Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th May 2007 13:19 UTC
Windows Months go, I reviewed Windows Vista, and concluded: "All in all, I am impressed by Windows Vista [...]. Windows Vista is better than XP, and definitely more than just an improved look as many say." After 5 months of usage, it is time to put that statement into perspective.
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Agree, disagree, etc.
by jrronimo on Tue 8th May 2007 17:36 UTC
jrronimo
Member since:
2006-02-28

Thom: The "Blocked Startup Programs" is part of Windows Defender, which is built in to Vista (as opposed to being an add-on for XP). Programs are rated by a community in terms of whether they should be allowed to start up or not. You actually have no control over allowing programs "through" it, and that drives me bonkers. (For instance, I have a WASTE network with some friends and occasionally we use Hamachi for games. Neither program is 'allowed' to start up because of this.) I believe you can disable it altogether by turning off the Windows Defender service, but I haven't played with it, yet. If you left-click the "blocked startup" icon in the system try, you can then run one of the blocked programs (after going through a UAC control).

I've been using Vista for almost a year if you include the betas and here's what I've noticed:

It's freakin' great. It's much nicer looking than XP by default (Luna theme looks like it was made out of Play-Dough, although you can find the Royale and Zune themes or hack the uxtheme, etc.) and a lot of the Little Things are just nicer and more usable.

But I have some issues:
1. If a program is installed such that it puts an icon on "everybody's desktop" or "everybody's start menu" as an Administrator (requires a UAC to install), that icon is installed to the Public folder. Now, that's a pretty okay way of doing things and even XP is like that. The problem in Vista is that, if you're a limited user (which I am, intentionally), then you can't delete icons off your own desktop! (Or start menu). I like to keep my desktop really organized and it drives me NUTS that I can't do it in Vista without going through a password prompt sometimes. And what of my girlfriend who uses my computer and does not have my Administrator password? Either I have to delete them for her or she has to live with them. To me, a user's desktop should be -their- space to do with what they want. I understand -why- it works the way it does, I just think it could be better (i.e., a user's profile remembers if they deleted an icon from the desktop even if the icon resides in the publicdesktop and just doesn't load it for them).

Opening another user's folder (as an Administrator user or with a UAC prompt) requires ALL of the permissions to be re-written. I can't remember if Vista takes ownership of the folders or not, but it's really annoying having to wait a few minutes while it takes control of a user's folder so you can do whatever maintenance you need to. It's even worse if you pull a hard drive from another machine to recover data -- in XP you could just go right in since all folders in Documents and Settings belong to to "Administrators" group, whereas Vista requires permission re-writing, etc. As Administrator, why can't I just go in?

The "special folders" in a user's 'home' folder also bother me: They're different colored to denote that they're special, fine. But what if you want to add a new folder? There is no way to create one of these 'special' folders. You can move the location of the special folders (which is good -- I don't want my music on my RAID0 drive) through a dialogue, but if you want to have a link in that folder to a directory on a different drive (for instance), you have to go through a confusing process that is "sort" of a SymLink and functions like one, but doesn't have any of the usefulness of the "special" folders. It's just inconsistent. Even better would be a way to just move a whole user's account folder elsewhere. (i.e., right-click %username% -> properties -> "move" dialogue, like the special folders).

Maybe I'm just trying to use Vista in ways it wasn't designed to be used, but an OS should be flexible enough to allow these things. While I like UAC and the idea of it (I can let any user sit down on my account and not worry about my system files / settings since it all requires a password), but it gets in the way when sometimes it just shouldn't.

Complaints aside, I really do like Vista and have moved all of my machines over to it, when appropriate. My oldest machine, a P4 2.4/533 (Northwood) ran Vista Home Premium for the DVR capabilities of Media Center on 512 MB of RAM quite happily. I didn't use it for much else, though. I've moved it to a gig since I had the RAM laying around, but I could've continued on 512 just fine.

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