubbles up all over my screen. I guess it’s understandable since it’s the first time I’ve run it, though I’d be a lot happier if it didn’t offer to check GMail and my blogs for phishing attacks. Repeatedly.
  • How do I get a command prompt? (No, I’m serious. Is there a ‘cmd’ in Vista?)
  • The default desktop has one icon, the Recycle Bin. I like this uncluttered look.
  • Now I see what everyone was complaining about. Much like it’s obsessed with bubble notifications, it’s obsessed with asking me if I want to give permission to various things. The problem is that I’ll double-click on the clock in the system tray to set it up to sync to NTP, and get asked if I want to allow access to the clock. Yes, I do; that’s why I just tried to change it. Where do I turn this off?
  • Linux and Windows XP let me use the far-right of my touchpad as a scroll wheel. This feature is missing in Vista?

It’s too soon for a thorough review, but I am a fan of first-impressions things. And my first impressions are so-so. Probably a big improvement over XP, but with quite a few irritations.

Oh! I got the upgrade, which means you have to install it over an existing Windows thing. Except it was on another hard drive, so I’m using the well-known quirk where you can install it without a license key, and then “upgrade” that to the exact same version and put in a license key.

6 thoughts on “Vista, 5-Minute Review

  1. Though Mr. T’s method is fine, you can also open up any windows explorer and type in “cmd” into the address bar and it’ll pull up the command prompt too

  2. Oh, and to turn off the “Allow or Deny” security crap, just go into the security center and turn off user account controls.

    Linux and Windows XP let me use the far-right of my touchpad as a scroll wheel. This feature is missing in Vista?
    I have this feature, it could be because Kyle got the Lenovo specific drivers and system stuff… you should contact him and find out where to get that

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