Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Time When Vista Doesn't Suck (Too Much)

In my previous post, I mentioned I got myself a notebook computer, BenQ S42, which is equipped with Windows Vista Home Premium. Since the S42 is equipped with hybrid graphics cards (integrated Intel GMA and nVidia 9600M GT), downgrading it to XP will disable one of the cards permanently. However each of those has its own advantages: the GMA is weak in graphics processing but it uses less power while 9600M is much more powerful, but also is very power hungry at the same time. Therefore I have to use Vista. This is not the first time I use Vista, the last time I used was around 15 months ago with my company's notebook computer. That experience was less than optimal and I promptly downgraded to XP in a few days.

Fast-forward to today, I have been using Vista for close to 3 weeks and the experience is different. It is much more pleasant than last time. Has Vista improved in leaps and bounds in 15 months? I will say yes it has improved somewhat, and also note the hardware I have now is also way more advanced. Given these two factors, I find Vista is entirely usable, and admittedly, it has addressed some nuisances of XP that are really inconvenient.

For example, in XP your can either be a user or an administrator. If you login into a regular user account, you are forbidden to perform most system-level changes. You have to log-out and re-login as an administrator. In Vista, it will automatically prompt you for administrator password. Although it is still quite annoying, but at least you can do most stuff in one account.

You see, 'Vista sucks' is one of my assumptions that I believe so deeply for a long time. I avowed I would avoid using it as much as I could. Though I still won't entrust my precious data to it (that is ZFS's job, period), as a system for entertainment and casual net surfing, it is quite adequate.

What I have in hand is an assumption that is no longer valid due to external changes (M$ improves it and hardware advances). My concern is: how many of the assumptions I still believe in are no longer valid now?

It reminds me a quote by a Caltech professor, which goes something like: "except strictly forbidden by physics, or else anything is possible"

The only mitigation I can think of is to experience more and keep challenging our own assumptions. Be adventurous, be meticulous, open your head, and most importantly, have fun. :)


The Soothsayer said...

In Vista, it will automatically prompt you for administrator password.

How's this different from Linux? It's a "good thing", imo.

Cuppa Chai said...

Yeap, that is why I listed it as an advantage against XP. For normal day-to-day operations UAC (User Access Control) wouldn't be triggered too often.