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My Experiences with Vista, part 1

September 24, 2008

Vista logo

Special Feature: The other weekend, I decided to embark on a project which I had annoyingly titled Project Reinstall (to the eternal annoyance of my parents), where I would be formatting, reinstalling, and setting up some of the computers I have.

In our home, we have four operational computers, and three that have parts stolen from them. Three of them are in the computer room upstairs, where the router is situated.

Inside that room, we have a Powerspec 7114 running as my main system (with upgraded graphic card), a Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop with 712 MB memory, running XP, and an old Gateway system we bought at an auction for $50 dollars. It runs Windows 2000.

The fourth computer is downstairs in the master bedroom, which we have hooked up to the Internet by a Linksys PowerLine Internet system that guarantees slow Internet speed.

As you may have known or guessed, none of these computers run Vista, party because I am well with the news and am too smart to be deceived with the likes of Microsoft and their crazy projects.

So the other day, I decided that my old laptop shouldn’t be running XP, and I decided to change it to Ubuntu. I had been running it under a virtual environment on my Powerspec and I decided that it was pretty fast even when I gave it only 128 MB of memory.

So it started. I got the ISO ready and everything, and then just when I had checked the backups one last time, my eyes dawned on the Vista disk I had lying around.

I have MSDN membership, and I had attempted to install Vista three times (once in beta, once when it had just come out, and once a while ago) onto my Powerspec now, all with the same failure: a 0x0000005C blue screen error when Vista setup is done loading files.

It annoyed me beyond belief that I, superior at fixing computers, could not fix this computer! How annoying it was, that I could not do anything. Even more stunned I was when I realized nobody I knew, even my uber-uncle who spends his days and nights editing Wikipedia and his router configuration, couldn’t fix it.

So I had given up on the CD. Until now. I decided it wouldn’t hurt if I just put the CD into my computer. For a few seconds. Everything was backed up safely in the cloud and several disks, a few of which were sitting in a safety box in the Bank of America.

It wouldn’t hurt, would it?

I loaded the disks.

Vista loaded files, and I braced myself for the 0x0000005C error. But it didn’t come. Instead, I saw a beautifully designed graphical GUI screen saying thank-you-for-buying-Vista and please press Next to continue.

It wouldn’t hurt if I installed it, would it? I could always just install Ubuntu over it when I was done. Of course, Vista would be the piece of junk I had expected it would be. Super-slow, overly bloated, with extra things I didn’t need.

It wouldn’t hurt.

Installation went by in a breeze. I went down for lunch. When I came back, it was sitting there patiently asking me for my username and password (which I had gave to the computer with a mouthful of peas).

I typed it in. I loved the visuals. The fades. It logged in and I was looking at a Windows Vista Basic visual style. A sidebar started up. That was the bloated part, I figured.

I expected the mouse to lag, I expected everything to be so slow.

But now that I had already installed it, I wanted to see what happened. I activated Aero. The computer did not suicide. It did not die. It kept on going with beautiful visuals.

I installed Microsoft Office, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome (which I only installed because I loved the transparent design).

Everything I wouldn’t consider to be lightning-speed, but it was fast. It was the same speed as my Powerspec. It had Aero enabled, stuff installed, antivirus running, but it wasn’t super-slow after I disabled the sidebar.

In other words, I liked it.

I revoked my decision to install Ubuntu. Vista was staying.

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