Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Windows Vista (Part 1)

Windows Vista first impressions ... I've been using it for an hour so far.

Windows Vista Ultimate arrived in the mail about a week ago. I downloaded the Vista install advisor and discovered my PC had a lot of issues like software I had to un-install and drivers and hardware that were not supported. So after a few days I finally got my PC into a state where I had a lot of warnings, but I could go ahead with the Upgrade.

Unfortunately the upgrade stopped half-way so I tried everything I could think of but every time I tried to upgrade, it would stop at the same point. The problem is, it didn't tell me what the problem was. It just said "The upgrade was cancelled".

I finally gave up and decided to go for the full install which meant that I would need to re-install all of my programs. I thought it was going to reformat my hard-drive but it didn't. It moved my Windows, Program Files and Documents and Settings directories into the directory Windows.old.

It created a new Documents and Settings directory but it's not actually a directory. When I get a listing from the command-line it says that it's a Junction, what ever that is.

I had fully backed up all of my files before I did the install and I was happy that I didn't need to restore any of them.

The install would not let me continue until I deleted or renamed my c:\users directory. Windows Vista creates its own c:\users directory so now mine is named c:\users2. I just tried to rename it to c:\usr but it said "access denied".

The install went pretty quick and lasted about one hour. I baby-sat the PC watching the whole install while reading the latest Wired magazine.

I'm super happy with it so far but I have a lot to learn. I'm having trouble finding things for examples Windows Explorer and the command shell. I also have not found the Run menu yet.

I love the 3D Aero interface where I can see a 3D view of my windows and scroll them and pick one. Totally cool.

I love the fade in and out of windows and how the expand and shrink and how the edges of the window are transparent.

The UI is very sleek. I was using the latest version of Windows Media player on Windows XP Pro and it had the Windows Vista look with the black shiny metal appearance.

I have a stack of programs to install so I can get back to work. I lost about 3 work days trying to install Windows Vista.

As I said before, I have the Ultimate (Best!) version so I have a lot to explore. I'm writing this blog entry in IE7 which comes with Vista but I will be installing Firefox 2.x shortly since that is my browser of choice.

I got the 180 days trial of Visual Studio 2005 Pro and it was 4 days away from expiring and now I can re-install it and get 180 more days ... maybe. In any case, I bought the Pro version and it should arrive any day now but I could have saved my money.

It's no big deal ... the version I got retails for $450 but I got it for $45 at the Microsoft company store. It's one perk of being a Microsoft alumni. Windows Vista Ultimate cost me $65 and I think it retails for about $650. Don't quote me. My point is that I save a lot of money on Microsoft software.

I just realized that my Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse work! I didn't have to install the software or drivers. Sweet! I kept my old keyboard and mouse as a backup in case the wireless version ever fails for example the batteries could die and I don't have new batteries.

In a few days I'll post another entry.


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