The Vista from my Window(s)

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Alan Kirk
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The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Alan Kirk » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:11 am

{Relocated from http://forums.olapforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=402 since it's now well out of the boundaries of the original topic.}
jim wood wrote:Call me daft if you will but I actually enjoy rebuilding machines. That's why I never bother with ghost. I just keep all software on a USB hard drive, attach it after the OS installation is finished and then do the rest. Told you it is fun!!
Oh, you don't know the worst of it. (Warning: semi-blog which may contain occasional traces of rant or rant-like products ahead. Feel free to move on if you don't wish to be exposed or are allergic.)

The retailer couldn't offer me XP Pro disks with the machine that I wanted. (Or at least the machine that was as CLOSE to what I wanted as I could get, given that the options for notebooks aren't as wide ranging as they are with desktops. If the video card had 512 meg memory rather than 128 meg, I'd be a happy man (at least it's an nvidia not an ATI), but it's not like I'll be playing Rome Total War on the thing. I have a hard enough time getting my hastati to do what I tell them to do when I can actually see them on my Apple 23" cinema screen. The smaller (13.3") screen is much lighter to lug than the old 15.5" wide screen. Mike L's eyes wouldn't care for it, but I find it generally OK; though I was a bit bemused when the SQL install program asked me whether I wanted to create a fallover duster. Oooooh, it says CLuster!) Anyway, I'd either have to wait until I could get XP disks from MicroSloth, or go with what was on there... {hissing voice} Vissssstaaaaaaaa.

At least it's Vista Ultimate.

So I weighed up the options and figured that I'd have to get hands-on with Vista at some point, and it would give me the opportunity to test TM1 with it, so {grits teeth}, what the hey.

To date it hasn't been as bad as I'd feared. Aero seems to be working without turning the machine into a bath of treacle, though admittedly this is, except for the graphics card memory, a fairly brisk and powerful machine with 3 Gig of RAM on board. (3 times more than the first TM1 server that I worked with, and 6* more than the dev server of that era...) Having read through the documentation, the PRINCIPLES behind UAC actually make a lot of sense even if the application of it leaves something to be desired. Essentially even if you're a local administrator you aren't running as an actual administrator most of the time; you only elevate your permissions when you need to, such as when you're installing software. The problem is that despite implementing this security Microsloth found it all too hard to embed something inside Windows to tell it where the request came from. Granted this would require some significant under the hood work, but I can't believe that it would have been impossible. Thus we have UAC requests for confirmation coming up IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU YOURSELF HAVE CLICKED ONE NAFFING DIALOG FROM THE O/S CONFIRMING THAT YOU WANT IT TO RUN THE NAFFING SETUP.EXE PROGRAM. What, is Vista amnesiac? Has it forgotten that I did this, not two seconds ago? Is it impossible for it to have been written so that it could isolate actions coming out of the GUI (or even its own dialogs!) from actions coming out of scripted operations? It seems so. This is what also annoyed me about Outlook. Rather than coding outlook so that you could automate mail from code WHICH IS TIED TO THE CURRENT SESSION OF OUTLOOK rather than from automation, just cripple the code and rely on good old fashioned user intervention dialogs.

UAC probably annoys me the most when it asks me to confirm that I really want to open the Management Console. Yes, I understand why. Yes, it's still bleeping annoying.

Oh, and thanks for renaming the historically easy to find "Add and Remove Programs" item in the Control Panel as "Programs and Features", Microsoft, I really appreciate it. I loved the number of times UAC got in my face when I had to go through there to enable IIS since you've decided that it's so dangerous that you didn't merely disable the service, you didn't have it installed as part of the system in the first place. On Ultimate. You know, the version that you could reasonably expect power users who actually know what IIS is and does to be using?

Speaking of Power Users, contrary to what my IT department had been advised it appears that they can indeed still be enabled in Vista for upgrade compatibility from XP. I haven't tried it yet, though.

So far I've had three Compatibility Issues warnings and wow, they're all off MS products, whadda surprise. Visual Studio 6 was the first one, though apparently it's only VC++ that has a problem. VB6 is OK as long as you run the install program as administrator. Office 2003 Business Contact Manager (BCM) was the next one. That was interesting. The Vista fanbois always maintain that it's only "badly written code" that has compatibility problems. Here's a program that's only a few years old, hardly written for Windows 3.1, and written by MS themselves, yet it has compatibility issues. Howzabout that. (Admittedly according to the KnowledgeBase the latest service packs will solve that.) The third one is SQL Server 2005. See all of the comments above.

Ah, speaking of BCM, it requires the DotNet framework 1.1. Yes, that makes sense. MS has a DotNet framework for every day of the week and they all work differently with no backward compatibility so that different applications (TM1 Web (1.1), EV (2.0), TM1 Rules Editor (3.0)...) need different ones so hey, rather than installing ALL of them as part of the OS, howzabout we just install the most recent one.

Hibernation and restart speed seem to have improved over XP, I have to admit.

Next, I get to try TM1 9.4 on it. Although first I have to get it home, activate Office 2003, and probably download around 150 terabytes of patches to overcome the compatibility issues described above.

Oh, and rip bleeping McAfee off it (a trial version came with the computer) and replace it with something that WON'T slow my system down like, oh, say, a concrete wall.

And install Retrospect to do backups.

And activate CS3.

And install Rome Total War... no, wait, scratch that one. Nonetheless there's still the software to sync with the Palm telephone, remote control the EOS 40D, the blaaah, blaaah, blaaaah....

This coumputer had better last me an AWFULLY long time... 'cos unlike Jim, I'm NOT having fun here.
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Steve Vincent » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:00 am

Alan Kirk wrote:If the video card had 512 meg memory rather than 128 meg, I'd be a happy man (at least it's an nvidia not an ATI), but it's not like I'll be playing Rome Total War on the thing.
Oh, so you've not heard about the whole "nvidia have screwed up all of their latest chips and can't fix them" saga then? It's a long and horribly technical explaination, the base of which is they used a material they really shouldn't have and it causes their graphic chips (ever since the 8*** series) to die an awful lot earlier than they should. Its to do with heat cycles, so laptops are far more suseptable but i had an nv card die after less than 6 months and had to get it replaced on warrenty. It still sits in its box at home, after i moved to an ATI card that doesn't melt itself at the mere whiff of Far Cry 2...
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by jim wood » Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:15 pm

Alan,

You fool. Vista is for girls!!! My machine didn't come with XP but it is running it now. Go on to laptop forums and should be able to find details on how to rebuild your machine using XP. Since I ahve done that my machine runs like a greek god. A lot of hassle but worth it,

Jim.
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Alan Kirk » Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:29 pm

jim wood wrote:Alan,

You fool. Vista is for girls!!!
Reeealllly? {Raises eyebrow, narrows eyes thoughtfully, smiles rakishly...} For girls you say? I hadn't looked at it that way before. Hmmmm, this presents some interesting {cough} "networking opportunities"...

"Hey baby, you UAC here often?" 8-)
jim wood wrote: My machine didn't come with XP but it is running it now. Go on to laptop forums and should be able to find details on how to rebuild your machine using XP.
Oh I know how to rebuild it should I choose to; I've always used the sledge hammer approach. Boot from a disk to a command prompt, obliterate the C:\ drive, reinstall from scratch. Best and safest way. But my reasoning goes that I'm still running two machines on XP Pro (work desktop and home desktop) and one must understand the enemy in order to bag it out as needed. Sometimes you just gotta go look for yourself to get enough information, which is what I'm doing with the notebook.
jim wood wrote: Since I ahve done that my machine runs like a greek god. A lot of hassle but worth it,
Ah, now, see, had it been a ROMAN god...
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Alan Kirk » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:39 pm

Alan Kirk wrote: Next, I get to try TM1 9.4 on it. Although first I have to get it home, activate Office 2003, and probably download around 150 terabytes of patches to overcome the compatibility issues described above.
I may have been indulging in hyperbole there, but... 42 required updates, just shy of 824 Meg. NB: These are MS updates only, not the Adobe ones as well.

Thankfully I'm no longer on dial-up....
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Alan Kirk » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:01 am

Steve Vincent wrote:
Alan Kirk wrote:If the video card had 512 meg memory rather than 128 meg, I'd be a happy man (at least it's an nvidia not an ATI), but it's not like I'll be playing Rome Total War on the thing.
Oh, so you've not heard about the whole "nvidia have screwed up all of their latest chips and can't fix them" saga then? It's a long and horribly technical explaination, the base of which is they used a material they really shouldn't have and it causes their graphic chips (ever since the 8*** series) to die an awful lot earlier than they should. Its to do with heat cycles, so laptops are far more suseptable
Oh dear. No, you're right, I hadn't, and my XPS M1330 with its 8400M GS card gets distinctly dishonourable mention here:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/10/all- ... ips-faulty

This is seriously ticking me off since I'm sick of spending money on computers. Thankfully the desktop should be OK; it's a couple of years old now and has a 7900 GS, although come to think of it there have been occasional unexplained instant shutdowns.
Steve Vincent wrote:but i had an nv card die after less than 6 months and had to get it replaced on warranty. It still sits in its box at home, after i moved to an ATI card that doesn't melt itself at the mere whiff of Far Cry 2...
My distaste for ATI cards dates back a few years now. At one time I could have described the specs of every IBM PC I've owned from the 486 SX 25 up to the current time, but now I can't remember half of 'em. However as I recall this was the first shop-bought Pentium I had, having previously built them myself back in the days when it was cheaper to do so. Which it ain't now.

It was replacing a machine which had an old GeForce 2 (yup, that's how long ago it was), and I'd splashed out on one of the upper end ATI cards. Not at the very top of the range, but not far off. To give you an example of how badly it performed even after upgrading the drivers, there's a movie at the start of Age Of Empires II. (Again, that's how long ago this was.) It ran as smooth as silk on the old GeForce 2.

On the ATI it was like watching the National Stuttering Festival finals.

That was just the videos. If you have 30 infantry-dudes storming your walls while your watch towers rained death down on them, fuggedahbout it. I also can't recall which version of Flight Simulator I was running at the time, but it was transformed into Flight Static Picture Of A Cockpit - Another Static Picture Of A Cockpit - Another Static Picture Of A Cockpit.

That thing eventually died on me. It would generally require that you reinstall Windows to even get it running, which it would do about 50% of the time. I know not whether the ATI card played any part in that, but I know for certain that I wanted nothing further to do with ATI cards from that point on. Thus far nVidia has served me well, but I have to confess that those reports have me worried.
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Steve Vincent » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:42 am

Alan Kirk wrote:This is seriously ticking me off since I'm sick of spending money on computers. Thankfully the desktop should be OK; it's a couple of years old now and has a 7900 GS, although come to think of it there have been occasional unexplained instant shutdowns.
First thing i always check is fluff in the CPU heatsink, or the graphics one for that matter. Even after a month or so, unless you are in a dust free area there will always be rubbish in it and its the most common cause of PC issues, especially instant shutdown.

As for ATI/NV, i used to use ATI years ago too. Then they got expensive compared to the NV cards and were not as good, so i switched to NV. They've been fine for me since then until they cocked up their design and introduced this fault, worst thing is they won't admit it. If they did, they'd probably go bust since the range of cards affected is quite large and the RMA cost would sink them. I found out just after i'd bought a 8800GT, so when they died on me the other week i RMA'd it and bought an ATI card instead. so far its blowing the NV to bits, although i've still to try it with Flight Sim X after the rebuild...
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by jim wood » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:57 am

Steve,

I have a NV 9800GTX. Does this model stream have a problem. The reason I ask is that I haven't seen the performance increase that I was expecting after upgrading from my old APG ATI 1950 Pro. WOW doesn't seem to play any better. In fact I seem to get better frame rates out of my laptop. (Has ATI 2600 in it),

Jim.
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Steve Vincent » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:16 pm

Oh yes, everything from the 8 series onwards. There are lots of articles on this at The Inquirer, the one i've linked being the main techie one that got me to change to ATI when mine died. It appears Apple isn't immune either...
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Re: The Vista from my Window(s)

Post by Steve Vincent » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:07 pm

quick update for those that care, it appears the new 15" Macbook Pro is also involved in this, despite Nvidia trying to convince journos that its not...

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/ ... nvidia-bad
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