Friday, May 04, 2007

Software the bad: Microsoft Vista Ultimate

I love computer eye candy. Love it. Show me a slick juicy icon or desktop wallpaper, or a cool windowing function and I'm all over it.

That's why I had such hopes for Vista. It looks really cool (provided your system can run the full Aero glass GUI).

I went so far as to get an extra hard drive from work (remember this post? -- usually hard drives aplenty, but not for my laptop), so that I could install Vista and get the full effects of a dedicated install, but without trashing my current work system. I installed and toyed around with Vista a bit during my parental leave, but never got serious about installing my full software "environment" that I use on a day to day basis.

Cut to this week -- I'm growing seriously annoyed and bored with my T60 Thinkpad. Windows XP even crashed on me (only the second or third time it's ever done that) and frankly, I'm ready for a change of pace and some new eye candy. I pulled out the Vista drive and swapped it for my XP drive.

First thing I always need on my work computers is virtual private network (VPN) software to connect to work. Without that VPN tunnel to work, installing half of the software I need is either impossible, or really time consuming. So I put the Cisco VPN software on, only to have it fail multiple times, telling me that the service needed to be restarted each time. I Googled the problem, and Cisco says to try their new beta version. Great, beta software for one of my primary applications. OK, fine. It installed, but the connections seem really really slow.

So now I'm connected, the next thing is to install the corporate anti-virus. Only Symantec still haven't worked out how to get their enterprise client to work properly on Vista. Hey, Symantec, Vista's been out for over 6 months and your flagship product doesn't work on it -- get working, numskulls.

By now I've basically given up -- without a reliable connection to work and proper virus protection, this dog just won't hunt. On top of that, my D-link DNS-323 Network Attached Storage device gets recognized on the network, but I keep getting told to install the drivers for it, and the password keeps getting refused. But D-Link doesn't seem to have Vista drivers on its website; and thus I can't log on to my storage device, where all the rest of my software application installers are kept.

Forget this. Vista may be pretty, and the new games are indeed cool, but until the driver issues are fixed, and Vista becomes the mainstream application, I'm going to have to stick with XP (sigh) for the foreseeable future. My Vista installation will just be an occasional plaything.

Unless I figure out a way to buy a MacBook Pro once Leopard comes out in the fall. ;-)

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