Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mala Vista, Part Deux

A friend who reads the blog asked me whether I really hated Windows Vista that much. I iterated the problems I've had.

Just to establish credentials, I have been using DOS and Windows computers for 20+ years, and in the Good Ol' Days, I would routinely edit CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT just to squeeze out a few more bytes of RAM by changing the order in which device drivers were loaded. I've run several machines on a dual-boot Windows/Linux configuration, and I once had BeOS installed and running for a while. I've used Macs in an academic setting, and I've been the alpha geek in my family for decades, as well as having stints as alpha geek in a professional environment. In the past 10 years, I've coded as a hobby. Computers do not intimidate me.

That being said, the Acer laptop that we won in a contest is, as near as I can tell, possessed by technodemons. Its issues include the following.

  • The wireless connection on that laptop randomly drops, even when all of the other wireless devices in the house are still connected and going strong.
  • The bluetooth connection for the wireless mouse seems to randomly turn on and off, so the wireless mouse suddenly stops operating unless I toggle the little bluetooth switch on the front of the machine.
  • The system came with Symantec protection products (antivirus, firewall, spam fighter, spyware protection). They worked fine for the trial period. When I uninstalled them and chose to install the stuff that comes with my ISP connection (Computer Associates protection products), the firewall got all flaky, and I still haven't figured that out.
  • Every time I want to make some interesting change to the system (update a system setting, reconnect to my dropped Internet connection, etc.), Vista interrupts me with an "Are you sure?" dialog box, even though I am logged in with administrator privileges.
  • I've seen several software packages that I wanted to install that are not supported under Vista, including Family Tree Maker version (Current), PDF Creator, and some Disney games that Son wanted to play.
  • When I tried to diagnose a network problem by disconnecting the wireless router and connecting my laptop directly to the cable modem, I got all sorts of trouble connecting the laptop to my cable modem directly. It should have been a simple "plug and play" operation. It took about 40 minutes for me to reboot everything enough times to make it work.
  • My XP laptop connects to my XP desktop with very little fuss when I want to send a document to my printer that is connected to my desktop. The Vista laptop worked for about a week, then I haven't been able to make it connect to that printer since then. When I attempted to connect it directly by a cable rather than over the network, I got some kind of stupid driver install problem.
  • When the network connection drops, the "Diagnose Problem" feature seems to forget how to diagnose the problem. When there's no problem, the connection can easily diagnose that there are no problems.
I have downloaded the Knoppix DVD ISO, and I want to see what happens when I boot the machine with that and my thumb drive as the writable space.

1 comment:

Hoji said...

That's why I think my next PC is going to be a Mac. That and Mac's ads are so cool.