My Windows Vista experience

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Ryan 11 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #6112


    Thought I'd spice things up a bit over here in this quiet part of the world. I may begin using this as a type of “blog” to share my thoughts and experiences in the non-running world.

    First up, I got not only permission but I got encouragement to go buy a new laptop computer. So I did my homework and found a Toshiba that fit the bill quite nicely. Picked up my Satellite from Best Buy yesterday after work and began configuring it.

    The stats:
    – Dual core 1.6 GHz CPU (3.2 GHz total processing power)
    – 1 GB memory
    – 160 GB hard drive
    – All kinds of fun toys (of course, internal wireless, S-video output, multi-format memory card input including xD which is what both of our digital cameras use, etc.)

    So, I get the laptop home yesterday evening. Pull it out of the box and fire it up. It comes with Windows Vista Home Premium (with the much talked about Aero interface) pre-installed. I enter a bit of information and it's configuring the operating system and starting it up. I have to say, as someone who isn't a huge Microsoft fan but also isn't adamantly anti-Microsoft, I like the look of Vista. Familiar for the XP crowd but some nice new things. I definitely see some things Microsoft “borrowed” from different distributions of Linux and from Mac OS.

    Now, the computer is started up and it's time to get connected to the wireless network. I first had trouble finding my network's security key, which wasted some time. Well, it turns out I didn't have as much trouble finding that as I thought. I actually had it all along. For some reason, though, with Lisa connected through the wireless connection on the old laptop, I couldn't connect. When I asked her to disconnect, I was able to connect and then she could reconnect with no problems. Talk about strange. Anyway, now I'm online and ready to go. First, take some time to play out with the “gadgets”. I thought I was in playing with Windows gadgets in the Windows sidebar but it turns out I was playing with Google gadgets in a Google sidebar. Well, they were pretty cool anyway. Then, I went and downloaded Firefox and checked out how Firefox looked in Vista. Not bad. Next, download avast Anti Virus. While avast was downloading and installing, the laptop was downloading and installing McAffee Security Suite behind the scenes. All of a sudden, the McAffee restart dialog pops up. Well, I'm in the middle of installing avast. I can't restart right now. So I wait for avast to finish installing, get its restart dialog, and then restart.

    Get the computer running again, start up Firefox, nothing. Try Internet Explorer, nothing. The gadgets are connecting, avast connected and downloaded the latest virus definitions. What's going on? I spent a good half hour trying to figure that out before giving up for the evening.

    Result of day 1: I like the look of Vista but it had some strange networking things going on for me. Hopefully, I can resolve them.

  • #22649


    Now, on to day 2 (today). In the morning, as I'm getting ready for work, I think of that McAffee install. I've heard a lot of bad things about McAffee, so I decide it's going to go first thing when I get home in the evening. I also talk with a coworker who explains the whole Windows sidebar thing and I piece together the fact that I'm running a Google sidebar, not the Windows sidebar. Well, that's going to go, too.

    When I get home, the first thing to go is McAffee. Miracle of miracles, I can go online with Firefox or Internet Explorer. Something within McAffee was keeping both of them from connecting. Well, it's gone now so no more issues. I also uninstall Google Desktop, which gets rid of the sidebar, and bring up the Windows sidebar. Set up my gadgets, currently a downloaded gadget, the default news gadget, and the pre-installed calendar gadget. Also, download Thunderbird and Lightning, Mozilla's calendar utility for Thunderbird. Download a few Firefox add-ons, then it's time to play with the laptop. Do a few things online, mess around with a few settings, and just get a feel for the laptop.

    I have to say, I've heard a lot about Vista really bogging down some computers. I'm not seeing it all that much with this one. Of course, it is quite powerful compared to what a lot of people have at home. It is very responsive, though, and handles Vista quite well. I think the key is to have at least 1GB of memory and 2.5GHz of processing power. I bet the old laptop could handle Vista but I don't think it will get Vista. If we ever leave XP on there, I'm going with Linux.

    As of now, I'm enjoying the new laptop and Vista. I've set quite a few things up so it's feeling comfortable, I've screwed one or two things up (my taskbar and sidebar are now black, minor but I will get them fixed when I figure out how I did that) but nothing too major. All in all, I have to say it's a pretty nice operating system.

    Oh, about the sidebar. I got a laptop with a widescreen monitor. I'm not sure I'd like the sidebar without a widescreen. It would take up too much of the monitor.

    This weekend will be time to transfer all kinds of things from the old laptop to the new one. E-mails, address book, calendar entries, Firefox bookmarks, pictures and documents. Everything will have to make it over. Hoping to share out a directory on the new one and use the network to copy from the old to the new. I think I have the directory shared out now, I'll see probably tomorrow if I did that right and I can access it from the old laptop. If so, it's less convenient than in previous versions of Windows but at least not all that hard.

  • #22650


    Day 3, things are going good.

    First thing this morning, I copied several GB worth of files from the old laptop to the new laptop over the wireless network connections. That took a couple of hours, so I ran during the transfer. Now, most if not all of my pictures and documents are on the new laptop. I also tried out the xD picture card reader to download a few pictures I took this morning. Much nicer than plugging the camera into a USB port.

    Got my Firefox bookmarks copied to the new laptop and most of my other settings are configured. Had some trouble getting Thunderbird e-mails copied over so I just decided to keep the old messages on the old laptop and forward any I really want on the new laptop. I did fortunately manage to transfer my address book and calendar, so no big deal really.

    I also installed OpenOffice today. I have to say, I'm very impressed with how quickly it runs on here. I remember when I first installed OpenOffice, it was slower than MS Office starting up, which is saying a lot. Now, I can start up Writer or Calc (the equivalents to Word or Excel) and they are up within a second.

    Oh, looks like I didn't mention, I got Trillian installed yesterday so I'm available through IM from my new laptop. I've set up my AOL, MSN, and Yahoo accounts so far. I don't think I'm going to bother with ICQ or IRC, those seem pretty useless these days.

    One more thing about the Toshiba, I love this monitor! Crystal clear. I thought my last laptop monitor was great but this is like night and day. I have both laptops running right now as I set up some Thunderbird settings and it's just incredible.

    I have been finding some bugs here, mostly minor and I'm sure ones that will be fixed quickly but one I'm surprised they haven't fixed before the official release is that I can sometimes click seemingly anywhere in a window and it will maximize or restore down if maximized. It happens most when I try to close a window but has occasionally happened when doing other things.

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