So, there have been a few caveats and cool things about Vista. Things that
people knew about before the release, and some that people didn’t.

The installation took, in total, about 45 minutes. There were a few updates
to be done afterwards, too.

Being a “home” edition of Windows, perhaps, there was no Administrator
password to set–perhaps this is something to be done in safe mode just as
in XP Home. That’s something I’ll have to rectify quite quick, like this
very evening when I get home.

You get full control of NTFS permissions with Home Premium, just as you do
with Media Center 2005. You don’t get simple permissions only, as you do
with XP Home. A caveat to this is that there’s no MMC plug-in for
Users/Groups in Computer Management. Again, perhaps it’s something that can
be done in safe mode. Kind of annoying.

The new Start Menu (thank goodness it’s not labeled “Start” anymore, not
that it has much to do with anything) is really awesome. It gives you the
ability to search not only within the menu itself, but also your
system–same thing in Windows Explorer. It’s nearly exactly like a feature
called “Spotlight” in OS X. It’s basically a full-text search tool. It’s
much better, IMHO, than what they’ve had in the past. Of course, it took
Apple for them to put something like that in there 😛 It also replaces the
“run” command in the Start Menu of OSs past.

Windows Explorer has navigation somewhat similar to what I’ve seen in Linux.
I like it. It’ll take a wee bit of getting used to, not having toolbar menus
anymore in a lot of programs (namely Windows/M$ programs at this point).

AVG installed just fine after having to install the .NET 1.1 framework.
After installation, you need to manually move a file; you need to copy
msvcp71.dll to %System Root%\System32 and reboot.

The new ATI drivers (from ATI, not Windows) do address and seem to resolve
the OpenGL issues that people were so worried about before. I still need to
install UT2004 and run it on OpenGL, though, to see how that performs. If
Defcon is any indication, though, things are looking very nice on that

You can turn off User Account Control, that little feature of Windows that
won’t let you wipe your nose without authorization. I can see where it’s
needed, and perhaps I’ll turn it on again after I install and reconfigure
everything to my own devilish design.

I think that the Task Manager is either broken/bug-infested, or Vista hogs
ALL of my physical memory ALL the time. I really doubt that’s the case, or
I’d probably see some pretty darn big performance degredation. If all of
physical memory is used and there’s nothing left for anything, I’d more than
likely hear the hard drive thrashing away…but, I don’t.

I will miss being able to RDP into my desktop. Unfortunately, Vista Home
Premium has no Terminal Server bundled with it. I guess it’s time for some
SSH/VNC. It does, of course, have the RDP client.

Oddly enough, it looks like you can install IIS. It seems odd to me that you
can install IIS, but not Terminal Services. Of course, I’ll install Apache
for all of my ad-blocking needs 😀

So, despite or maybe because of the new ICD for ATI, gaming seems to be
on-par with XP–at least in terms of framerate for all of the games I’ve
played. If there is any performance degredation, it seems to be hardly
noticable by my eyes. Just for giggles, I played a couple of games with the
default driver from Microsoft. It was baaaaad 😛 But, then it was right as
rain when I installed the ATI driver. I was installing FEAR this morning,
but didn’t have time to give it a whirl.

Anyhoo, if you can ignore the DRM crap–which I do, because if I buy music
then I typically burn it to CD and re-rip to mp3 (I don’t really buy
movies/tv shows that way)–then, Vista is like XP 1.75 (XP 1.5 was probably
SP2). You don’t get much, but you do get some cool features where there is
new stuff.

Wow, that’s a bunch of rambling. lol. But, that’s been pretty much my entire
Vista experience, thusfar. Pretty positive, performance and feature-wise,
but an upgrade definitely isn’t an essential thing. It appears you’ll get
nearly the same bang for your buck with XP for now–minus the cool searching
features and sidebar crap and new navigation.

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