Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I like Vista!

Vista is gorgeous! I've got the Home Premium edition, installed courtesy of the HP Vista Express Update (i.e., free Vista) that came with this Compaq Presario V6101US notebook. It turns out that you can install Vista killer cold over your existing Windows XP installation, which effectively castrates the Vogon bloatware that HP pimps to keep their prices low. However, you MUST run the HP Vista Upgrade DVD before and after installing Vista itself —
  1. I.e., before installing, to run a Flash BIOS utility on the notebook and then select how you want Vista to treat your existing stuff, such as ignoring it altogether since I keep a different kind of backup;

  2. Then after installing, to restore all the video drivers and HP technical graces that made you buy a Presario in the first place; however, you can be selective what you choose to install in the way of optional and merely recommended software. If you (in your own private infinite wisdom, like mine) try to skip this step, you get a very plain, worse than vanilla, slow Vista, because it tries to use a generic SGA graphics driver. Ugh.
Once these steps are done, you have a very interesting, brand new notebook. And yes, I've got the sidebar running and my window borders are translucent. This particular notebook comes with the recommended speed, but it's a bit slack on memory. If you're used to (and basically like) Windows XP, then Vista Home Premium (even slacked down a bit) is pretty copacetic.

Lots of people are complaining about Vista, but IMHO, they should be complaining about how messy under the hood Windows XP is, and what problems that can cause transitioning to Microsoft's new look for the next six or seven years. I'd say they've done well, so far.

Next step is reinstalling a lot of alternative software (again!), especially Gimp and Open 2.2.



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