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Those Apple ads with the Windows dweeb and the hip Mac geek may be entertaining but they're grossly misleading. As a relatively knowledgeable engineer responsible for software development in my day gig, I can tell you Apple is being quite charitable about the Vista experience. The actual experience? FAR WORSE. Here's one geek's journey through computing hell and back.

Every Bad Journey Begins with That First Bad Step

The journey began because of another maddening aspect of consumer electronics today -- Moore's Law obsolescence and chincy manufacturing. I had a three year old Compaq computer I used as a LINUX box for both work and home "experiments." About a week ago, the box began randomly locking up -- a classic sign of a memory problem considering no new software had been added in months. Sure enough, I ran the extended memory tests included in the startup BIOS which confirmed memory problems.

No bigee. I'll just open that puppy up, get the EXACT part number off the memory DIMM to order a replacement. Hmmmm. Lots of power cables and disk drive cables all cramped around the DIMM slot. Lemme just disconnect the CPU fan to move that cable out of the way and that DIMM will come right out. The fan just clicks on the CPU then uses levers to firmly press it against the chip for good heat transfer. Just lift those levers up... CRACK. One of the clips attached to the mother board that gives the fan something to pull against breaks. Now the fan only has one side of its attachment mechanism.

No problem. CPU fans are a $30 item. Just google the Cooler Master brand, check their website for the part number and order a replacement.

Only Cooler Master doesn't make that exact fan anymore. Three years is so three years ago in the fast changing high-tech world of FANS. Now a decision has to be made.

A) Spending hours on the Internet trying to find another fan that can work with the special Intel 478 socket style used on the motherboard, spend $30 on that plus $60-70 on the memory DIMM and drop $90 plus several hours on a three year old machine

OR….

B) Start over with a new machine that only costs $500? Surely picking up a new machine at the local big box and spending an hour moving the hard drive would be quicker than ordering the parts on line, waiting a few days for the parts, then trying to get the work done in an evening after work later in the week.

I went with a new computer. A short amount of searching turned up a relatively speedy Compaq with a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 with 1GB of memory, a 160 GB hard drive, a combined CD-RW/DVD+RW drive and none of the extra video hardware that would be needed for a box used primarily for web development. I go to my nearby big box retailer and score one for $475. (The unit it replaced cost about $700 for a 2.66GHz processor three years ago.)

Vista or Precipice?

OK, now with the new system home, another choice has to be made. The unit came with Vista Home Basic "installed". Again, my main goal is to use the box for LINUX so I won't run Windows on it on a regular basis however….

…My work DOES involve testing web applications from a variety of browsers and operating systems so it wouldn't hurt to have some flavor of Vista box at least available, right?

I make the fateful decision to complete the installation of Vista and register it.

Now for a few sidebar comments before diving into the real story…

* Vista comes "pre-loaded" on virtually every PC sold to consumers in big box stores
* "pre-loaded" does not mean ready to run
* "pre-loaded" does not mean you get a copy of CD or DVD media as re-install disks
* it is now normal for consumers to have to burn their own backup media
* systems come with software that allows backup media to be burned exactly ONCE

Knowing that many consumers have had interesting (in the Chinese sense of being cursed to live an interesting life…) experiences upgrading old PCs to Vista, I thought it would be useful to take notes during a "clean" Vista install on a new out-of-the-box PC.

If you're still reading at this point, it's important to note the experience below is from the perspective of someone who

1) UNDERSTANDS everything the system is doing during the process,
2) UNDERSTANDS why it thinks it needs to do it and
3) UNDERSTANDS what to look out for

In other words, I have very low expectations and a great deal of familiarity with the problem. This is NOT the situation for the average consumer. I simply cannot imagine how frustrating the experience would be for an average customer without someone to guide them through it. On a BRAND NEW PC out of the box!

Here's my tale of woe…

4:20pm -- power the unit on for the first time - accept the License and begin installing Vista
4:25pm to 4:29pm -- "checking system performance"
4:29pm -- the login page is shown for the first time - I build a single user named "admin"
4:33pm -- various Compaq/HP ads and support information displayed
4:35pm -- finished registering the computer with HP
4:36pm -- the system begins "personalizing" itself (I haven't given it any preferences)
4:37pm -- the very first message shown by the system after reaching the Start menu and desktop for the first time is: "Check Your System Security -- there are multiple security problems with your computer"

That's the first outright howler of the experience. I have done nothing TO the computer other than unpack it and plug it in and have done nothing productive WITH the computer and the very first notification from the computer to me is a complaint that the system has major security problems. Ya think?

4:40pm -- the Symantec software bundled with the system launches and begins its initialization
4:41pm -- I consent to the 60 day free license for Symantec updates, at which point the Symantec software demonstrates a rather annoying bug --- any action you take in completing a registration form with about 10 fields immediately takes you to the Next button rather than sequentially tabbing through the fields as you attempt to complete them -- you have to manually click the cursor BACK into each field to complete the form -- did Vista change the way dialog boxes work?


5:07pm -- Symantec (or is it Norton? Symantec, can you just pick ONE brand and eliminate the other?) begins downloading patches to its LiveUpdate software
5:09pm -- Norton (or is it Symantec?) thinks it has finished downloading its updates and requests another restart for the changes to take effect.

This is a good point to talk about a "unique" aspect of Windows computers. They're never terribly fast at booting but curiously, they're also not very fast at shutting down either. One thing that becomes painfully apparent to any longtime Windows users is that your machine typically never gets any faster than it was the first time you booted it. The more stuff you install and the more things that go into the registry, the sloooooowwwweeeeerrrr things get, even if you later uninstall many programs.

At this point for this new machine, a reboot of the system takes 40 seconds to shutdown and 57 seconds to reach the login prompt again. Stated another way, a brand new machine running nothing but the core operating system takes 40 seconds to STOP WHAT IT'S DOING!

Anyway, back to the story…


5:12pm -- Norton determines it needs to run LiveUpdate again (didn't I just do this?)

At this point with this prompt displayed, I am introduced to another "feature" of Vista -- the security manager so wickedly lampooned in the Apple ads. In an attempt to keep ne'er-do-wells out of the crown jewels, Vista can detect any attempt to modify files outside a user's Documents folder or change system / registry settings. When such attempts are detected, a warning is displayed prompting the user to confirm they actually invoked the change being made.

Great idea. Well, good idea. Well…. It's an idea…

The problem is Vista doesn't always seem to put the Security Manager alert in front of other windows. It was at this point I realized that the first Symantec attempt at updating its software actually FAILED because the Security Manager prompt was completely obscured on the screen behind the Symantec screen. I never approved the installation, so it failed.

5:14pm -- Norton encounters an error applying its updates and displays the message "LU6014: The current user doesn't have sufficient privileges to install this update. To install this update, log in as an administrative user then run LiveUpdate again." Hmmmm, I'm logged in as the only user defined on the system and SURELY the first user in should be defined as the Administrator role?
5:15pm -- Norton tells me "We recommend you restart your computer for the changes to take effect." I didn't actually complete the installation of anything but maybe to ensure it starts with a clean slate, I'll reboot. I got nothing but time.
5:17pm -- System reboots and Norton dutifully suggests I run LiveUpdate. AGAIN. For the third time.

Eventually, Norton finishes getting its basic software updated and the first round of virus definition file updates loaded. OK, now before tackling the task of putting the hard drive of the previous system's LINUX installation in the new box, I decide it would be wise to make those recovery discs in case I smoke the machine putting LINUX back on it.

No prob. Every vendor ships a program with new PCs that will burn exactly copy of the original factory image after your first license acceptance and first round of configuration.

5:25pm -- I run the program and a screen appears summarizing my choices:

* find THIRTEEN recordable blank CDs for the backup
* find TWO recordable blank DVD drives for the backup

Well, I certainly don't want to sit like a monkey swapping 13 CDs into the tray and I have some blank DVD discs from my digital video recorder. OK, I'll get two of those and give it a whirl.

I put the first DVD blank on the tray, close the door and the system tells me I have the wrong kind of disc. OK, I'll buy that. My DVR uses a special "DVD-RAM" disc that has gained virtually no foothold in the fractured DVD media market. No biggie. I'll hop in the car, drive to a nearby Target, and pick up a box of the "right" media.

Now for another educational technology aside…

Did you know there are SIX different DVD media types? Without the use of Google, can you NAME all of them? If you can NAME all of them, can you explain what the differences are between them?

DVD ----- a standard "manufactured" pre-recorded DVD use for a movie, etc.
DVD-R -- a write-once recordable DVD
DVD+R -- a write-once recordable DVD made to avoid patents of the designers of the DVD-R format
DVD-RW -- the original format for a write-multiple times recordable DVD
DVD+RW -- an enhanced scheme for write-mulitple times recordable DVDs supporting faster write speeds
DVD-RAM -- a many-writeable format that doesn't require finalization but cannot be read by most players that require finalization

And of course this list doesn't include a newer type of DVD-like media called Blu-Ray that uses a laser operating at a different optical wavelength to cram up to 25GB on a disc (or 50GB on a dual-layer Blu-Ray disc).

While not having all the specifics committed to memory, I am at least aware that the differences exist and that there are many incompatibilities between them.

At 5:40pm, I head to the store and look at the shelves of blank discs at Target, my only problem is I initially cannot remember if my DVD drive in the new PC was labeled "DVD-RW" or "DVD+RW". I flip a mental coin, grab a box of the DVD+RW discs, checkout and head home.

After getting home, I run the recovery disc creation program, take the first DVD "plus" RW disc out of the package, drop it in the tray, close the tray wait for the system to begin writing…

...WHAT? "Please insert a blank DVD disc."

I just did. I push the door close again. The screen again displays an alert. "This is an erasable DVD. Please insert a blank DVD."

Now the blood pressure is off the charts. You don't care enough about me as a customer to give me the backup media for the operating system I was forced to buy with the machine, you don't care enough to simplify the new user experience by giving me appropriate blanks WITH the machine, but you DO care if I use erasable media?

Now at 6:05pm I have to make ANOTHER trek to the store to buy...

...exactly what kind of DVD disc? If you're picky enough to block me from using a DVD+RW disc, you're likely to also have a preference about DVD-R versus DVD+R. Of course, the program doesn't TELL you anything on screen about which type it will require or if it has a preference or requirement. I'm left with no choice but to buy a 5-pack of BOTH types to avoid another trip to the store later.

After returning from the store, I start with the DVD+R discs and the system seems to accept them. Fifteen minutes into burning the first DVD, a pop-up alert appears from nowhere helpfully informing me "the igfx video driver stopped responding and was successfully restarted." Well thank you Microsoft, maybe you can tell how things are on the pipeline between the CPU and the L2 cache. That would be really useful now too…

It takes nearly FORTY MINUTES to "prepare files", "record" and "verify" the two recovery discs. Finally, I'm prompted to insert one recordable CD to create a hardware diagnostic disk. That only takes about two minutes to complete.

The Final Analysis

So here's the experience in a nutshell:

* a new $475 computer with Windows Vista Home basic "pre-loaded"
* two hours of time answering mindless prompts to finish the operating system installation
* two extra trips to the neighborhood big box purveyor of all things electronic
* eighteen extra blank DVD discs I may not need for quite some time in three different formats
* a brand new 3.2GHz machine that is not meaningfully faster at any task than a 2001 vintage 1.8GHz machine running Windows XP Professional:

XP on 1.8GHz: boot=90sec, sleep=4sec, awake=8sec, turn off=41sec
Vista on 3.2GHz: boot=76sec, sleep=8sec, awake=8sec, turn off=29sec

* an operating system so bloated that hard drive performance defeats any processor speed improvement - as long as consumer PCs keep shipping with 7200 RPM drives, effective speeds won't get any better (laptops are worse - they often use 5400RPM drives to reduce battery drain)
* an operating system that "looks" fresh but really doesn't improve ANY common task you need to perform
* a total of THREE HOURS spent on a new machine just for the operating system

Keep in mind that this experience was a relatively "simple" challenge. I'm not a hardcore gamer demanding the ultimate in video performance or a media nut trying to use the PC as a digital video recorder with Windows Media Center and a lot of extra tuner hardware with its own problems with software drivers, etc. And this was a new computer, not an upgrade of an older machine that might encounter many more conflicts with drivers or outright incompatibilities. The time involved would have been much greater if I actually had to migrate any applications or documents to the new machine. Since this will just be a "test" machine, none of my old applications had to be migrated and re-customized and configured.

God help the average consumer who tries this with a new machine on their own.

God help all the IT tech support employees in corporate America stuck deploying Vista to the multitudes of victims (I mean "users") who get no say in moving to Vista.

God really help all of you out there who are the "tech support" for your family and friends. You might want to buy a speakerphone. You've got HOURS ahead of you talking your "users" through the process. Then again, maybe you should change telephone numbers.


WTH
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I'm about to have my first Vista experience as soon as my new laptop arrives and you're leading me to suspect my desire for a new laptop will lead to a lot of new OS annoyances. I had no option to buy it configured with Windows XP Pro as I bought it through an authorized reseller instead of the manufacturer directly.

I'm still running Windows 2000 on my office and home desktops and my laptop came with Windows XP which has been reasonably cooperative with the exception of not allowing me to access microsoft update manually.
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"I'm still running Windows 2000 on my office and home desktops...."

I still maintain that if you're not into gaming there's no better choice for a reliable workhorse than W2000.

~aj
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I still maintain that if you're not into gaming there's no better choice for a reliable workhorse than W2000.

I completely agree. And since my gaming extends to the occasional game of solitaire now waiting for the mainframe to finish something I'm pretty much set. My current system is usually left running until a security update forces a reboot or a power failure occurs. I've had it running continuously for several weeks.

XP has been quite tolerable on the laptop which I've been using nearly exclusively for work anyway so I don't anticipate any great difficulties adapting it to a stationary role.
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No. of Recommendations: 32
Wow, where to start.....

The main thing I notice here is that this rant against Vista comes from third-party software, not from Vista itself.

We all know Norton sucks rocks, and the bundled crapware out there on any manufacturer's PC always causes problems.

I have Vista running here, but:

1. I custom-ordered the system to get a DVD of the OS. :) Even if I would not have, the program that lets you burn the recovery disks, and the hardware to burn them, is manufacturer-specific. So, if anything, blame HP, not Microsoft.

2. I don't run that piggiest of piggy bloatware called Symantec.

As for the User Account Control (the confirmation dialog box), I personally like the fact I know exactly what POS software is doing what to my box. If you think about it, it's really no different than the Teatimer software included in Spybot S&D that we all know and love, just in the OS.

Now, some specific points about the end:
Keep in mind that this experience was a relatively "simple" challenge. I'm not a hardcore gamer demanding the ultimate in video performance or a media nut trying to use the PC as a digital video recorder with Windows Media Center and a lot of extra tuner hardware with its own problems with software drivers, etc. And this was a new computer, not an upgrade of an older machine that might encounter many more conflicts with drivers or outright incompatibilities. The time involved would have been much greater if I actually had to migrate any applications or documents to the new machine. Since this will just be a "test" machine, none of my old applications had to be migrated and re-customized and configured.

Reinstalling apps always sucks, regardless of the OS. :) As for files and settings, well, Vista has the Windows Easy Transfer utility (for those of you familiar with the File and Settings Transfer Wizard from XP, this is its replacement) which actually works fairly well after reinstalling the apps to move over documents, e-mail accounts, etc. And corporations have access to the USMT (User State Migration Tool) which allows them to do this all from a scheduled process or script.

God help the average consumer who tries this with a new machine on their own.

Maybe...of course, if this happened to me and I was a consumer, I'd probably be on the phone yelling the outsourced tech support in India, since this crap happened out of the box and was caused by the crap they loaded.


God help all the IT tech support employees in corporate America stuck deploying Vista to the multitudes of victims (I mean "users") who get no say in moving to Vista.


And just as soon as the victims learn how not to install Webshots, online poker software, and 45 IM clients that let all kinds of viruses, spyware, and disable the ERP software than actually makes the company run, they can have a voice. ('Cause we're just going to drop the thing preconfigured on your desk....you did save all your documents on the network like we told you to, didn't you? No, oh well, maybe next time you'll learn...)

God really help all of you out there who are the "tech support" for your family and friends. You might want to buy a speakerphone. You've got HOURS ahead of you talking your "users" through the process. Then again, maybe you should change telephone numbers.

Nah, Vista really hasn't, IMHO, been that much different than any other Microsoft client OS, just different.

Keep in mind everyone has different experiences...sounds like HP made yours a little worse than it should have been.....

RkeFool
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No. of Recommendations: 5
God help the average consumer who tries this with a new machine on their own.

Well I didn't see any real complaints about Vista. I guess the lesson here is don't buy a Compaq?

Compaq is not even a company anymore, HP is still capitalizing on the brand name by selling crappy computers because people recognize the name. At any rate, this is one of the perils of buying a really really cheap computer. I once bought a dirt cheap PC from Walmart with no OS, it was a nice deal because I could still buy academic copies of windows for almost nothing. Of course the fan on the power supply got messed up almost immediately and made a noise like a blender filled with marbles. I am not exaggerating, it was LOUD. I guess you get what you pay for...

Not to cause a thread jack here, but....Its also one of the reasons its so absurd to claim that Macs aren't more expensive. Empirically its obviously not true, but even beyond that they should be more expensive. If you hold apple stock and you find they're not charging more for a premium product I would think this would be upsetting. There's a reason a Lexus usually costs more than a Saturn.
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Reinstalling apps always sucks, regardless of the OS.

I disagree. It depends on both the OS and the app.

Here's the complete installation process for Microsoft Office 2004:
1. Insert CD and locate folder called "Microsoft Office 2004"
2. Drag that folder into the "Applications" folder on your hard drive.
3. eject CD
4. Run any of the included apps (Word, Excel, etc.) and enter your name and product key.

Reinstalling is even easier, because you can skip step 4.

I wish every app was that easy to install.
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Well I didn't see any real complaints about Vista. I guess the lesson here is don't buy a Compaq?

Compaq is not even a company anymore, HP is still capitalizing on the brand name by selling crappy computers because people recognize the name.


Yep, and the only place they still use the name is on part of their consumer lines....all the business-quality stuff is branded HP. I've had pretty good luck with the Pavilion consumer line, and the business stuff as well.

Good points..glad to see it wasn't just me who wondered why Vista was getting slammed when it really was an HP problem....

RkeFool
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Here's the complete installation process for Microsoft Office 2004:
1. Insert CD and locate folder called "Microsoft Office 2004"
2. Drag that folder into the "Applications" folder on your hard drive.
3. eject CD
4. Run any of the included apps (Word, Excel, etc.) and enter your name and product key.

Reinstalling is even easier, because you can skip step 4.

I wish every app was that easy to install.


The good ones are pretty close, but there are enough bad ones out there....

Just out of curiousity, when you reinstall that way, is there anyway to migrate your Office settings from another computer on the Mac side? (i.e. Entourage mail configuration, defaults for the various apps, etc....) For me, it's the customization that always sucks up time, I can always do other stuff while the apps install.

Thanks;

RkeFool
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Just out of curiousity, when you reinstall that way, is there anyway to migrate your Office settings from another computer on the Mac side?

If they're stored in a library folder, you can use the Migration Assistant to move them, but it's an all-or-nothing proposition.

I recently used it to restore my applications, data & preferences from a backup drive after my laptop's hard drive failed. Virtualy everything worked with no adjustments or fine-tuning whatsoever. I was especially impressed that my Treo phone continued to sync properly, as I have a very complex syncing setup.

The only exception was Virtual PC, which made me run the installer again. (After that, it did recognize my existing PC disk image.)
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If they're stored in a library folder, you can use the Migration Assistant to move them, but it's an all-or-nothing proposition.

I recently used it to restore my applications, data & preferences from a backup drive after my laptop's hard drive failed. Virtualy everything worked with no adjustments or fine-tuning whatsoever. I was especially impressed that my Treo phone continued to sync properly, as I have a very complex syncing setup.

The only exception was Virtual PC, which made me run the installer again. (After that, it did recognize my existing PC disk image.)


Cool, thanks for the additional info...always nice to know more about the dark side... :)

RkeFool
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* a brand new 3.2GHz machine that is not meaningfully faster at any task than a 2001 vintage 1.8GHz machine running Windows XP Professional:

XP on 1.8GHz: boot=90sec, sleep=4sec, awake=8sec, turn off=41sec
Vista on 3.2GHz: boot=76sec, sleep=8sec, awake=8sec, turn off=29sec


Sure, if by "any task" you mean "turn on or turn off." A lot of us do things other than turn our computer on and off.

- Gus, no fan of Vista, but doesn't care for misleading statements either.
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One word:


Windows XP Home

Windows XP Pro



am4u (also holder of advanced computer science degree)
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One word:


Windows XP Home

Windows XP Pro



am4u (also holder of advanced computer science degree)


One web site:
http://www.deadtroll.com/index2.html?/video/ossuckscable.html~content
(The only thing Quicktime is useful for, IMHO, is viewing this video.)

They all suck, just differently. I'm sitting here, and have a Win XP SP2 machine, and a Vista machine, and this post is coming from the Vista machine. ;)

RkeFool--Holder of over 25 IT certifications, and a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks (Not to mention the coursework for a Bachelor's in Math/CS that I haven't used much since I got out of school.)



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...but Macs are more expensive ;)

-murray
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One word:


Windows XP Home

Windows XP Pro



am4u (also holder of advanced computer science degree)



That was 14 words.
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Not to rub it in or anything, but had you purchased a comparable Mac, I would conservatively estimate that it would take you 15 minutes to be up and running, which includes time to open the box and then to fish around for your wireless router settings to get online (assuming you had a wireless network). With your free time, you could have even installed Vista on the Mac using Parallels, which would allow you to simply delete the "Windows file" and reinstall it later on if/when it got too jammed with viruses.

CA (who has owned every version of Windows except Vista and most versions of DOS)
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* a brand new 3.2GHz machine that is not meaningfully faster at any task than a 2001 vintage 1.8GHz machine running Windows XP Professional:

XP on 1.8GHz: boot=90sec, sleep=4sec, awake=8sec, turn off=41sec
Vista on 3.2GHz: boot=76sec, sleep=8sec, awake=8sec, turn off=29sec


Sure, if by "any task" you mean "turn on or turn off." A lot of us do things other than turn our computer on and off.

- Gus, no fan of Vista, but doesn't care for misleading statements either.


========================

I showed times for these tasks because booting, suspending, awakening and shutting down ARE in some sense quite indicative of the average experience a customer will get with a machine -- None of these involve complicated floating point arithmetic and all involve a great deal of disk I/O. As you open and close apps, as you browse the web and view pages and stuff is being written to your browser cache, all of those things are single-threaded processes that the new dual-core architectures do nothing to improve and all will be dependent on the slowest link in the chain, which is likely disk I/O unless you upgrade drives and buy screaming fast 10,000RPM or 15,000RPM SCSI drives, something virtually NEVER included on "consumer" PCs. Even if buying a PC from a maker's web site, you usually have to buy a "workstation" PC or a server for these to be readily avaiable as a choice.

They're also at least "fair" benchmarks because they are easy to initiate and time and measure when the task is complete.

These tasks are even better at comparing different versions of operating systems on identical hardware because doing so indirectly exposes how many extra processes, temporary files, etc. are being opened by the operating system to juggle all those features.

Finally, some of the problems I outlined weren't PURELY due to Vista itself, but as an experience of buying a new product, they ARE due to Vista. On the DVD issue, if Microsoft is going to twist the arms of PC makers to require Vista be pre-loaded, then Microsoft should be willing to eliminate a 40 minute chore in my FIRST MINUTES OF OWNERSHIP by spending $2 to provide backup media. If Microsoft isn't willing to volunteer the media, the makers should be willing to pressure Microsoft to do so or provide it themselves. The problems with Symantec weren't PURELY due to Vista, but again in a way they were. If the operating system wasn't so riddled with vulnerabilities, a new customer wouldn't be saddled with 20 minutes of immmediate update work to protect a brand new product. If the operating system weren't so fragile, the required AV/firewall software wouldn't be so convoluted to install and wouldn't require three reboots to reach a "protected" state.

I can't imagine what is happening to warranty costs at PC makers as machines get returned by frustrated consumers and retailers after getting scrambled by flawed or utterly confusing software.


WTH
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A bit exaggerated? I mean, you must have known about the various DVD formats before this, and could have checked what your drive required.

That said, the average user should not buy Vista until the first service pack is out.
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http://www.apple.com/getamac/

Take the Vista box back and then go here:

http://store.apple.com
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http://www.apple.com/getamac/

Take the Vista box back and then go here:

http://store.apple.com


=======================

SMILE.

Seriously, my rant wasn't aimed at being pro-Macintosh or anti-Vista. It's more a commentary on the mismatch between what is arguably one of the most complicated mass-market products ever developed or sold and the uncomplicated user base at which the product is aimed -- the vast majority of whom are clueless to troubleshoot ANYTHING that might go wrong with the house of cards when one small piece of a intricately tangled cobination of hardware, software and bad design fails. Even if you KNOW what you're doing, Moore's law kicks in to thwart you by making it impossible to fix anything older than three years.

FWIW, I'm a long-time holder of MSFT (since 1994). I bought this box cuz I wanted an inexpensive box for LINUX. By the time my main "Windows" box gives up the ghost, I may very well buy a MacPro. I've already been mulling that over as an engine for home recording with something like ProTools LE.


WTH
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Finally, some of the problems I outlined weren't PURELY due to Vista itself, but as an experience of buying a new product, they ARE due to Vista. On the DVD issue, if Microsoft is going to twist the arms of PC makers to require Vista be pre-loaded, then Microsoft should be willing to eliminate a 40 minute chore in my FIRST MINUTES OF OWNERSHIP by spending $2 to provide backup media. If Microsoft isn't willing to volunteer the media, the makers should be willing to pressure Microsoft to do so or provide it themselves.

If you really have such heartburn about having to spend $2.00 and 40 mins to make backup media, then go to the HP/Compaq website and purchase the recovery CD there. You can do this under "support and drivers" You bought a bottom of the line PC.. HP/Compaq are going to cut costs where ever they can. Making you provide the backup media is one of those ways to keep costs down. While you place the blame on MS for not providing media, I think this really goes back to HP/Compaq, along with the choice of PC you bought.

If the operating system wasn't so riddled with vulnerabilities, a new customer wouldn't be saddled with 20 minutes of immmediate update work to protect a brand new product.

I'm going to ask you what OS software does not have any updates from thier orginal release? As good as my new iMac is, when I hooked it to the internet the first thing it did was get a bunch of updates from Apple. I don't know if it was 20 mins, but it certainly took a decent amount of time and a reboot or two. If I built a Linux machine today, I am pretty certain that I would have a good deal of updates as well.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I bought this box cuz I wanted an inexpensive box for LINUX.


Umm... so your first step should then have been to blow Windows away and install Linux so as to avoid all the MS headaches... ;)


Personally, I've made the switch to the darkside (Apple) after years of fighting with WinBlows on far too many machines. I decided to give it a try on a Mac mini after BootCamp came out, so I could run Windows just in case the Mac wasn't what I needed. After getting OS-X (easy) and Windows (same pathetic PITA) up and running on the little thing, I haven't used the Windows install on that box in over a year. Our second Mac was an iMac for the kids that I didn't even bother to install Windows on. With how easy both have been to work with, I'm not going back.

Sparty - Owner of 2 Mac's, 3 Dell's and 1 HP on the home network.


PS - I'm now playing with Ubuntu on one of the PC's because I want to try Beryl out. So far, so good...
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go to the HP/Compaq website and purchase the recovery CD there. You can do this under "support and drivers"

Well, I went to hp.com and I see "Support & Troubleshooting" and "Software & Driver Downloads," but I don't see any "Support and Drivers."

Anyway, I tried both, but (so far as I can tell) it's not possible to purchase a recovery CD.
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Late to the party, so the dance may be over, but is this the link for purchasing the recovery CD:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&cc=us&docname=bph07143

Ivan
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<IL> this the link for purchasing the recovery CD:

No, it's not. You can't order anything from that page. What it does say is:

If recovery discs are available for your PC, the links to order Recovery discs can be found in the Software and Driver download section...

NOTE: If the link to order a recovery disc set is not available, there may not be any more sets available for purchase. HP cannot create recovery discs that contain a version of Windows that has been obsolesced by Microsoft, such as Windows 95, 98, and Me. Some recovery disc sets may have run out of stock and may not be available to order.

As it happens, I checked for two HP/Compaq laptops I had handy, an nx9010 and an nc6400 (purchased a year ago this week). Recovery discs were not available for either one.
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No. of Recommendations: 11
Finally, some of the problems I outlined weren't PURELY due to Vista itself, but as an experience of buying a new product, they ARE due to Vista. On the DVD issue, if Microsoft is going to twist the arms of PC makers to require Vista be pre-loaded, then Microsoft should be willing to eliminate a 40 minute chore in my FIRST MINUTES OF OWNERSHIP by spending $2 to provide backup media. If Microsoft isn't willing to volunteer the media, the makers should be willing to pressure Microsoft to do so or provide it themselves.

Good grief, man, chill. Were you the original owner of SeattleDOS that Bill G. screwed out of the core code for MS-DOS, or are you just always this bitter?

It's up to the PC vendor to provide the OS disks for the OEM version of Windows, and has been that way for a gadzillion (OK, since OEM versions came out) years. As a matter of fact, if you order a PC from HP's web site, it's YOUR CHOICE as to whether or not to get the media. It was the retailer's (and ultimately yours), since they (and you) bought the one without. Next question?

The problems with Symantec weren't PURELY due to Vista, but again in a way they were. If the operating system wasn't so riddled with vulnerabilities, a new customer wouldn't be saddled with 20 minutes of immmediate update work to protect a brand new product. If the operating system weren't so fragile, the required AV/firewall software wouldn't be so convoluted to install and wouldn't require three reboots to reach a "protected" state

Nothing "required" you to run Symantec. Best thing you can do to that machine is to uninstall that piece of crap and use something else. Shoot, the ones that are free for personal use are better than that piece of crap.

AVG Free Edition installs with one reboot, and just works with minimal overhead. I challenge anyone to say that about Symantec. :)

Look, Windows has it's issues, always had, always will, but let's at least blame stuff on them that they deserve...not stuff that is PC or Software vendor related.

Yikes;
RkeFool
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No. of Recommendations: 4
It's up to the PC vendor to provide the OS disks for the OEM version of Windows, and has been that way for a gadzillion (OK, since OEM versions came out) years. As a matter of fact, if you order a PC from HP's web site, it's YOUR CHOICE as to whether or not to get the media. It was the retailer's (and ultimately yours), since they (and you) bought the one without.

I find this whole thread very strange. The equivalent mac people keep bringing up, if I take a Mac Mini and upgrade the HD/RAM & add a keyboard and mouse is $1002 (I couldn't match the processor but even a base model is $599). WTH paid $475. Well guess what, you get what you pay for and if you buy the crappiest computer you can find you're going to get a less polished experience.

Further, there was nothing in his experience that was a problem with Vista....he turned on his computer and 17 minutes later Vista was configured and personalized and ready to go. It probably prompted him to enter a few bits of information or something but thats it. From then on all his problems were due to some crummy third party app he decided to use.

And I've seen so many other bizarre claims. Like it is "impossible" to fix a PC that is more than a year or two old. Nonsense of course, if he broke his heatsink he could have ordered one by simply figuring out what kind of heatsink he needed and buying one. Or take it to someone who repairs computers to get it fixed.

I wonder how many people truly don't understand the difference between a system builder and an operating system vendor. Apple is a system builder, compaq is a system builder, and IBM is a system builder. Your Vaio is going to be a lot better quality than a Compaq and Microsoft has nothing to do with that.
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Steve Jobs quote from the PBS Triumph of the Nerds documentary: "The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste, they have absolutely no taste."...

Dat's what I be likin and lookin fer - Sumtin dat gits da job done, wid or widout taste!! ;-)

OTOH:

Working on Macs
I have worked on a lot of stupid computer case designs and Apple Power PC's certainly win the prize for worst design...
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Working on Macs
I have worked on a lot of stupid computer case designs and Apple Power PC's certainly win the prize for worst design...


Guess I better post a link, so y'all can critique:

http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2003/04/apples_desktop_computer_cases.html
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WTH

Thank you soooooo much for the info. I also am an Engineer with a Masters in Software AND I'm afraid of buying my new machine with Vista. What does this say, and is MS listening? (1. I don't know exactly and 2. Most definitely NOT).

The really crazy thing is that Microsoft spent Millions of dollars and years of development time to get to THIS... And the even crazier thing is that they will make Billions off of it.

TJSexton
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Hmmm...

I too support client PC's, do networks...and program web sites.

Each summer I upgrade/refresh my kids' computers. This year I purchased a top of the line HP portable for my son...and upgraded my daughter from W2K to XP Pro.

For my son's machine I used the MSFT transfer assistant and it moved a variety of programs onto his new machine from his old one. And broke VISTA. Internet Explorer, among other things stopped launching. The screen would flash...but no program window would appear. So I had to rebuild the OS and manually transfer his 35 Gb of files and settings.

Doing the file transfer on the Vista box by pulling the files from the old machine started off with a 4 (four) day estimate of time required to effect the transfer. Finally settled down to a 4 hour process after the files began transferring. This was absurd. So I went to his old machine and pushed them from a W2K environment. An hour later I was done. VISTA is HORRENDOUS for file operations. I spends absurd amounts of time calculating the time required, when it could just be doing the transfer. And forget multi-tasking while a large transfer is in process. Always an MSFT issue...still is.

Then I upgraded both the XP and VISTA boxes to OFFICE 2007 student edition. Thank you MSFT for no longer including OUTLOOK. Whatever are they thinking?

So I hooked both machines on my network and installed the OUTLOOK 2003 that comes for free with Server 2003. The installs went fine.

Then it's off to MSFT update land for the OFFICE installations. The XP PRO machine, using the MSFT update site found and installed all the updates for OUTLOOK 20003.

The VISTA machine informed me that there were no updates through it's own update mechanism. If you go to the MSFT update site, you get informed that...Oh!...It's a VISTA box. You can't use the site anymore.

So...no updates got installed for Outlook on the VISTA machine.

I have a test machine running VISTA ULTIMATE EVERY IMAGINABLE OPTION FOR A ZILLION...make that $400. It is flat out slower for everything I try to do as compared to XP PRO.

Today's systems require a combination of antivirus and antispyware protection. I have yet to see and out of the box machine that is adequately prepared for the end user in this regard. It typically takes me 90-120 minutes to set up new client machines. Windows updates, antivirus, antispyware, email setup, file and settings transfer, and miscellaneous basic network settings...printers...etc.

That's because I've done it countless times. God help the average user that does this every 4-5 years when they buy a new box.

The industry is clearly a long long way from resolving these issues. VISTA, MSFT's "most secure" OS ever...already has multiple security patches out. Still no Service Pack 1. I'm telling all my clients (except for the idiot "early adopters") to stay away from VISTA until at least the first Service Pack is out. VISTA requires so much horsepower, that I am denying all customer requests to upgrade older boxes. It's just not cost effective.

So...clients get to eventually evolve into a "mixed" OS environment which drives up support costs.

I'm not even going to start in on the applications that don't work under VISTA....everything from out of the box Norton Antivirus 2007...to issues with QUICKBOOKS...to camera surveillance systems...all stuff that runs without issue on XP.

Lastly...MSFT insists on rearranging the user interface with every "new" OS. The old stuff you're used to is there...you just have to go search for it. Driving up costs as every turn in the road.

Having seen all the MSFT OS's of the past 15 years....VISTA has the potential to replace Windows Millenium Edition as the worst.

The jury is still out....but it's very much a case of CAVEAT EMPTOR.

Good luck...and please don't call me. Take your systems back to the big box vendors and hammer their "geek" departments. Their support costs for these systems are going to slaughter their razor thin margins on these systems.

'Nuff said....

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I feel your pain but I don't agree that all your troubles here lead back to MS. Here's your problems...

1. Vista requires a lot of horsepower to run correctly
2. You choose to purchased a seemingly weak machine
3. You choose not to purchase from a vendor that provides re-installation disks
4. You choose not to uninstall the bloat-ware that your vendor bundled
5. I assume you've chosen to run Vista with all the bells and whistles (Aero)

Now I'm not particularly fond of Vista over XP but it sounds like your gripe is as much with Compaq, your Retailer and Norton as it is with MS.
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Thank goodness, I'm not crazy.

I blame HP and MS equally. HP help support has been awful and now they tell me to get the kind of help I need I have to spend $70 to get 45 minutes of help. Who did JD Power talk to to give these guys a good rating.

I'm a consumer with average computing skill at best and I'm feeling very angry at these guys. I am going to short MS just for spite and hope for some cosmic justice.

Thanks for posting your comments.

Chuck
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Sorry about your hardware issues. Been there. I installed Vista from scratch on my custom box, blowing away my old XP Pro installation to start clean. I bought the upgrade DVD retail and used the install w/o entering product key trick to perform a clean install vs. an upgrade. Worked like a charm. Having been down the install road many times over the years, I just watched TV and checked on progress during commercial breaks. I avoid watching paint dry whenever possible.

Since you seem to have limited patience, you might have been better off paying a few bucks to have the store run through the installation for you - I can mow my lawn, but I'd rather pay someone else to do it. Business users have imaging and other deployment tools to ease the way.

RE Symantec, I've hated their stuff since the Norton/DOS days, and as in IT Director, avoided them like the plague. At home, I go for AVG Free as well, having found PC Tools to be both intrusive and a resource hog.

I've had a few issues with Vista, but overall my experience has been very positive. The search feature is very cool (box above start button). I'm a big fan of sleep mode, so startup times not much of an issue, but a restart is plenty fast enough if you're not holding a stopwatch.
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No. of Recommendations: 14
I read this entire thread....and it was August 24, 1995 all over again. If your first reaction to that date is "huh?", then too bad. If you know what that date means, I salute you.

I had to debate long and hard with myself on if I wanted to weigh in on any/all of the topics expressed here. Sigh...I decided to jump in with my flameproof suit on and zipped up. My .02 on some of the topics.

First. Comparing Windows based pc's to Apples is not a fair comparison. They are different in design, philosophy, architecture, os/system hardware integration, etc. The os is a part of the machine. A pc is an open architecture set of components capable of running different many different os's...i.e. how many different versions of Windows/Linux/Unix/etc will run on the same set of hardware. Straight up comparisons are not valid.

Second. Compaq(HP) has been and still is extremely proprietary. Compaq started life as higher ended equipment with proprietary features to compete against the IBM PC. HP targeted the lower end of the market and was/is well known for using inexpensive components. They market the machines with lots and lots of "stuff", but in the past, the systems were always shortcut in places.

Third. In the grand scheme of things, even the most inexpensive hardware is pretty reliable today.

Fourth. The biggest problem (IMHO) with Windows based pc's today is NOT Windows, but is all the sorry non-Microsoft software that is crammed on the machine from the oem. Symantec is software that I will not allow on any pc that I own or can control/manipulate - read that as family/friends/work machines. McAfee is also on my won't-use list. There are others, mostly the mass marketed utility software genre.

Fifth. Bad hardware drivers..remember that is also non-Microsoft software..can create many issues. Generally speaking, when upgrading the os to a new version..WFW->95->98->ME/2000->XP->Vista ALWAYS has required paying special attention to having correct drivers.

Sixth. Doesn't it make common sense that Microsoft would not release a new os that has not been fully tested to the best of their ability? Come on, folks, think about it. Would a car manufacturer release a new model if they KNEW it would only crank 80% of the time? Microsoft has control over their own software and can only test a percentage of all of the permutations that can be created by users downloading who-knows-what from who-knows-where and THEN screaming at Microsoft because Windows is running either slow/crashes/locks up.

Seventh. Linux/Unix is NOT a consumer operating system. Don't try and compare it to Windows used by consumers.

Eighth. This is for all the self-righteous computer geeks. You don't know it all. There is always someone smarter and more knowledgeable than you no matter how many IT certification and/or Computer Science degrees you have. For all the truly professional folks out there...I salute you for remembering that there is more to life than the next orgasmic experience from a piece of software or hardware. I learned a long time ago that the following is so true..."Too often computers produce too much data and not enough information."

Ninth. Microsoft bashing is easy. Blaming problems on Windows is easy. These are so easy even a caveman could do it...sorry, just couldn't resist :-)

Last. For all of you that have read everything here, thanks. Feel free to voice your opinions pro and con my points. As for my credentials, let's just say that when I started in IT, it was called DP. Assembler was the language of choice. The computing cost on a per cycle basis was critical. Computer certifications were hard to get and only a few people got them - there were NO schools to churn out all the paper certified people that could talk networking, but had never pulled a foot of cable or installed a punchdown block. Compaq didn't exist. The PC didn't exist. I could go on, but some of you cannot fathom a life without cell phones, ipods, only 4 channels on tv (5 or 6 if you had a really good antenna on the roof), etc. You get the point.

Responses are encouraged, and by the way, 67chiggerbug has nothing to do with anything you might think.

kra
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The industry is clearly a long long way from resolving these issues. VISTA, MSFT's "most secure" OS ever...already has multiple security patches out. Still no Service Pack 1. I'm telling all my clients (except for the idiot "early adopters") to stay away from VISTA until at least the first Service Pack is out. VISTA requires so much horsepower, that I am denying all customer requests to upgrade older boxes. It's just not cost effective.

I have a very similar job description to yours, and I've been running Vista Business on my production machine with Quickbooks and other mission-critical stuff with only minor hiccups...does that make me an idiot if I had a test machine, and actually made sure everything worked like it should? I kind of take offense with the notion.....

I agree there are some issues, but hey, this is nothing new...remember the software problems when Apple transitioned to the PowerPC architecture from the Motorola 68000 processor line? Remember all the stuff that got broken by Windows NT Service Pack 3, or Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, or XP Service Pack 2, for that matter? At least this is a new OS, we should expect some glitches....

Let's see, I'm running Office 2007, Quickbooks, Abode InDesign CS2, and many other apps too numerous to list, and while I have had minor issues, they've been just that...minor. (Not to mention I have some software that actually runs better and faster on Vista than it did on XP Service Pack 2, mostly multimedia stuff....)

Good luck...and please don't call me. Take your systems back to the big box vendors and hammer their "geek" departments. Their support costs for these systems are going to slaughter their razor thin margins on these systems.

Nah, you'll still be paying them the ridiculous amount an hour for people who don't know that much...if you really want to get the vendors, you need to call THEIR tech support, all you are doing with your method is making Best Buy and Circuit City's earnings look better....

You know, I have a wish...all this whining about Microsoft, go buy a Linux distro and put on these PCs.....please. :)

Having seen all the MSFT OS's of the past 15 years....VISTA has the potential to replace Windows Millenium Edition as the worst.

While I mildly disagree with some of the other stuff you said, I really disagree with this. If you can show me a majority of people who ran ME and also have tried Vista that say Vista is worse, I'll eat my shorts AND your shorts too, no salt, freshly-laundered optional. :)

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I blame HP and MS equally. HP help support has been awful and now they tell me to get the kind of help I need I have to spend $70 to get 45 minutes of help. Who did JD Power talk to to give these guys a good rating.

That would be Compaq and Gateway's tech support, based on my experiences recently. :)

(Not saying HP is always good, but in the past six months, my experiences with their support has been much better than with Dell and Gateway.)

RkeFool
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Having seen all the MSFT OS's of the past 15 years....VISTA has the potential to replace Windows Millenium Edition as the worst.


I admit I have no direct experience with Vista, by choice. I have seen every msft os since the introduction of pc's in 1981/82. I have used/tested/supported every consumer msft os from DOS 1 through XP Pro, and most of the server os's.

Windows ME was more stable than people will give it credit for. It used the tcpip stack from Win2k and was picky about drivers. It had very little tolerance for badly written software.

It had a huge memory leak. Reboot it every day and things were not so bad.

Overall, I think msft had produced very stable os platforms.

My .02 worth

kra
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Windows ME was more stable than people will give it credit for. It used the tcpip stack from Win2k and was picky about drivers. It had very little tolerance for badly written software.

No offense, but without badly written software, can we really do anything other than what Microsoft builds into the OS? :) I can count the number of good, tightly written, mostly-bug free software I run on a daily basis without using any fingers or toes....

RkeFool--Who also comes from a corporate IT background, and has agreed with almost everything else you've said until this one. :)
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Amazing what crawls out of the woodwork when we get a Hot Topic.

Just like no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, no new OS survives usage by users.
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While I agree with a lot of the posters that most of the blame for your specific problems goes to Norton aka Symantec, your computer vendor and your retailer .. still Vista did not make it easier and the complaint against MS is perfectly valid - after all, isn't this EXACTLY why people switch to Mac OS (easier no hassle) and Linux (maybe equally challenging, but no surprises, lockouts, etc. and support is easily available).

If MS wants to sell its OS, it has to sell user experience and that means taking control of these issues. MS defenders can blame the hardware companies, the retailers, third party software, etc. but this just does not happen in Mac world because Apple rules with an iron fist to make sure it doesn't end up like that.

Moreover, after using Vista for several months (Business Ed, preloaded on a premium Core 2 Duo 2ghz Fujitsu T4215 with 2GB ram and a 120GB SATA drive), I am extemely dissapointed and have had nothing but trouble. Some of the future pleasures you new Vista users have yet to experience are:

1) Major software incompatibilities especially due to User Account Control and Data Execution Prevention (both KEY security features highly touted by MS). The way Vista SHOULD work, is that I should normally operate as a User level account. When I install hardware or software the FIRST time, I should log in as administrator, then back out to User. DEP and UAC should not pop up except when I am administrator.

Unfortunately, with the exception of MS Office 2007, NOT ONE PROGRAM I HAVE INSTALLED will work if I do that. With DEP, I just get mysterious crashes that can only be fixed by turning DEP off. With UAC, some software simply won't work, other software insists on approval every time I run it; still other software must always be run with administrator rights even though it is standard application software (defeating the whole purpose of UAC).

Blame the vendors? Maybe, but there must be something deeper going on - in particular, MS rushed this product out (due to major delays) before vendors could rewrite all their installation, user and security specific code. Or maybe Microsoft did not document it all. I don't know, but it makes Vista suck.

2) Intra-application DDE delays. When launching MS Office docs from within another application (for example, opening a Word attachment in an email from within the email program), 75% of the time Word will CRASH because it takes too long to load! I have to start Word, and THEN launch the document from within the third party application. This must have something to due with the data exchange stuff (I think its DDE but maybe they changed the name).

3) Slow. As the original author noted, operating, shutdown and startup are all SLOWWWWWWW. My old Compaq TC1100 - with half the memory, a single processor and a much slower one at that, and slower hardware all around, could run CIRCLES around my new Fujitsu T4215 that is LOADED with performance hardware (and FWIW, I use the very slim and fast Kapersky AV/Firewall, and have removed all bloatware; I use a program to monitor CPU usage and I deinstall any program that takes up more than a couple percent).

4) Freezes. Every day, usually 2-3 times in a day, my system will become unresponsive for no good reason. My task process monitor does not detect any unusual disk or other process activity (e.g., nothing is suddenly running that is sucking up the 2 processor 2ghz cores, 2gb memory or disk). I am at a loss to explain this.

5) Lack of compatibility with many enterprise networks. Take my word on this one - our firm has been testing Vista since the Alpha release. Vista tests have actually taken down a router! (due to some kind of packet broadcast that Vista does that resulted in the equivalent of an unintentional denial of service attack on ourselves!). To this day, we cannot connect a Vista machine to our domain due to incompatiable domain policy issues and the apparant lack of backward compatibility.

6) A rant on Office 2007 so maybe not fair to Vista... but still, I have had several times a document saved in "compatibility mode" that could not be read by Office 2003.

7) Sync center (which should be a major reason to upgrade) is too hobbled to be useful. I have to use the Sync Toy from Windows XP for most tasks (because it offers more options to combine, sync, contribute, etc. and more control over what is excluded).

To be sure, there are lots of GOOD points in Vista - I personally think DEP/UAC is a great idea (after all, in Linux that is how it works too); the skinnable interfaces are neat; the stacked window thing is very useful if you use a lot of programs at once as I do; Readyboost will be really cool someday, when hybrid drives finally become available.

Generally, however, I feel like a beta tester every day. I don't mind being a beta tester, but I sure wish MS marketed the product as such and did not cram it down the throats of every manufacturer.
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Thanks for the post, WTH. I am no techie, but I am a hardcore gamer. I will be upgrading my computer later this year, but I have heard so many horror stories about Vista, especially for gamers with the Nvidia 8800 directX 10 graphics cards. A lot of that was due to the bad drivers put out by Nvidia, but there have been other problems as well, such as unsupported hardware, high cpu usage, games getting slower FPS or not playing at all,etc. I am concerned, but Microsoft doesn't leave me any choice. If I could get directX 10 support on Win XP, I would gladly keep it. I just hope that by the time I am ready to purchase my new gaming rig, SP1 will have come out and make Vista fairly stable and user friendly for us non-techies. I really wish they would make a clean, bare bones, no fancy aeroglass or other bloated stuff OS for those of us who don't need it. I just want to check my e-mail, search the internet, and play GAMES!


hexgod
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No offense, but without badly written software, can we really do anything other than what Microsoft builds into the OS? :) I can count the number of good, tightly written, mostly-bug free software I run on a daily basis without using any fingers or toes....

RkeFool - Thanks for the reply! No offense taken and I agree with you entirely with both points as you stated them. :-)

kra
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"I'm still running Windows 2000 on my office and home desktops...."

I still maintain that if you're not into gaming there's no better choice for a reliable workhorse than W2000.



In my opionon, I agree Windows 2000 was the best Windows OS. I always found it to be easy to use and very stable.

However, note that I said *WAS* Microsoft only supports the OS publicly for seven years. MS no longer considers Win2000 to be a viable OS and may or may not provide mainstream support and patches for it. I'm personally converting the last on my machines over to XP and Windows 2003 for just this reason.

Of cousre large corporations and large businesses can pay MS for additional support, but for the average joe and small business owner, Windows 2000's life is over.

Geo
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Seemingly weak processor? Not top of the line but not seemingly weak. Contrast this with OS X (10.4.9) which is running fine on my 5 year old 1.2 ghz G4 tower. Vista is bloated and slow with very little value added. It has security in enhancements sure, but the OS is still fundamentally insecure. Good security would require a fundamental design shift not just more security bells and whistles piled on top of garbage! The only fundamental design change is the embedding of DRM into everything ugggh!
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LOL reading this thread! I recently bought a new notebook pre-infected, er, -installed, with Vista so I went through *some* of the same problems. I saved myself the Norton grief by uninstalling it straight away and installing Grisoft's free AVG package instead. Being familiar with WinXP Pro SP2, I was most disappointed by Vista Home Premium hiding the admin consoles I wanted just a bit deeper that what I would like -- but that may be a difference between the Home and Business versions of Vista. It still amazes me to watch the disk activity LED blink away while the machine is supposedly idle -- Vista defaults to too many services and scheduled annoyances; the install process should give a new user at least a chance to selectively turn on/off some infrequently needed stuff.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
About 1 1/2 months ago I bought:

1. A Macbook for my daughter who is going off to college in the fall.
2. A Sony Vaio notebook with Vista for my son who is going to study in China this summer and who is a gamer.

This was the first Apple computer in our family, after many years of PCs and all varieties of MS operating systems since the beginning.

The Macbook worked right out of the box with minimal fuss and a couple hours to transfer all her files and get it hooked into our network and to get the printer to work.

The Vista PC took weeks of tinkering, web searches of forums, restarting, uninstalling stuff, etc., etc. It works ok now for the most part, but still does not shut down correctly, and hangs during shutdown and needs to be physically turned off and on again.

I am a convert. And from talking to others, I'm not the only one.
When my XP notebook dies, I'm getting a Mac.

Tony

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I agree with RkeFool who said: “The main thing I notice here is that this rant against Vista comes from third-party software, not from Vista itself”:

Here are my … Unbelievably fantastic VISTA experiences:


Machine#1: Asus M6N Laptop
1GIG MEM (maxed out), 60GIG drive, built in wireless ,
purchased April 2004.

- Was running XP up till FEB 2007.
- Nuked the drive using Darik's-Boot&Nuke (to make sure nothing was on it)
- Loaded and booted the Windows Vista Business CD (OEM version can be had for around $133)
- Let it run its installation course …
- Spent some time getting familiar with the new interfaces / where things are stored … etc
- Configured it like I wanted (limiting indexing to a single small folder, setting LAN/WEB connections, etc)
- Turned off those annoying “animation” of menus/windows (which I just plain hate).
- Left on absolutely all other eye candy.
- Connected to the internet and applied all updates and patches.
- Not once did I have to put in a single CD containing “essential” 3rd party drivers, which was always a major headache with XP (and 2000 … etc).
- I have loaded nothing more on this machine than whatever was on the Vista CD, or came in via the Internet updates.
- Most of the time (which did take some time), I just let it run on its own to reboot and install updates. It took time, but was not a hassle. I would visit it throughout the installation to see if it needed some response from me … which it did now and then. Most of the time it just rebooted itself and continued installing.

Results:
- My laptop loads and runs beautifully … as fast or faster than XP ever did.
- For the 1st time, the wireless connection works perfectly. Unlike XP, there are no need for “reboots” to get it re-connected when it arbitrarily disconnected. IT JUST WORKS!
- For the 1st time, the sleep and (wow) hibernate worked perfectly. Under XP neither never really worked properly with the LAN or Wireless connection. The only sure thing was to shutdown/reboot.
- I run as an ordinary user, unlike how I ran under XP … always as an administrator because it got so annoying to have to logoff and log on as an administrator to install/de-install software. On Vista I feel way more secure … especially regarding the wireless connections.
- I go days (or weeks) before rebooting … I can't or don't care to keep track of “rebooting”.
- IT JUST WORKS! … AND WORKS AND WORKS!


Machine#2: Asus N4L-MV-DH MB in a Cooler Master BOX
Core Duo 2GHZ, 2GIG MEM,300GIG DRIVE, VIDEO PowerColor Radeon X1300 512MB PCI-E CrossFire
Purchased OCT 2006

- Was running XP up till APR 2006, with 2003 OFFICE.
- Loaded VISTA ULTIMATE CD (OEM full version for about $189)
- Installation was pretty much like with Machine#1 … again … done without loading a single 3rd party driver.
- Configured it … etc … just like Machine#1
- Loaded MS OFFICE 2007 Basic (OEM for about $165)
- Pretty much the same thing … took time … but was no problem.
- Took some time to get used to the new Office interface. MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE. OFFICE IS NOW USER FRIENDLY. I LOVE IT.

Results:
- This is one screaming machine.
- It runs way faster (feels like it) than XP ever did on it.
- It's way more stable … I just leave it on all the time … occasionally rebooting because of old XP habits.
- IT JUST WORKS! … AND WORKS AND WORKS!


Machine#3: AOpen-MX64 MB in a standard micro-ATX box
Memory 750MB (maxed out),
Updated old Slot1 Celeron with equivalent 1.5GHZ “Legacy system upgrade”
Some old Matrox G400 Video (or whatever)
Working since (I forget … many years) … given to me by friend from his “legacy system” spare parts.

- Use it for “home file backup server” and as a private/family Internet Web Server
- Normally set up in my back closet … near my shoe tree … NO VIDEO … NO AUDIO … NO KEYBOARD … NO MOUSE.
- Only used the Video card and keyboard for system installation.
- Administer it using Terminal Services via Machine#1 or #2.
- Was running Windows Server 2003 on it for years.
- Recently installed Vista Business on it … to be able to run IIS7. (at that $133 price mentioned before)
- Configured it without any eye candy what-so-ever (done in a single place with a single click).
- Configured it to give preference to services rather than GUI (another single click).
- Again … I did not have to load any 3rd party drivers or CD's.

Results:
- It runs as fast or faster than 2003 Server did
- The GUI looks like Windows 2000 … but who cares.
- I get all the features of IIS7 … with its far more configurable web services. You don't really have to put CGI/ASP in it unless you want to. I just have it serving up static web pages.
- It seems to even be faster in the file serving ability.
- Connecting Vista machines on the home LAN is way easier … and far more automatic. Vista machines seem to really like other Vista machines … but with a little patience will talk to old XP machines.
- IT JUST WORKS! … AND WORKS AND WORKS! … AND IT WORKS FAST!


SUMMARY:

- I simply love Vista. I find even its eye-candy (exclusive of the “animation”) helpful in concentrating upon and navigating thru any work I'm doing on the computer.

- I have installed and reinstalled Microsoft OS from the DOS days … each and every system. This is by far the best installation experience I have had with any OS … including UNIX and LUNIX … and XENIX.

- Vista is more than eye candy.

- Vista has a completely redesigned the TCP stack. This means far better internet/LAN/WIRELESS connections … as well as better reactions to going into/out of hibernation/sleep.

- Vista … and I'm going from my experience … has the most complete standard device driver library ever. Now that does not mean it's perfect … just leagues ahead of any previous MS OS release. Witness my experience … no nasty 3rd party drivers to load … on 3 machine installations.

- Vista has some very new security features not found in XP or earlier. XP SP2 has some of Vista's features … but even those are tacked onto XP (versus built-in). The biggest issue for PC's/ Apples in this wireless world is security. Vista has added User Account Control (UAC) which classifies areas of the computer/software/memory into 3 layers of integrity “Low”, “Medium” and “Administrator”. This is a primary methodology to allow Internet Webs to work in “Low” integrity areas of your machine, to enhance your “web” or online experience … yet completely insure that those programs are not able to run something outside of the “low integrity” realm … unless you are told about it. This is the complaint of those new to UAC. Programs/Webs that carry certification (IE a standardized means of accountability) do not trigger those messages. As programs/webs start to follow the rules of accountability … you will not be bothered by those messages. The UAC is a good thing … and I find it comforting to know that if I'm browsing … and some web script starts executing … I will know if it goes out of bounds … and I have control of it.

- MY EXPERIENCE … VISTA JUST WORKS! … AND WORKS AND WORKS!


APPLES AND ORANGES - PET PEEVE AND RANT:

Can you buy an Apple on a Toshiba? How about an Apple on a DELL … or an IBM?

Apple OS only runs on one machine … the Apple machine … tightly controlled and built by and for Apple and Apple OS. Apple has complete control over what “qualifies” as “Apple” (device/machine/OS/software).

Microsoft builds an OS for all the other PC machines in the world … and has to deal with all of those machine makers … thousands of drivers and slight variations of drivers. It deals with “legacy … way outdated” systems and 3rd party drivers/devices/software. They cannot easily disregard the huge population of businesses and homes depending on really old software. LUNIX tries to run on all machines … but has an extremely long way to go to catch up to Microsoft. It's all about the drivers … for the machines and the machine devices.

The “Apple proprietary OS/machine” community is much smaller than the “Microsoft OS / many Machine MFG” community. It only has to deal with a very limited hardware spectrum … and builds its OS accordingly.

Apple's primary advertising strategy (these days) seems to sell its machines more by attacking Microsoft Vista … rather than really demonstrating what is better about Apple. Why would Apple users be more anxious to run virtual Vista on Apple machines than PC users are anxious about running virtual Apple OS X on PCs.

It's Apple versus Oranges … NOT Apple Versus Microsoft … a big difference. Maybe they converted from Motorola to Intel to make it easier to run Oranges software on their Apples.

People are always trying to get Microsoft to run on the $500 PC … or an Apple at any cost. I wonder how much WTH paid for that computer he replaced. I wonder what his experience would have been if he had shelled out the same amount he had paid for that 1st computer … even disregarding inflation. Today's good machine price point is about $1000 … you can pay less … but you get less of an experience.

As far as I'm concerned … Vista is the best OS Microsoft has put out. If you have the patience to get through the learning curve … it will likely be the last “major MS OS variation” you will have to learn. DOS, WIN98, NT1/2/3/4, WIN95, WIN98(flavors), WIN2000, XP are history.

VIVA VISTA!!!!!

GZFrank













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Thank you!
Too many people think their PC nightmares are due to a lack of "technical skills." As you demonstrate, even your extreme level of expertise is barely a match for the mindless malfunctioning of a Microsoft operating system. I've been using PC's for 13 years and am still amazed at all the time wasted waiting for Windows to boot, shut down, restart, etc.
For a productivity tool, my brand new PC sure wastes a lot of my time.
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I've been using PC's for 13 years and am still amazed at all the time wasted waiting for Windows to boot, shut down, restart, etc.

I would like to state that Linux boots 10x faster than Windows, but I cannot. It takes a long time too. Part of the problem is that the memory test takes a very long time with 8GBytes of RAM. But Linux starts up lots of processes and once in a while, checks all the file systems, and with a machine with 6 hard drives, this can take a while. One advantage with Linux is it tells you, step by step, what it is doing, which sort-of justifies the time it takes. I suppose Windows does the same kinds of things, but I do not know what it is doing.

One advantage I have with Linux that I do not have with Windows is that I seldom have to shut the machine down or reboot it. With Windows it is a frequent occurrence because updates, that come rather frequently, often require at least one reboot. With Linux, the only time an update requires a reboot is if the kernel itself is replaced, and the Linux kernel is a rather small thing: 1,367,070 bytes for the current one. The current one replaces the previous one that I got over 6 months ago.
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BigHatPhil wrote:

I feel your pain but I don't agree that all your troubles here lead back to MS. Here's your problems...

<snip>
1...2...3...4...5...
<snip>

Now I'm not particularly fond of Vista over XP but it sounds like your gripe is as much with Compaq, your Retailer and Norton as it is with MS.

Phil, I understand you, but to my untutored eye, what the original author (remember him??) was trying to say was that buying and correctly setting up a new computer today, which comes with Vista already installed after some fashion, is way more complex than the average non-technical user can cope with. I'm afraid I have to agree with him. If buying a new car were so complicated, we'd all be driving 2001s or older.
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Just purchased a new computer from Dell with Vista loaded.

Bearing in mind this thread, I let my 3rd grader set it up today. Only help he needed was asking me to read the licensing agreeement, what password I wanted on it and entering the wireless router code and MAC address to get internet access.

Bingo, 30 minutes later I'm writing this post.

Not so hard.

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This is similar to an experience I had with a Vista laptop and someone wanting to get Quickbooks Non-profit edition installed. After 2 1/2 hours of unsuccessfully following the directions from the Intuit website I had to call tech support. It took 4 1/2 more hours and people in 3 different countries to get someone that could help. Needless to say, we will not be deploying Vista anytime soon at my place of employment.

Don
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aye, blame Vista for a problem with Quickbooks from Intuit.

That's rather like blaming your utility company when a lightbulb burns out.

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....you did save all your documents on the network like we told you to, didn't you? No, oh well, maybe next time you'll learn...

Maybe if you gave us enough storage space we could do so. It seems to me DASD is fairly cheap these days, that is if you're not talking enterprise level file servers. Only the best DASD for these guys, though its so expensive no one can actually scale up to handle the ongoing demand caused by bloated app and file formats. Maybe its easier in companies that don't need to reduce costs and increase margins.

And of course the reason to store data on the network drives in the first place is that they're backed up so its safe in case of problems, except when those problems include backups that didn't work, got corrupted, or someone just hasn't responded to the "please insert additional media" messages in a couple of months.

Ah, yes, working in information systems is so much fun. Reliable? I don't think so, and no, its not always the users fault.
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I feel your pain but I don't agree that all your troubles here lead back to MS. Here's your problems...

1. Vista requires a lot of horsepower to run correctly
2. You choose to purchased a seemingly weak machine
3. You choose not to purchase from a vendor that provides re-installation disks
4. You choose not to uninstall the bloat-ware that your vendor bundled
5. I assume you've chosen to run Vista with all the bells and whistles (Aero)

Now I'm not particularly fond of Vista over XP but it sounds like your gripe is as much with Compaq, your Retailer and Norton as it is with MS.


======================

1. The machine I bought has a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 processor, a 2MB layer 2 cache on the CPU, 1 GB of PC4200 DDR RAM, an 800MHz front-side bus, 128MB of video memory on the video card, and a 160GB 7200RPM SATA drive. This is NOT a low-horsepower machine.

2. See #1

3. Yup, I expected that at this pricepoint, however, I doubt if ANY PCs sold in-store come with media.

4. Yup. I am not intending this to be my prime Windows machine, I just went through the process of installing what came with it to see what the experience was like and create a "spare" Vista test box. Those who have commented on Symantec being a buggy performance hog are absolutely correct. Symantec is the ONLY thing that EVER crashes on my XP machine.

5. No. I purposely bought a fast but barebones machine without an advanced video card because I have no interest in the Aero visual interface.

For consumer machines (meaning non-server machines and non-workstation machines typically aimed at business), you don't get much more in the CORE of the machine than the capability of this machine. What you DO get as you go from $600 to $800 to $1100 to $1500 are:

* video cards with better ASICS for 3D effects and more memory
* in some models, TV tuners for using the machine as a DVR
* the more expensive versions of Vista that support DVR stuff or Aero
* more main memory -- 2GB seems to be common on gamer machines
* bigger hard drives
* all-in-one media card slots for camera FLASH cards, etc.

Of course, what also comes with those advanced cards are chances for additional compatibility problems with Vista -- eventually those will get sorted out but horror stories seem to abound.

What you DON'T get in consumer PCs as you march up the price scale are FASTER hard drives, though a few models now at least support RAID mirroring which is highly valuable for people accumulating GIGABYTES of photos, music, and video clips they want to archive and need to protect. As I stated, hard drive I/O performance is as much a performance barrier as CPU clock speed or dual processor throughput.

FWIW, I'm not a Microsoft bigot.

* I'm a LTBH of MSFT since 1994
* I'm a Word snob - used EVERY bit of Mac/PC Word functionality since 1987
* my 2001 vintage machine running XP does so FLAWLESSLY

Part of the point of my post is that Vista is unlike any other release of Windows. On any prior version, if you went through the typical 4-6 year life cycle of your machine+OS combination, the new machine+OS seemed an order of magnitude faster than your prior machine. My 1997 266MHz Dell with WinNT 4.0 seemed WAY faster than the 100MHz Win95 machine I used at work. My 2001 Dell 1.8GHz machine with XP seemed WAY faster than the 1997 machine.

This new 2007 3.2GHz machine with Vista seems about equal to the 2001 machine, despite 4x the memory and nearly 2x the speed, running the "crippled" version of Vista that basically replaces XP with none of the extra intensive visual features.

(Enough stirring the hornet's nest... smile)


WTH
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I got feed up with Windows (sorry Bill), so I went the Linux route and installed Ubuntu on three machines with no hiccups. Each install took less than an hour, and I got a series of prompts once at the outset. It discovered my network, came which loads of software pre-installed and configured and fits on 1 CD (from which you can boot if you wish).

Just awesome!

Marc
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You are so right about the BS we go trough with Microsoft and the PC world it SUCKS I am a MAC man now. NO MORE PC.
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I'm sorry if I'm repeating others here; the original post was pretty long and it looked like there was quite a response.

I was really dissapointed in your critique of Vista -- namely because it ISN'T. The bulk of the post you spend complaining about OEM and Symmantec issues. You only bring up two OS-related "Issues", and the speed issue you don't explore in any depth at all - you just loudly declare "it's too slow". IT'S A FRIGGIN COMPAQ, WHAT'D YOU EXPECT!!? I'd bet money you put XP back on there and it'd still be slow. To make your critique even worse, the other "Issue" you list was Microsoft's response to feedback from experts such as yourself who complained that user accounts should not be granted administrative rights by default. Now you experts are complaining that security features such as these are annoying. Y'all kind-of created a dammned if you do, damned if you don't scenario for them, don't you think?

I think there are legitimate reasons not to upgrade to Vista - numerous hardware / driver and software compatability issues come to mind - but your review doesn't address these. Instead you whine about a bunch of problems that have nothing to do with Windows and lay the blame on Microsoft's doorstep. This isn't helpful; it de-legitimizes those of us with valid concerns. The only thing I learned from your post is that Compaq is probably the only company who could still put out a lousy product after their ship sunk. Come to think of it, how could a computer "Expert" such as yourself not know that Compaqs sucked..? Anyway...
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Geez... OK, so what can you buy from Apple for $475? ( Answer? Nada. Nothing even close. )

The problems stated, as already noted, come from the mfg (HP).

Yes, there are many problems with Windows, and with the latest incarnation, Vista. But, there is a reason that MS owns the desktop. Overall, it serves the needs of the PC market best. Period. Otherwise, the market speaks with its $$$.

If and when there is a viable alternative to Windows (for the larger market), the market will beat a path to the door of whoever is providing it. This is not me saying it is so -- IT IS SO until another software is used on more desktops than Microsoft. Apple has some very cool stuff, but clearly it does not meet that need.

BTW, I have several PCs running Windows XP, and a laptop running Vista. I use it daily with no problems.

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I've never been impressed with Windows Vista and believe it is a bloated pig like many others out there. However for such an educated, saavy computer user, you made a lot of poor decisions from the get-go which make me question your true abilities. A computer purchase is an investment and it looks like you didn't do any homework prior to pulling the trigger on the cheapest pc you could find. Practice what you preach!

The fact Motley Fool sent me an email regarding this topic was a great disappointment. I thought I was going to read something succinct and useful in the investment world. Instead, I got caught up reading a bloated pig of a post regarding your whining. You had very little logical structure to your arguments and short of just bashing Microsoft, I don't know what you set out to accomplish.

Please spare us paying Motley Fool subscribers the pain of such garbage in the future. Just out of curiosity, how much time did you waste typing that crap? Why didn't you add that statistic to your post of countless hours wasted with this entire experience?

Regards,

Eric Johnson
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I got to say this was completely against my experience of doing Vista upgrades a couple of times (on both OK machines and ones that are directionally a bit underpowered).

In each occasion I'd be hard-pressed to determine how it could be done any easier. I do have a rule to not use Symantec products after they caused me to have to rebuild a Win 2K box after trying to remove Norton AntiVirus. The rootkit couldn't be removed properly - so I've banned them from my boxes since then.

Apple does have it a lot easier due to the limited hardware that their upgrades need to run on, but by and large I've been pretty happy with Vista.

Platy
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RkeFool wrote:

"It's up to the PC vendor to provide the OS disks for the OEM version of Windows, and has been that way for a gadzillion (OK, since OEM versions came out) years. As a matter of fact, if you order a PC from HP's web site, it's YOUR CHOICE as to whether or not to get the media. It was the retailer's (and ultimately yours), since they (and you) bought the one without. Next question?"



Most people don't like buying something and then finding out they need to buy a bunch of add-ons to have a reasonable assurance it will work correctly.

Microsoft is not completely innocent here either, they are part of the tech support cost cutting equation just like HP is, when they decide not to support copies of Windows sold preloaded. And the other reason they try to avoid giving you flexible recovery/reinstall options is to prevent software piracy, and that is almost entirely driven by Microsoft, not the hardware vendors.




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can you buy from Apple for $475? ( Answer? Nada. Nothing even close. )

How do you define close?

Before they switched to Intel chips, the base price of the Mac mini was just $499. We bought one for that price from PCMall in May of 2005. I realize that $499 is 5% more than $475, but I think that qualifies as close, don't you?

The comparison might not be fair, as they also included a free Kensington keyboard & mouse, free Logitech speakers, and a free Epson printer. Shipping was free, too.

When I buy Windows PCs for my office, I also buy antivirus software. Yes, AVG and some others are free for home use, but not for business use. So I saved money there, too.

We generate a lot of PDFs in my office. Since PDF-creation is a built-in feature of OS X, I didn't have to buy Acrobat.

I did buy a RAM upgrade, but since Macs use standard RAM, it didn't cost any more than the same upgrade for a PC. In fact, when I put that 1GB DIMM in the mini, I used the 256MB DIMM that came out of the mini to upgrade a Compaq!

Of course your question used the presence tense, and that mini isn't available anymore. The least expensive Mac is still the mini, and you can buy one from the online Apple Store for $519, but they're refurbs. New models are $599.

I have paid as little as half that price for a new PC, but it's not a PC most users would find acceptable. It's only used for web-browsing, and is woefully underpowered for most other uses.
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Maybe if you gave us enough storage space we could do so. It seems to me DASD is fairly cheap these days, that is if you're not talking enterprise level file servers. Only the best DASD for these guys, though its so expensive no one can actually scale up to handle the ongoing demand caused by bloated app and file formats. Maybe its easier in companies that don't need to reduce costs and increase margins.

I haven't bought DASD since the late 90's when I worked on the AS/400 platform. Oh, you mean hard drives for the servers.... :)

And actually, unless you need really fast storage for something like a database server, drives are still pretty cheap.

And of course the reason to store data on the network drives in the first place is that they're backed up so its safe in case of problems, except when those problems include backups that didn't work, got corrupted, or someone just hasn't responded to the "please insert additional media" messages in a couple of months.

Ah, yes, working in information systems is so much fun. Reliable? I don't think so, and no, its not always the users fault.


A backup regardless of where it's at, home or office, is only good if it can be restored from. If the IT staff isn't testing their backups, heads should roll, end of story. Having said that, crap still happens, but it should be infrequent and small when it does.

And it's not always the user's fault...but in most of my clients, they are responsible for >90% of them. I'd say half of those are just arrogant users who think they can do whatever they want, and the other half could be avoided if IT staff would come down off their high horse and properly educate the end user. :)

Just my $0.02;
RkeFool
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RkeFool wrote:

"I agree there are some issues, but hey, this is nothing new...remember the software problems when Apple transitioned to the PowerPC architecture from the Motorola 68000 processor line?"



I don't recall there being any issues with those computers directly out of the box. And it didn't actually break many third party apps, but it did break some low-level system add-ons.

Glitches out of the box should be embarassing for the companies involved. It certainly suggests they (which appears to mostly be HP, but also Microsoft) did very poor internal testing before shipping.
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Most people don't like buying something and then finding out they need to buy a bunch of add-ons to have a reasonable assurance it will work correctly.

Agreed...it's an HP problem, though.

Microsoft is not completely innocent here either, they are part of the tech support cost cutting equation just like HP is, when they decide not to support copies of Windows sold preloaded. And the other reason they try to avoid giving you flexible recovery/reinstall options is to prevent software piracy, and that is almost entirely driven by Microsoft, not the hardware vendors.

Here's where I disagree...there are two reasons, IMHO, MS doesn't want to support preloaded operating systems.

1. OEM versions of the OS are sold much cheaper than the retail versions...in order to give OEM's the steep discount, two things are missing: fancy packaging and support. Sure, MS could offer support, but then they would have to charge more, and we'd all be complaining about that.

2. If I was MS, I wouldn't want to support it either, given all the non-standard crap all these PC vendors add in. If HP/Dell/etc insist on branding everthing and loading all this crapware, IMHO it SHOULD be their problem to fix, for better or worse.

And while yes, MS is going after the software pirates with all the effectiveness of the 18th century British navy, :) if your comment was true, why could you even get the OS disks with the PC at all? :) I personally just see it as another cost-cutting move by the vendors....

Just my $0.02;
RkeFool
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I agree with MoneyCure. To the investor seeking information, this discussion is hinging on irrelevant. Perhaps someone could report any problems they've experienced with Vista and various financial programs.
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I don't recall there being any issues with those computers directly out of the box. And it didn't actually break many third party apps, but it did break some low-level system add-ons.

If I recall correctly, it broke quite a few apps (encompassing both apps and low-level add-ons...), and the 68000 emulation was a very poor performer under high-load apps. (I was writing ThinkPascal apps for the Mac at the time, and the migration wasn't seamless or easy....)

Glitches out of the box should be embarassing for the companies involved. It certainly suggests they (which appears to mostly be HP, but also Microsoft) did very poor internal testing before shipping.

More so HP than Microsoft...there's literally 1000's of hardware platforms out there for the PC, so if you tested them all, you'd never ship. Apple, by tightly controlling the hardware, has a much easier time of this, how many models do they have now, 5 or 6?

RkeFool

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I agree with MoneyCure. To the investor seeking information, this discussion is hinging on irrelevant. Perhaps someone could report any problems they've experienced with Vista and various financial programs.

Umm, this isn't a financial board, it's Help with This Stupid Computer..... :)

But on that note, Quickbooks 2007, the MSN Money website, and the TDAmeritrade website all work just fine on Vista. :P

RkeFool
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naylor wrote:

"But, there is a reason that MS owns the desktop. Overall, it serves the needs of the PC market best. Period. Otherwise, the market speaks with its $$$."



But due to requirements for backwards compatibility there is a significant circular component to this logic.

If you ask the question which product in a particular market is best if you were starting from a clean slate, the answer can be very different. When you have to say over and over, "Yes, this product is pretty horrible, but we have to use it because of the installed base", it's frustrating to have people act like that's the best that's possible. It's not just operating systems or even computers, of course... people make similar points about trying to change to alternate fuels when the whole distribution system is set up for gasoline only.

The ironic part is that it hurt Microsoft, too, when people are reluctant to buy the newest Windows version because they are afraid it will break compatibility with their older software and data. Microsoft could build some fastastic ideal new OS which is technologically superior in every aspect, more user friendly in every aspect, but if the software that runs on it has a bunch of compatibility glitches loading Excel files it won't sell well.

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RkeFool wrote:

"If I was MS, I wouldn't want to support it either, given all the non-standard crap all these PC vendors add in. If HP/Dell/etc insist on branding everthing and loading all this crapware, IMHO it SHOULD be their problem to fix, for better or worse."


Expect that if I go out and buy Photoshop then I expect Adobe to support it even if my machine has lots of preloaded garbage from the hardware vendor.

Of course, NO vendor wants to provide support, because there are so many possible interactions and conflicts with all the possible different combinations of programs that nobody can ever test them all. I'm not sure why the OS vendor should get a free pass. Most of the other vendors don't.




"If your comment was true, why could you even get the OS disks with the PC at all? :) "




But you don't get the OS disks with the PC, you usually get some rebranded pseudo-Windows CD that may not install on some other vendor's hardware, or even a different model of the same vendor's hardware. So you if you support a lot of machines you get to keep lots of stacks of CDs around.





"I personally just see it as another cost-cutting move by the vendors...."


I can't imagine it's at all effective. One person calling tech support wipes out the cost savings of a CD for an awful lot of computers.

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1. The machine I bought has a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 processor, a 2MB layer 2 cache on the CPU, 1 GB of PC4200 DDR RAM, an 800MHz front-side bus, 128MB of video memory on the video card, and a 160GB 7200RPM SATA drive. This is NOT a low-horsepower machine.

Yes it is, that's why you only paid $475 for it.

3. Yup, I expected that at this pricepoint, however, I doubt if ANY PCs sold in-store come with media.

You should have done some research first if this is important to you because you can buy plenty of computers with the OS included on various media these days.

Part of the point of my post is that Vista is unlike any other release of Windows. On any prior version, if you went through the typical 4-6 year life cycle of your machine+OS combination, the new machine+OS seemed an order of magnitude faster than your prior machine.

LMAO!! Win 3.1 was the fastest in Booting and Shutting Down of ALL MS OSes I've ever used. Then again, Win 3.1 didn't load hundreds, or even thousands, of files and drivers and processes and graphics like Win XP does. So I'd expect Win XP to be slower when Booting and Shutting Down.

ßillƒ
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Hey Eric,

However for such an educated, saavy computer user, you made a lot of poor decisions from the get-go which make me question your true abilities. A computer purchase is an investment and it looks like you didn't do any homework prior to pulling the trigger on the cheapest pc you could find.

I gave you a rec for that statement. :-)

The fact Motley Fool sent me an email regarding this topic was a great disappointment. I thought I was going to read something succinct and useful in the investment world.

Considering the newsletter blurb didn't say the OP was on the Help With This STUPID Computer board, it did at least say enough to help Fools figure out that this wasn't an investment type of post. And, when arriving here from the link, the board name should have given Fools a clue or two that we're not an investing board. ;-)

Please spare us paying Motley Fool subscribers the pain of such garbage in the future.

Well, the main reason for this board is for all Fools to be able to get help with their computer/s, but it's also here for a bit of company bashing as well. We're not always happy about company bashing, but if it's done correctly, then it "might" be helpful to other Fools who may be considering the same "path" the OP complained about taking.

However, TMF should never have included this particular thread in their newsletter because, as has been stated and pointed out to the OP, his complaint wasn't directed at the proper company/ies. And, any Fool who reads his post, but not the following posts pointing out his errors, then it will not do justice in pointing blame in the proper direction.

TMF should be ashamed for not reading the whole thread before linking to the OP in their newsletter. The best thing they could do now would be to link to RkeFool's follow up post about the OP blaming the wrong company/ies and include that in next week's newsletter.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25602046

ßillƒ
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LMAO!! Win 3.1 was the fastest in Booting and Shutting Down of ALL MS OSes I've ever used. Then again, Win 3.1 didn't load hundreds, or even thousands, of files and drivers and processes and graphics like Win XP does. So I'd expect Win XP to be slower when Booting and Shutting Down.

Willing to bet Win 3.1 would run like a bat out of hell on modern hardware (given that one could find drivers). But, then again, it didn't support a lot of what we now take for granted (no networking (network was an add on), no sound, totally primative display, no video). Did we actually do anything with those boxes?

Of course if you want to do speed comparisons. DOS was almost instant boot (if you didn't run an TSR's).

We blew a SCSI timeout/delay (can't get the OS guys to fess up to what the problem was) on our initial device scan in our OS. Finally got hardware that tripped the condition. Took us 12-16 HOURS to boot. Beat that!
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Did we actually do anything with those boxes?

LOL, used to do lots of stuff with them, me. Even did a bit of gaming.

Took us 12-16 HOURS to boot. Beat that!

No thanks. I'd prefer to let y'all's record stand. ;-)

ßillƒ
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We blew a SCSI timeout/delay (can't get the OS guys to fess up to what the problem was) on our initial device scan in our OS. Finally got hardware that tripped the condition. Took us 12-16 HOURS to boot. Beat that!

An old AS/400 we were running had it's DASD (disks for ya'll younger folks) filled up by a POS (piece of *#&$ for the acronymically challenged) program our vendor wrote, and to recover, we had to IPL (reboot, for the younger generation...). The IPL ran for over 36 hours, and none of the lower-level support folks at IBM had any idea why. We ended up bumped to a resource in Rochester, MN who was on the development team, who made sure every other IBM'er was off the phone, and said: "Go pull the power out from the wall, wait two minutes, and re-IPL the box." 30 minutes later we were up and cleaning up the disks so we could go back into production..... :)


All because an operator accidentally picked menu option 37 instead of menu option 36......bad code lives forever.....

:)

RkeFool
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Regarding: MoneyCure - "I thought I was going to read something succinct and useful in the investment world."

Hey MoneyCure :) ... this thread contains the very stuff for investment socio-techno analysis and predictions.

I can't remember the investment book I read a long time ago ... but I remember very clearly the primary message ... invest in what you can see happening within your own experience. If I walk into a store (new or old) ... what I see on the shelves and who I see walking in the aisles and how they are behaving or talking is what should trigger and guide my investment planning (along with the numbers of course).

I like the fact that this is a discussion on a "financial" site ... probably involving a lot of techies ... but also many non-techies. This is like walking down the aisles of a virtual store selling various instruments that connect people to the web ... the biggest (currently) social/political/financial event to ever happen to the human race.

This thread is mainly a "BAD VISTA" bash ... with a few voices saying "yes ... but what about ...".

So the question is ... do you believe in VISTA (IE MSFT)... do you invest in MSFT? Forget the love/hate aspect. Personally I love their quarterly dividends.

Do you buy/sell ADBE ... do they have something to compete against in Word 2007? I think so. Not in the near future ... but, yes, in the emerging XML future.

Do you invest in SYMC? I think there is a lot of good information in here about that. Hmmm ... :!

If people are complaining about their VISTA experiences:

... what is at the root of that complaint? Who or what are they really complaining about?

... and what companies (HP/DELL/TOSHIBA/etc) are they talking about?

... and are there "GOOD VISTA" experiences out there? Keep in mind, the people having "GOOD VISTA" experiences are not Google-ing "Help with this STUPID computer!".

No matter how long or loud we rant (good/bad) about VISTA ... it will arrive. We all know that.

The question is "When?" I say it all depends on all the enterprises currently dependent on Windows 2000. The enterprise-2000 community is huge ... much bigger than the enterprise-XP community. These guys never bit the bullet to move to XP ... but to go to VISTA, they will.

Their systems are 4 to 6 years old and working fine, now. But starting June ... and finishing in 2010 ... it's all downhill for Windows 2000. In fact they are even going to have upgrades past IE6 ... at least as of today. Of course they could go to Firefox ... or Opera ... Or Safari ... yes ... that's it ;)

So now is the time for all good enterprises to upgrade to the newest machines and newest security standards in this wild wild web world ... and to VISTA (with far more security foundations than XP). It is the natural path for MS based enterprises. It will happen ... and it will be painful ... but it will happen.

I'm guessing the threshold for that will occur sometime in the beginning of 2008 ... giving VISTA about a year to "stabilize" ... and for 3rd parties to catch up to the demand they should have seen coming. (Shame on you ADBE!).

Once the rollover to current technologies/APIS/standards/etc starts to occur ... it will cascade.

So I'm guessing that by the end of 2008 ... it will be a steam roller.

WIN2000 and XP will trigger the same investment desires as WIN95.

Oh, and I expect XP-enterprises to follow in the same fashion about 1 to 1.5 years behind.

By 2009 ... the world will be well on the way to forgetting "BAD OLD MS OS" experiences ... and the "BAD NEW VISTA" rants will fade away.

Of course the Apple/Orange(PCS+MS) religion wars will continue ... but, as long as they serve beer ... I'm in.

GZFrank

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WTH:

I just want to take a moment and thank you for your persistence and great care writing up your experience. It's convinced me to wait a year or more to upgrade anything (I've been thinking about changing machines and using VISTA).

Have a great Saturday,

Joe Gonzales
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GZFrank said:

The “Apple proprietary OS/machine” community is much smaller than the “Microsoft OS / many Machine MFG” community. It only has to deal with a very limited hardware spectrum … and builds its OS accordingly.

You say that as if it's a disadvantage. Yes, it's impressive that Microsoft can make an OS that runs on such a wide variety of machines (including Macs). I don't see how that benefit the other posters here that are having issues.

-murray
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Regarding: MurrayS "You say that as if it's a disadvantage."
regarding my "The "Apple proprietary OS/machine" community is much smaller than the "Microsoft OS / many Machine MFG" community. It only has to deal with a very limited hardware spectrum ... and builds its OS accordingly.

Murray, I don't think of it as a disadvantage ... or an advantage. Apple is a closed party system ... Orange is an open party system ... different approaches to solving the problem of supplying personal computers to users. As such, each has an up and a down side. Depending on which community you are in ... one should adjust expectations accordingly ... especially during each major upgrade.

My brother is an Apple guy ... and from conversations with him ... it appears to me that Apple has its own distinct set of growing pains as it moved from old machine to new machine and old OS(y) to the next OS(x). Software became outdated or problematic (except for the exclusive Apple insiders).

The Orange community suffers from a more intense competition by many manufactures that are desperate to "add value" or at least "appear to add value" over their competitors. When the Orange community problems become so exposed ... there seems to be a perfect storm of outrage ... and everyone hates Bill Gates ... for no useful purpose. More often than not ... it's all the other players (hardware and software) that really need to solve the problem.

Certainly the Orange community is larger and so evidence of issues and problems will be far more visible than issues from the Apple realm. The grass is not necessarily greener on either side.

Machines become outdated. Software becomes outdated. The world and the web and associated security issues are moving targets. People hate change. Take heart ... evolution is a fact of life.

If you want to survive and thrive in this constantly evolving techno-world ... consider a strategy of "KEEP IT SIMPLE". In fact ... my "Apple" brother did exactly that on the Apple machines at work. He suggested they only used Apple software to protect them from the OS/Machine upgrade issues. The 3rd party "Apple software" seemed to have reoccurring problems every time they upgraded their Macs. You don't hear this about the Apple community so much ... because it's a smaller community.

It's as simple as that ... "KEEP IT SIMPLE".

In my case I had and have great success because I loaded Vista and nothing but Vista onto my 3 machines. The amazing part of this is that (unlike all previous OS installs) I did not have to load a single 3rd party driver ... no searching the web ... no looking around for CDs to load during the install process. This was true on 3 oddball machines ... ranging from 2006 new back to (who knows ... 2000?).

A FEW SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS REGARDING VISTA (for this thread):

1) Delay Vista installs if your "mission-critical" app/device vendors are not read to support Vista ... but keep bugging them about it ... REALLY!

2) Be sure you install all updates ... and set Vista to automatic update.

3) As soon as you can ... go into the Control Panel -> Indexing Options -> Advanced and configure the indexer to only look at a single small folder of "mission critical" documents. As you get comfortable with the performance of your machine ... configure indexing to your choice.

4) I'm not going to name names ... but certain anti-virus products are very "CPU intensive" and seem to suck the life out of the machine as well as create strange Internet/LAN/performance behaviors ... including absolute stillness. I recommend NOD32 (after having many engaging experiences with name brands). ENOD32 seems to me to have the least impact on CPU consumption as well as offering diligence of updates. It gives me a really good sense that it's doing its job ... but is never in my face about it ... and I hardly notice that it was installed.

5) Try working with the Windows Firewall ... while waiting for your favorite firewall vendor to get its act together (I'm waiting for my Sunbelt Personal). While waiting ... I discovered that Windows Firewall is not as bad as it used to be.

6) Only load "mission critical" apps on your machine ... FORGET the "but I have always used ..." stuff for at least a few weeks. This goes especially for those "image editing" suites (unless they are "mission-critical"). Consider using the editors / photo galleries already supplied with Vista or Office. Explore them, give them a chance. If they don't work for you ... I highly recommend Paint.NET. It's fast; it's got quite a bit of functionality; ... and IT'S FREE.

7) If you can, order your machine with Vista and nothing but Vista on the machine ... and I also recommend Office 2007 Basic. But this is often not possible because so many 3rd parties really want to get their "product hooks" deep into the guts of your machine, so they load you up with "really good stuff" that "you're going to absolutely need, we guarantee it".

8) If you are having problems working with Vista on an over-the-counter-prepackaged machine ... start de installing unnecessary software ... especially those certain virus detection programs

9) Keep Internet Explorer free of add-ins ... at least for a week or two. See if you are really going to need that favorite add-in after all. If you do add it in ... and you detect problems or slowness ... remove it ... and wait for the add-in vendor to get the update out.

10) Be sure you load Adobe 8.1 full version and Adobe 8.1 reader ... nothing earlier.

11) Be patient with User Account Control (UAC). Yea ... I got irritated with it. BUT, I'm more and more impressed with the basic strategy behind it. I get it ... and am now not so irritated as I was. In my mind it is a very important security method that is brand new and will suffer some hiccups moving to maturity. Consider this a time to clean house on those really old utilities you thought you needed ... and experiment with alternatives.

12) Consider that there are a lot of little touches in Explorer, Internet Explorer, and Office (Word/Excel) that might change the way you manage your computer and you're desktop. At least give yourself some time to explore. I used to have zillions of "shortcuts" to documents and stuff ... but when I discovered that you could "pin" a document in the "recently used documents" ... suddenly a managing methodology I have been using forever became absolutely unnecessary. And the "breadcrumbs" in explorer ... well don't get me started. Point is: it's the little things in Vista that could really make your day.

Keep it simple!

GZFrank
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Not to beat a dead horse (OK, I probably am), I bought a Compaq laptop for my 15-year-old, definitly non-techie, boy. He was able to get it going with one minor assist from me. I do agree that Norton/Symantec is awful. I use Windows One Care. Also, I find it difficult to believe that you are a computer expert and don't know the difference between a DVD-RAM, DVD-RW and DVD-R. You would never want to use the first two for a permanent backup.
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I agree with MoneyCure. To the investor seeking information, this discussion is hinging on irrelevant. Perhaps someone could report any problems they've experienced with Vista and various financial programs.

Reiterating a post in this thread - This is NOT an investment discussion board.

I graduated cum laude with a degree in public accounting from the dean's college where I studied, directly and in classes, under CPAs and PhDs, including retired Partners of major CPA firms, and enjoyed offers to work for Price Waterhouse and Touche Ross... I do not look to this board to provide investment advice. Though such advice/opinions, sometimes, happen on this board, it is irrelevant to the basic purpose of this board.
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"Before they switched to Intel chips, the base price of the Mac mini was just $499. We bought one for that price from PCMall in May of 2005. I realize that $499 is 5% more than $475, but I think that qualifies as close, don't you?"

I stand corrected, thanks. I had no idea about the current Mac Mini. My history of looking at Apple over the years (as a PC alternative) has always resulted in sticker shock and steered me away. I think it is a great company, though, and yes, I do own Apple stock.
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"If you ask the question which product in a particular market is best if you were starting from a clean slate, the answer can be very different."

I believe what you are trying to say here is that if the OS market for PCs was starting from scratch today, you think it would turn out differently. Hmmm...I have no idea how it would turn out. We'll never know, will we?

I have to disagree with you about this being circular logic. The current reality includes a multitude of facets that are a part of the equation - you can't simply exclude them. For example, many folks may look at the time invested in learning an OS and simply think that moving to a newer OS from the same vendor would be an easier learning curve. They may not be right, but it certainly plays into a decision.

This is why marketing experts believe that being 'first to market' in any arena buys you a barrier to entry against competitors. Of course, it only works if your product is good enough (or you fix the problems fast enough). If you don't, your market share erodes. Microsoft dominated the market early, chose the open platform approach, and the rest is history.

In many ways the Vista launch is following the same pattern of every new desktop OS launch. Adoption is slow at first, then momentum builds. (I own shares of both Apple and Microsoft, btw.)

I stand by my statement, "...MS owns the desktop. Overall, it serves the needs of the PC market best. Period. Otherwise, the market speaks with its $$$". It may not be true forever, but it is as of now. Market share means a lot.
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I stand by my statement, "...MS owns the desktop. Overall, it serves the needs of the PC market best. Period. Otherwise, the market speaks with its $$$". It may not be true forever, but it is as of now. Market share means a lot.

I certainly can't disagree with your statement, but does Windows serve the needs of the average home computer user the best? I know what the answer is for my home :)

-murray
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"...does Windows serve the needs of the average home computer user the best? I know what the answer is for my home :)"

The average home user? Clearly the answer is yes -- again, market share tells the story. Your home? Well, only you can know what is best for you!

Cheers!
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The average home user? Clearly the answer is yes -- again, market share tells the story.

I guess we'll just have to disagree that market share is the ONLY indicator of what is the best product for the typical consumer. You're basically evaluating the current product offerings from Apple and Microsoft by looking at the last 25 years of history.

IMHO market share TRENDS are a better indicator of the future and Apple's computer sales growth is accelerating while PC sales are fairly static.

-murray
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Ah, but I do agree with you. I thought we were talking about 'Now'.

You are talking about the future, and I defer to your logic about trends - they are the best indicator of what will happen in the future. However, I would hesitate to predict the future of any market based on short term trends alone...

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I read your post with interest, it was nice to see some common sense in this whole debacle! After the RAF I started off pulling BUS & TAG cables & trying to figure out this new fangled Octal stuff! My first'pc' was an BBC Acorn 64K (UK similar to the ZX81!) even simple word processing was a challenge. Everything was written in BBC Basic. But amazingly enough most applications ran fine in 8K of memory (note to bloatware..)

More to the point all versions of Windows can drive you nuts in one way or another, I won't touch Vista until SP1! I have had bad experiences with both Symantec & Macafee. At home I use the Antivirus software that comes with COX broadband which does not add noticeable overhead & does the job.

My qualifications, several associate degrees in Avionics, Computing etc & a wealth of experience in troubleshooting hardware & software

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistant one."
(Albert Einstein)

BKA

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I dont have Vista, but I have to say that I bought my current PC back in 05 off Dell Small Business for a quite reasonable price. They gave me double the ram they were going to and upgraded me free from CD drive to a DVD RW drive which meant more then than it means now. It came with XP Home on it.

After I plugged everything in and turned it on, I think it maybe took me 2 minutes to get into windows the first time. When I got there I turned it off completely and then turned it back on and counted the boot to desktop time, it was something around 15 seconds. Not too shabby.

Since then, I have had very little problem with it. Like some others I have done computer work in the past, so maybe I just know what I am doing and what specifically not to do.

The first thing I did after booting it up was uninstall everything I could uninstall except the OS. I was not interested in OEM problems.

I think I may have had McAfee anti virus till I uninstalled it, I dont know, that was the first thing to go and I dont really remember.

My workplace issued home copies of Symantic AV and Firewall. In about 2 minutes I was setup completely with that, and so far I havent had any major problems running Symantec AV/Firewall in combination with anything else I run.

I am also a hardcore gamer, so I have probably installed and uninstalled like 100 apps and while I cant boot to desktop in 15 seconds anymore I still find everything quite reasonable regarding boot up and shutdown given how screwed up my registry must be.

I did a RAM upgrade to the PC also, the Dell gig sticks were like $150 and I managed to find a PQI two stick set for half that. I went to the dell website and wrote down exactly the specifications for my current RAM and then went to various websites looking for exactly those specifications on non brand RAM. As before, I found the PQI RAM and read through every single user posted comment looking specifically for the keywords "Dimension 8400" in comments. Everyone said that it worked perfectly for them in their systems so I bought it. After a 2 minute hardware install everything went perfectly fine.

Currently I have 35 folders in my programs list and I can run half of those all at the same time while also keeping my anti virus and firewall active and have Outlook constantly check for new mails and every other thing I want to do and not even lose more than about 1 frame per second on any game or program and rapidly switch between them.

I had a lot to complain about regarding MS products that came out previous to Windows 2000 but both Windows 2000 and XP I have had no problems with, at least not as far as the OS in concerned.

There are some legacy DOS and Win95 games I still like to play sometimes and finding a way to install that and get it working has not been easy, but so far it has been mostly doable. I cant think of any game that I want to play that I cant get working (with some jerry rigging) out of my game library that is more than a decade old.

My point I guess is that I dont have any computer certifications other than an irrelivant CCNA and it doesnt take me much more than following some relatively simple rules in order to maintain my PC in perfect working order, even when it is getting old.

Anyway, if you want to have your PC run well, just do the smart things. Cut out OEM ware, stick to MS designed products rather than 3rd party stuff when possible, cut out GUI features that you dont care about (the big one I hate is windows fading in/out), make sure your HD is at least 7200 RPMs, dont go hacking around in the registry too much, etc. Common sense stuff.

If you do that stuff, you shouldnt have too many problems.

Perhaps its different with Vista, but most problems people have are user oriented rather than anything related to MS products, that includes users who work in IT.

Impressario Raiddinn the Beatdropper
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IMHO market share TRENDS are a better indicator of the future and Apple's computer sales growth is accelerating while PC sales are fairly static.

Microsoft is essentially in a saturated market in the US, Europe, Australia and developed Asia. It's only hope for growth is in Undeveloped Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Problem here is two fold. One: piracy is rampent. Two: Hard to computerize character sets (and low literacy). So, Microsoft's growth is constrained (and it was in chains for a while). Apple as a chimp (gorilla game term, where Microsoft is the gorilla in this marketspace) can grow into any market. Note that Apple will face the same issues as it grows.
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More than half of the stuff you posted has nothing to do with Vista. You bought a computer for $500, obviously you are not going to get extensive technical support for it. Maybe next time trying getting something with a warranty.

Later you talk about the CD formats; again nothing to do with Vista. I have no idea why your post is linked to Fool homepage. Please go buy a mac and stop talking.
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As a person that move from XP64 (built in 2003 64 bit core) to Vista 64...Vista sucks. Printer services and file copy to non Longhorn servers are abysmal.

Add to it that XP64 had easily twice the speed of my Vista machine (same hardware)

I'm a network engineer....relegated to vista support (WTH is the computer so effing slow.....is my commonest complaint).
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And just as soon as the victims learn how not to install Webshots, online poker software, and 45 IM clients that let all kinds of viruses, spyware, and disable the ERP software than actually makes the company run, they can have a voice. ('Cause we're just going to drop the thing preconfigured on your desk....you did save all your documents on the network like we told you to, didn't you? No, oh well, maybe next time you'll learn...)

++++++

can I come work for you?
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WTH

Thank you soooooo much for the info. I also am an Engineer with a Masters in Software AND I'm afraid of buying my new machine with Vista. What does this say, and is MS listening? (1. I don't know exactly and 2. Most definitely NOT).

The really crazy thing is that Microsoft spent Millions of dollars and years of development time to get to THIS... And the even crazier thing is that they will make Billions off of it.

TJSexton
++++++

Think that is bad? Office 2007 adn Exhcange 2007 are worse. No Envelope Wizard in Office anymore. Can;t get Entourage to with with my Exchange 2007 server. Address lists in Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 still do NOT work.


I wish Apple made a collaboration server....
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can I come work for you?

Sorry, that was my utopia rant, not anything based on real life....

On a serious note, I could use some contract help occasionally if you're anywhere near Virginia.... :P

RkeFool
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Think that is bad? Office 2007 adn Exhcange 2007 are worse. No Envelope Wizard in Office anymore. Can;t get Entourage to with with my Exchange 2007 server. Address lists in Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 still do NOT work.


Having never used the Envelope wizard in earlier versions, what does it do that the Mailings tab, Create Envelopes button in Word 2007 doesn't?

On a serious note, Exchange 2007 is a radical redesign, as you've probably noticed. However, I've not had the same problems you're mentioned....

For Entourage, did you turn on IMAP4, or is at issue with the client hanging when connected? If the client is hanging when connected, try opening the Exchange Management Shell and running
set-IMAPSettings -MessageRetrievalMimeFormat HtmlAndTextAlternative

If you didn't turn on IMAP, try running the following two commands from the EMS:
Set-service msExchangeIMAP4 -startuptype automatic
Start-service msExchangeIMAP4

As for the address lists, well, drop the exact behavior here and I'll see if I can help you fix it. I don't have as much experience with Exchange 2007 yet as I did the other versions (way too much education at the School of Hard Knocks on those), but I'm getting there...... :)

I wish Apple made a collaboration server....

Nah, because then you'd have to access it via an iPhone, and around here, you might as well be offline as try to use the AT&T wireless network. :)


RkeFool
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If you didn't turn on IMAP, try running the following two commands from the EMS:
Set-service msExchangeIMAP4 -startuptype automatic
Start-service msExchangeIMAP4



Imap is fine but since I don't allow SMTP relay your solution allows folks to get mail. but not send.

I got my issue fixed with a $245 support call (well worth it though!)



Imap is bad dude - if I wanted to run IMAP and SMTP II wouldn't have spent 400 bucks on Office =)
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Imap is bad dude - if I wanted to run IMAP and SMTP II wouldn't have spent 400 bucks on Office =)

The last version of Enterouge (Spelling Optional) only used IMAP4, so that's where I figured the problem was. :)

IMAP isn't as bad as POP, though, now is it? :)

RkeFool
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In fact, Windows 2000 saved me from out-of-the-box pre-installed 'Win XP Home' disaster. Damage to the XP registry hive from a power surge caused me to lose access to all my data because ownership rights were scrambled. After a month of careful recovery effort (trying not to overwrite or otherwise damage the "lost" disk sectors) I learned that installing W2000 in a separate virtual drive (always keep your data on non-sys drives) would then allow me to re-establish ownership rights and access the data such that I could copy it, then allowing me to trash the opsys, reformat the hard disk and install a fresh copy of (separately purchased) Win XP. Absolute nightmare. I am not an expert, but I learned an awful lot in that month.

My next computer was an iMac.
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