No wonder it took 5 years for Windows Vista to be released…
I use my computer a lot. So much in fact that I often catch flack from my girlfriend about never putting that damn laptop down. I have to use Windows for work. I’m dual booting with Ubuntu Edgy and am trying hard as can be to use Linux when I am at home. I love the way things just work and the interface of Ubuntu in general but there are some things that are still lacking.
This is a simple list of what I feel needs to be available for Linux in order for me to feel 100% comfortable and not yearning for that one app I had in Windows:
- A nice text editor, ala Ultra Edit, Notepad++, xpad, etc, etc
- A proper GUI FTP client, ala WS_FTP 2007, Smart FTP, FileZilla, CuteFTP, there are tons for Windows, and not one for Linux that is appealing to the eye and functional
- A good looking media player that will actually play everything I throw at it
One should not have to sacrifice UI for functionality so I don’t want to hear about those apps that do exist in Linux that provide 100% functionality but look like they were designed for Windows 95. I mean, even the default Ubuntu desktop blows Windows XP away and with Compiz or Beryl, Vista looks like an afterthought, but to mess it all up with some crappy boxy grey apps? No… Get my drift?
I came across a new blog today that’s centered around Windows Vista.
The purpose of this blog is to keep an eye on events and developments related to Windows Vista throughout its beta cycle, launch, and beyond.
Guess what!Â It’s my blog! Why another blog? Well, I found this cool blogging software that makes use of Ajax. Since I didn’t want to change this blog, I set up a new one. Head over to the Vista Watch Blog and check it out!
At work we have a subscription to MSDN and are thus lucky enough to receive beta releases of Microsoft products. Of course the one receiving the most press is Vista. So after nearly 8 hours of trying to download the 2.78GB ISO image (thanks Paul!) I found myself contemplating a plan of attack. I wanted to install Vista on my system at home. Previous CTP releases have never been any problem. Well this release had some case of tech PMS as it took me forever to get it to install.
First it wasn’t pleased with any of the partitions I had prepared for it. I eventually managed to squeeze all of my files into existing partitions and was able to clear an entire 80GB harddrive for it. Of course that harddrive had to be the master one. Windows is still snobby. The first installation, which I let run overnight, resulted in an unbootable system because of a missing or corrupted system registry. The second try decided to just stop half-way through and just sit there. The third try was the charm as I was finally able to log in.
At this point I reconnected my main harddrive (with Windows XP and Linux) on it and reconfigured the Grub boot manager to include Windows Vista as one of its selections. I’m actually amazed that it worked as easily as it did. So now I can triple boot between Linux, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Sweet!
This release of Vista seems much more stable than the prior one and also a bit faster. Graphically it’s very easy on the eyes but some of the design changes will take some getting used to. Navigating folders for example seems different. I still find myself looking for the Up button. All in all though, I’m more looking forward to the final Vista release than ever. Now as long as Microsoft doesn’t intend to charge us outrageous prices, I’m there, ready, willing, and able to upgrade as soon as it’s released.
Just to prove that I did it, here’s some screenshots:
eWeek has taken a look at the latest build of Windows Vista.beta
This release of Vista is “feature-complete”, the company says, meaning that all of the fundamental capabilities that Vista will eventually offer are now baked in.
Development efforts aren’t slowingâ€”the user experience will continue to evolve, bugs will get fixed, performance and compatibility will improveâ€”but the basic shape of the operating system has been solidified, and from here on out we expect to see mostly fine-tuning rather than wholesale changes.
We’ve been running this latest release, build 5308, for a couple of days now, getting a feel for its capabilities while Microsoft prepared to make it available to the community of MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers, TechNet users, and registered beta testers. Our expectations, set high by the quality of the previous December CTP (build 5270), were largely met.
We found this build of Vista is responsive and highly usable, though still far from bullet-proof (as is to be expected for beta software). Aside from some of the predictable problems with hardware-device support and still-buggy features, one particular problem was that Windows Explorer crashes frequently. To Microsoft’s credit, these crashes were hardly dramatic, since Explorer managed to restart itself and resume each time.
Some screenshots below and more at the original article.
All the talk is about the new eyecandy that will be available in Windows Vista. While Mac users have been enjoying cool features on their desktop for ages, Expose for example, Linux users will soon be able to do the same and maybe more. XGL is a composite layer that runs on top of the regular X-Windows GUI. It allows the desktop to make full use of your powerful 3D graphics card.
Xgl is an X server architecture, started by David Reveman, layered on top of OpenGL via glitz. Nowadays, most PCs are shipped with a 3D graphics card (foremostly from NVIDIA or ATI Technologies) and Xgl allows the X server to take advantage of its 3D processing power, assuming suitable drivers are available.
The results are absolutely staggering. See for yourself:
For those that didn’t go to CES 2006, like myself and most of you, you can still see Bill Gates’ keynote address. It’s an hour and a half and even though I’m not a huge Microsoft fan, they do have some interesting views for the future. A pretty detailed demonstration of the upcoming Windows Vista. Some of the new features look pretty cool. The major side effect from seeing all those gadgets is that I have a sudden urge to rob a bank and raid the nearest Futureshop…
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