Last Night, Windows Live OneCare informed me that I was now rounding the last corner towards the home stretch.

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With the exception that mine said “30 Days” where the screen shot says 21 Days. I neglected to take a screen shot of my pop up (it was 11:30pm, and I was trying to watch the end of a DVD, while an automated system scan by Windows Live One Care not scheduled by myself in any way, was taking up 100% of the CPU time). I wonder if Windows Live One Care might actually start to do a better job, in an attempt to encourage me to purchase a subscription at the end? Some how I don’t think so.

Issues

The amount of software still not compatible with Windows Vista is becoming a problem. So far I have been able to install some software using the Windows Vista Compatibility Settings. Windows Vista Compatibility does work well, but it’s not the solution for every program. Some software applications just will not work.

I guess my biggest complainy is a result of the amount of times Firefox has crashed in the last 40 days. It crashes now at least once every 2-3 days. I applaud its ability to restore my session after the crash, but why did Firefox crash in the first place?

Windows Live One Care still continues to can my system every damn night! When 90 days are over, I will be removing Windows Live One Care, and installing a real firewall and anti virus software combination. It seems that the free 90 day trial, can’t actually remove anything from the system, it merely finds viruses and spy-ware and “quarantines” them. Want to remove the malware? Sorry, have to pay for a subscription to be able to do that! As for the monthly Tune Up. What Tune Up? I haven’t seen it once yet!

The installation of Windows Live One Care has probably been the worst caveat so far. The integrated firewall is particularly annoying. Especially when the pop messages for programs that require access to the internet, always manage to appear behind absolutely everything else. To make matters worse, they don’t flash on the task bar, like a new active window does. This then causes programs to function strangely, because they need access to the internet, which they don’t have, because Windows Vista failed to notify me correctly.

For some reason, Windows Live One Care also continues to disable Windows Defender. I have no idea why this occurs. Every time I go to run Windows Defender, or it is scheduled to run, I get a pop up message telling me that Windows Defender has been disabled, and that I need to re-enable it. The disabling seems to happen all the time, and is completely invisible to me. Sometimes Windows Defender must be disabled for days at a time, as it often needs to download updates, and than perform several scans. On My PC with Windows Vista, this never happens. My PC however, does not have Windows Live One Care installed either. In fact, My PC is running perfectly fine, with the exception of the degradation in graphics performance.

Pretty soon, getting a replacement AGP graphics card won’t be too easy. Better start shopping around on eBay now I think!

Power consumption is something that I feel Windows Vista does not take care of too well. When I was running Windows XP, I was able to use my laptop, on batter power for a couple of hours. With Windows Vista, set to “Power Saving Mode”. I am lucky if I am able to get 30 minutes out of my laptop, before the performance is so low that my system is unusable. I guess if I turned off Windows Aero, I might get a few more minutes, but wouldn’t it be useful if Windows Vista just reverted to the Basic Theme when the systems is running on battery? It’s not as if it is a big task to change to the basic theme. Just stop the Windows Display Manager server (WDM).

With all of that our of the way, Windows Vista has still been quite good otherwise. I have my complaints, but I haven’t been forced to go back to Linux. Oh how I do miss my Fedora! I wonder will I get to use Fedora 7 much, before Fedora 8 is released? According to the Fedora Release Schedule, I will get a month or so of use before Fedora 8 is released. I know I could just continue to use Fedora 7, but I like to live on the edge!

A Few Annoying Bugs

Why must FTP support always be crappy? No matter what version of Windows I use, whenever I put an FTP address into Explorer, in the username:password@hostname.tld/public_html/site/this/that/etc it always crashes the first time. That’s right. Even in Vista, it crashes the first time, and then when I try it the second time around. I am denied access. To get to where I want to go. I have manually login again with Explorer, and then start at the home directory and navigate my way to the directory I want to upload some files too. Arrgh! Such a pain! Why does Explorer remember the locations I have been to via FTP in it’s history, if it is going to deny me from using such short cuts!! And No, it’s not just one FTP sites, It’s all FTP sites. And No, it’s not my internet connection, because I have been to many different locations with my Laptop, and the result is the same!

What is with Presentation Mode? (I am using Vista on a Laptop). It doesn’t do anything? Every time I connect my laptop to a projector (to teach a class with a PowerPoint presentation for example), I have to use “Extend Desktop”. Even with the Official ATI drivers installed, I can not get the Projector to function as a second monitor per say. Presentation Mode On, Presentation Mode Off. Wtf? I used to be able to do this fine with Windows XP.

The automated running of Windows Live One care is a pain. Especially at 10:30pm at night, when I am working on a Power Point presentation, and I want to save it! If I am able to save it (i.e, my system responds long enough to accept the command) I have to be sure not to click anything else, otherwise Power Point goes all white eyes on me and then it never recovers. Why did Microsoft steal the “darkening of the non responding windows” from Linux? Especially since the windows nearly always recover in Linux. Why don’t they just go down the Mac road. If the current window has stopped responding for more then 30 seconds, just make it go away! To quote Hunter Chrestle “Poof! It goes away! You didn’t click anything, you didn’t even save! It’s just gone!”

I think Windows Live One Care wants my money. I feel slightly like I am being scammed. Every night, Windows Live One Care does a scan. Every night, it tells me how it found 7 (or 10) viruses. It also tells me how it tried to quarantine them, and failed! The same message box says that I should pay for a subscription with better protection. After that, the status of Windows Live One Care stays all green, and apparently there are no problems! So, do I have viruses on my PC, or is this just a copy cat situation, like plenty of that scam software out there available on the internet? What do they call that? Spyware was it?

Interesting Smarts

Vista and Office Ultimate do have some interesting new features. For Example, Outlook 2007 will now attempt to find out your incoming and outgoing mail servers for you. You just put in your email address, and it does the rest. Success rate so far? 0% and I have 8 (yeah I know) different email addresses. Perhaps it only works with Paying Hotmail and Microsoft Subscribers?

Internet Explorer 7 doesn’t crash. Every time I used IE7 in Windows XP, it crashed. Yes, I did have a legitimate version that I paid for. Every time I use IE7 in Vista, it never crashes! I like that, but not enough to give up Firefox, which unfortunately has crashed several times this week alone.

Going back to my pains of the Projector, when I extend the desktop, I no longer need to match the resolution on both screens. I can keep my 1440 x 900 resolution, and have the projector, or other monitor attached, set to any resolution I like. I was never able to do this with Windows XP. Being able to do this with Vista, has made using my desktop in “Extended Desktop Mode” bearable to say the least.

The automatic network connection sensing is good! I no longer need to disable an interface, when I am using the other, to prevent my computer from having problems accessing the network. I can leave them both enabled and Vista fails over to the device with the best availability. Which means I can switch between work and home, and never have to alter my network settings. Fantastic!

Having Said That …

So far it has been good. I am enjoying using Vista, although I do find myself pining every once in a while for the familiar linux console. Sometimes I run up a command prompt, but it just isn’t the same, like really.

Natural Selection

Which flavour of Windows Vista do you choose? With a Microsoft Technet Subscription at my fingertips, I could install any version I like, but not everyone has this advantage. Most will end up with Windows Vista Home Basic. Pirates will probably have Enterprise, before they realise what they actually wanted was Ultimate, those with money to burn will have Ultimate, and businesses will supposedly have Windows Vista Business. The full list of versions (according to Microsoft Technet) goes like this:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business Basic
  • Windows Vista Business Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise

You can check out a comparison here. Obviously there are academic variations of each of the above versions (excluding Enterprise), and I am sure there are many other types of versions as well (evaluation, pirate, trial etc). For the purpose of my “90 Days of Vista”, I will be using Windows Vista Ultimate.

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