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Windows Operating Systems Software

HardOCP Spends 30 Days With Vista 662

boyko.at.netqos writes "Hardocp.com has published "30 days with Vista" — with the same author from "30 days with Linux" doing the evaluation. And he doesn't like it. From the article: 'Based on my personal experiences with Vista over a 30 day period, I found it to be a dangerously unstable operating system, which has caused me to lose data [...] Any consideration of the fine details comes in second to that one inescapable conclusion. This is an unstable operating system.'"
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HardOCP Spends 30 Days With Vista

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  • by benzapp ( 464105 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @01:58PM (#18608673)
    What do you mean by resource intensive? Does it require moderately high end hardware? Yes. Windows 95 was considered resource intensive for a 386 with 4 megs of ram when it came out in 1995. Who cares?

    The menu latency is total bullshit though. Whatever else they have done in Vista, the interface is much more responsive and smooth. The author of your cited article must have had some lousy video drivers. The Aero interface is very fast on well supported hardware.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:00PM (#18608715)
    So he's telling everyone about his experiences so we can judge whether we want to try Vista or not based partly on that information.
  • by richdun ( 672214 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:00PM (#18608723)
    You can change it. Much like I did for 6 years of XP, I'm about to switch my Vista install over to "Windows Classic" but I kinda like the eye candy (20" LCD with a Win2K looking desktop just doesn't justify the $700 I paid a couple years back for the monitor).

    The biggest thing I've liked about Vista is a graphical installer (which, admittedly, you should only have to use once), good support for hardware driver updates (not the drivers themselves, necessarily, just going to find updates), etc. Of course, I've been using OSX as my primary machine for almost three years, so I got used to those things while using XP only to play WoW with a much better graphics card than my PB G4.
  • Re:My experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:11PM (#18608957)
    Windows will use what it can until something else needs it. Unused Ram is wasted ram.
  • Re:My experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by romonster ( 940984 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:14PM (#18609013)
    Perhaps your experience with much of the system memory being used is due to SuperFetch. See the article below for more information. Bottom line, however, is a.) Vista may be using your system more efficiently and b.) if you don't like SuperFetch, it's easy enough to turn off.
    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000688.h tml [codinghorror.com]
  • by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:15PM (#18609033) Homepage

    Can anyone link to a plagairized copy without all the fucking assholishly intrusive advertising?

    Yes. First, get this [mozilla.com] and this [mozilla.org]. Then try this URL [hardocp.com] to read it ad-free.

  • Re:Yeah whatever (Score:5, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:17PM (#18609067)
    The default in XP is to reboot and log the error in the Event Viewer when you get a BSOD instead of actually showing you the BSOD. Microsoft realized that since maybe 1/10,000 people actually can act on the BSOD data that shows, there's really no reason to show it to everybody else.

    There's a checkbox to turn that feature off, if you want to see BSODs, in the System control panel I believe. Or just check your Event Viewer when you have a mysterious reboot.
  • by coop247 ( 974899 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:19PM (#18609117)

    What do you mean by resource intensive?
    He means it sucks down RAM like its going out of style. I just got a new PC (Core 2 Duo, 2GB Ram, Good video card, Striped RAID 0) and with absolutely nothing running Vista Business sucked up 35-40% of my RAM. Thats sitting still, doing nothing, with nothing running.

    must have had some lousy video drivers
    All drivers for Vista are lousy. They have serious memory leak issues, and when they start to have problems Vista disables them. I gave it a few weeks (and many driver downloads) and finally said "screw it" and installed XP.
  • by yuna49 ( 905461 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:28PM (#18609293)
    For me, the most striking feature of his review concerned burning DVDs. He claimed that Vista uses a new file format for DVDs that isn't backward compatible with earlier Windows versions, not to mention being incompatible with Linux, Mac, etc. I'm puzzled about why I haven't heard more about this problem if it's real. For those of you running Vista, have you had problems writing data DVDs that work with non-Vista systems? Did you have to choose specifically to use the traditional format when burning the DVD? Is it really non-obvious how to make the traditional format the default as he suggests?

    This seems like a show-stopper to me for anyone wanting to exchange data with non-Vista users, especially if the default is to use the Vista-only format. The fact that I haven't heard this complaint before makes me suspicious that it's something unique to his setup, but not being a Windows user I have no basis to judge.

  • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:31PM (#18609371)
    with absolutely nothing running Vista Business sucked up 35-40% of my RAM. Thats sitting still, doing nothing, with nothing running.

    If the machine is sitting still and doing nothing, it shouldn't matter if the OS uses 100% of available memory, maybe for pre-caching the next chunks of data it think you'll ask for, or running a background index process against your filesystem.

    The issue is when you start to add application load to the machine -- does the OS release memory it's using for those "idle" tasks so that apps can use it, or is it greedy?
  • by 3choTh1s ( 972379 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:40PM (#18609553)
    Really? Cause I haven't seen anything of the sort of everything is slower. In fact everything that isn't related to a single program doing hardcore processing is faster. Searching is way faster, cutting losses from failed network events is faster, and most importantly for me, when you are heavily taxing ram/virtual ram each window respond faster(as if you weren't doing heavy duty work). But if you aren't talking about individual programs being slower, then yes some programs are slower to do cpu intensive tasks. Not by too much... at least for me. I'll take the other improvements any day as trade for a few frames per second on my video encode. It just feels better to me. But then again I gave it a chance before dismissing it outright.
  • by UncleTogie ( 1004853 ) * on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:43PM (#18609599) Homepage Journal

    Searches. Windows Vista beats the pants off my Windows XP with Google Desktop.

    I've never found a use for the indexing and search functions that people are happily touting with Vista, Google Desktop, and others... Instead, I use a logical directory naming convention that makes looking for what I need a simple matter of choosing the directory that has what I need.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @03:03PM (#18609893) Homepage Journal

    He's saying that the user interface is more responsive, and multitasking is better, at the cost of slower performance when running only one resource-intensive application, and he's saying that he thinks this is a good tradeoff.

    The problem with his interpretation (and yours) is that most of the time when a desktop system is being used at 100%, it's being used that way by a single application. Rendering an image, playing a game, something like that. So the assertion is basically that Vista, which is not a server OS, is only slower when you need the speed the most.

    You can make any kind of declarations you want if you forget the way the system will be used. This is precisely Microsoft's game and I am dismayed to see so many slashdotters joining in. It reminds me of Sony's PS2 specifications. Not only could the system not push as many triangles as they said it could, but it definitely couldn't do it during a game.

    Not only is Vista not able to be secure or stable, but it can't deliver superior performance either.

  • by jgoemat ( 565882 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @03:04PM (#18609903)
    Ever since I installed them, I've been getting Blue Screens Of Death multiple times per day on both my work computer and my laptop computer. It could be something with the SQL Server 2005 update or the "critical" vulnerability fix, I don't know. It was always stop 0x00000050, with the third number 0x89E773DE. I would think my memory was going bad or that it was a driver issue, but the only change on my computers was installing those updates, and it has happened on both consistently. It doesn't matter what I'm doing on the computers, it usually happens when I'm away from them. A friend of mine had just started getting BSODs too and hadn't made the connection, but he just performed the updates before it started happening also...
  • by jbn-o ( 555068 ) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @03:24PM (#18610225) Homepage
    That's quite a heavy qualification when ordinary users buying a brand new computer will expect the OS that comes with it to run at least as quickly as their previous computer did running Microsoft Windows XP. By all the standards thrown in the face of free software activists (all the while ignoring software freedom), Vista simply isn't worth it. These users won't know or care what "well supported hardware" is, they'll make the logical assumption that whatever they were sold should be "well supported".

    On a new Compaq machine straight from Best Buy (purchased by someone else, not me), Microsoft Windows Vista felt slower to me in all respects: it took much longer to boot up, took far more time to do things than I could do on free software OSes, and it had far higher resource requirements than other operating systems (again, in particular free software OSes). I checked email, browsed the web, and watched a few videos with the machine and the machine was consistently sluggish to do everything. The UI (left on the default settings, of course) asked me if I really wanted to start some program which was constantly annoying. Installing a Linksys wireless card (WMP54G) was a huge hassle and ultimately required going back to the store to buy another wireless device that would work out of the box (I don't remember the make or model, but it was a USB-based device).

    And all of this to lose one's software freedom in the process? No thanks.
  • Re:Yeah whatever (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @03:26PM (#18610269)

    Microsoft realized that since maybe 1/10,000 people actually can act on the BSOD data that shows, there's really no reason to show it to everybody else.

    Actually, what Microsoft realised was that they could cure their reputation for BSODs by hiding the BSOD. And it worked. Every time I see somebody on Slashdot mention the BSOD, there's always somebody popping up to say "I haven't seen a BSOD in years", and they usually get modded up.

  • by malfunct ( 120790 ) * on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @03:43PM (#18610515) Homepage
    One place where Vista is dramtically faster than XP is repainting invalidated areas of a window (areas that were covered by another app and now are visible). This is a result of the DWM and hardware compositing. Apps get called to repaint less often as a result and while this might not be a measurable speed boost in normal cases it does mean that apps which are busy doing other work will not have the normal windows crap on them while they wait for a repaint because they won't need to.
  • Re:Yeah whatever (Score:2, Informative)

    by harry666t ( 1062422 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [t666yrrah]> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:09PM (#18610917)
    "Why don't you name me a single OS that won't become unstable with faulty drivers."

    Minix 3?
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:19PM (#18611081)

    That's a popular thing to say. But if no applications are running, what the hell is the OS loading into the RAM that's taking up that space? It should NOT use as much memory as possible, rather, it should use as much memory as necessary.

    Okay you boot up some generic desktop OS and the OS has loaded and is functional. Would you rather it:

    • sit idle and do nothing wasting the unused RAM
    • pre-load applications and documents you commonly open so that if you do open them they load more quickly and if you don't you've lost nothing
  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:26PM (#18611185) Homepage Journal
    Do you have a Realtek sound chip? They don't like the .ani patch.
  • by azuravian ( 850674 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:57PM (#18611699)
  • Re:Yeah whatever (Score:3, Informative)

    by codemachine ( 245871 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @04:58PM (#18611701)
    Honestly, I just found XP to be the most annoying and "in the way" OS out there. Linux may take a bit of work to get going on occassion, but it stays out of your way when you want to do work. OS X is braindead easy to get going and doesn't annoy the piss out of you by default either. No need to turn off all sorts of "features" to keep sane.

    That said, a customized XP is also a useable desktop, especially given all the FOSS software out there that runs on Windows. It may not be my favorite choise of OS, but it can be made to work with some effort. But for me, why would I put in the effort of customizing XP and installing a bunch of 3rd party stuff just to get the most insecure desktop on the market? It would work, but why bother? The only reason to do so would be software that only runs on Windows; and for me, there is nothing there that I can't live without.
  • by crabpeople ( 720852 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:47PM (#18612481) Journal

    "This seems like a show-stopper to me for anyone wanting to exchange data with non-Vista users, especially if the default is to use the Vista-only format."
    I have experienced this. I believe what he is talking about is an "open session" dvd/cd. YES it is the default choice when you burn a CD only they call it "Live File System". Actually you have to select a little "advanced" options dropdown or it will burn without telling you about that. If you click advanced, it shows a screen that says it will be incompatable with anything before windows xp.

    I always click advanced options on things but your right, most people wouldn't.

  • by RobertM1968 ( 951074 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:55PM (#18612581) Homepage Journal

    I don't think this is true actually - in a lot of ways Vista is quicker. For instance when I turned on my Vista machine today it was ready to go in literally seconds.

    You didnt TURN ON your Vista machine today - not in the normal sense... you had it resume from something akin to hibernation (S3/S4, hibernate, etc). A feature (that's old) that has problems on various systems, while oddly working flawlessly on others. Next time, select "Turn Off" from the menu and then restart... it is excruciatingly slow on every machine I have tried it on.

    Low priority I/O makes it so a lot of tasks like backup, indexing and optimizing the disk can be done in the background with little to no impact to foreground apps.

    And as has been posted on /. before, slows down disk I/O to a crawl.

    As far as application performance, you can dumb down vista's ui, but even with Aero on I really honestly don't notice any performance difference between Vista and XP.

    Depends on the app and the hardware. I've seen it range from "a lot slower" to "barely slower"

    Keep in mind that like previous releases of Windows, MS spent a lot of time on making Vista appear to be faster... It is a lot like the WinXP "faster" start times... the GUI comes up faster, but the machine is still starting things making the system virtually unusable for quite some time after the GUI looks like it is ready. Vista is no different in this respect, just different in it's implementation of apparent speed "increase" through tricks like that.

  • by SilentUrbanFox ( 689585 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:58PM (#18612607) Homepage

    2) I *rarely* get a UAC prompt. If I do, it's pretty much for admin-only things anyway (which is the correct way to handle elevating privelages) like installing software or using the control panel. Lest you forget you also must be root to install packages with Yum or Apt. There is no prompt for using the calender or other BS like getting UAC prompts willy-nilly

    The problem is people always have been used to running as admin or equiv ANYWAY. So a sudden difference bothers them. Also it fairly blindly assumes that you need admin for any installer, which is not true.

    3) It's not slow

    It is compared to WinXP on similar hardware.

    4) Games work fine. I have an ATI x1300 and it plays the games fine

    Vista sucks for gaming if you have better things to do than buy a highend system. I've had no real pressing reason to upgrade my desktop, particularly in the "gaming" direction. But even fairly recent games run playably in WinXP on my aging desktop with an AMD Athlon XP 1700+, 512 MB PC133 RAM, and a GeForce FX5200 128MB PCI. On Vista this was decidedly not the case, Empire Earth 2 ran pitifully, whereas I could actually play and enjoy it on WinXP.

    I agree there's a huge FUD machine pounding on Vista, but a lot of it is the same kind of Linux FUD I see spread... isolated, very real gripes by a small but noisy population blown out of proportion into generalities. It happens with introducing any new tech, this is hardly shocking.
  • by EMB Numbers ( 934125 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @06:05PM (#18612719)
    More to the point, NeXTstep (the basis/predecessor of Mac OS X) used this technique in 1988. Having to page in background applications just so that they could repaint their windows after being revealed only to be immediately paged back out again was stupid in Windows 3.1 back in 1991.

    Here is a quote from 1998 abou this issue:
    "Use buffered or retained mode windows. Users will perceive better performance than non-retained windows.
    This will also improve virtual memory performance. When a non retained window is uncovered, the application that owns it must be swapped into memory in order to redraw the window. If there are many applications running but idle and there are many overlapping windows, this can become a serious performance hit. Retained and buffered windows have a "backing store" owned by the window server. The window server can then draw the uncovered window without any help from the window's owning application.

    As a cool example of this, use a Windows 95 or Windows NT machine with relatively low RAM and run Microsoft Word and some other application like Corel Draw. Open many documents in both applications. Maximize both applications. Then minimize the application that is on top. You can wait minutes while the virtual memory system thrashes the hard disk while repainting all of those windows, and all you did was minimize an application!"

    It only took Microsoft 15 years to catch up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @06:22PM (#18612947)
    this is the fault of the drive manufacturer.

    http://www.flyingnerd.com/intel-raid-problem-under -windows-vista/ [flyingnerd.com]

    Specifically, Vista does power management for desktop drives. This is good. XP did not. Unfortunately the drives are buggy and don't support it properly. You can disable it

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/28/dell_vista _raid/ [theregister.co.uk]
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:24PM (#18613693)
    The TweakXP PowerToy, free from Microsoft, can make the same hack for you.
  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @12:13AM (#18616341)
    I have that problem ever since they "integrated" IE with the OS and made IE the rendering engine for explorer (or WTF they did). Let's say I have a nice large directory tree (numbering in the thousands of files/folders) and wish to open it. If it has any zip or other compressed files that XP "understands", be prepared to wait a while the first time, and any time that particular portion of the cache has cleared itself. It's freakin annoying as hell. I turned off thumbnails precisely because the delay got huge on larger photo directories, and the entire system would get sluggish.

    Vista has reported problems with copy/move/delete. That's a deal killer. I'm already on the command line in XP to accomplish any of those items.

Loose bits sink chips.