Alright… I did it. I put the Vista disc in and did the install thing. It took a long time. The first thing I noticed: Nothing. No choices! No customization other than timezone. There wasn’t any obvious click here to fix buttons. Yes, I am alluding to the fact that Vista is broken upon installation.

Okay, I’m extremely critical and biased… but I’ll try to be fair.

It was somewhat nice to install Vista actually, compared to say… Gentoo Linux. I put the disc in, did the partition thing and then it just told me to wait. So I had an hour nap and when I came back it was asking my name. Pretty cool. I didn’t even have to enter a product key. More on this annoyance later.

So after the install and adding my name to the users, I looked at the block of shit on the right side of my monitor. It had a clock and some other in-your-face idiot notification things. I wear a watch. Also, there is one in the system tray. I don’t need a big ugly one on the side. They also have a blank feed watcher to customize and a slideshow with the default stock pictures. I don’t know about regular users, but I never see my desktop, so why is this thing wasting precious resources? I don’t know, so I got rid of it.

The theme! What did they do? Puke on a box of crayons and mush it into a canvas? “This is our new interface design!” Yea right, give me the classic look ASAP before I install Gentoo. I notice that disabling themes also really enhances the performance of the system. Why bloat the base install with this shit? It should be an option during install.

The interface hasn’t changed really, or maybe it has but is rather intuitive. They did make an effort to frustrate us tweakers. Control panel has been heavily obfuscated. It was a bit challenging to actually change almost any setting.

Default programs… The add/remove programs wizard still doesn’t list Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer. I really would like to rip those two components out of Windows without leaving a mess of entrails. Firefox isn’t there by default, nor MSN messenger (or whatever they’re calling it this week). Actually there are no applications installed. This is disappointing in a very significant way. I mean this because if I install Ubuntu (which costs nothing at all, vs. Windows Vista which actually costs somebody money) I can start using it right away. It can play DVDs, has a full Office suite, includes some fun games. It’s 100% functional immediatly post-install. With Windows you are left with a useless (however bloated) system that is finally ready for some productivity applications, which further cost more. This alone is probably my greatest gripe.

The security center: In all of 3 hours I’ve been reflexively trained to snipe the allow button. I don’t even bother reading it anymore. This is incredibly dumb actually, since the point of that annoyance was to caution users away from installing every worm and virus they could find. But it trains users to just blindly attack the allow button as an instinct instead of actually warning them of impending doom.

Activation! I knew that I had to activate this product, but never got prompted. I had to dig around in control panel for it. And there in tiny print was a little “you’re fucked in 30 days” warning. “Click here to save your soul.” I have Windows Vista Business Edition, maybe the myriad incantations have different ways of doing this. For me it was a rude puzzle.

Overall fixing the install takes only about 3 hours if you’re familiar with fixing XP. They just hide most of the performance enhancing options behind a bunch of performance murdering eye candy. At least it’s still possible reclaim some RAM and cycles!

How long has Vista been out now? I held off as long as possible. Anyways, I gotta go install Debian now. It’s faster.


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