Re: [Nottingham] Vista experiences please

paul at paul at
Fri Feb 2 16:39:42 GMT 2007

   I'm actually trying to get a copy of OEM Vista Ultimate so i can install it
   on my laptop.  If anyone would care to donate a spare quid, please visit my
   site and click on the donate button.



   Obviously i'll be able to report my findings after that.
   On Fri Feb 2 10:54 , "Pete Goodall" sent:
     Hi all,
     Comments in-line...

   On 2/2/07, Michael Erskine <[1]msemtd at> wrote:

     Hi all,
     I think we could go on and on about the perceived (and real!) problems
     the newly Microsoft Windows Vista for some time but not really get much
     of it except for perhaps the reloading of old grudges and the venting of
     As Graeme may have pointed out, the FUD slinging is unlikely to do much
     so what I'd like to encourage is the honest (non-sarcastic) discussion of
     _positive_ _first-hand_ experiences of Vista that our members have, and
     honest discussion of what GNU/Linux has/doesn't have to offer in the same

   I had the opportunity to run Windows Vista RC1 on my IBM Thinkpad T41p back
   in October. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the final build. The
   installations  was  incredibly  easy compared to my past experience of
   installing Windows. Admittedly I was installing it as a single-boot OS, but
   I  think  that  is  probably  the norm, rather than the exception [1].
   Unfortunately, I cannot remember clearly, but I think my wireless did not
   work out of the box. I had to add the device myself and I had to know that I
   had an Atheros 5212 chipset. Boot up was very quick, and I did not witness
   any of the long boot times that others have [2].
   One of the first things I noted was that Windows Vista now comes with an
   e-mail program, simply called Mail, and it does not seem to be Outlook
   Express. The UI is relatively simplistic, though not necessarily simple to
   use. It seems like it is intended to be a clone of the Mail program in Mac
   OS X. Unfortunately, the performance of their mail program was horrible, and
   I was unable to use it for very long to manage my IMAP mail account. The
   filters did not work, and the Junk mail filtering was not very accurate at
   I had already seen IE 7 before I installed Vista, so it was no surprise to
   me that the new spartan look was just annoying. Though I think the goal was
   to make the UI more simple, it only served to make it more cryptic. I could
   figure  out  where things like your favorites are easily enough, but I
   anticipate that others will have a real difficulty adjusting. I wonder if
   Microsoft did any usability testing on this at all. Ironically, IE7 could
   not render some of the Microsoft Web pages, so I had to download Firefox to
   see them. I checked out the anti-phishing feature, by clicking on a link in
   an e-mail that I knew was a phishing scam and it indeed blocked the site.
   I played around with some of the gadgets, and they are pretty neat. You can
   choose to either have them always visible or hide them until you mouse over
   that way. However, the space in which to add gadgets is rather limited. I
   think if your gadgets reach the bottom of the screen you need to scroll to
   see the gadgets below. I added an RSS feed gadget and really struggled to
   find out how to change or add new RSS feeds. The default feed is a Microsoft
   one that I was not particularly interested in. I can't remember how easy it
   was to get new gadgets. :-/
   The power management was excellent, and I could not make it fail by closing
   and opening the laptop lid rapidly or removing peripherals while it was
   sleeping.  The one complaint I no have is that the power button in the
   Windows menu (detailed below) is actually a sleep (suspend-to-ram) button
   [3], but there is not warning of this. If you didn't know that the little
   moon light on your laptop meant that you were suspended and not shutdown
   then  you could easily leave your laptop in your bag like that for the
   weekend and have it run out of battery. However, they may have mimicked the
   Mac behavior of hibernating (suspend-to-disk) after so much time in sleep.
   The new Windows menu particularly interesting to me [4]. In my experience,
   menus are confusing to many people, and apparently many people complained
   that  the menus in Windows XP took up too much screen real estate. The
   solution that Microsoft came up with was to have one pane where the menus
   would appear. The default view has the recently used applications and pin
   board Windows users are used to from the XP menu. If you click on "Programs"
   everything shifts and now all you see is the programs menu. If you choose a
   submenu off that, everything shifts again, and all you see is that submenu's
   content. Seems reasonable, right? However, how do you get back? In addition,
   this does nothing to help you find an application if you don't know what
   submenu to look under. The only problem this solves is that it takes up less
   screen real estate. I asked a Microsoft product manager about this, and his
   response was that the menu did not do well in usability testing, but they
   went with it anyway. :-/

     Personally, I haven't used it yet but our IT manager has and he likes some
     the features (esp. to do with notification of certain event log events).
     immediate thoughts when hearing about these features was "Linux/MacOS has
     that, like, forever!" but I resisted voicing this because, well, for one:
     it's rather childish(!), and two: he's heard me say all that before! My
     Windows "power-user" would ask "how accessible are those features in
     Linux?", "How can I get them working?", etc.

   That is exactly my thought. Though the log files are there, but how easy are
   they for the average user to find. I don't really have much experience with
   this from Vista.

     Just a thought to get some Vista discussion on a constructive track.

   An excellent idea, and always necessary to avoid the perception that Linux
   users are nothing but whingeing, elitist geeks. Thanks for bringing us back
   to reality. :-)
   - Pete
   [1] For an interesting read on Windows Vista vs. Linux and dual booting see
   the article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at
   [2] I saw a reference yesterday that first time bootup took roughly 25 mins,
   but I cannot find the reference now.

     [3] There is a really good article I read by Joel Spolsky at Wind River
     Systems on the new Vista shutdown menu at
     [4]  I  hope  soon to have a blog entry on why this is particularly
     interesting to me, but it is not yet finished.
     Pete Goodall <[4]pete at>


   1. javascript:top.opencompose('msemtd at','','','')
   4. javascript:top.opencompose('pete at','','','')
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the Nottingham mailing list