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Hayamaneko 2007-04-29 12:34

Thinking of upgrading OS's
 
I am seriously consider upgrading my OS from XP to Vista Home edition. My version of XP is unfortunately a bootleg (bought it off a website that said it was legit and ended up never refunding my money when I asked them to) so I was thinking that it might be a good idea since the Windows Validation icon is annoying. However, I've heard that Vista is a piece of crap that's so bad that it makes ME look good. Anyway, I was wondering if Vista had any advantages over XP and if it was worth upgrading to.

martino 2007-04-29 12:58

Bluntly put:
Advantages:
1) Relatively nice looking GUI

Disadvantages:
1) Slow
2) Driver incompatibilities
3) Expensive as hell
4) Software incompatibilities

See my point? Well, that's just my view of it anyway, and please note that I'm not a M$ fanboy, in fact the opposite. My honest answer would be to wait until they can get all the crap sorted out first, which might take some time.

Phantom-Takaya 2007-04-29 14:47

If you really want to get Vista, wait a year or two when there are drivers and programs and compatible... Oh, and they worked out the bugs. By then, you may even have the money to get a new computer with Vista pre-installed.

Kurz 2007-04-29 22:02

Its not really Microsoft's fault,
Blame those lazy driver writers!

Its seriously a nice OS though making it work with older hardware might be a pain in the arse since there might not be the drivers.

I say wait till Service Pack 1

Also Get an OEM from www.newegg.com
Alot cheaper except you have to choose between 64bit and 32bit.
Get 64bit only if the drivers are written for them.

Alexandrite 2007-04-30 01:07

With any Microsoft OS, I usually give it a year for them to work out some of the kinks so my computer isn't its own deathtrap when I first load it up. Especially in Vista's case (They stole the OSX look and abilities! XD), where so much is incompatible and surely there are many security holes.

Bootleg or not, XP still works grand for what's available right now. Give it time, then switch over to Vista in the future if you desire.

Edgewalker 2007-04-30 01:41

Microsoft has a reputation for releasing software to the masses before applying neccesary compatibility checks with basic hardware/software.

If you get vista now, its gonna be a coin toss. Vista works great with some of what its compatible with, but isnt compatible with others. ( which is partially why the opinion on vista is so split ) In my friends case, he was going to install vista on his alienware, but then vista couldnt recognize his audio - he had sony audio. SONY ! come on...wake up microsoft.

Rule of thumb for M$: Dont upgrade till you have too.

Venser 2007-04-30 01:56

Sony audio? Most of Sony hardware is actually very compatible with Vista... Drivers wise...

But the truth be told, the word on the street is, wait and give it some time first. Besides, many codecs still do not work properly in Vista. Use that as an excuse to hold back a few more months. ^_^

npal 2007-04-30 02:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by martino (Post 925323)
Bluntly put:
Advantages:
1) Relatively nice looking GUI

Disadvantages:
1) Slow
2) Driver incompatibilities
3) Expensive as hell
4) Software incompatibilities

See my point? Well, that's just my view of it anyway, and please note that I'm not a M$ fanboy, in fact the opposite. My honest answer would be to wait until they can get all the crap sorted out first, which might take some time.

I'd argue about slow, actually depends on the pc. I don't see much difference from upgrading from XP in regards to speed.

The rest though is true, with an emphasis on driver incompatibility. However, software and driver incompatibility isn't really Microsoft's fault, e.g. Nvidia has stated they underestimated resources needed for a Vista driver (the drivers so far are almost crap). Developers had the beta versions for a year or so and the first full version of Vista was released in November, so there isn't much excuse regarding incompatibilities. Vista was treated like Linux by many hardware companies ("what? Linux? Should we care?") until their support center became flooded and even then, support is crap, at least concerning Nvidia and Creative. Many security vendors don't even HAVE a Vista compatible solution.

Back on topic, Vista is just another Windows. If you thought XP was crap, Vista is likewise crap. Every early Windows adopter (me included) will have to suffer incompatibilities and bugs that may take years to solve, although developers should have been working on Vista compatibility the past year, which apparently they didn't.

If you never were an early Windows adopter, I don't believe you should start now. If you have a good rig, want to get Vista and aren't discouraged by the above, you can try, I think Vista has several improvements over XP. An extra warning, 64bit support is even crappier, mainly because of the kernel driver protection, so also consider that when installing.

CCCP works fine in Vista :p Don't know what other codecs people use, but MP3, FLAC, MKV, AVI, MPG play fine here so I suppose the codecs are working ok.

mukansa monkey 2007-05-01 19:12

Ermmm, the driver issues with Vista aren't due to slackness on the part of the driver developrs. They're due to the fact that Vista's system for implementing DRM is so restrictive that the people making the hardware and drivers are basically being asked to do the impossible. Some information obtained from
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ista_cost.html
(Thanks go to WanderingKnight http://forums.animesuki.com/member.php?u=42015)

Here's some fun quotes about drivers and such.
"In order to prevent the creation of hardware emulators of protected output devices, Vista requires a Hardware Functionality Scan (HFS) that can be used to uniquely fingerprint a hardware device to ensure that it's (probably) genuine... Most hardware vendors have (thankfully) moved to unified driver models instead of the plethora of individual drivers that abounded some years ago... Since HFS requires unique identification and handling of not just each device type but each variant of each device type to handle the situation where a problem is found with one variation of a device, it's no longer possible to create one-size-fits-all drivers for an entire range of devices like the current Catalyst/Detonator/ForceWare drivers. Every little variation of every device type out there must now be individually accommodated in custom code in order for the HFS process to be fully effective, resulting in a re-balkanisation of drivers that have only just become available in a clean, unified form in the last few years."
"An additional reason for the driver backlog is that 64-bit versions of Vista (which will be displacing the 32-bit versions within the next few years as everyone moves to 64-bit platforms) will only load drivers signed by Microsoft... Why is this a problem? Because the vast majority of drivers running on PCs today aren't signed, not so much because the developers couldn't be bothered but because the WHQL process that produces the signed drivers is so slow that they're obsolete by the time they've been approved by Microsoft... As a result, vendors supply current but unsigned drivers, a practice so widespread that instructions on bypassing the warning dialog that pops up are a standard part of most device install instructions."

And some explanation about the audio, (note the Sony standard here):
"Vista's content protection mechanism only allows protected content to be sent over interfaces that also have content-protection facilities built in. Currently the most common high-end audio output interface is S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format). Most newer audio cards, for example, feature TOSlink digital optical output for high-quality sound reproduction, and even the latest crop of motherboards with integrated audio provide at least coax (and often optical) digital output. Since S/PDIF doesn't provide any content protection, Vista requires that it be disabled when playing protected content. In other words if you've sunk a pile of money into a high-end audio setup fed from an S/PDIF digital output, you won't be able to use it with protected content. Instead of hearing premium high-definition audio, you get treated to premium high-definition silence."

Some more fun tidbits:
"As security researcher Ed Felten quoted from Microsoft documents on his freedom-to-tinker web site about a year ago:
“The evidence [of security] must be presented to Hollywood and other content owners, and they must agree that it provides the required level of security. Written proof from at least three of the major Hollywood studios is required”.
So if you design a new security system, you can't get it supported in Windows Vista until well-known computer security experts like MGM, 20th Century-Fox, and Disney give you the go-ahead (this gives a whole new meaning to the term “Mickey-Mouse security”)."
“This increases motherboard design costs, increases lead times, and reduces OEM configuration flexibility. This cost is passed on to purchasers of multimedia PCs and may delay availability of high-performance platforms ” — ATI.
“Compliance rules require [content] to be encrypted. This requires additional encryption/decryption logic thus adding to VPU costs. This cost is passed on to all consumers” — ATI.
“Since [encryption] uses CPU cycles, an OEM may have to bump the speed grade on the CPU to maintain equivalent multimedia performance. This cost is passed on to purchasers of multimedia PCs” — ATI.
"In fact, Microsoft is imposing a higher standard of security for premium content than what's been required in the past for any known secure computing initiative proposed for protecting data classified at TOP SECRET or TS/SCI levels. Just to make this point clear, the level of security that Vista is trying to achieve to protect video and audio is more extreme than anything the US government has ever considered necessary for protecting its most sensitive classified data."

And finally, some comments on how Vista will add "improved functionality" (a favorite phrase of Microsoft's PR) to video playback...
"Vista users have already complained about the excessive CPU usage of a Vista component called “Media Foundation Protected Pipeline”, complaining of it pegging the CPU at 100% load on startup and then staying at 10-20% CPU during playback. One user complained of it consuming 50% of the CPU on his 3GHz Pentium 4 machine under Vista, while there had been no problems under XP. Another user observed that this process also runs for DivX and XviD files, implying that it's always active even if no premium content is present. Another DRM-enabled piece of Windows audio, the somewhat problematic AudioDG Vista audio engine host, has similar resource problems."

I think all of this can be best summed up by the author's Executive Executive Summary:
"The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history."

WanderingKnight 2007-05-01 19:33

Quote:

I think all of this can be best summed up by the author's Executive Executive Summary:
"The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history."
That's the only part of the article I'm not so sure about. Micro$hit controls too powerful a monopoly for it to fall so easily. I dread the thought of handling, even momentarily, a Vista machine in the future, but unfortunately, it's probably gonna happen, and us MShit haters will have to cope up with it. It holds so much power (SO much power, that is, the fate of 95% of the PC systems worldwide, and the laziness of the 90% of PC users worldwide) that it won't probably fall from a "small" mistake like this. And actually, the very nature of it being a "mistake" can be questioned. How can it fail, how can it possibly fail, when 95% of the users are still using their product? And when a vast majority of that people would never bear with an OS system that makes them think beyond "click click"? And when that same vast majority expects the answer to come to them, instead of looking for it? How?

As much as I hate MShit, and as much as I liked that article, I can't help admitting there's no such thing as a complete fail scenario for them.

The only thing I can be absolutely certain about: It's a good thing I fled to Linux. A very good thing.

Phantom-Takaya 2007-05-01 20:49

And watch the crowd move on to Linux and MacOS...

SeijiSensei 2007-05-01 22:22

I thought Gutmann's paper was one of the best technological analyses I've read in quite some time. He's obviously well-informed technically and he also writes in a clear and rather chatty style that helps makes the material accessible to knowledgeable amateurs. I'd bet this paper has gotten Gutmann more attention worldwide than any refereed academic paper he's ever published. It became an immediate hit on Slashdot and was widely circulated throughout the computing blogoverse.

I also think Ed Felten, whom you also cite, is one of the most important people in computing today. If you haven't seen how his team took apart the Diebold electronic voting machine, you own it to yourself to watch this video. Felten's blog series earlier this year on the AACS scheme used to protect HD and Blu-Ray DVDs was both extremely informative and, once again, accessible to a broader readership than just academic computer scientists. His blog is entited "Freedom to Tinker," which he defines as "your freedom to understand, discuss, repair, and modify the technological devices you own." Sounds like a fine mantra to me.

mukansa monkey 2007-05-01 22:43

Heh, yeah, Mac owner here. I think you're being entirely too pessimistic there though WK.
First off, M$ is far from being a monopoly. Over 25% of the PCs out there are running Linux or OSX, and that includes all the computers running pirated versions of Windows. Mac hardware share is actually a lot higher than people realize, since Macs tend to last a lot longer than your cheap Windows boxes. Thus the percentage of currently running Macs worldwide is around 8%. Knock out the "strictly business" machines and that jumps up to 15%. Current US sales of Macs to education stores (college bookstores etc) is 23% of the market; the percentage of Macs being used in schools is higher than that. Last January Apple sold 10% of all laptops in the US... *not* counting laptops sold online, or any sold at Apple retail stores. That's a lot of machinery that isn't being saddled with Vista.
reference: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM...1D1688E00.html

Second, Apple not only dominates the online music market, but is in the best shape to lead the video market as well. They are buddy-buddy with Disney/Pixar, as well as being on good terms with Sony. This gives Apple a big opening to compare themselves favorably with Vista's draconian DRM, you can bet that the iVideo store is going to sell you Disney titles that you can actually play in HD. Maybe we'll see Disney movies on Blu-ray that specifically warn about image degradation if used on a Vista player. Apple's already ripping on Vista's wack security setup... go to http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/ and check out the Security clip.

Finally, imagine this: How much of this videocard hobbling will gamers put up with before they start turning to the Mac in droves? I know most folks think gaming=Windows still, but now that so much of the graphics optimization works just as well on an Intel Mac as an Intel PC the gap is much smaller. Now go a couple years down the line... if UT2009 or WoW: The Burning Upgrade look better, have higher fps, etc on Macs than on Vista, or at least look the same with a $400 cheaper video card... I don't think it'll really take much of that to push game reviewers into pimping Macs. As the guy who wrote that article noted, what makes money for graphics card makers is gamers. I'd love to see the day when the latest ubercard comes out, and it's only compatible with OSX and Linux. Heh. MIght be a little farfetched, but let's face it: If M$ continues mindlessly on the course they've set, Mac and Linux are going to eat into their share like wolves.

WanderingKnight 2007-05-01 22:54

Quote:

Finally, imagine this: How much of this videocard hobbling will gamers put up with before they start turning to the Mac in droves? I know most folks think gaming=Windows still, but now that so much of the graphics optimization works just as well on an Intel Mac as an Intel PC the gap is much smaller. Now go a couple years down the line... if UT2009 or WoW: The Burning Upgrade look better, have higher fps, etc on Macs than on Vista, or at least look the same with a $400 cheaper video card... I don't think it'll really take much of that to push game reviewers into pimping Macs. As the guy who wrote that article noted, what makes money for graphics card makers is gamers. I'd love to see the day when the latest ubercard comes out, and it's only compatible with OSX and Linux. Heh. MIght be a little farfetched, but let's face it: If M$ continues mindlessly on the course they've set, Mac and Linux are going to eat into their share like wolves.
Where I think MShit dominates the computing world is in keeping its users stupid. Do you really think your average gamer would really take the time and sit down to learn how the hell to get his Mac OS to work? (that's without taking into account the extremely high cost of Macs in the first place). People don't want to adapt to something new. They're all good and happy with their "clicky clicky" shit that I'm pretty sure most people would never actually care to sit down for a day or so to learn a whole new OS (like I did last Sunday). How do you think they'll react once they can't find their Start taskbar? Or when they find out their mouse has a single button?

I insist. Most PC users don't want to think or make some extra effort to learn a new OS. They'd rather have more of the same, maybe with some graphical thingy thrown in to give it a new name or something, and pay a bit more for a higher-end hardware (though this is arguable due to the high price of Macs, to keep up with your comparison--I'd rather compare it to Linux, because it's free and a lesser system hog) than to learn everything from the very beginning. And I even think jumping from Windows to Mac is a very small jump (maybe because Mac was my first OS), but still, give some regular user a chair and an iMac, and ask them to do what they usually do in Windows, and watch them suffer. I think they wouldn't even try.

PS: Besides, people usually have this unsettling tendency to think "It's free, then it must suck!" (regarding Linux).

Ledgem 2007-05-01 23:02

I think most PC users actually never took the time to learn their own system. Those of us who talk about learning something new and having to transfer things over are, at the very least, novice computer users with an interest in computing. When my roommate had computer trouble (twice) and I had to bail him out, he said that he'd probably get a Mac next - he didn't want to deal with the PC problems. That, and all his Mac buddies laugh at him for his computer. Maybe he just wasn't thinking about transitioning his data and programs over, but to be honest, I don't think he'd have a hard time anyway - his requirements are pretty light.

I look around my college campus and in truth, at least half of the users are Apple users. Apple has a very aggressive pricing campagin going on here for educational users. Our campus bookstore (a sort of mini-mall in itself with its own building and three levels) has an entire section of the technology area dedicated to Apple things.

Almost everyone has an iPod. People like iPods. It makes Apple look good and reliable. Then they see what everyone else is doing, and they go for it. Mac OS really isn't that hard to transition to - I'm saying it, I've heard others with far less computer experience say it. I'll still give my Mac friends a hard time, of course. The point I'm trying to make is this: if Apple is targeting to-be professionals as hard as they are at my college campus, then it has some interesting implications for the future. I just hope they can keep their security record up.

Epyon9283 2007-05-02 20:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ledgem (Post 928850)
I just hope they can keep their security record up.

I doubt they'll be able to. While I'm sure it'll never get as bad as Windows was/is, exploits will be released. I think that Vista will really show that MS has been getting more serious about security. Looking at the changes from XP it really becomes apparent that they've done a lot of work in that regard.

I'm a Mac user. I've never once been infected with anything. I clicked on a malformed DMG file that gave my iMac a nice little kernel panic but it didn't cause any real damage. Apple has been fixing stuff pretty fast lately. The last quicktime exploit was fixed in less than two weeks. Hopefully they'll keep fixing stuff that quickly.

theDarkHorse 2007-05-03 02:26

Back to the original post: you might be better off doing a clean install of your OS. Apparently Vista detects bootleg copies of XP and refuses to upgrade (despite you having a valid Vista key). I've tested it myself, and a couple of unfortunate anecdotes from friends, and that seems to be the case.

I read Gutmann's paper when it first came out, and it amazed me at some of the things M$ were doing to placate the Hollywood studios.

People who build their own computer clearly have some clue as to what they're doing...so they're probably in a better position to get themselves out of trouble quickly. It's those who buy retail computers (see Dell, HP, Acer, etc) who often don't have too much of a clue.

BTW I'm a Linux (Ubuntu/Enlightenment) user. I spent some time trying to get used to it, but it's quite normal for me now.

mukansa monkey 2007-05-05 00:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by WanderingKnight (Post 928836)
Do you really think your average gamer would really take the time and sit down to learn how the hell to get his Mac OS to work? (that's without taking into account the extremely high cost of Macs in the first place).

I didn't say any old gamer, I said high-end... folks who are really into maximizing the performance of their machines. Lotta overclockers and people spending scads of cash on graphics cards. Those folks will gladly learn OS X if it means getting a better gaming experience. ATI and NVIDIA make tons of money on serious gamers, it's a market they can't afford to diss. And um... Macs don't cost any more than Windows machines *for comparable specs and quality*. Sure you can buy some cheeseball gear for $700 that's made of plastic and rattles from fan vibration, but serious gamers don't go for that sort of rig to begin with. Not when a good pair of graphics cards alone costs over $1000...
Quote:

Or when they find out their mouse has a single button?
Mac mouse has two buttons and a scrollball. They finally realized that option-clicking deserves its own button. Yer a bit behind the times. :)

Back to the original post... if you want a real nice machine and have the money, buy a Mac. If you don't have that kind of money, and are content with more modest hardware, I can help ya build your own machine for about $500 running Ubuntu. Either way, don't throw money at Vista.

WanderingKnight 2007-05-05 00:48

Quote:

Mac mouse has two buttons and a scrollball. They finally realized that option-clicking deserves its own button. Yer a bit behind the times.
:O

My dad's wife's half-a-year old iMac still has the classic single-button mouse...

Quote:

Macs don't cost any more than Windows machines *for comparable specs and quality*
Depends on where you're getting it from. If you buy a prebuilt PC, chances are you're getting overpriced most of times. If you take the time and build it yourself, you'll be able to skim off quite a nice amount of money.


Quote:

If you don't have that kind of money, and are content with more modest hardware, I can help ya build your own machine for about $500 running Ubuntu.
I believe that if he's running Windows XP with no problems at all then his current hardware is more than enough. In my single-week experience with Ubuntu, I can assert that, even with Beryl enabled and full effects, the thing runs amazingly smoothly. I think it must only take less than half of the resources XP took from me. And mind you, Beryl is beautiful.

Either way, at least we agree on this:

Quote:

don't throw money at Vista.
:D

Oh, and by the way, I don't see any feedback from the OP on his decision on Vista yet. It'd be nice to know what his opinions are about Unix-like OSes :p

Epyon9283 2007-05-05 07:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by WanderingKnight (Post 932882)
:O

My dad's wife's half-a-year old iMac still has the classic single-button mouse...

There is only a single physical button on the mouse. It senses where you click to mimic the behavior of a two button mouse. My iMac is over a year old and it came with a mighty mouse (two buttons and a scroll ball).

http://web.mac.com/epyon9283/images/mouseprefs.png


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