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Review of Stardock's TweakVista

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the needs-all-the-help-it-can-get dept.

Windows 191

mikemuch writes "The new TweakVista utility from Stardock surfaces some of Vista's more obscure settings, giving access to diagnostics and making suggestions for services that you should be running. ExtremeTech's review of TweakVista generally likes the software, and though it's called version 0.9, it is for sale — $19.95 — and feels feature-complete. More suggestions on system optimization, however, would be helpful. From the review: 'According to TweakVista, on July 1st, the "Windows Shell Services DLL service took 651ms longer to shut down than usual." That's nice. Other than this stark presentation, there's no digestible information as to why the shell services DLL took over half a second longer to shut down. And there's no hint as to what to do about it.'"

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Vista For Dummies (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803017)

Chapter 1:

Stick with XP.

The End.

Re:Vista For Dummies (1)

chadwik01 (1124433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803301)

That's what I'm doing. I might move to Vista in a year or two, but for the most part I'm going to put it off for as long as possible.

Re:Vista For Dummies (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804241)

I'm still waiting for the app that will configure the Vista installation disc to remove stupid components I don't want on my system. Vlite is well on its way to being a good thing but doesn't currently remove the things that Microsoft is intent on forcing me to install.

Re:Vista For Dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19804301)

Quite true since it appears dummies are the only people having trouble with vista. I've been using it since it was released thanks to Academic Alliance. I've had no trouble getting to do what I want or tweaking it. It was easy to install and only took a few minutes to adjust to the layout, I was't used to seeing a Microsoft OS with such a logical control panel layout. Plus I now have more advanced control of windows firewall. In fact, I'v had an easier time using it than XP. I love the UAC change they made. Of course I am also used to linux and running in a locked down user account. The kind that requires an admin password. Either way I always here about how much an operating system sucks from idiots that are doing something wrong or not using their brain because they don't want to think.

Re:Vista For Dummies (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805327)

Chapter 2 how to get a vista refund and get XP for the same price or less.

I hate that usage of "surface" (4, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803099)

just feel like burning some karma to say that

Re:I hate that usage of "surface" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803227)

You should because it's incorrect. You cannot "surface" something in the sense of bringing to light. There's only one definition for "to surface" with a direct object:

To provide with a surface or apply a surface to: surface a table with walnut; surface a road with asphalt.
The definition of the intransitive form, which doesn't take a direct object, is what the submitter is really trying to say:
  1. To rise to the surface.
  2. To emerge after concealment.
  3. To work or dig a mine at or near the surface of the ground.

Re:I hate that usage of "surface" (0, Redundant)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803399)

No, you're wrong.

'Surface' can certainly be used with an object, to mean 'bring to the surface'. Look here [reference.com] .

Re:I hate that usage of "surface" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803545)

And the dictionary source below contradicts it. Hooray.

Re:I hate that usage of "surface" (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803669)

And the dictionary source below contradicts it. Hooray.

Interestingly, the Online Etymology Dictionary entry also on that page claims the transitive form is the original verb. Presumably the newer intransitive usage has now displaced the older convention, except here.

News For Nerds, Vocabulary From The 19th Century.

Re:I hate that usage of "surface" (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803843)

WTF does it even mean? Does this software add a new layer of asphalt to Vista?

Aero (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803145)

Will it tell me how much longer everything takes to load/shutdown using Aero?

taskmanager? (4, Informative)

pedramnavid (1069694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803161)

Ctrl-Shift-Esc is an even better shortcut for taskmanager. Does that still work with Vista?

Re:taskmanager? (3, Informative)

fr4nk (1077037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803179)

Yes it does.

Re:taskmanager? (2, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805171)

Nice tip! I'll have to remember that one. I usually just pound the left side of my keyboard in frustration until the task manager pops up.

Skins (1, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803169)

I've only briefly used Vista, but it feels exactly like any other XP skin I've ever encountered. None of the long standing problems with the Windows GUI were fixed, including my personal pet peeve: tearing and flickering 2D graphics. I just don't understand how Windows still fails to address the problem of syncing refresh rates when Mac had it sorted more than a decade ago.

Re:Skins (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803317)

The tearing and flickering 2D graphics are often a driver issue.

On all my XP installs, I had that issue prior to installing the nVidia drivers, but not ater. I do get a little flicker with Intel graphics, but I get the same thing on *nix systems as well...

Re:Skins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803397)

Care to give an example? All I can think of is if you move windows araound real fast you get a bit of a redraw delay, but that happens on my mac mini and linux box as well. The only time I ever see tearing and flickering 2d in windows is when somone doesnt install the video card drivers forcing windows to use vesa drivers

Re:Skins (1)

sid0 (1062444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804157)

No, the window redrawing delay doesn't happen on Vista unless you have Aero disabled.

Re:Skins (1)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803407)

What exactly are the 2D graphics problems you see in XP? I have never noticed any major problems. Are they caused by windows redrawing themselves? If so, then the new compositing window manager in Vista they have should fix this. Have you tried Vista with it turned on?

Re:Skins (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803417)

Because the software was stolen more than 10 years ago?

Re:Skins (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803435)

My peeve is that the nVidia drivers can't do full screen command prompts. Well I got it to work once but then the driver hung or something and I had to reboot.

Re:Skins (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803459)

Er, in Vista that is, their XP drivers work fine for me.

Re:Skins (1)

mattcoz (856085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804565)

Tearing was my pet peeve too, and the reason I LOVE Vista, because it IS fixed. Maybe it's a problem with your display driver?

It's called debugging. (5, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803185)

Other than this stark presentation, there's no digestible information as to why the shell services DLL took over half a second longer to shut down. And there's no hint as to what to do about it.
It's called debugging. You recognize a symptom, identify the problem, fix the problem. The software solves step 1; It recognizes when your computer is running slower than usual. Then it helps you with step 2; It gives you an idea of where to look to fix it.

Without the software, you'd still be wondering why your computer took a half-second longer to shut down, not why a particular process took longer. With the software, you can focus on the process, paying less attention to the computer as a whole.

The software doesn't fix your computer, it's a diagnostic aid.

Re:It's called debugging. (2, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803349)

If they hadn't been running this software, would they have cared about that 651ms delay in the first place?

Re:It's called debugging. (2, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803511)

It would have irritated me. When I shut down a computer, I'm ready to go. I don't like sitting around waiting for longer-than-usual shutdowns.

Re:It's called debugging. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803551)

Who gives a fuck how fast the system shuts down? The thing will shut down eventually. Why sit there and wait for it? Who cares?

Re:It's called debugging. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803815)

Who gives a fuck how fast the system shuts down? The thing will shut down eventually. Why sit there and wait for it? Who cares?
Because sometimes, it doesn't, either because I selected the incorrect shutdown option, or because of some strange software conflict, or because a program insists on aborting the shutdown procedure until it finishes what it's working on.

Whatever the cause, sometimes the machine won't shut down when I want it to, so I have to stand around and make sure it does. And I'd like that shutdown to wait as little as possible.

Re:It's called debugging. (1)

pedramnavid (1069694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803841)

Never had to reply?

Performance Center. (5, Informative)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803195)

The "took longer to shut down" messages are from Windows itself. They're exactly what you get from the Performance Center. It's actually very useful when you're trying to find out which applications are making your startup or shutdown times go slow. It's something that Vista has done right, actually.

Re:Performance Center. (1)

xinjiang77 (1106823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803479)

But besides that, there really isnt anything that it accomplishes that msconfig cannot.

Re:Performance Center. (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804197)

Except that I've found it usually complains about essential Windows services or programs I use all the time and can't live without. Not very helpful.

xbox (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803199)

i play xbox with my brother sometimes... its very cool... my brother is 30 years old hes pretty smart... he has 45 iq its the same as heis shoe size.. pretu good considaring 100 is full.... nentendo is cool but wii is beter... i am masetr chief from halo... bcz when i played halo for the second time i knew what was going too happen befor eit happend... so im takeru... its pretty cooll... sonic is cool... i dont like tails though bcz hes sonics girlfrend... i want2 be sonics girlfrend.... sonic is so fast and handsome its increddibnle... sometimes... together... my mom and dad are brother and sister... its prety cool i gess... i herd its prety normal in america.... they love eachother like a father and daugher... theyr so cute together... together... sometimes... xbox... my brother is in wheel chair... but hes cool because hes smart... yea... the boy in the basements said he isnt smart and he say bad thing about my dad... but its no mater... he is chained up... in basement... together... xbox... yea... maybe... xbox is pretty cool bcz they its like games... together... sometimes... i hear screaming from basement... dosnt mater... the boy there is happey.... yea...

Re:xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803249)

Please be quiet, Mr. Ballmer.

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803207)

*Insert joke about vista being released at 0.9 too*

Too lazy to login... but Vista doesn't suck balls! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803277)

I just got forced to used Vista at work, starting Today. (I do embedded development with PIC's. )

I have to say I like Vista.

Once you untweak the UI (Windows Classic Baby!) it actually runs faster than my XP box... Ive used Mac OS from version 2 to the latest Jaguar (I'm a certified apple developer), DOS from when it was really called CPM, Win16->Win64 (ok lying about the 64 part) and dont get me started about *nix/BSD.
I've been toeing the line about dont upgrade to vista.. vista bad.. bla bla. It works and I'm shocked.
I did have a few gotchas ... Thunderbird --> Outlook Was a BITCH. ( You need to run a converter program called ImapSize [broobles.com] ) Because outlook express was missing on my machine ( now called windows mail.. )
I have a few different keyboard locals, and one of my apps wanted to add accent characters instead of /'s
Other than that... I've been enjoying it. Especially this one: Shift-RightClick on a folder and you can open a CMD shell at that location!! Fucking A! no more reg hacking.

Ok time to get back to work.

PS: Nice Work Bill G et al. Sadly the best OS you guys have made to date, and you fucked the one thing you guys do well, MARKETING!!

CMD shell here is about same as the XP power toy (4, Informative)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803381)

Especially this one: Shift-RightClick on a folder and you can open a CMD shell at that location!! Fucking A! no more reg hacking.

You do realize this is just about the same thing as the Windows XP Open Command Window Here power toy?
Here is the link to get it for XP [microsoft.com]

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803535)

Yes, but can I click in an open window with a view of the directory I want and say "Open Command prompt here"? Why in god's name do I have to navigate up a level of directory so I can click on the directory name to open a command prompt in the directory I had been in?

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (1)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803603)

Yes. Right click on any folder and select "Open Command Window Here"

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (1)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804549)

I'm not sure you understand. You can click on a folder icon and open a command window there, but you cannot click on the folder background itself - after you have opened a folder - and open a command window in the folder you are current looking at.

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (4, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804815)

The folder icon for the current folder is up in the left corner, you can right-click there. It always was there, AFAIK.

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (1)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804969)

Try right-clicking on the control menu.

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19805113)

Command Prompt Explorer Bar

Ctrl-M Opens an explorer bar with a windows command prompt. It follows you as you move around in explorer, and it has additional icons and user configurable buttons.

Re:CMD shell here is about same as the XP power to (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805153)

I just tried it out, and you certainly can right click in the background of a folder window and get the context menu for the current folder. Shift-right click allowed "Open Command Window Here" option, and it worked fine. In addition to this, if you have the status bar showing (sorry, now called the details pane), then you can right click on the folder icon to access the current folder.

Under Windows XP, you have to right click on the system menu (the little folder graphic on the left side of the title bar). The same goes for Windows 9X.

Under Windows 3.1, you can right click anywhere on screen and get the usual lack of context menu.

Re:Too lazy to login... but Vista doesn't suck bal (1)

pedramnavid (1069694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803679)

Maybe your XP box is slow. A fresh install of Vista even with the UI tweaked down is slower than XP. You may not notice the difference with the latest dual-core processors and 4 gigs of ram, but if you're on a laptop with an on-board video card with two memory slots (and not looking forward to buying two 2GB sticks), Vista seems impractical. And slow.

Re:Too lazy to login... but Vista doesn't suck bal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803705)

"Especially this one: Shift-RightClick on a folder and you can open a CMD shell at that location!!"

Yawn. Been doing that in KDE for years. But not with those specific key stokes, though. But when Windows does it, it's revolutionary!

Re:Too lazy to login... but Vista doesn't suck bal (3, Informative)

DXMikey (1053856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803773)

I'm running a Dual-Core AMD x64 4200+ with the onboard x1250 ATI card (all my good cards are AGP - I just haven't broke down yet and bought a decent Nvidia).

I've had good luck with Vista overall, the x1250 isn't great and only gives the machine an overall 2.8 rating. Otherwise - I'm not noticing the speed issues I did on my older machines running better graphics cards. Aero runs just fine. I'm not seeing any "2D tearing issues" and xVid, DivX, x264 encodes and DVDs run very smoothly. I use Haali Media Splitter and FFDShow to decode the x264 stuff I create with the Windows port of Handbrake.

IE7 SUCKS, end of story. I use Firefox with the IEtab if I absolutely must run an IE window - useful for getting into our company's webmail. IE7 is nothing more than a miserable hack trying to emulate Firefox and MS should be embarrassed for ever releasing this piece of crap.

Oh yeah...I ditched the Zune when I realized that high humidity was creating a cloud inside the polycarbonate screen cover that would take a week or more to escape. I never had the problem with my iPods...so I'm back to a 4Gig Nano for now. I liked the Zune except for this and one other issue: You can't see the f**kin' screen in daylight, bright or overcast. The iPod is very readable even in bright sunlight.

So, with my dandy new iPod I was finally able to check out the latest MGTEK dosisp WMP 11 plugin. It works as advertised so I was able to ditch iTunes. I was able to format and sync the Nano through WMP 11 with no issues. I haven't fired up Winamp yet in Vista so I can't speak for its iPod support.

Yes - you all can all ding me for my previous Zune comments - but what it did, it did really well. But I'm lovin' the Nano - but would have been happier with the 8G model.

Oh yeah - the MGTEK dosisp plugin is payware. I'm sure there'll be free solutions before too long. WMP 11 does such a nice job that I can't figure out why MS had to re-hack WMP10 into the "Zune Player". It really was crap.

Re:Too lazy to login... but Vista doesn't suck bal (2, Informative)

sid0 (1062444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804299)

IE7 SUCKS, end of story. I use Firefox with the IEtab if I absolutely must run an IE window - useful for getting into our company's webmail. IE7 is nothing more than a miserable hack trying to emulate Firefox and MS should be embarrassed for ever releasing this piece of crap.

Try Maxthon if you want to use IE. It's a lot faster than Firefox can ever be, that's for sure. I'm using an optimised build of Firefox and while it is a lot faster than the Mozilla release, it doesn't match up to Maxthon.

Vista is slower than XP because of the new features: indexing, diagnostics and such. If you disable indexing and other such stuff, you'll find that it runs pretty comparably to XP. Superfetch et al don't hurt, of course.)

Oh, and the AC is right, Vista doesn't suck. Sure there are a couple of bugs (like the slow file copy issue, solved for a lot by disabling Remote Differential Compression in Windows Features, and seems to be solved completely in SP1), but there's also an amazing amount of FUD and pure lies over Vista, especially over DRM. (File copy slow? OMG, DRM CHECKS! etc) Here's a nugget to chew on: if you don't play DRM'd media you will never ever see DRM.

Re:Too lazy to login... but Vista doesn't suck bal (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805161)

> if you don't play DRM'd media you will never ever see DRM.

Not in this version, perhaps. It's exactly this kind of thinking that got you in the state you're in though. Just wait a couple more years and your computer will do exactly what Bill wants. And your constitution will be in a museum.

Optimization Suggestions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19803285)

"And there's no hint as to what to do about it."

There's also no hint on whether it matters. If Windows Shell Services DLL service took 651ms longer to shut down than usual, does anyone care? Or even notice?

Optimization is all well and good, but this is a piss poor example.

slashvertisement tag (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803341)

Anybody?

Re:slashvertisement tag (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803745)

Better than slapping "defectivebydesign" on it, considering that Defective by Design refers to the inclusion of DRM in a product intentionally, rather than just writing software that accidentally sucks.

Amazing... (4, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803355)

It is amazing what developers can sell in the Windows world. $20 for a pretty interface to features that are already in the OS? WTF? Have I just been spoiled by using Linux for 11 years, or what?

Not that things are much better on the Mac (which I use mostly now on the desktop). I downloaded this program, RDC Menu, to launch multiple instance of Windows Remote Desktop Client. There's the standard "trial" and "paid" versions. The author wanted money just to enable the "bookmarks" feature so you could save your connection profiles and select them from a list in the statusbar. I said screw that and I just wrote my own damn program to do it. Took me all of a few hours to get it working the way I wanted. Only functional difference between the two programs is that RDC Menu is more polished (graphics, icons, language translations, etc).

Don't get me wrong, I think programmers should get paid for their work if they want and they're certainly free to charge whatever they want, but how much are we paying of "polish?" Doesn't it seem strange that a simple GUI front end for standard OS features is like 1/5th the cost of the entire OS itself (depending on the version you buy) which probably has 1,000 times the man-hours behind it?

I dunno, when you look at the trivial utilities that people pay $20 or more for, it makes Microsoft products seem pretty damn cheap! That is, if you compare lines of code...

-matthew

 

Re:Amazing... (5, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803477)

They have to charge $20 since not many people (relatively speaking) will purchase it. If they knew 50 million people were going to purchase, then they could charge a lot less.

Re:Amazing... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803791)

They have to charge $20 since not many people (relatively speaking) will purchase it. If they knew 50 million people were going to purchase, then they could charge a lot less.


That's just it, they don't "have to" charge anything. Some of the utilities that people sell are downright trivial when you really get down to it. Like they took some example out of a "how to program" book and slapped a pretty interface on it.

It is wierd, you can get a full web brower completely free but to bookmark a few Remote Desktop connection profiles... $10 (or whatever it was, I don't remember).

I'm willing to admit that I'm just spoiled. :-)

-matthew

Re:Amazing... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804117)

If they are a company trying to make money, then they have to charge.

There will always be somebody willing to pay for certain conveniences, and it's just supply and demand. Taking an example out of a "how to program" book and making a lot of money off it is a great business plan if it works. The cost might be more in support and marketing than actual programming.

Re:Amazing... (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804577)

That's just it, they don't "have to" charge anything. Some of the utilities that people sell are downright trivial when you really get down to it. Like they took some example out of a "how to program" book and slapped a pretty interface on it.

You are grossly underestimating the cost of packaging and retailing software. You don't "slap a pretty interface on it," you have to spend lots of time making the interface decent, work correctly in multiple OS:es and also pay translators to translate your program. You need to write a manual too. Add to that the costs of marketing and retailing. People who write slashvertisements don't work for free you know. :) And ofcourse you need a website, demo software, ordering system, shipping system and accounting.

Those are the real costs in selling software, which are much bigger than what most people think. For example, the biggest cost for broadband carriers are sending bills and registering payments. You're basically paying money to pay money. Free software doesn't need any of that which makes it much, much cheaper to produce than commerical software. Which is why you get it for free.

Re:Amazing... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803851)

No, if they knew 50 million people were going to purchase, that is, the demand was totally inelastic, they would charge far more. They simply solved for the maximum of the function: PeopleWhoWillBuyAtPrice ( X ) * X

Re:Amazing... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804273)

Correct, maximizing profits is the core of all business.

I was just trying to make the point that with high volume you can have lower margins than you do with low volume, and if your volume is low you probably need a higher margin to make money.

Re:Amazing... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804045)

I suspect that if they charged less, fewer people would buy it.
 

Re:Amazing... (2, Insightful)

75th Trombone (581309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804977)

The real reason they charge $20 for all their programs is so people will look at the $50 price on their full Object Desktop suite for a year, and say "Hey, I get about twelve dozen more programs for just over twice as much; that's a good deal!"

The people they con into buying the one program for $20 are just easier money than they're used to; they still want those people to upgrade to the full suite.

I was a subscriber for a long time. It's not a bad little suite, but every program has its quirks, and I finally found it less trouble to just use the default interface. I still use WindowBlinds, though (Velvet Waves [wincustomize.com] forever!).

Re:Amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19805209)

That's not how the market works. If they believed 50 million people were going to buy it at $20, they'd charge $99.95, hope to sell 15 or 20 million copies, and sell 1 million at most. At $20, they're still damaging their own product. If they made it free, included some spy/adware and got payments from the ads, they'd make more money than now.

But I still wouldn't buy it.

Just meaning to say, unless you're already one of the big guys, the only money is made in advertizing these days. Until the next internet bubble bursts (I hope).

Re:Amazing... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803503)

Some people don't have a "few hours" to get things working. Moreover, the only reason it took you a "few hours" is because of the thousands of hours you have learning how computers work and how to write software for them.

Re:Amazing... (2, Interesting)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803719)

It didn't take him a few hours to get it working, it took him a few hours to write another program that does the same thing. That means that, polish aside, the program that the developer was trying to charge for was probably not worth the asking price, yet people buy it anyway because it looks good. The point being, people pay bucks for stuff with animation, not stuff that does stuff, and that is f'ed up.

Re:Amazing... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803903)

>>It didn't take him a few hours to get it working, it took him a few hours to write another program that does the same thing. That means that, polish aside, the program that the developer was trying to charge for was probably not worth the asking price

A commercial product requires "polish" and testing and support and marketing and accounting and etc... You have to recover enough money to pay all the staff and expenses. If you have a small market, you have to charge more.

>>The point being, people pay bucks for stuff with animation, not stuff that does stuff, and that is f'ed up.

Some people pay for animation. Some people pay for the convenience. Some people are not concerned with "doing stuff"; it's just entertainment. People go nuts changing their color scheme just because they can.

Re:Amazing... (1)

Some guy named Chris (9720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803523)

How much would you charge someone else for a few hours of programming? How much did that RDC Menu program cost?

Sure, if you're doing it for funzies, coding it up yourself makes sense. If you just want something to get the job done, and you've got actual productive work you can be doing, it makes more sense to spend the $24.95. Honestly though, in the case of RDC Menu, I'd rather just use rdesktop from the command line.

Re:Amazing... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804237)

How much would you charge someone else for a few hours of programming? How much did that RDC Menu program cost?


If you want to look at it that way, I didn't get a good deal. I could have easily charged in excess of $200 for the time working on my alternative. Paying $19 would have been a much better deal. But I guess I'm just not one to think of my time as money. I did it out of principle. I also wanted a real project so I could practice programming in Objective-C and RubyObjC.

Sure, if you're doing it for funzies, coding it up yourself makes sense. If you just want something to get the job done, and you've got actual productive work you can be doing, it makes more sense to spend the $24.95. Honestly though, in the case of RDC Menu, I'd rather just use rdesktop from the command line.


Ah, but there's the twist. rdesktop is free, right? You get the remote desktop application for free but have to pay for some trivial program that acts as a front-end. I bet a LOT more work went into the rdesktop program.

No real point here, I'm just ranting about how strange it is to sell software at all. It isn't like hard goods where you have a cost for the physical production of an item. With software you can essentially make unlimited copies for free and sell each copy. It isn't quite like a service either. You can't reproduce a service for free and resell it to many people. You usually have to work your service for each client individually.

-matthew

Re:Amazing... (3, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803613)

Took me all of a few hours to get it working the way I wanted. Only functional difference between the two programs is that RDC Menu is more polished (graphics, icons, language translations, etc).

So how much do you normally get paid an hour? Unless its $10 or less, you've spent more money writing it yourself than if you just paid $20.

Re:Amazing... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804349)

So how much do you normally get paid an hour? Unless its $10 or less, you've spent more money writing it yourself than if you just paid $20.


On the other hand, I can download Firefox for free, for example, where I would probably charge millions of dollars to write it myself. I'm just saying that the software market is fucked up. That's all.

-matthew

Re:Amazing... (1)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803617)

Welcome to the fact that people sell what people will buy... proven by the point that it has not been sold to you, since you would not buy it.

Re:Amazing... (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803653)

Check out CoRD (http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/22770/cord)

Re:Amazing... (3, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803825)

The author wanted money just to enable the "bookmarks" feature so you could save your connection profiles and select them from a list in the statusbar. I said screw that and I just wrote my own damn program to do it. Took me all of a few hours to get it working the way I wanted. Only functional difference between the two programs is that RDC Menu is more polished (graphics, icons, language translations, etc).
I don't know about you, but I bill at $89/hour for software development. At "a few hours to get it working the way I wanted", it would be a far more rational for me to just throw the guy a $20 and use my time more productively.

I'd also say that the idea that "polish" isn't worth paying for, and is something optional and unnecessary is one of the biggest problems remaining problems with the FOSS software development community.

Re:Amazing... (0)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804465)

I don't know about you, but I bill at $89/hour for software development. At "a few hours to get it working the way I wanted", it would be a far more rational for me to just throw the guy a $20 and use my time more productively.


So when you do some programming on your own time, for fun and/or learning, do you think to yourself "Damn, I'm losing $89/hour!"

I know I don't. My time does not == money. There might be some people who will pay money for my time in certain situation, but my time does not have a price as a general rule.

I'd also say that the idea that "polish" isn't worth paying for, and is something optional and unnecessary is one of the biggest problems remaining problems with the FOSS software development community.


Meh. There is no such "problem" in the FOSS development community. The only problem is with your expectations. It is free, damn it. Take it or leave it. But whatever you do, you don't complain when it doesn't live up to your expectations. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.

-matthew

Re:Amazing... (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804655)

You sure are arguing in circles...$20 is starting to look like a pretty good deal based on the points you've made in this thread.

And we wonder why FOSS acceptance is still lagging behind...

Re:Amazing... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804849)

You sure are arguing in circles...$20 is starting to look like a pretty good deal based on the points you've made in this thread.


But I'm not even "arguing." I'm juts ranting about how messed up the software market seems. This has nothing to do with what is a better deal. That comment I made about Microsoft products being a good deal was tongue-in-cheek sarcasm.

-matthew

People are funny. (2, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803923)

The author wanted money just to enable the "bookmarks" feature so you could save your connection profiles and select them from a list in the statusbar. I said screw that and I just wrote my own damn program to do it. Took me all of a few hours to get it working the way I wanted. Only functional difference between the two programs is that RDC Menu is more polished (graphics, icons, language translations, etc)....

I dunno, when you look at the trivial utilities that people pay $20 or more for, it makes Microsoft products seem pretty damn cheap! That is, if you compare lines of code...

Depends on your priorities in life I guess, but IMO two hours of my time is worth much more to me than $20.

Amazes me sometimes that someone will spend hours of time to save $20, or drive halfway across town to save 10 cents a gallon on gas (a couple of bucks at most for a tank). Then the same people won't take the five minutes it takes to check your tire pressure each month, which costs them way more in the long run.

People are funny.

Re:People are funny. (2, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804607)

Depends on your priorities in life I guess, but IMO two hours of my time is worth much more to me than $20.


Another thing that amazes me is how many people put a price on their time as a general rule. It is as if they can't do something in life without consciously or unconsciously keeping a running tab of how much it is all going to cost someone in the end. Sad, really.

Amazes me sometimes that someone will spend hours of time to save $20,


Did it ever occur to you that saving money had nothing to do with it? I did it out of principle... to prove to myself just how trivial the product was. I did it to learn a new type of programmimng (Cocoa/Objective-C). I did it for fun.

This is Slashdot! You'd think more people would UNDERSTAND the spirit of open source!

-matthew

Re:People are funny. (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805119)

In fairness, your original most did not say that you did it for fun, and the gest of your post was about the value of software. If someone spends 50-60 hours a week programming at work, they may look at somethings in a cost per hour perspective if it would not be an enjoyable project for them.

I also think if you are working 50-60 hours a week and have a wife and kids, you are pretty selective in what you do in your free time that doesn't involve the wife and kids since you have so little of it.

I don't put a price on my free time, but after the second baby is born you get a greater appreciation how valuable it is.

Re:Amazing... (1, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803999)

5 hours of coding, to me, is at the very least $60 worth of chargeable time.

Which is cheaper now?

Re:Amazing... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804721)

Oh my God. If I read another "which is more valuable, several hours of your time or $20?" reply, I'm going to puke. What a completely uninsightful and thoughtless response to what I wrote. The actual dollar amounts are irrelevant.

Re:Amazing... (1)

radarjd (931774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805191)

What a completely uninsightful and thoughtless response to what I wrote. The actual dollar amounts are irrelevant.

The GP's post seemed thoughtful to me. How are actual dollar amounts irrelevant? -- you asked "how much are we paying for polish" and "Doesn't it seem strange that a simple GUI front end for standard OS features is like 1/5th the cost of the entire OS itself". The GP simply replied that it was worth it to him.

Sometimes time is worth more than money, sometimes not. For most people, the opportunity cost of writing the interface themselves is greater $20. For you, it's not. Both are cool with me...

Re:Amazing... (2, Funny)

legirons (809082) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804353)

"Not that things are much better on the Mac"

Indeed. Imagine having to download third-party software [slashdotdash.net] just to disable the startup noise...

(And if anyone knows how to stop iPhoto popping up whenever it thinks you've attached a camera, I'd like to hear how...)

Re:Amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19804451)

I said screw that and I just wrote my own damn program to do it. Took me all of a few hours to get it working the way I wanted.

Maybe you could have instead done some programming that was worth more than the ~$4 an hour you earned. There are lots of programs I pay for that I could have easily written myself, but it makes more sense to fork over a little dough instead. It's not like I have extra time an am looking for projects to fill it.

Re:Amazing... (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19805351)

Do you buy bread at the store? If so, why? You can just as easily put all the ingredients together, knead the dough, and bake it yourself. After a couple of hours of work, you have many more loaves of bread at a fraction of the cost the store charges them for.

You pay for the bread at the store for convenience, and the fact that you know that every loaf you buy will be consistently tasty and made to some standard of quality.

Who pays cash for this dumb shit? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803481)

A stupid VB front end to some registry hacks. Weedooo

Oh well, I guess that's as much know-how as I'd expect from an Apple fan site - HOW TO USE A CREDIT CARD AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR COMPUTER SAVVY.

You're complaining about 651ms in Vista? (3, Funny)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803543)

'According to TweakVista, on July 1st, the "Windows Shell Services DLL service took 651ms longer to shut down than usual." That's nice. Other than this stark presentation, there's no digestible information as to why the shell services DLL took over half a second longer to shut down. And there's no hint as to what to do about it.'

Seriously, if you're complaining about 651ms when you're using Vista... You need to get out of the house more. ;)

slashdotforsale (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803555)

How the fuck was this even remotely newsworthy? Shall I just take every announcement on nonags and pipe it here?

Re:slashdotforsale (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803597)

Articles such as this serve to provide a regular oppurtunity to bag on Vista, which is a popular pasttime on Slashdot.

Re:slashdotforsale (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803985)

Oh, and here I was going to "bag" on Stardock for claiming that their products don't have DRM (GalCiv for example), but if it's distributed using Stardock, it's DRM laden. (IE: you can't run the game unless you connect to them to "activate" it.)

Re:slashdotforsale (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804405)

Bagging on DRM is even more popular than bagging on Vista, just wait a few minutes. I will probably even be modded down because the word "bag" might somehow belittle the importance of defying the evil of DRM. Baggin on Vista is a pasttime; bagging on DRM is every Slashdotter's duty.

Clarification required (0, Offtopic)

xinjiang77 (1106823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803627)

"Windows Shell Services DLL service took 651ms longer to shut down than usual."
Define usual.

Startup (5, Funny)

Mazin07 (999269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803765)

As one of the screenshots clearly shows, the guy's computer is infested with Norton AntiVirus and iTunes. Don't worry, I have a utility that can remove programs like those, and it only costs $19.95.

Nothing new (4, Informative)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19803809)

You can do manually whatever this GUI does and for free:

http://www.speedyvista.com/ [speedyvista.com]

Used it and it ...... (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804127)

Sucks. Thought it would be a great little app, but was worthless, most of the tweaks where diasabling services and it did not really tell me what it was doing. Will stick to manual configurations.

Just bought a new PC - purposely got XP (1)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804351)

Was shopping for a budget PC, ended up buying eMachines. There were a number of vendors in my price range, what was the single most disqualifying factor for them? Offering Vista. The PCs had either 512 MB RAM or 1024, yet all of the 512 MB machines managed to ship with Vista. At the end, eMachines won because it came with XP, had 1024 MB RAM, although smaller HD (120 GB vs 250), and crappy video card (integrated Radeon 200).

Next task? Wipe it completely off and reinstall from scratch :) looking forward to my evenings over the next few days.

Sysinternals Mark Russinovich Technet Article (1)

jujuchef (452269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804415)

This article answers the question as to why the shutdown can take longer:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues /2007/03/VistaKernel/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

From the article it would seem that more defensive shutdown sequence can cause a slowdown with the extra checks on each service it performs, rather than madly slashing down services at will. Ho hum, any publicity is still just that...

Free version (4, Informative)

Island Dog (1023019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19804495)

I would like to make an addition that wasn't included in the review. There will be a free version available, and the $20 is for the premium version with additional features. It will also be included for people with subscriptions to Object Desktop by Stardock.
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