Friday, April 27, 2007

Windows Vista (Part 4)

I'm still having troubles. I wonder sometimes if it's worth it to go thru such pain to upgrade my operating system but I know it is.

I was having a hard-time downloading FileZilla from SourceForge. I waited a few hours and the progress bar moved quite slowly then stopped after a couple hours. I made two attempts. The second attempt still took about 2 hours but it finished but the setup was corrupted. Then switched to a closer mirror in Japan. It downloaded in 10 minutes and installed perfectly.

I installed TortoiseCVS for source-control but when I did a checkout, it's downloading super slow! I'm getting about 1 file every 15 minutes and I have hundreds of files to download. Something is very wrong.

I'm having trouble getting SQL to work. I don't actually need a SQL server locally. I just need the program that allows to connect to the remote SQL server on our web server. SQL Express got installed with Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro but it does not have the UI I need. I have these two disk someone made for me that say SQL Dev. They don't require a PIN. I tried installing SQL from both disks 1 and 2 but not much happened and I still don't have the UI I need. I tried going to microsoft.com but they mail you disks and I need the software now.

I'm attempting to un-install SQL and re-install it and see if that works. I rebooted and my PC blue-screened! The error was on the screen for half a second so I have no idea what the problem was. I told it to use the last known good configuration and it booted fine except that my video card driver was gone so now I suspect the cheap video card I bought for $20 is the problem. I'll have to do some research on which cards are certified with Vista and buy one of those. I asked the guy at the store if this card will work with Vista and of course he said yes. He wants to sell the card.

Thumbs Plus is still superior to the built in thumbs program of Vista. With Thumbs Plus you have far more control over how you want it to work for example the size of the thumbnails and the delay between slide show pictures as well as doing a slide show into sub-directories and viewing the pics randomly as well as including music to your slide show and displaying things like filename and stats in the slideshow as well as defining what happens if the pic is too big or small.

Thumbs plus also color codes the directories so if you have images that are 3 directories deep, you can follow the color-coded folders to find them. I can go on and on. I'm actually happy that I still need Thumbs Plus. I've been using since it since 1995 and I've seen it get better with every version. It's amazing.

The scaling algorithm on Vista is not that great. Diagonal lines have jagged edges when an image is scaled down.

The recycle bin actually fills up with paper as itself fills up with files.





Here is what it looks like when it's empty.

I thought for sure I would be able to do work today but I'm still struggling with SQL and CVS. I've removed my sound-card and will buy a new one.

I'm now using my old 80 GB as my backup drive but I could not fit all of my files on it! I had about 150 GB of files to backup. I was going to buy a 500 GB drive to full backup my files then I realized that I had a lot of files I no longer needed so I spent a few hours deleting files. I shrunk my massive archive from 150 GB to 40 GB so I was able to back it all up to my 80 GB. I copied it overnight while I slept but I was worried when I woke up because my PC was off. I thought maybe my PC overheated and died. When I turned it on, I discovered it was only sleeping. It was set to sleep after 1 hours of inactivity. Apparently it waited until the file copy was done to sleep because I compared the size, files and folders and they were identical. I still need to do a more thorough check through my long term archive and delete a lot more stuff.

I should have written down the old programs setup files I had. I didn't see much value in keeping Netscape 4, AOL 3, AIM 2, Photoshop 4, Dreamweaver 2, FrontPage 1, Opera 4 and so on. I had forgotten what half the programs were anyway. If I couldn't remember what it was, I deleted it. I had a dozen programs related to Black Jack that I downloaded during my gambling days. Deleted. I did keep the version of Tetris I used to play in college! It's a DOS app but Vista still played it although it complained a little but it ran fine. The old high scores were still there which was spooky because my friend had all of the high scores and he's dead now. It's like his ghost is still around beating me.

I kept some of them though like this Age of Empires EXE that my boss at Microsoft hacked to give us unlimited population growth. Our test team used to play AOE while we ate lunch everyday. I remember back in the day when I had accounts on CompuServe, AOL and Prodigy (the big 3) before the Internet got popular, I wanted a digital TV guide that I could search. I finally found one called ETV. It was a DOS program and each week I would download a new database to search. I still have that plus all of the databases I download just for nostalgia reasons. I never finished Descent 3 so I saved that in the hopes of finishing it later. LView was the first graphics program I ever used and I used it for a long time. I'm keeping that also for nostalgia reasons. Alchemy was the best command line app for doing image conversions back in 1993 and 1994. I still have that, again for nostalgia. The first DOS version of NASCAR was really cool and I still have it. I don't know if it will run. I hope so. I bought the sequels but somehow they were never as good as the original.

I turned off the screen saver and energy saver features. I always turn off my screen when I'm not using it plus I'm always downloading things overnight so I want my PC on 24 hours per day. I like having it on in the morning so I can just turn on my monitor and check my email without waiting for it to boot. It takes Vista about 3 minutes to boot on my PC but then I have to wait another minute while programs are still loading.

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