My last few days looked like this:
Unfortunately, I was away on “1 Day to Go”, so I wasn’t able to get a screen grab, but I think you get the idea. My days of using Windows Live One Care, were over! Trust me, I celebrated!
The inclusion of Windows Live OneCare in my 90 day stint, was most certainly a disaster, and also the cause of most of my stress during my use of Windows Vista. Just like other Virus/Spyware detection combo software suites, it too was always scanning in the background. Scanning so much infact, that it would often make reading my email near impossible. I would sometimes wait up to 5 minutes for an email to load into view. The Windows Live OneCare firewall was a pain in the butt, not to mention that Windows Vista itself, did not even acknowledge that it had a firewall installed. For the entire 90 days, Windows Vista was bugging me to enable Windows Vista Firewall, because apparently I didn’t have one installed! For some unknown reason, Windows Live OneCare continued to disable Windows Defender. I found this to be a pain, because every few days Windows Defender would make it to the top of the pile saying “Hey! I am disabled! Enable me Again!”. Of course after enabling Windows Defender, I would then have to do a spyware scan, even if I didn’t want to! “Later” I would click, only to see my CPU usage go way up as it started scanning in the background instead.
One very irritating caveat of Windows Vista, is physical memory usage. During my 90 days, I was unable to get Windows Vista to really function the way I wanted it too. For example, I have 2GB of DDR Memory. So I figure “what do I need a swap file for”. So I disable the swap file, and immediately Windows Vista complains that it does not have enough memory! It even performed sluggishly! Now, if I were to do this in Windows XP, the system would be forced to push as much as possible into physical memory. Which in the case of my laptop with 2GB of DDR Memory, was perfectly fine! I never exceeded 2GB and my laptop never skipped a beat. Come Windows Vista, and I am able to perform the same feat! The best I could get was a compromise, which was still horrid. I was able to push the swap file down to a minimum size of 200MB (instead of the “Windows Managed” 3.5GB). However, if a program on my laptop should use more then 200MB of Memory (Firefox for example, as I am sure many of you have experienced), I would still get the memory warning errors. Sure, I can ignore them, but eventually, Windows Vista would crash Firefox altogether, or whatever offending programs were “taking up too much memory”. As I said above, this was never a problem in Windows XP. Hopefully there is a work around for this out there somewhere. I share my HDD with a Linux Partition, so 3.5GB wasted on a swap file is a lot for me, especially since Fedora 7 is quite capable of running smoothly with no swap partition at all!
Overall, my 90 days of Vista has been fun, and for the most part, I have had next to no troubles. I have swamp of applications installed, and they all work fine, including the ones I had to install in “Windows XP SP2 Compatibility Mode”. Heck, I was even able to install Command and Conquer Windows 95 Edition. With an extra piece of software, I was able to battle against my younger brother.
The slick new interface is funky, and easy to disable when it gets in the way (like when it is sucking up too much of my 200MB swap file for example!). Windows Aero is handy, but it’s not the be all of Windows Vista, it’s just the icing on the cake.
I also opted to include Microsoft Office 2007 in my 90 day stint. The latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite, and boy is it something! Most of the applications have been completely re-written, others updated. If you haven’t tried Microsoft Office 2007 yet, you should give it a shot!
I am sure that Windows Vista has far more to offer then what I have experienced so far, and for the moment, I am going to stick to using Windows Vista and Office 2007, to get the most out of both of them, and broaden my knowledge. I am somewhat established here now, and it would be a shame to just leave it all. I miss using linux, however I think I will continue my use of Windows Vista, at least until Fedora 8 is released.
I will even continue to post my findings and discoveries of Windows Vista, and hopefully at some point, I write a “Windows Vista – The Perfect Setup” guide. Actually, I have one in the works already… so stay tuned!