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Look, Master, it lives....

01/09/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Despite saying I wouldn't move off XP, I recently migrated to Vista 64 Bit. It's actually been rather less painful than expected. I've actually lost the use of no pieces of hardware, albeit with some serious kludging for some. For the most part I was starting off with new hardware (new processor, graphics card, motherboard and so forth) so really wasn't expecting any issues of that type.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me was the USB support. This could be due to the motherboard or Vista, but I'll credit Vista. On my older XP box, copying large number of smaller files (5-10 Mb apiece) onto an 80 Gb 2.5" USB drive typically resulted in the drive randomly disconnecting and corrupting the copied files. Under Vista using the same drive and the same SyncExp software the behaviour was perfect.

There were some hacky bits:
- The drivers for my Epson scanner, despite being perfectly happy under XP, just wouldn't install under Vista. The solution was to give up on TWAIN and buy VueScan, a third party piece of software that supported it directly. It's not my preferred option, but it does save having to buy a new one when the old scanner works perfectly well.
- The drivers for my Creative Wireless Music entirely failed to install. Fortunately though, they're not actually needed to use the unit, only to configure its network settings like WEP and IP. The player automatically scans the local subnet for the server rather than requiring a hardcoded IP. However the Creative MediaSource and MediaServer software is required and fortunately that installed works. The software's not entirely correct as the user interface seems to have a problem with X/Y offsets but it's usable.
- Corel's Paint Shop Pro X works but pushes the interface into a reduced functionality mode. Fortunately there was a special on Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 when I found this out so made the problem go away for just a few bucks. I do wish that Corel had patched the older version rather than abandoning it.
- The auto-play installer for "Sam & Max: Season 1" crashed consistently. Fortunately the setup program inside worked and the game itself has demonstrated no problems.
- "Need For Speed Carbon" runs fine initially and then over time the frame rate drops until it's unplayable at any resolution. The only answer I've found so far is to quit and restart. It crashes a bit too but that may well be just more sloppy programming on EA's part.

And that's been about it. I'm not nuts about the semi-random rearrangement of the interface under Vista but then I didn't like XP's changes from the clean 2000 interface either...

And, yeah, I did buy the really expensive version of Vista without the licensing restrictions. I wanted Remote Desktop which -- IMHO and all that -- is still the best remote access solution out there and it's simply not in the cheaper versions.


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