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Is Vista a Trap? 559

Posted by Zonk
from the please-keep-ackbar-quotes-to-a-minimum dept.
logube writes "BBC has up an article about the trap of installing Vista in your existing desktop. Written by Tim Weber, a self-confessed 'sucker for technology,' this article is a good introduction to the pain and extra money required to get going with the newest version of Windows. See how you can spend an extra 130 british pounds, and still have no working webcam! Says Weber, 'It took me one day to get online. The detail is tedious and highly technical: reinstalling drivers and router firmware didn't work, but after many trial and error tweaks to Vista's TCP/IP settings, I had internet access. Once online, Creative's website told me that my sound card was a write-off. No Vista support would be forthcoming.'"
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Is Vista a Trap?

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  • this was expected (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:46PM (#18208672)
    as this happened with xp-64, didn't it?

    also, by that logic, linux is a trap
    • by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:10PM (#18209024) Journal
      also, by that logic, linux is a trap

      At least you get the satisfaction of spending a whole day (or more) putting the elaborate, Rube Goldberg-esque trap together yourself first.

      =Smidge=
  • by dr_dank (472072) on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:46PM (#18208674) Homepage Journal
    Focus your fire on that unsupported hardware!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kavehkh (725943)

      Focus your fire on that unsupported hardware!

      I have often heard: "The nice thing about Windows all drivers built-in/easily available so that it just works as opposed to Linux where you have to write your own drivers in some cases to get by?" Apparently, this is not true anymore... You should start writing your own drivers for Vista... but wait where is my Vista compatible compiler?

      By the way I am suffering day-to-day on a debian box in my office only because I don't have enough privileges to upgrade the kernel... I can feel your pain Vista users.

  • No mention of DRM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blind biker (1066130)
    I read the article earlier today, and while I thought it was very well written, I couldn't help but feel disappointed that the single most loathable feature of Vista, wasn't even mentioned, not even in a perfunctory way.

    I know I am a minority, but for me Fair Use is a big issue. Sadly, Vista has completely opened the doors to DRM on the desktop. Well, not on mine.
    • by LordEd (840443)
      I know I am a minority, but for me Fair Use is a big issue. Sadly, the music industry has completely opened the doors to DRM on the desktop. Well, not on mine.

      There, i corrected it for you. Its just like iTunes. Apple doesn't want DRM (see recent articles), but in order to get the music industry to agree to sell music online, it is a necessary evil.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by blind biker (1066130)
        Thanks, but I don't need anyone correcting me with something that's wrong. Microsoft has full prerogative in deciding what their OS does with regards to DRM. No law mandates the use of DRM, so it's purely Microsoft's choice.

        Your "correction" is also wrong in another way: it's not just the music industry that has a stake in Vista's DRM - the movie industry is just as, if not more, interested in that "feature" of Vista.
    • I've been running Vista at work for a few months now, since Beta 2, doing compatibility testing. I have thus far not managed to run in to its DRM. This is because I don't have any DRM'd media. It turns out there are not evil DRM gremlins hiding on my system, trying to steal my media. All the video I shoot and edit works fine, my OGG/FLAC collection works fine, etc. Yes, if I were to get an HD-DVD or Blu-ray drive and try to play movies I'm sure I'd have to contend with the DRM. Well, I'm not so there's not
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PitaBred (632671)
        Hope you chose the right combination of video card and monitor, as well as drivers, if you ever wanted to watch that HD-DVD on your box. Oh, your hardware is completely capable of playing that movie at full resolution, it just doesn't have the artificial limitations on a special interface? Go pay more and upgrade your perfectly functioning hardware.
      • Memories. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260)

        If it doesn't affect you, not likely to make it in to a "thing that didn't work for me" article, is it?

        Reading that article brought back memories of Windows 98 and NT4. Like many other people at the time I was irritated by the instability of 98 and decided to install NT4 because I had heard it was more stable than 'old bluescreen'. I quickly found out that while the stability definitely was a lot better under NT4 (at least it was on my mini tower, other people's milage may have varied) there weren't any NT4 drivers for half the other stuff I had bought including my scanner, printer, modem and network card

  • Tag (Score:4, Funny)

    by jdavidb (449077) * on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:49PM (#18208696) Homepage Journal

    Why do I get the feeling this was posted solely to let people use "itsatrap" as a tag?

  • My Vista Install (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rycross (836649) on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:50PM (#18208710)
    Burn the MSDN image, grab RAID drivers for my onboard RAID, put the drivers on my USB key, then boot the Vista install disk. Go through the usual setup with the drivers. Reboot. All hardware is auto-detected and drivers installed except for my Creative Audigy 2 sound card. Pull the drivers from their site and install. Update nVidia drivers while I'm at it. Works great, no problems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wellingj (1030460)
      So how is installing Linux any harder?
      • by Rycross (836649)
        Did I say installing Linux was any harder?

        Linux was pretty easy for me. Except I had to edit some config files in vi to toggle hardware mouse cursors because my cursor was invisible on install. Getting the proper nVidia drivers was a bitch for me though, mostly because I'm not very experienced with Linux and I couldn't seem to find any documentation about how to get a bash shell without x running.

        This was Fedora Core 5. But then again I'm pretty unlucky with Linux installs, so that wasn't a big deal for
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:18PM (#18209110) Homepage Journal
      And people survived trench warfare but that is no reason to throw a mustard gas party.

      The simple truth is that right now most people will get zero benefit from Vista. And for some people they will actually loose functionality that they currently have.
  • throwing up my hands (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gelfling (6534) on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:53PM (#18208760) Homepage Journal
    Every time there is news like this the fanboys shout 'you shoulda known' and
    'get new hardware'. I have a better idea. Let's call Vista not an upgrade but a wholesale replacement of your computer and many of your applications. Most of your data will work in the new system but that's about it.

    No - Vista is barely less of an upgrade than switching from XP to a Mac.
    • by mikelieman (35628) on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:55PM (#18208792) Homepage
      So, it's like moving to Linux but with the additional pleasures of both paying $200.00 and still not getting any useful bundled applications?

      • by ivan256 (17499) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:04PM (#18208930)
        Except that Linux has had practically universal network and soundcard support for years. Even if the network hardware only has Windows 2000 binary drivers, you could load them with the NDIS module...

        It used to be that if you wanted all of your hardware to work, you ran Windows. Looks like the tables have turned.
      • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:20PM (#18209134) Journal
        Yes.

        Except, certain things in Vista still work better than under (say) Ubuntu, or a lot of other Linux distributions.

        Like, say, 802.11 configuration.

        Or perhaps, volume controls. I've given up on getting a proper working fucking volume control on my SB Live-equipped Ubuntu desktop machine.

        Or Bluetooth. Such pain and trauma to configure a Bluetooth mouse with Linux, but it was straight-forward with Vista.

        Or video drivers. Neither Vista nor XP has ever trashed my video drivers with an automatic update. Meanwhile, every time Ubuntu switches to a new nvidia-legacy driver, my desktop machine needs to be tickled again before X will work. (I know - I should just stick with the free nv driver, since there's no fucking games for Linux to make 3D worth caring about, anyway. But I like xscreensaver's GL hacks.)

        Vista's not perfect, though. It killed support for DirectSound3D and EAX, making games less enjoyable to play (for me, anyway). However, EAX never worked at all in Linux, so I guess I don't feel "trapped" anymore than I do with Linux.

        • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... rg minus painter> on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:59PM (#18209812) Homepage
          For every anecdote, there's a counter anecdote:

          802.11 works fine for me. Try network-manager/knetworkmanager. All clicky-clicky, and even better than XP's network support IMHO

          Volume controls? You mean like the Fn+F6/F7 on my laptop that actually change the volume of my machine? Automatically, with no configuration, in Linux, on my laptop?

          Bluetooth seems to work fine for me, too.

          Video drives, I just did apt-get install nvidia-glx, and they've worked since then. With Beryl, I get 3D screensavers, everything I could want.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by adolf (21054)
            802.11: Certain Linux software (which often likes to bind to specific interfaces and addresses) gets distraught when it doesn't have an IP address, or that address changes after the software is loaded. None of the X-oriented 802.11 configuration methods help the machine be network-connected at boot time. Windows, if it does suffer such a dependancy problem, at least has not bitten me yet because of it. Linux has.

            Volume controls: No, not at all like the hardware volume control on your laptop, which will
    • by omicronish (750174) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:29PM (#18209286)

      Every time there is news like this the fanboys shout 'you shoulda known' and 'get new hardware'. I have a better idea. Let's call Vista not an upgrade but a wholesale replacement of your computer and many of your applications. Most of your data will work in the new system but that's about it.

      No - Vista is barely less of an upgrade than switching from XP to a Mac.

      Sure, so what hardware and software did you have to replace?

      Amount I've had to spend in addition to purchasing Vista: $0. I built my AMD Athlon 2700+, 1 GB RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro in 2003 (hardly new). All my software and scenarios work, including:

      • Visual Studio 2005, including debugging without UAC prompts
      • Subversion, TortoiseSVN
      • Foxit Reader
      • Paint.NET
      • Nasa's World Wind
      • ffdshow, Xvid codecs
      • VLC
      • Civilization 1 (for Windows 3.1), 2, and 4 (I don't have 3), Quake 1 through 4, Guild Wars, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, SimTower, SimCity 200, SimCity 4, Age of Empires 2, WarCraft 3, Diablo 1 and 2, and others. In fact, I don't recall a game that doesn't work.
      • I've captured video from my camcorder, edited it, and performed video encoding without problems. No DRM invovled.
      • I've ripped CDs at lossless rates (the builtin WMP supports WMA, WMA lossless, MP3 up to 320 kbps, and WAV), and burnt it. Again, no DRM involved.
      • Was able to watch DVDs on my 1920x1200 monitor.
      • Can access file shares on XP fine.
      • Printing to both local and networked printers work; while typing this I connected to my brother's XP machine downstairs and printed to his printer. Setup was a couple mouse clicks.

      I'd love to hear other people's experiences, but please include details.

  • Bastards (Score:5, Funny)

    by jernejk (984031) on Friday March 02, 2007 @01:55PM (#18208788)
    Vista won't recognise my C64 tape drive either! Those MS bastards! It's a conspiracy, I tell you!
  • Its going to take them a while to get the kinks out. Not to mention its going to be slower and some hardware might not have drivers. Besides DX10 I dont know why id buy this. And this PC isnt going to be able to run DX10.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:00PM (#18208862)
    win98 -> 2000, lots of problems with lack of drivers for older hardware
    2000 -> XP still problems with lack of drivers for older hardware (although maybe not as many)
    XP -> Vista well, what do you think?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285)
      Really, this is only an issue because MS is trying to drive sales, and keep the current desktop monopoly, by marketing Vista as an upgrade while technically defining it as a whole new OS. As a new OS, these problems are to be expected, while as a simple upgrade the problems are not acceptable. They are between a rock and a hard place. Admit it is a new OS and lose customers. Keep the fiction of upgrade, and have uphappy customers.

      There is also the issue of trying to run a new OS. Certainly, no one th

  • To a degree, the points made in TFA are to be expected. Heck, even a bunch of MS's own software is incompatible with Vista (big boys like .NET Framework 2.0 and SQL Server 2005, last I checked). There have been alot of changes, and it seems unrealistic to expect companies to roll out new drivers that are 100% right off the bat.

    That being said, there seems to have been a huge jump in paradigm from XP to Vista. Even though I know I'll be modded down for this, I like XP. I've installed the operating system wit
  • by ewhac (5844) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:01PM (#18208886) Homepage Journal

    Once online, Creative's website told me that my sound card was a write-off. No Vista support would be forthcoming.

    Interesting! Does this mean that we might start seeing Windows customers agitating for open hardware specs so that interested parties can pick up the ball dropped by the vendor and write their own drivers?

    ...Just like the Linux guys have been doing for the last <*cough*> years?

    Oh, wait. You have to be "certified" by Microsoft to write a usable Vista driver. Never mind...

    Schwab

    • Stop the FUD! (Score:3, Informative)

      by StinkyGeek (1035888)

      About being certified by MS...I'm not sure where you are getting your information from, but it is wrong.

      Want to develop drivers for Vista, Server 2003, XP, W2k, and possibly older MS platforms? Hit the download button from here http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/ddk/default .mspx/ [microsoft.com].

      Want a kernel debugger and access to the O/S symbol files? Try here http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/d efault.mspx [microsoft.com].

      Need some know-how on passing the Windows logo requirements? Try here http://www.microsof [microsoft.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bullfish (858648)
        Hmmm... the others seem to be busy. Let me take a crack at this.

        You are a hateful M$ shill. Unsupplied hardware drivers are the manufacturer's fault only if you are talking about Linux. Otherwise, it is M$'s fault. Unless, of course, you are talking about Apple. Then, the pre-approved hardware only aspect is a glorious thing brought down from the mountain by the apostle Jobs. All else are heathens who shall burn in hell.

        You are trying to stop the spread of linux and apple. You are a bad person. You eat babi
  • by Anonymous Coward
    DRTFA, because it's slashdotted, but how good can the reviewer be? Why on earth would Vista require new router firmware. The router doesn't care what it's connected to. It doesn't touch the OS of the computers connected to it. If you're installing a new OS, and as part of the process you THINK you need to update your router firmware, you've got bigger problems than a crappy OS--you're an idiot!
  • As others have said. Enough of this crap. We all know it will take vista a year or so before it is truly ready... but the drivers are not MS's doing. The hardware vendors want you to buy new stuff so they don't support the old. MS has given them the tools to make the drivers, they just don't want to do it.

    Frankly on a lot talk on this drivers issue is from people talking out of bopth sides of their mouth. People who blame the hardware manufacturers for a lack of Linux support seem to be the ones to blame MS
  • by MartinG (52587) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:05PM (#18208942) Homepage Journal
    Okay, it's bad for the poor people who have to buy new hardware because they can't get vista drivers for their existing stuff.

    But it means a good load of ebay bargains for those of us running open source operating systems with support for just about everything built in.

    I haven't actually noticed the bargains happening much yet, but they will come. Just like last time shortly after Windows XP came out. Second hand USB stuff was going for next to nothing on ebay.
  • by revlayle (964221) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:13PM (#18209042) Homepage
    I can't even do an "oblig"!!! The article title already did :(
  • by hey! (33014) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:29PM (#18209282) Homepage Journal

    It took me one day to get online. The detail is tedious and highly technical: reinstalling drivers and router firmware didn't work, but after many trial and error tweaks to Vista's TCP/IP settings, I had internet access.


    So, what you're saying it's kind of like installing an oddball wi-fi card on Linux. Except without the option of reading hundreds of pages of obscure documentation until you've transformed yourself into a mutant linux hotplugging guru.

    In a nutshell, the differnce between getting things working in Linux and Windows seems to be this. Linux is like being parachuted into the wilderness with a hammer, forge, and load of pig iron. Windows is like being parachuted into the wilderness with an impressive looking knife that snaps in two if you don't use it very, very carefully.
  • For Non-Geeks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CristalShandaLear (762536) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#18209412) Homepage Journal
    So is this about right for typical end users such as myself?

    - wait at least one year after a new release of operating system

    - if you can't do it yourself, pay someone else to evaluate your existing pc to see if an upgrade is possible and if it is possible, to make sure you get exactly what you need

    - make sure the person you pay for evaluation has no stake in selling you a new pc

    - if an upgrade is not possible, secure your old system as much as humanly possible and ride it until using the old system is no longer possible, plausible or just plain insane (like one of my friends using Windows 95 until last week and my cousin switched her over to Ubuntu)

    - when all else dies by a new pc

    - find something useful to do with your old pc (donate it, etc.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      No, for a basic user, the answer is to buy a new PC. An upgrade is usually not desirable. At that point you can sell the old one, hand it down, whatever. Besides, PCs are getting cheaper all the time. As time marches on, the cost drops and the power rises. Even compusa is selling a (acer, admittedly) core duo laptop with a dvd burner and a gig of ram for $600 (after online rebate of course.)
  • IT'S A TRAP (Score:3, Funny)

    by insomnyuk (467714) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:38PM (#18209436) Homepage Journal
    IT'S A TRAP [itsatrap.net]
  • PEBKAC? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lostboy2 (194153) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:42PM (#18209506)
    I've never seen or used Vista, or the author's system, and I may just be a little grumpy this morning. But, based on his descriptions, the author sounds like someone who thinks he knows more about computers than he really does.

    From the article:

    Now here is the dirty little secret of all the expensive PC helpers out there. Upgrading hardware is really easy... it's usually just a case of carefully lifting out the old and slotting in the new piece of kit.
    Uhm, no it isn't, not really. As the author later discovers (but still doesn't realize), getting hardware to work often involves hardware, drivers and OS (and sometimes other software). While we all wish it were that easy, us "expensive PC helpers" have the skills to deal with those cases when it isn't.

    For example:

    ...even after a full day of tinkering with various network wizards
    Wizards? This suggests that the author does not know how to get to the properties of whatever network protocol (I'm assuming TCP/IP) he's using and configure them directly.

    But which mysterious "PCI input device" was lacking a driver? And what was the "unknown device" flagged up by Vista?
    You can find out by following the instructions at
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/298837 [microsoft.com].

    I'm not defending Vista, but I also bristle when people devalue and disrespect people in IT/IS. We make things look easy because we're good at what we do. :P

  • 1. Wait for SP1
    2. Wait for SP2 ...
    N. Wait for SPN
    N+1. New version of Windows, GOTO 1

    Wonder if that GOTO will give any of the old timers nostalgia attacks
  • by shmert (258705) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:54PM (#18209722) Homepage
    Why do I have the feeling that this whole story was written so that for once the "itsatrap" tag guy could be relevant?
  • ...not so good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skuzzlebutt (177224) <jdb.jeremydbrooks@com> on Friday March 02, 2007 @06:47PM (#18212944) Homepage
    My wife bought a new HP running vista a couple of weeks ago; she loves it for the most part: media center, dvr capability, all shiny and pretty. However, the lack of hardware support is maddening; her new quickcam wouldn't work on vista (conflicted with the hauppage tuner card), but miraculously the microsoft lifecam worked fine...hm. Funny, HP doesn't even have drivers for the current-model officejet we bought with the HP PC...sigh. Also, I got a bsod this AM trying to do something really tricky, like look at a .jpg. The allow/cancel popup really is maddening, though...the apple commercials got it right. There are some programs that require 4 or 5 confirmations.
  • by Technician (215283) on Friday March 02, 2007 @07:24PM (#18213302)
    Due to the issues I have had in the past with upgrades, I don't bother to do just software upgrades. Here are my reasons;

    That old hardware was fine for running some stuff. An upgrade to just the software leaves the system in an unstable state with not all features hardware or software supported in most cases. Most of my systems are running the original OS on them with the exceptions where the usefullness of the new applications outweighed the loss of the old applications. For example, upgrading from Windows 98 and 2K to Ubuntu is a great move. I lose the upgrade patch cycle, endless security upgrades and AV upgrades and instead get a stable machine for web applications.

    I still have my Windows 95 laptop. It is useless for online use and is a sitting duck. It still makes a great MIDI workstation sitting on my synth. It has no USB. It is at it's maximum capacity of EDO memory at 72 Megs. Upgrading the software would be a bad mistake.

    More modern hardware gets Linux upgrades. It is relatively pain free. It provides stability and security with lots of new features. I don't have to spend a lot of money to find out if it won't work and needs a hardware upgrade to get it going. Too bad Vista does not have a free Live CD for testing old hardware.

    I'll get a new purchased OS when it comes on the new hardware. Then it is up to the vendor to make sure everything is working and compatible. It saves a lot of headaches. I have not seen any reason to spend the money at this time.

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