Windows Vista = Awesome

Windows Vista gets a lot of bad press…but it doesn’t deserve it. I do not see it as a 200 dollar service pack, that simply doesn’t make sense. There are core changes to how Windows works, new audio stack, video architecture, I/O prioritization, network stack,native support for Wireless and so on. Wikipedia explains the new features better than I can http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_windows_vista

 

On my system, Vista is faster, it is cleaner looking (the updated cleartype is wonderful on the eyes, and aero is pleasing), as weird as it sounds I do get my work done faster. I’m a student, I write a lot of papers, do lots of powerpoints and edit a lot of videos. Vista’s new instant search is quite helpful. At anypoint in time it is not uncommon for me to have multiple drafts of the same paper or powerpoint. So I made a search *.doc and *.ppt (which also includes *.docx and *.pttx which is neat) so now I have a “folder” that contains all my papers and powerpoints.

 

 

I can’t really prove that Vista is faster, but it feels like it, I attribute this to superfetch, and Windows more aggressive memory manager. I wonder why they didn’t do this before, but I am glad they did now. In fact, I do not know if they are aggressive enough. Unused memory is wasted memory, I have 2gigs for a reason, I wouldn’t mind seeing it 98% full 100% of the time. As long as it was smart at releasing it, while gaming or doing another intensive process.

 

Speaking of gaming, I think Windows Vista is a great gaming platform. The Games organizer in Vista works pretty well, recognizes most of my games, but those it doesn’t I can drag and drop add pretty quickly.

If a user is using an ATI (AMD) based graphics card, the drivers are there. Granted there are some spots they still need to work on, particularly Opengl. In some cases though, the switch to Vista increased performance by 15%. http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/windows_vista_performance_amd_catalyst_7.1/page5.asp

Now I know there are spots where the performance in Vista isn’t as good as XP, but that is marginal, and should improve in time, maybe even by the next driver release. I’m not sure where nvidia stands, but last time I checked there were still some substantial performance hits.

 

There are a few little neat things Vista has to offer that I appreciate. The Snipping tool, which makes it easy to take screenshots, The Resource Monitor, Network and Sharing Center, Windows Sidebar, Backup and Restore Center, support for multiple clocks for multiple time zones, automatic defrag, Windows Photo Gallery and DVD maker, UAC (Yes I like it, no one should disable it, one should only disalbe the prompts)…etc.

 

 

Now about the Backup and Restore functionality of Windows Vista, which makes it easy for anyone to make their own Custom Install of Windows. Basically a user installs Vista, activates it and installs all the programs they want, change settings in Vista to the way they like it, maybe install some drivers, then one can use the backup center to make a disk image, which will copy byte for byte the image of the hard disk onto another hard disk or a DVD ( I personally chose a DVD).

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~ by trixrox on February 5, 2007.

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