Archive for the ‘Vista’ Category

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Upgrading my PC

July 4, 2009

Every 12 to 18 months i go thru the process of upgrading the motherboard and CPU. For a small cost I get a performance upgrade. Depending I my needs and what I have changed since the last upgrade there may also be an upgrade in memory, graphics card and HDD. In the last upgrade I did all this plus installed a bigger power supply. I have been using the same Antec case for the last 3 years. Its big and give me plenty of room to move.

The specs before my upgrade were

  • O/S – Vista Ultimate (64 bit)
  • Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo – 6600 @ 2.40GHz
  • Memory – 3GB
  • Video – Nvidia GeForce 8600GT – 512mb
  • HDD – 1 x 120GB SATA (Primary) – 1 x 500GB SATA  – 1 x 1TB SATA
  • DVD/CD Combo reader/writer
  • Memory Card reader
  • Monitors – 21″ Samsung 215tw(1680 x 1050) – 24″ Dell (1920 x 1200)
  • Keyboard & mouse – Logitech MX3200 wireless
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Altec Lanseng 621 Speakers

The specs after the upgrade are (new parts in bold)

  • O/S – Vista Ultimate  SP2 (64bit)
  • Processor – Intel Quad Core Q8300 2.5 GHz
  • Motherboard – MSI P45 Neo3
  • Memory – 8GB DDR2
  • Video 9800GT – 512mb
  • HDD – 1 x 150GB 10,000rpm (Primary) 2 x 1TB SATA (1 of the TB drives is new)
  • DVD/CD Combo reader/writer changed from IDE unit to SATA unit
  • Memory Card reader
  • Monitors – 21″ Samsung 215tw(1680 x 1050) – 24″ Dell (1920 x 1200)
  • Keyboard & mouse – Logitech Wave 2.4 /  Logitech MX1100 Mouse  both wireless
  • Altec Lanseng 621 Speakers
  • Power Supply -OCZ StealthXStream 500W SLI

IMG_2660

It runs nicely and scores 5.9 in all categories on the Windows Experience Index. The fast primary makes program opening very snappy. One of the TB drives is a “Green” drive and there is a 1-2 second delay before the drive spins up. Not a major issue but I wouldn’t use one as a primary.

A majority of the parts where sourced online or from a local contact. For online I can recommend PC Case Gear.  Great prices and great service.

My next upgrade may or may not be to Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. The pricing of Windows 7 upgrades (I want to do 3 other machines as well as this one) is on the high side. I was running Windows 7 RC on my HTPC (built between main PC upgrades) and really liked it but I have not had any issues with Vista on any of the 3 PCs that run it (one older one runs XP – this will upgraded later this year) and with the pricing on 7 I find it hard to justify the OS upgrade. It will be a wait and see on the OS upgrade.

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Windows 7 Beta – early impressions

January 13, 2009
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I downloaded the beta of Windows 7 on the weekend and installed it in a virtual PC. There was no issues there the install was smooth and straight forward. So far its been pretty good and certainly very stable and cant be that far off of being fully cooked.

Now a couple of things that I don’t like.

01 –  Windows Media Player 12 – no podcast support still and I couldn’t find the media player toolbar that shows when I minimize it as it does with Vista/XP with media player 11.  There is no excuse for this and I can only hope this will be rectified before the final release.

02 – the second is the new taskbar. I gave it a chance but I prefer the way I use the Taskbar and Quick launch bar combo in vista and XP. With windows seven it appears to a combination of the taskbar and the quick launch that feels like a step backwards to me. To see what is running it is not always obvious because the indicators on the taskbar are so subtle. With some programs if I want to launch a second instance I cant click on the taskbar that just max or minimizes the currently running instance. I have to go thru the menu to launch a second instance.

Image3
this is how I work with the taskbar / quick lauch bar in Vista/XP. I can see what is running easily and can launch new instances quickly and with one click.

whereas the Windows 7 bar looks like this.Capture
Here you can see firefox running but when you have a few apps running it can be harder to pick.

At this stage I wouldn’t be looking at upgrading from Vista straight away. The taskbar feels like a step back and like Microsoft is trying to emulate the Apple dock which am not a fan of either. It just feels like its half complete and as a result is half as useful

Update: I have learnt of the centre mouse button press to launch a new instance. In someways this is even worse when in Visual Studio and FireFox I middle click to close tabs

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Things that Annoy Me.

September 18, 2008

Its been a while since I been here  so I guess I should write something couldn’t think of anything vast so thought I would write a few things that annoy me.

  1. Itunes for Windows – the boring grey drab interface. It looks badly out of place on windows machines. Apple do suck at writing software for windows.
  2. Itunes for windows – why is not capable of monitoring folders and  adding any new content automatically. Windows Media Player does it. It is not that hard.
  3. Safari for windows – why the hell did apple both with this poor excuse for a browser. It cant even render fonts clearly. It also provides further proof that Apple suck at Windows software.
  4. OS fanboys who assume switching to their OS of choice will cure all your ills. GET OVER IT AND SHUT THE FUCK UP!!. Just because it works for you doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Despite what they think a lot of people use another OS because they want to.
  5. Vista FUD – the media and alleged experts are responsible for most of this. Despite what they tell U it will not cause your immediate death or will your computer blow up. I run it on 3 computers and guess what I am still alive and I like it.
  6. Google Gmail – FFS Google give people the option to turn conversation view off. Despite what you think not everybody thinks it is a great thing and fix up IMAP so it works properly if I say on my client to exclude a “folder” don’t continue to download it.

On another note lets talk about communicating with the community. Microsoft cop a lot of heat for a lot of things but out of Apple, Google and Microsoft, Microsoft is miles ahead of the others. A lot of the teams and individuals at Microsoft  have blogs. Apple  like there hardware and software is a closed shop. Sure google has blogs but how many allow you to leave comments and how many of their authors supply contact emails ? Not many, if any to quote Scribe. The Microsoft blogs nearly all allow you to leave comments (even bad ones) and many provide contact emails. Most of them will go out of there way if you have a genuine query or issue to help you. So well done to Microsoft for this you should be congratulated for the effort you put in.

Ok thats enough from me. Catch ya later.

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Vista SP1 – a few days on and other stuff

February 21, 2008

Well its been a few days now with SP1 in place and so far no problems at all. 

To be honest I haven’t noticed any major/obvious changes since installing SP1  although it does feel like it boots a fraction quicker and the whole system itself just feels a bit “crisper”.

Its not the major change that SP2 was to XP and this is what basically  Microsoft have been saying all along. Most of the “you need service pack 1 ” talk has been generated by the media and by “loud” users who despite actually not using Vista apparently are experts.

I didn’t have any major issues with Vista beforehand and SP1 at this stage certainly hasn’t changed that.

The whole Windows Vista SP1 Prerequisite KB937287 issue that has  shown up recently just made me laugh. The Vista team wont release SP1 to the public because of issues with “some” drivers yet the they release a update via Windows Update that appears to have caused the type of problem they are trying to avoid by releasing SP1. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The whole Vista release has basically been a circus and has probably contributed more to the undeserved bad rap Vista has.

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Vista Service Pack 1 – On my production PC

February 16, 2008

I have been running SP1 which I obtained from a torrent on a virtual PC for a few days without issue. Tonight I decided to install SP1 on my “Production” PC. So using a registry hack that is floating around the net( google “vista sp1 registry hack” and you should find it) I got the service pack installed via windows update.

It all went smoothly (took about 35-40 minutes) and everything is working without issue.

Vista SP1

So after the Vista team basically telling me I was to stupid to deal with the service pack at this stage I managed to do it without my brain exploding contrary what the Vista team seem to be indicating by their pathetic release schedule.

I will report on my experience with SP1 in the coming weeks and to all if you want to try it give it a go because despite what the Vista team says I am guessing most of you are more than capable of dealing with it. So go on live on the edge and take a risk or dont its your choice not the narrow minded, arrogant Vista team.

Finally to the Vista team I offer this gesture To the Vista Team

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Vista SP1 – Vista Team = Arrogant and Ignorant

February 15, 2008

Well the Vista team continue to treat anybody not in the press or a paying member of MSDN or Technet with absolute utter contempt. It seem if you are not any of the above you are deemed to be too stupid to have SP1 for Vista. The Vista Team turned me into a pirate as the only way I could get a copy of SP1 was to get it off of torrents. I am currently testing it on a virtual PC.

Despite the Vista team saying they are listening I find that near impossible to believe.

So congratulation the Vista team for yet another pathetic effort and treating honest (well until they turned this user to piracy) and knowledgeable users  like  5 year olds.

I like Vista but its hard to offer any kind words when they just struggle their way from one clusterf**k to another and continue to insult users by saying they are listening.

i can has sp1

Vista team answer : No you are just a mob of  monkeys

head_up_your_ass

The Vista Teams role model

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Windows Vista SP1 released – sort of

February 5, 2008

 

Microsoft today announced the RTM of Vista SP1

http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2008/02/04/announcing-the-rtm-of-windows-vista-sp1.aspx

However they are not really releasing it because of some unspecified driver issues. While I can understand holding off for the “average” user I cant see why Microsoft wont release it to more “technical” users who are more than capable of dealing with the issues mentioned.  I would be prepared to install it however Microsoft again assume they know best for everyone when they have proved over and over again they certainly don’t.