Thanks to Ian and a new laptop, I am now running a copy of Microsoft Windows Vista so I figured I would do a review of it.
Windows Vista is a very promising operating system, but it is a bit of a resource hog. Windows Vista is very graphically appealing and feature-rich. I enjoy the new “Aero Glass” interface. Aero Glass includes borders on windows that have a fogged glass look to them. Windows below can be seen. It makes the window borders seem smaller than they actually are and really works better in my massively multitasking environment.
The Windows Vista sidebar is nice, but it could be improved in much if there were gadgets available for it. So far there are just the ones included with the operating system and eight more online.
Vista comes with a picture program similar to Google’s Picasa. The program is called Windows Photo Gallery. My favorite feature is the automatic orientation changing it does to my pictures. I do not have to mess with it, and already my pictures are all straight. It did take a little tweaking to get everything to my liking, but now it works perfectly displaying the names of my files and organized by folder.
I wish I could check my email, view instant messenger conversations in it, and have a better RSS reader along with many other fun things. Until then, I will enjoy looking at a slideshow of my 31,000+ pictures and playing Sudoku.
MSN messenger was not installed by default. I wanted to see how other MS programs performed in the OS, so I downloaded it. I have installed a number of applications in it including Alcohol 120, Nero 7, NetStumbler, RealVNC, Winamp, and others and all of them performed without issue. I am, however, having occasional problems with my graphics driver. Windows allocated 256MB to my graphics card (Thank God I had 1GB), but this OS really loves VRAM.
This brings me to the games included with the OS. There are many much-appreciated games included. My personal favorites are Chess and Mahjong. I enjoy both quite a bit, but I hear that they will only be available in Vista Ultimate Ed. which has an estimated retail price tag of $649.99. Microsoft, there is still time to add Go to your list of games. <hint, hint>
On the RAM side, I allocated 3GB for the pagefile, and I am thinking of adding another 1GB to the machine. Right now I am indexing all my documents and pictures that I recently dumped onto the computer. There are thousands of each, and I want to explore the searching features of Vista. You will hear about these features in future blogs. I also intend to get Virtual PC working and then importing some virtual machines in to see how they perform. I will run Windows 2003, Windows 2000 and a copy of SuSe Linux inside the machines and possibly benchmark them.
As always with a new machine or operating system, I have been running performance monitor to see how things are going and to get a system baseline. As you know from a previous entry, I tried this on my Dual Core Mac Mini and found that I desperately needed more RAM. This machine seems to be holding up fine, but unfortunately, I am running on the 32-bit edition instead of the 64 bit. I am a little bummed about that. The install of the 64-bit ed. kept failing so I was left with no choice but to use the 32-bit ed. for now. I think my performance would be better with the other edition. Oh well. When I buy the OS, I will get the 64 bit, and they should have the major bugs worked out by then. I do stress the word Major since this is Microsoft I are talking about.
I am pleased with Windows Vista so far in my trials. It has withstood my intense usage of it. I am very hard on machines with my multitasking. I guess I am a computer slave master.