Now blogging from Windows Vista

I'm running Windows Vista for about one week now. Some people already noticed this when I blogged about the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo. ;) I've not really used Vista and the new machine for 'real' work - aka programming C++ - yet, but used it for websites updates, mail writing, gaming, customer management, testing and similar already, and so I think it is time for a short review:


I've read and heart a lot of rants and negative reviews about Windows Vista before I actually used it myself, so I was expecting the worst, but actually I am pleasantly surprised: Windows Vista is not that bad:
  • Booting time and performance is quite ok: It is up and running after about 5 seconds already, and the programs are very fast and responsive. It is running on a 'high end' PC now - ok - so it is a bit difficult to estimate. I'm going to install XP later on another partition and try it out in comparison.
  • The new window manager - Aero is really not that great. It looks very poor in comparison to MacOSX and does not feel very tidied up. Transparent windows ok - but because of all the sudden new senseless colors you get distracted a lot. Additionally it sucks a lot of CPU time - you can watch this in the task manager. And additionally: It is not backwards compatible: For example using D3D mixed with GDI calls doesn't work anymore - irrEdit is doing this in its texture window and this window simply is blank when Aero is enabled in Vista. Going to fix this soon, btw.
  • The new Exlporer and File->Open dialogs (stolen from Gnome, IMO) are strange and confusing in the beginning. But I think after a short time of familiarisation, they might be useful. That short time seems to have to be longer than one week, obviously.
  • Security: It feels safer, and the approval dialogs are not that annoying as everybody says. IMO they are a good idea. Unfortunately, some things silently don't work anymore, for example downloaded .chm files which come with irrKlang and Irrlicht won't work anymore. You have to right-click them and unblock them in the properties dialog first. An option you won't find if you don't know it is there.
  • DX10: Looks great (detailed blog post later). But currently I am lacking of comparison to DX9. ;)

So, I'm going to blog about Vista some weeks later again, when I gathered more experience with it.

thirteen comments, already:

Well, aero is useless to me and i had disabled it until i found this program: http://insentient.net/

Now aero is useful as i get a nice feature fron OSX in Vista.

A tip using Aero: disable Window animations in performance settings because over time u will get tired of them.
ASpanishGuy () - 19 10 07 - 19:21

Uggh. Glad you liked it.

From a MinGW user perspective, it’s an absolute nightmare to use.

Well, at least it had MahJongg… :/

FlyingIsFun1217
FlyingIsFun1217 () (link) - 19 10 07 - 23:38

Have you problems with OpenGL? I had to uninstall it because programs runs very slow. DX runs ok, but OpenlGL… :(
saboteur - 19 10 07 - 23:39

with proper video drivers OpenGL works just fine. the bundled drivers have no OpenGL support because neither nVidia or ATI had their OpenGL functions of the drivers ready at the time
The Anaconda - 20 10 07 - 05:32

And I am testing the latest Ubuntu 7.10. ;)
The desktop effects work nicely as well.
By the way I am interested in knowing the difference between DX9 and DX10. I don’t have a ‘high end’ PC so I couldn’t test it myself.
Virion (link) - 20 10 07 - 05:42

I had Vista installed on my Sony Vaio, as it came shipped with it, for some months and I now have moved back to Win XP and am very happy about this. Start-up times may not be that problematic when you don’t have much installed, but it took the thing about 2 mins to start up later on, and shut-down took even longer. Vista has serious problems with certain applications, e.g. the acrobat reader always tried to re-install some components at start-up (and when activating the context menu), as well as the new office package, which becomes VERY annoying over time. Vista also made some problems with flash, even though it was the vista version, having a delay of about 1 second when starting certain animations, for whatever reasons… next to being rough on the hardware its new file search engine does regular indexing, which makes things more unpleasent as well, but maybe this can be turned off.

When I re-installed XP, everything went a manifold faster and of course more reliable. My laptop is a core2duo 2ghz, 2gb ram and a mobile geforce. Vista turned it into something almost useless.
So much about that, but it may not be a problem with a high end desktop system.

my few cents… ;)
kral - 20 10 07 - 12:33

As you’ve seen from my blog, I haven’t had any major compatibility issues with Vista (except for turning UAC off because of its insistence that anything called ‘patch.exe’ must need admin rights – moronic). I just find it a very small step beyond XP that hardly deserves to be called an upgrade, never mind a 5-year upgrade.

Personally I don’t find Vista starts up any faster than XP and at runtime it feels very similar. Dx10 is okay, but then my card is an 8600 GT Go which whilst not slow, is capable of true Dx10 only at fairly low frame rates, so it’s not overwhelming. Dx9 features on the 8600 are very quick, in contrast. I have an 8800 on my desktop but that’s still running XP, and I haven’t felt the need to change that (I have too many bits of work ongoing to risk it right now).

All in all, for me Vista == ‘meh’. :)
steve () (link) - 20 10 07 - 16:23

As others, I think Vista isn’t the revolution promised by Microsoft… Come with Vista: drivers problems, apps problems, problems from all parts…

When will irrlicht be able render using DX10?
blend - 20 10 07 - 19:36

What i mind most about Vista is the built-in DRM-crap. Have you heard about the problem that the networkspeed goes down when you play sounds? :)
Matthias - 22 10 07 - 09:51

> When will irrlicht be able render using DX10?

I don’t see why you’d need Irrlicht to handle DX10. I’m pretty sure DX9 has all the stuff you need for most things. About the only real advantage I see with DX10 is the geometry shaders.
Frobozz - 23 10 07 - 04:35

> Have you heard about the problem that the networkspeed goes down when you play sounds? :)

That’s truly AWESOME!
Virion (link) - 23 10 07 - 12:56

I too am curious what it is that makes you think DX10 looks nice. The only, and I mean ONLY, reason I keep Vista on my desktop is because I have added, and am still working on DX10 support in IrrSpintz. If I wasn’t interested in learning/maintaining DX10 I would play frisbee with my dog and the Vista CD( and have XP on my machine ).
Spintz - 29 10 07 - 04:52

Concerning the CHM problem: the same thing can acutally happen on XP already. Had that case in our company network once.
Telepath - 02 11 07 - 21:59


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