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Windows Vista Annoyances

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-a-big-list dept.

Book Reviews 399

stoolpigeon writes "It has been well documented that the reception for Microsoft's Windows Vista has not been all that warm. Yet, visiting the web site of many PC manufacturers or visiting a retail outlet selling computers will show that most new hardware is being offered with Vista as the primary if not only option. O'Reilly's newest in their Annoyances series, "Windows Vista Annoyances", by David A. Karp, seeks to alleviate some of the pain for new Vista users. For the Vista owner who is able to put the book's suggestion into place, the edge should be taken off. For the individual considering a purchase of Vista and wondering if it can really be that bad, this book seems to indicate that yes, it is that bad." Read below for the rest of JR's review.I've read a decent number of O'Reilly titles over the years. My bookshelf for technical books is a rainbow of the various volumes, each with their wood carving style cover. I don't think in all those years I've ever read an introduction like the one in annoyances. O'Reilly authors tend to be enthusiastic about their topic and are often well known proponents of the technology discussed. I can only guess that Karp is not a huge fan of Vista. The preface begins with a section labeled "Why am I annoyed?" and that section concludes with the question, "Would Microsoft be making decisions like these if it had to compete fairly for your business?" The first sentence of the first chapter is, "Windows Vista is like a papaya: sleek on the outside, but a big mess on the inside." And Karp never lets up. Throughout the book, from start to finish, he never tries to gloss over the ugliness of Vista. This book may be hazardous to the health of Microsoft fanboys. I would imagine that too much time reading would lead to high blood pressure at the very least.

In view of the mess that is Vista, Karp informs the reader that, "Whether it goes down smoothly or gives you heartburn is up to you." The point of the book is to give the reader the information that they need to make Vista palatable. This may sound simple but it brings up what I thought was the most difficult issue for Karp. Vista Annoyances is written with a level of detail and explanation that marks it clearly for the user with casual knowledge of personal computers and how they work. Karp takes the time to explain things like what it means to zip a file, what happens when defrag is run on a hard drive, networking basics and so on. This is great for someone like me, who is sure to start getting a slew of calls from friends and family as some of them move to Vista. The problem is, many of the solutions revolve around steps that are not necessarily a good idea for the pc novice. A large portion of the solutions revolve around editing the registry. The third chapter of the book deals solely with the registry. How it works, how to navigate within it and how to alter it. For some people this could be a great route to take, for many it could lead to much more serious problems than they had in the first place.

For the technically proficient, this book will seem a bit bloated. They don't need all the explanation given for the beginner. Many of the books solutions are not just Vista specific. They give information and work arounds for Windows issues that have existed in XP and possibly back to 98. The saving grace is a thorough index. The person who buys this as a reference to help out others, or deal with some specific issue will find that the extensive index helps to not waste time working through what could feel like a lot of extra material.

I don't think this issue of complexity is necessarily the author's fault. Many of the changes users will want to make to Vista just can't be made any other way than through the registry. Where it is possible to use a programitic interface (gui or command line) Karp gives thorough and detailed instructions, with screen shots on how to do so. But for many options those tools don't exist or have been removed, leaving direct editing of the registry as the only solution left. Another issue, that is somewhat similar, is that for most home users, some of the better solutions wont be available as they wont have access to tools available in Vista Ultimate and Business editions. This isn't Karps fault again, but it means for many the book will have a lot of information that they just can't use.

Dealing with the various editions and their features is handled immediately in the first chapter. That chapter, "Get Started with Windows Vista", also covers installation. Karp goes over the various types of installs and gives tips on how to deal with failed installs, how to best set up prior to an install and how to deal with licensing. Throughout the book, Karp makes note when he is talking about a feature, choice or tool that is limited to a subset of the Vista family. Keeping track of it all can be a bit confusing. Once again, I don't really see this as a shortcoming on the part of the author. It's just the nature of the beast.

The title of the second chapter threw me at first. It is, "Shell Tweaks." When I hear the word shell my mind immediately brings up bash or ksh. In this case Karp is talking about Windows Explorer. As this is the primary interface for users working with the Vista file system, the chapter holds some vital information for attaining a sane and consistent user experience. Karp points out that many of the defaults are not going to endear themselves to many users and in many cases do not make much sense. When Karp discusses explorer he explains how to modify it when opened to various folders and also in the context of the desktop and taskbar.

Karp points out many third party tools that he feels will help the user. Many are free, some are not. The tools mentioned more than any other are Creative Element's Powertools. Powertools can be downloaded for a free 45 day trial period but costs $18 to license beyond that time frame. This is important as many of Karps solutions can be managed without this software but would be very cumbersome. This is especially true of all the editing done in the registry.

The registry chapter is thorough and offers a detailed explanation of what the registry is and how it works. This material could be useful for anyone using any version of windows. The issue of trying to make Vista useful for non-technical users rears its head here quite a bit, as I mentioned. I found myself reading explanations of hex and binary as well as reading how to create a patch file for the registry. This could be useful information for me, in helping others with Windows issues. But when I consider my parents, there is no way I would want them trying out half of what is in this chapter. They would in all likelihood need a complete reinstall in no time. What reading this said to me, more than anything was that most people are going to just have to settle for Vista the way Microsoft gives it to them.

The chapter on dealing with multimedia was interesting and could prove helpful for users with less experience. There are solid explanations on codecs, players and how to get the most out of media, especially video. There is very little said about Vista and DRM. There is no mention of possible problems with hardware due to DRM. In fact the discussion on DRM was primarily limited to a short mention of Tunebite and MyFair Tunes for DRM removal. I assume that this is because finding and explaining such issues would have required a lot more time, research and hardware. Vista annoyances pretty much sticks to the basics of media use.

I had to chuckle a bit as I read the chapter on performance as many of the recommendations involve turning off much of what differentiates Vista from XP. It is useful though, as Karp explains what the configurable options are and how much one can expect in gains. He does make it clear that the initial defaults are less than ideal and it is worth the time to dig in and make adjustments. The same can be said for security and in that regard the chapters on networking and users are indispensable. Once again, getting all the tools will involve having Ultimate/Business and installing third party tools to bring Vista into line.

I've rated the book 8 out of 10. This is due to two issues. The first negative I have explained quite a bit and that is the book speaks to the novice but requires someone with more experience in many cases. While this is may not be the fault of the author and a necessity brought on by the subject matter, it still makes the book less useful. The second is that quite often I found the author bringing up points only to say that he would explain more later in the same chapter or in another chapter. This is because the chapters themselves are built around topics like performance and troubleshooting. But when Karp is working his way through each option of a menu it branches out into other topics, as many options in Vista are spread all over the place. Once again, this seems to be more of a Vista issue, but hinders learning none the less.

After finishing this book, my first thought was that I am going to do all I can to make sure that no family or friends buy a machine with Vista if possible. Service Pack 1 will address just a few of the issues that Vista brings to the table. From what I've read about it fixing activation 'loopholes' it could make some things worse. Should I find myself approached by someone who already has Vista and wants help, I would recommend this book if they have some idea of what they are doing or can learn without getting into too much trouble. For that classic parent or grandparent always brought up as an example, I think I would just tell them Visa is the way it is and hope that they adjust. If I like them enough, I'll pull this book off the shelf and head on over to help them out.

You can purchase Windows Vista Annoyances from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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399 comments

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237358)

_0_
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'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse annoyances: click to read more [goatse.ch]

Seriously? (1, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237370)

Somebody actually wrote a book on the things they don't like about Vista? A subject that doesn't even make for an interesting blog entry has been padded out to 641 pages and is being sold for $20+? Unbelievable.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237382)

It's actually a book about the annoyances, and how to fix them. Just listing annoyances would be stupid. Listing the annoyances, along with giving details of how to get around them, so they are no longer annoying, is actually quite useful.

Re:Seriously? (1, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237480)

But as the review explains, many of the fixes probably aren't suitable for the intended audience of the book, which kind of makes that a moot point.

That issue aside, when it comes to making changes that you're not entirely comfortable with (which presumably you wouldn't be if you needed a book to tell you how) it's usually a lot more useful to have an interactive environment (ie. IRC, web forum, mailing list) in which you can fire back questions if things don't go according to plan. Books are great for reference, great for providing large swathes of information that might be difficult to find all in one place online, but for troubleshooting problems on something as changeable as an operating system it seems like a book is simply the wrong medium.

Re:Seriously? (-1, Flamebait)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237844)

Stop posting on the internet...NOW. That book is for newbies who want everything explained carefully...hence the perception of bloat for an experienced user. There is a lot of extra material but that's good since an advanced user can skim the material and leave out the unneeded. If forums work for you, good and well - just don't be presumptuous enough to assume that they will work for everyone - people with network problems included. Like i said, stop posting on the internet.

Re:Seriously? (-1, Flamebait)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237972)

Sure, I'll get right on that.

First though I'll try and explain my point again since you obviously didn't get it the first time: Newbies are the ones who need the benefits of internet help the most because they can keep asking questions that are specific to their situation - specific to exactly what they errors/issues are seeing and experiencing. A book can prepare you well, but it cannot possibly pre-emptively respond to every hiccup and setback a user will experience, both in using Vista and attempting to fix those problems.

Do you understand now, or am I going to have to keep posting on the internet so I can try and force this concept into your little brain again?

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

CellBlock (856082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238102)

Maybe, but newbies are also the ones who aren't particularly comfortable with asking questions, often can't completely explain the issues they're having (It don't do nothin'), and might have screwed something up which would prevent them from accessing the Internet.

A book, which can be propped open next to the keyboard and monitor, can be followed like a cookbook, minimizing the headaches of searching forums (and then trying to find those forums again after Windows asks you to reboot for whatever reason).

This sounds trivial to everyone here at /., but it's not for us.

Re:Seriously? (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238092)

That book is for newbies who want everything explained carefully...hence the perception of bloat for an experienced user.

Are you sure? From the review:

The problem is, many of the solutions revolve around steps that are not necessarily a good idea for the pc novice. A large portion of the solutions revolve around editing the registry.

We've all seen the damage newbs can do when playing with the registry...have you?

Re:Seriously? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237868)

The intended audience is probably corporate Windows admins, helpdesk people and the like at least as much as unskilled home users.

A Møøse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237552)

A Møøse once bit my sister ... No realli!

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237560)

The easiest way to get around them is to not install Vista. This should be the first proposed solution.

Re:Seriously? (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237562)

Just listing annoyances would be stupid.

Did you mean: would be slashdot?

Re:Seriously? (2, Interesting)

Bahbus (1180627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237564)

Yeah, but anyone with half a brain can Google their Vista annoyance and find a FREE solution. Why would anyone waste money to read about some other guys annoyances and how to fix them? I personally use Vista Ultimate now, and for comparison I have also used Ubuntu for a while. In fact in my approx 6-7 months of using Ubuntu, I had plenty of annoyances. After I switched to Vista, I didn't have any problems or annoyances ay all.

Re:Seriously? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237762)

After I switched to Vista, I didn't have any problems or annoyances ay all.

Wow, could it get anymore fanboy than claiming Vista works perfectly? And if you're not saying it works perfectly, then why doesn't it annoy you when it doesn't work right?

Why would anyone waste money to read about some other guys annoyances and how to fix them?

For the convenience of being able to read things like this while commuting on a subway or other public transportation? Maybe to read while on the toilet? There's a lot of reasons to buy something in dead tree format that you could get for free through google. For example, you could learn about history using google, but sometimes it's nice to read something that has a consistent presentation and communication style. Reading things through google can lead you to articles that are written by people with shitty writing ability and who don't take the time to be complete in their description/documentation of things. It also can lead to a lot of time wasted digging through crap returns and crap forum postings and just plain crap. Google is great, but it's not perfect.

Re:Seriously? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237870)

While he was typing a message popped up saying You are down talking vista Allow or Cancel (They switched order) so he hit cancel and changed the post. Using vista I just remember that Mac Comerical. ... Allow ... You open the IIS manager Cancel or Allow Well duh! I Open the IIS Manager by clicking the Icon I would Think I want access to the App.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237764)

Somebody actually wrote a book on how to buy a Mac? A subject that doesn't even make for an interesting blog entry has been padded out to 641 pages and is being sold for $20+? Unbelievable.

Re:Seriously? (2, Funny)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237924)

> It's actually a book about the annoyances, and how to fix them.

method #1: get a real OS.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237394)

I dunno. Based on the comments here, a lot must have been cut out to make it FIT in only 641 pages. :)

Oblig. Douglas Adams (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238006)

This was the first thing I thought of:

The reason why it [the Hitchhiker's Guide] was published in the form of a micro sub meson electronic component is that if it were printed in normal book form, an interstellar hitchhiker would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it around in.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

Laughing Pigeon (1166013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237440)

Somebody actually wrote a book on the things they don't like about Vista?
Clippy: "I notice that you are writing things you should not be writing, would you like me to throw a chair at you?"

Re:Seriously? (0, Flamebait)

sepluv (641107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237792)

Actually that really isn't funny. Microsoft Office (and I think maybe Microsoft Windows too) has long had a term in its EULA outlawing its use to write anything that might harm Microsoft's reputation or disparage their products.

Unfortunately, Microsoft makes their Microsoft Office EULA [microsoft.com] available for download only as an executable binary (.EXE) following a couple of download pages (containing a flashing Javascript pop up that moves about encouraging me to upgrade my browser to Internet Explorer)—I kid you not—making it difficult for me to check the latest terms on GNU/Linux.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237594)

My sentiments exactly. Has there anywhere, ever before been a 600+ page book written about problems with a product and how to work around them?

600 pages not so bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237732)

I was thinking it would be more like 600 pounds if my experience was typical.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237960)

Search for "annoyances" in Amazon books and you will see :)

Re:Seriously? (4, Informative)

el_gordo101 (643167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237606)

O'Reilly publishes quite a few books [oreilly.com] in the "Annoyances" series (Windows XP Annoyances, Mac Annoyances, etc.) This is just the next one in the series.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237664)

Somebody actually wrote a *book* on the things they don't like about Vista?


The publisher told him the trilogy probably wouldn't sell as well.

UAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237802)

It looks like you are posting in support of Vista. Doing so may ruin your karma, causing you to leave Slashdot and get a life.

[Cancel] or [Allow]?

One for me too, please. (0, Troll)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237390)

Off to Barnes and Noble I go. Can't wait to read and share with the local Microsoft fanboys.

Linux zealot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237550)

Look in the mirror idiot.

sigh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237410)

Linux on the desktop
bla bla
DirectX 10
bla bla
It sucks because I can't get my drivers to work
bla bla
It sucks because it's MS
bla bla
It sucks because: Recycle old post
bla bla
Vista == Me
blablabla

You forgot one (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237624)

It sucks because it just fucking sucks big hairy donkey balls.

Re:You forgot one (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237836)

That's not a drawback, it's a feature.

Blinking clocks (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237436)

did he cover BLINKING CLOCKS?

NOTHING is worse than a BLINKING clock where an NIST unit should have been fitted.

anyone fitting an electronic device with a BLINKING clock should be re-assigned to cleaning out the hog pen.

Meh (4, Informative)

rwven (663186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237478)

If you want to alleviate Vista annoyances, and you MUST use Vista, use vLite [vlite.net] and make a custom Vista install image with ONLY the stuff you want on it. I just did this yesterday and it works wonders. Vista doesn't feel like a slug anymore.

Re:Meh (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237566)

Oh, sure. Provided you don't want to install any Service Packs now or in the future, I'm sure it's fine. From the link in your post:

It came to my attention that some of you expected to install Service Pack on the lite Vista, without some components.
Unfortunatelly that is not possible, nor it was ever expected to be because Service Pack is meant to update the whole installation, if it detects that something is missing it aborts.

So the only way to use vLite on SP1 is to use it on the preintegrated version, meaning you can configure the Vista DVD or ISO which already has SP1 in it.
Until Microsoft releases one you can try making your own by following this guide.
But be careful, it's not official nor easy method so it is recommended only for the experienced users.

Re:Meh (1, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237602)

Oh, but don't worry about that! You won't need to install any Service Packs because Microsoft ALWAYS gets it right the first time!

Re:Meh (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237614)

It depends on what you remove. Certain things like Mail and Calendar, if removed, will keep SP's from installing. My install is strictly a gaming machine. I dual boot XP and Vista. When SP1 comes out officially, I'll slipstream it into a new image, vLite that image, format, reinstall, and put my games back on. Not a huge deal depending on the person.

Obviously this book, as well as vLite, are not for everyone.

Re:Meh (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237798)

You can't slipstream service packs in Vista.

Re:Meh (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237900)

Doing that much work seems ridiculous. I just stop the programs and services I don't want running. What do I care if I'm wasting a few GB on the hard drive? It doesn't offend me that Mail or Calendar are physically present on the disk.

Re:Meh (1)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237992)

Will VLite work with an OEM recovery "install" disk?

Of course it is about the Registry. (2, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237492)

A large portion of the solutions revolve around editing the registry. The third chapter of the book deals solely with the registry. How it works, how to navigate within it and how to alter it. For some people this could be a great route to take, for many it could lead to much more serious problems than they had in the first place.

There are really only two options.

#1. Run a utility that makes the Registry changes for you. Where are you going to find that?

#2. Edit the Registry by hand. At least the option is there.

Re:Of course it is about the Registry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22238122)

Can vista use .reg files like XP and previous can?

Re:Of course it is about the Registry. (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238176)

Yes - and the book covers how to create your own.

Profit (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237498)

At least someone will be making some money from Vista.

Even if it's not Microsoft, memory chip makers or OEMs.

Re:Profit (1)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237628)

Yeah never mind the fact that Vista has only sold 100 million copies to the end of December and that Microsoft had it's best quarter in history.

Re:Profit (3, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238046)

Yeah never mind the fact that Vista has only sold 100 million copies to the end of December and that Microsoft had it's best quarter in history.

Yeah, but how much did they pay the developers to write it? They released XP in October 25, 2001. They released Vista to the public January 30, 2007. That's over five years of paycheques to recoup before they actually start to turn a profit on this release.

Of course, it's the big media companies who paid for Vista. Microsoft saw the writing on the wall, and they sold out their install base. They didn't put the new features in for the benefit of the consumer, they put them in because they hope to get a few points on the dollar from the copyright industries once they've created an infrastructure for total information control. I imagine the US government threw a lot of money in the pot too.

Hopefully, this will all just collapse under its own weight. If it doesn't, eventually, it is going to be necessary to send ground troops after these people and force them to stop what they're doing.

My Only Vista Complaint (4, Interesting)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237504)

My only Vista complaint is that it 'forgets' about my printer. Every now and then, usually when I need to print something asap, I sent a document to my printer and nada. I take a look and it thinks my printer is offline. The only solution I have found so far is to delete the printer and re-add it. I have a dual core system and at times i'll notice 1 core 100% busy with spoolv.exe (or some such).

Other than that, there are a few things that annoy me but nothing that royally ticks me off like the printer issue. I should say, i'm a casual user. I use the system to read email, browse the web, play around with a few vmware images and burn home videos. Since I got my xbox 360 at xmas, I rarely play games, so even tho vista is a resource hog, I haven't noticed much.

Shock Horror (-1, Troll)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237506)

An opinion of Vista that is less than favourable. On Slashdot. Who'd have thunk?

And yet, what I want to know and has yet to be answered by anyone no matter how anti-Microsoft they are is this....

If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost? OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all, and it's not like Macs aren't selling either so it's clearly not just a Windows thing.

Well all know that OEMs will be making up the majority of Vista sales, even the most pro-Microsoft people will not deny that, but that begs the question why do OEMs love it so much?

Re:Shock Horror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237650)

If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost?

You feel like a troll so I'm going to answer this with a question. Why do you think OEM's have a serious choice?

Re:Shock Horror (5, Informative)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237658)

The reason that OEMs appear to love Vista so much is that Microsoft forces it down their throats. Years ago I was a Microsoft OEM vendor. In order to obtain the best possible license price, you had to meet a certain quota. This was a hard-and-fast number of licenses that you had to sell to maintain your price point. So obviously the OEMs will want to sell as many copies of Vista as they can in order to maximize their profits. In addition to this, I also work in a technical support call center (although not as Tech Support). For the OEMs that my company handles, do you think that they want to have to train every new class on multiple operating systems? It's far cheaper for them to retrain the people who have XP and 2000 training, and then ONLY train the new agents in Vista and XP, and then drop XP completely when they are no longer supporting systems with XP installed on them. For the OEM, it pays them in the long run to force Vista down our throats.

To summarize:
  1. Microsoft has quotas for license pricing that ensures OEMs will want to sell as many Vista licenses as possible
  2. OEMs do not want to have to train new technical support representatives on any more operating systems than they absolutely have to, and are therefore quick to throw an older version aside in favour of the newer version, even if the older version causes fewer problems.

Even Cheaper (2, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237744)

Don't sell Windows at all, and make most Linux PCs? That's got to be the best possible license price, right?

Re:Even Cheaper (0, Flamebait)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238018)

Don't sell Windows at all, and make most Linux PCs? That's got to be the best possible license price, right?
The only problem with this logic is that 90% of the computer users who are purchasing a new PC do not want linux. They may not be overly thrilled about Windows, but at least it's somewhat familiar. You may be able to drop the cost of the system by 10% by only including Linux, but what good is that if you lose 90% of your sales? That's still a drop of 91% in revenue, by my math (and I'm a Financial Analyst by trade). So, there is a trade-off in using a free OS vs. using a commonly-accepted OS. Despite the fact that certain OEMs have recently started selling systems with Linux on them, the majority of their sales are for Windows machines because it is what people are most comfortable with. There are elements that do not change in their basic nature from XP to Vista that would be dramatically changed if you go from XP to any Linux distribution. I won't even begin to list the differences, anyone that has used both Linux and Windows knows full-well the differences between the two. For a person that has never touched a computer in their life, it could be easier to use Linux over Vista, but for someone that has only ever used Windows boxes, the leap between XP and Vista will always be smaller than the leap between XP and Linux.

Re:Shock Horror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237682)

If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost? OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all, and it's not like Macs aren't selling either so it's clearly not just a Windows thing.

They don't? I thought that there were complex webs of marketing deals and licenses which Microsoft had utilized to cause the market penetration of XP to lessen.

Re:Shock Horror (4, Informative)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237746)

If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost?

Umm, pretty much because Microsoft is forcing them to. And, yes, Microsoft does get to say when you can or can't sell something.

OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all, and it's not like Macs aren't selling either so it's clearly not just a Windows thing.

You have no idea of what an OEM agreement is, do you? Yes, OEMs are forced into buying Vista. Either that, or they forfeit all the nice marketing support, pricing, and other goodies that Microsoft gives - and that amounts to a lot of money. Think I'm kidding? Just try to buy an XP computer from Dell or HP after June 30'th. That's the cut-off date set by Microsoft for OEM sales.

Re:Shock Horror (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237810)

I would've thought Linux would be even cheaper right? I mean, you've got to support an OS anyway, why Windows?

Re:Shock Horror (2, Interesting)

sepluv (641107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237950)

I would've thought Linux would be even cheaper right?
If your company wants to have any dealings with MS ever again, it is actually more expensive. All of Microsoft's agreements with OEMs charge based on how many PCs are shipped by the OEM, rather than how many PCs are shipped with an MS OS on. And that's leaving aside the fact that MS forces all OEMs to "recommend" the latest version of their OS and has consistently penalised any who ship with a non-MS OS using various lawful and unlawful means.

I love this (-1, Offtopic)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237774)

Ask an unpopular question on slashdot, and get modded into the ground.

Worse yet, there was in fact one response to this parent that I was actually hoping for i.e., a constructive one.

A fuck it, I've got Karma to burn, baby.

Re:Shock Horror (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237800)

OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all,

If you believe that, I'll sell you this nice pretty bridge I live under.

Re:Shock Horror (1)

squallbsr (826163) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237830)

OEMs love Vista so much because its probably slightly cheaper and has a longer 'supported' lifetime compared to XP Home. If I were building OEM machines (I do sometimes), I would sell Vista Home Premium (~$110 from newegg) instead of XP Pro (~$140 from newegg), both of which would be supported and have bugs patched for a longer period of time. XP Home has always sucked and with its end of life, I wouldn't be caught dead supporting something that has been dropped by Microsoft.

Bottom Line: It's because XP support is being dropped by Microsoft in the near future.

Re:Shock Horror (2, Informative)

GalacticCmdr (944723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237834)

If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost? OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all, and it's not like Macs aren't selling either so it's clearly not just a Windows thing.

I will assume that you are new to this because things have been this way since the Pentiums first rolled out. There is nothing illegal, immoral or anything else wrong. It has nothing to do with liking or even if the OS is useful to their customers. It all comes down to availability and profit. It is not even limited to the computer industry as Games Workshop does the same thing.

Shops will sell what has the highest profit margin and what they can get their hands on. The two computer shops near my house could not get access to retail WinXP licenses after Vista shipped. There was nothing to be had as Microsoft stopped selling them through their channel. They had no choice but to put Vista on the shelves. The second company (much bigger than the first) actually got a nice sized "advertising" cost offset from Microsoft channels to display/sell Vista. The limitation was that they had to remove XP from the shelves and really push Vista to make up the numbers, thus giving them more offsets.

OEMs love it because they are paid to love it. For the same reason there is that the Intel Inside sticker was put on everything. Microsoft pays them in advertising dollars for each time they run something with the Vista logo.

Good or bad has nothing to do with why companies place Vista so highly. Companies could care less about Vista except that it has the capability to drive more expensive purchases. Its all about the money.

Re:Shock Horror (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237892)

All the shops sell computers with Vista pre-installed simply because that's what the OEMs offer. OEMs aren't forced into installing Vista on all machines they sell. But they are heavily encouraged by Microsoft to sell Vista on every machine, in the same way a small business may be encouraged by a couple heavies to buy "insurance" without getting a receipt.

On second thought, the OEMs probably like Vista because it makes them more money. Not because of any value Vista brings, but because the customer needs to upgrade from 1GB to 2GB of RAM, and get a faster CPU, to make it run smoothly. Ever priced out memory upgrades from Dell or HP? The markup is ridiculous.

The same probably goes for the retailers--I know a few people who have had to upgrade the RAM on their computers. They take their computer to Best Buy or Circuit City, pay triple the cost of the RAM to get it installed, and go on their merry way. The retailers are making bank on this sort of business.

Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (4, Interesting)

Cy Sperling (960158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237510)

I had to replace my home laptop a few months back and Vista was the only OS offered by Dell. Since it is our wireless 'internet and email only' computer, I opted for a not-so-powerful build. My experience w/ XP led me to believe that I could fairly quickly tune the machine how I wanted and get by just fine for the low impact tasks I wanted to achieve.

So, now my wife and I both say "I hate this f*cking computer" on a daily basis. First boot of the day often takes 5-10 minutes to simply stabilize and remain consistantly responsive with nothing but Firefox running. I am completely clueless as to what the hell this machine is doing on it's own that takes up all of its processing power that it can't handle simultaneously opening perezhilton.com. Additionally, the security package keeps annoying me over and over that my computer is not fully protected!!! because I turned off features that don't apply to our usage of it.

I would love to know a good resource to consult on how to tune the OS to get better performance w/o having to get into non-novice registry tweaks. I doubt this book could help me. Can anyone recommend a good resource for some more basic level Vista tweak advice?

Re:Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237866)

I had to replace my home laptop a few months back and Vista was the only OS offered by Dell.

If you're ordering from Dell and want XP, call them and say, "I want to buy a new system, but only if it comes with windows XP."

Dell will be happy to sell your system with XP, even if it's not advertised.

Re:Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237948)

Did you uninstall the OEM software such as anti virus products? Also Vista defrags hard drives slowly unless you force it to do so.

I disabled and uninstalled all the software include the games from WildTangent which is a known spyware maker. THen I ran the disk defrag utility. Now its fine.

You can disable indexing and windows search and turning off volume shadow copy and especially restore point. This would help with random disk access.

If you need anti virus capabilities there are free ones like clamWin which wont virtualize your whole I/O system in order to catch a virus.

Do this and your computer will be alot faster.

Re:Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237988)

If it's an email and internet only computer I really see no reason to continue with Vista. Put a copy of Ubuntu on it: you are already using Firefox so won't even need to change your browser, and the OS is at least as straightforward to use as Windows. It might be a bit galling to have paid for Vista and just give up on it, but why carry on with the pain? It doesn't sound like you're tied to the platform by needing some windows-only application.

Re:Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (3, Informative)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237990)

Best use for linux in my experience is the wireless "internet and email only" laptop. Only potential tripping point is which wireless card you decided on. Take my word for it however, I and my friends all became linux fans because that is all we use on our laptops, even if we use windows on our desktops for gaming.

Re:Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238078)

In the US, Dell offer the Inspiron 1420 and the XPS M1330 laptops with Ubuntu on and the Inspiron 1501, Inspiron 1520 and XPS M1730 laptops with MSW XP on.

In the UK, they offer the XPSTM M1710 laptop with MSW XP on and the InspironTM 6400 and XPSTM M1330 laptops with Ubuntu on.

Having said that, last time I checked they had cleverly made their Ubuntu PCs look cheaper than their MSW Vista equivalent ones until one got to finally pay when they turned out to be more expensive thanks for the clever use of special offers that only applied to the Vista ones. YMMV.

Re:Vista Annoyances- it is like they read my mind (1)

HeavyAl (695278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238096)

Well, first of all since we're talking about the book, you could go to the site that sort of mirrors it's philosophy: www.annoyances.org

Secondly, there are a couple things I can tell you that should help right away:

  • Turn off the sidebar. It uses 30+ megs of ram even when idle.
  • Kill superfetch as it doesn't sound like its working as it should anyway - right click 'my computer', go to manage, select sevices and applications/services and look for superfetch there - set it's startup method to disabled.
  • Turn off windows search - same as with superfetch but look for 'windows search' and set it to disabled.

These are just a few things off the top of my head, but there are at least a dozen more tweaks that can be made to speed Vista up so that it performs similar to XP (check out the Vista section at blackviper.com). One thing you have to understand with Vista though is that by its very nature it's a memory hog. The more memory you have the better it's going to perform. Personally, I can't see running it with less than 2 gigs. Also, if you're running an anitvirus or firewall by say Norton or McAffee don't expect to get much more performance than what you have regardless of any tweaks you do, you'd be better off just getting something like Avast antivirus and relying on the built in windows firewall along with safe computing habits.

Dupe? (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237546)

In this particular case, how does the book, Vista Annoyances, not just duplicate the full contents of the equivalent title in the publisher's equally popular The Missing Manual series (also reviewed by Slashdot [slashdot.org] ) which according to its official webpage [oreilly.com] "offers complete and comprehensive coverage of all five versions of Vista."

More Evidence Vista == Windows Me (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237582)

That a book like this would be written and actually published seems more evidence that Windows Vista is the next incarnation of Windows Me which proved to be a nasty little speed bump on the way to the next "good" version of Windows. It's a real shame to do this to the users. Microsoft is full of talented, bright people to whom Vista is giving a bad name. It's almost never a good idea to push an incomplete product out into the market.

Re:More Evidence Vista == Windows Me (5, Informative)

IntruderII (963018) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237814)

I hope you realize O'Reilly also wrote a book, "Fixing Windows XP Annoyances." http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/windowsxpannoy/index.html [oreilly.com] Also, Vista has very little to no resemblance of Windows ME. I can't help but think people who make this analogy haven't used both of them.

Re:More Evidence Vista == Windows Me (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237954)

Vista isn't anywhere near the catastrophe-level awfulness of Me. Me wasn't a speedbump; it was a brick wall. Vista has its oddities, flaws, and poor design choices, but at least it can run for more than 30 minutes without BSODing. I hope your analogy holds true for the next generation. MS OSes seem to follow the Star Trek film sequence: every other one sucks.

My top 2 annoyances... (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237586)

1. The classic login is gone - No more drop down allowing you to choose local or domain login
2. The spreading around of data that was generally kept in Documents and Settings


Thankfully I only have a limited number of machines to support, and my work is not going to migrate to Vista for the foreseable future.

Two things (3, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237592)

The two things I find annoying are UAC and enforced DRM. Yes, you can be affected by DRM even without buying any DRMed media--just try to load an unsigned driver in 64-bit.

Everything else is more disappointment than annoyance. With how much time they had to bake it, Vista could have come out amazing and full of great features. It was disappointing that it didn't live up to the hype.

It may not have been revolutionary, but it is still a solid improvement on XP. In my opinion.

Re:Two things (3, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237808)

Zzzz... The signed driver requirement isn't in Vista-64 for DRM reasons. The PMP code allows the applications to basically ask "show me all unsigned drivers", so they're covered there wiht or without restricting drivers to be signed. It's there so you know exactly who released a given driver, and for reasons of quality control and certification of drivers. In case you aren't aware, most of the stability problems in recent years with Windows are due to shoddy drivers.

Re:Two things (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237938)

most of the stability problems in recent years with Windows are due to shoddy drivers.


if a shoddy driver is affecting stability beyond the device in question it's not the driver that's to blame. You may as well also subscribe to the BS microsoft spewed about old file formats being insecure rather than the program that reads them.

Re:Two things (5, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238154)

"if a shoddy driver is affecting stability beyond the device in question it's not the driver that's to blame. You may as well also subscribe to the BS microsoft spewed about old file formats being insecure rather than the program that reads them."

I mostly disagree with this on a number of points.

(1) Every other remotely common OS -- the various Unixes, Linux, OS X -- is just as susceptible as Windows is. They all use the same architecture: the driver runs in the kernel. Once you have that, an unstable driver can easily crash the system. Guess what: there are rootkits for Linux too, and they use the exact same principles as Windows ones: once you are installed as a driver, you are God.

(2) The main reason that this has been done is that it's hard to do well another way. Until relatively recently, the only mechanism that provided protection against a badly behaved driver was to run it in its own protection domain. This means a context switch whenever the kernel wants to call the driver, and a system call when the driver wants to call the kernel or return. For many drivers, the overhead here has been unacceptable. In the last several years there have been a couple new ideas for how to provide protection with lower overhead, but (1) they remain in the research state and haven't made it to real-world products, and (2) they too have overheads that are not trivial.

(3) MS is actually doing MORE to move drivers out of the kernel than the other mainstream OSes. Linux has some examples, for instance FUSE, but Vista introduces a new driver model that strongly encourages user mode drivers. (For instance, sound drivers are often written with the UMDF.) Performance critical drivers, such as parts of video card drivers, still run in the kernel.

Re:Two things (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237942)

If it was there to help, there would be a way to turn it off other than hitting F8 every time you boot. They wouldn't have disabled the DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS boot option, so that knowledgable people and developers wouldn't have a big hassle. They wouldn't suddenly enforce it on 32-bit whenever you try to load up certain DRMed media.

Re:Two things (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238052)

This is somewhat my reaction too.

Not everything is good about it.

For instance, MS watered down greatly the file associations tab. Before you could, open up the dialog, add a new file type, say .py for python, and associate it with "python.exe -i %1" or something like that in order to run it. You could also add a number of other actions that would show up in the right click menu. AFAICT, there is no longer any ability to add a file type from that dialog. (You have to make a file, double click it, choose the program, and tell it to always use that.) There is also no ability to make multiple actions. There is no ability to specify the command line; you can just specify the program, which means you can't, for instance, pass -i to python. If you want to do the stuff XP let you do, you have to manually edit the registry.

That said, I do think it's an improvement. There are some things that I've noted that make a big difference. For instance, in XP and previous versions, when Explorer tried to display a preview of some video files, it would crash. In Vista, the preview is done in a separate process, so you just get a dialog saying that the "COM Surrogate" has crashed. This is a huge improvement in this respect. (Though they could make it better by eliding the crashing dialogs for the COM surrogate, as it will crash once for every crashy video you have.)

There are some new features that I like. For instance, I actually *like* UAC. I think the complaints are vastly overstated, especially as they often come from people who run Linux/Unix and have to run "sudo" everywhere. Over about a month long period (maybe 3/4 of which I was in Windows) I kept a log of every UAC prompt I got. Almost all of them were for things that would have required root privileges on Linux. The only thing that Linux would have going for it at that point is that you can open a root prompt and do a number of things without giving permission. This is balanced somewhat by the fact that, under the default Vista setup, the user is running as a close-to-admin user, so the UAC prompt doesn't prompt for a password. Again, the mechanism isn't perfect; for instance, Vista will elevate installers whether they actually need it or not. But I think the complaints are overblown.

I haven't had an issue with the driver signing thing because I don't run x64. I'm not totally convinced it's because of DRM though. I suspect it's more a combination of (1) DRM, (2) generally keeping more control away from the user, (3) malware concerns, and (4) providing accountability in the face of poorly written drivers.

Only 641 pages? (4, Funny)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237600)

Seriously, I'm surprised the book length is finite.

Re:Only 641 pages? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237886)

"641 pages should be enough for anyone."

mod Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237618)

Vista is the ultimate Apple marketing program (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22237622)

I am a first time Mac buyer. I'm a big Linux fan, and use it for my home machine. At work, I'm stuck with Windows. My wife had a Windows XP box as well, but she wanted a laptop to use for scrapbooking. Over the years I have tried many times to deploy various Linux distros on laptops, with mixed results. I suppose I could lock down an exact configuration that someone else has already declared to be trouble-free and go buy the same thing. But as far as taking any old machine and putting Ubuntu on it, then educating my wife on the use of Linux, that's more time than I want to spend. Getting stuck with Vista is a non-option, so I bought her a Macbook.

I mention all of this because the Apple store was PACKED. I had never even visited an Apple store, but in past years I would walk by and see lots of empty space. Not anymore. When I see the pain of Vista (not even our MS-loving IT dept. will touch it), I can't imagine Steve Jobs scripting it any better. "Gee, I would like the market leader to squander their advantage by breaking compatibility with old hardware and software. Make things more complicated, add in some DRM, slow it all down, and let the poor customer sort out the mess." MS strategy with Vista is beyond Steve Jobs' wildest dreams.

If Linux can't make serious progress on desktop market share in this market, then it will never happen. Opportunities like Vista don't come along every day of the week.

My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS... (5, Interesting)

dtolman (688781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237706)

I'm just getting annoyed at Vista Whiners.

Seriously - did I get the magic copy of Vista that works just fine or something? It runs smooth, starts up OK, I like the default sleep feature, the added security (oh no - i get a popup everytime I install something - the horror), the photo gallery, the built in firewall, etc.

Its not a giant leap forward or anything - but then again - I didn't think XP was a big advance over Win2K client either. Just another incremental advance of the NT Client OS.

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237854)

Agreed

ITs not an unstable crappy mess such as WindowsME ever was despite what the naysayers tell everyone about it.

I am typing this on a machine with Vista and yes for people who do not like change it can be a hair pulling experience for the first month. Toshiba did not have any XP drivers for my notebook as I wanted to downgrade fast.

However Vista works, areo takes a while to get used and after I discoved how to put the file menu's back into windows explorer a few weeks of being fustrated I felt alot better. I had to use the classic Windows explorer for awhile before I discovered VistaGlazz and finally getting used to the new gui.

Its not perfect and has slow i/o in which crapware loaded with most OEM computers such as McAfee anti virus can ground a $5,000 machine to a halt as a result. The hard disk can spin randomly and suck battery life out if its idle.

But it does have cool features such as speech recongition, the ability to load Windows updates withotu installing them, windows Media player 11 with flashdrive features, and my favorite which is resource monitor that has been added in the NT task manager. WIth the resource monitor you can find out exactly what the computer is doing and can find things like how many megs are being written to the disk from which program. Its like Solaris ptrace in alot of ways. Nice if you want to save battery power and something is using i/o and you want to find out what.

Writing a book on how much Vista sucks is a waste of time. ITs not the end of the world but I would not mind Windows 7 and would tell others happy on XP to stay.

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237980)

It took them +-5 years to rewrite the whole OS and it's only an incremental advance over the last release? I've never worked at a software company where something like that wouldn't get a few teams fired. At least if they argued that the changes were necessary to make future versions more stable, secure, and easier to add new functionality to then I could see it as a justification for only incremental advancement. But they're writing a new version of Windows for the next release too (MinWin or WinMin or whatever their codename for the kernel is--personally I don't know why they don't just call it DarWin and be honest for once about who they've been copying on-and-off for the past 20 years).

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238002)

Seriously - did I get the magic copy of Vista that works just fine or something?

Not at all. My wife needed a laptop to run a certain industry-specific application, so we bought a Compaq that we later discovered to be XP-incompatible. That is, there are no XP drivers for the chipset or graphics card, so unless we want to give up USB, Wi-Fi, DMA, and resolutions above 800x600, we pretty much have to leave Vista on it.

Know what? You're right. It's a nice OS that boots quickly and smoothly with plenty of nice eye candy. Never mind that none of our printers worked any more, or that it used up so much RAM that we can barely load any applications without swapping, and that it's somewhat incompatible with the application we bought it to run but not in any well-defined or deterministic ways that we can readily pin down. No, Vista itself is just fine. It's only when we have to actually load applications or print that we despise it and want to throw the laptop through a plate glass window.

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (2, Informative)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238028)

I dunno - there's at least three magic copies, then, because I'm running a pain-free one at home (Ultimate), and at work (Business), which I use heavily, and I haven't run into any big annoyances at all.

Oh, and to all you UAC haters, I actually like it. You all probably surfed the net with admin privileges on XP and thought you were secure because you use firefox. Not so, pineapple man! UAC works well, and is not intrusive. I only get prompts with (un)installs and serious configuration changes, but not in my daily use.

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238114)

I'm not griping about Vista just to gripe, the proof is right in front of me.

I have a laptop with an AMD 64 dual core processor, and 2 gigs of ram. It takes Vista at least 2 full minutes to boot from the time I type my password to the time I get a usable desktop. This is out of the box. With major tweaks, I was able to improve this, but it is just sloppy to have this kind of performance by default. Vista is geared towards your average joe who won't/can't tinker with the OS.

The shiny stuff is nice, I like the photo gallery, I like the customizable folders in explorer. However, all of these items I can get in any operating system with 3rd party software. They aren't the kind of things that it would take a the top talent at Microsoft to produce.

I agree that XP is an incremental advance of the NT client OS... However, why are we getting charged so much for an incremental advance?

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238144)

No, I got the magic working copy too. As do some other people I know. The only things they have in common are that they all have the 64 bit version with recent hardware that has had driver updates.

Nothing breaks Vista faster then crappy drivers, and when it first came out there were tons of those around.

(The 32 bit version should never have existed, IMO. Microsoft should have used that as the dividing line. "Want a computer with less resources? Use XP. Want to use 4GB of RAM? Use Vista." Its not like Vista on a 1GB Laptop is going to work worth a damn anyway.)

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1)

dtolman (688781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238172)

hmmm... I'm running it in 32 bit mode (I don't see any major benefit going to 64 bit yet), with 2 gigs of ram. But it is brand spanking new hardware/drivers (with a few exceptions - I have an old printer/scanner that I hooked up).

Re:My top annoyance with Vista? It ain't in the OS (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238156)

Seriously - did I get the magic copy of Vista that works just fine or something?

Well, based on my own experience and reports from others, you do seem to be a statistical outlier. Our machine (Dell C510 upgraded to 1GB RAM) was unbearably slow with Vista Home Basic (no Aero), even with several CPU and RAM-hungry options disabled. It couldn't even play its own boot-up sound without skipping. I put XP on there and it's actually usable now.

Perhaps with a higher-end machine Vista runs better, but for just running Office 2K and no visual effects, shouldn't 1GB RAM be enough?

weird business model (1, Troll)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237720)

So you pay a few hundred bucks for a shitty OS, and then you have to pay more for a book to get rid of at least the worst problems?

That's a weird business model, assuming that we're talking about the world outside the BDSM area.

Re:weird business model (2, Insightful)

mugenjou (912908) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237846)

Ever heard of those "Anti Virus" that slow down your system by scanning everything you read or write, third-party "personal/desktop firewalls", and other spyware/malware cleaners? Products like "Norton 360" ?

Slashdot annoyances (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237756)

First chapter would have to be the endless bashing of Windows by people who know nothing about it!

Screen Flicker (2, Informative)

jb1z (1099055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237768)

My biggest annoyance is the screen flickering when unlocking a laptop that has an external monitor plugged in. I found a way to get it to stop, but that disables the auto-detection of external monitors (http://comments.deviantart.com/18/976237/576101509 [deviantart.com] ).

If you do disable TMM, you will need to remember to disable the 2nd monitor before suspending your laptop to go somewhere. If you don't, you'll go to unlock your machine and be staring at a black screen. You'll then need to hit CTL-ALT-DEL, and select "Switch User", and re-login in order to use your machine again. Pretty freakin' annoying.

Being Constructive. (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237862)

I'm addressing all the posts that go along the lines of "Windows Suxxors" here. Linux can be technically superior to Windows in every way and that is still not enough. It's a Windows world and it's going to stay that way for the forseeable future. The reason for this - and pointing out that comparing Windows to Linux alone is myopic - is that people don't really buy Windows, they buy compatibility with software. Or what Ballmer refers to as the "ecosystem". Linux is great but I can't walk into a BestBuy and buy anything software wise for it. How to go about getting around this feedback loop? Well, virtualization at the application level is the single approach that can actually break the loop. Things like Thinstall [thinstall.com] which was just purchased by VMWare or the ubiquitous Wine project. Weaning people off of the Windows dependence does not begin with Windows, it begins with it's applications.

It's sad when.... (2, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237864)

But when Karp is working his way through each option of a menu it branches out into other topics, as many options in Vista are spread all over the place. Once again, this seems to be more of a Vista issue, but hinders learning none the less.


it's sad when an operating system is so horrible it severely hinders even writing about it.

Why would anyone ever buy this book (2, Insightful)

MishSpring (1230094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237936)

If you have specific annoyances, you search for them on the Internet and find solutions. That's like having a giant constantly-updated index at your fingertips.

Microsoft will have released a new operating system, with new flaws and workarounds and fixes, before such a paper book becomes worn.

So why spend the money, unless you are a collector of books?

Repair options also suck (0, Troll)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22237964)

After a while vista got to a point where it would only boot 1 out of every 10 times the PC was rebooted. Not a big deal because I never reboot the machine. The other 9 times it would bluescreen. Now, on the XP cd, if something like core windows files were corrupted, you could just repair. Not vista. They have removed many of the tools from vista and replaced them with a "automagically fix all" button. Unsurprisingly this doesnt do anything. If I remember correctly, you cannot even reinstall over top, a tried and true troubleshooting technique all the way back to win95. So I had a broken vista for months, and anytime it was restarted it would bluescreen 9 times and then the 10th time boot up flawlessly. I suspected a bad driver or failed software install (both being in abundance on this platform) but I was never able to track down exactly what was going on.

I have since reinstalled, but its a PITA to get all the stupid little vista tweaks re applied. Just so I can for instance, copy files from one drive to another without horrible lag. After using vista for aprox 1 year, my opinion is its still not ready for the desktop.

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