November 2006


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Vista Beta test

A few thoughts after having run Vista for the week:

The stupid thng couldn’t identify a simple network card, but it did correctly identify my Creative Zen Micro MP3 player, and asked me if I wanted to sync my music files when I plugged it in.

They almost have security figured out. It only asked me to create user passwords on install, not a user and an administrator password. When installing software or mucking with system settings, it pops up a window telling you that something possibly hinky is going on and asks permission to continue. Better than before, but still not on a par with the Unix / Linux model.

The built-in games have a new look to them, and a couple new additions. These include Chess, Mah-Jong and another bouncing-ball based game where you draw lines on the board to deflect the path of a ball towards a goal. Beats playing solitaire all day.

Hardware management now includes a way to rate your PC for performance, which is pretty cool. If ths works right, game publishers will be able to give you rating numbers to hit, instead of making you remember all the minutiae of your system specs. “Graphics score of 3.7 or better” is so much easier than “Video card: 32 MB with 3D Transform and Lighting capable, DirectX┬« 9.0 or later.”

(As a side note, those are the specs for Microsoft’s Halo, which makes me think the rating system won’t work. Sure, Halo will run with 32MB of video RAM, but you’ll get maybe 4 FPS.)

As for software compatability, there are some quirks still. Yahoo! Widgets must be launched through Widget preferences; double-clicking a widget file in Explorer won’t launch it. Settlers: Heritage of Kings installed and plays just fine, and the no-cd patch still works. gave me no problems. I haven’t tried the new version of Outlook Express (which is back to being Microsoft Mail again.)

All in all, it looks like the extra time the developers took has been for the better. Time will tell.

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