The Move to Vista

I meant to write this when Leopard was released, especially in light of the fact that Apple users were, for the first time it seems, experiencing beta software with the launch of Leopard. Welcome to Windows World. I whinged about how bad I found Tiger in a previous post so it’s probably not surprising to hear I moved back to Windows. Actually, having seen a copy of Vista on a friend’s laptop at the time, I went with Vista. As I have the machine for it, I even went with 64-bit (otherwise I couldn’t use my 4Gb RAM).

I’ve been running it for several months now and while I’ve had a few issues with drivers, mainly due to 64 rather than anything else (I still can’t use my HP DeskJet 1010 for example), all in all though Vista has been great. It’s far more responsive that Tiger, includes most of the same apps that Apple has done since Tiger (I’ve not heard good things about Leopard from anyone I know who has installed it) and very stable. I would say it’s resource hungry, with 1Gb RAM the bare minimum just to run Vista and 2Gb if you want to be able to use it too (it flies with four, but I rarely use anywhere near all the RAM). It does take nearly a Gig of RAM just for the OS (and that’s without smart fetch — pre-loading of your most-used apps — running, which I switched off because of all the disk thrashing).

There’s been some issues with my favourite 32-bit apps, Notepad++ doesn’t show up on the right-click menu, for example. I had to find another DVD player as neither of those I have ran (I think both have Vista versions available to purchase though). Windows Explorer has also been altered, and while it’s nice, it takes some getting used to when navigating around. The ability to add shortcuts to any folder is good though. I love the included media centre, in fact, it inspired me to build a media centre PC, more on that later, although the machine isn’t capable of supporting Vista (in this incarnation at least).

All in all I’ve been very pleased with Vista, I don’t know what all the complaining has been about. It really is a nice big step forward, but you need the hardware to handle it.

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