Windows Vista: Not Really Such a Pleasing View After All

Since I kind of quit my technology blog, here’s a techie post for you that’s not really suitable for the Tiger Weekly.

The more I use Windows Vista, the more I realize that for a 5 year software development cycle, the end result is really rather disappointing. The price isn’t too appealing either.

Vista screams “us too!” and “oh sh!t!”

It screams “us too!” because nearly everything they’ve done new was already implemented in OS X. Lickable GUI, fast searching, “gadgets.” Whatever. Then, the few things they did that were completely new, they did terribly, like Previous Versions, and people don’t even know such a thing exists. And hell, let’s face it – Time Machine takes a big crap right on Previous Versions’ face every time you open it and it doesn’t even apologize…it’s just that good. I don’t even really care that they copied so much stuff – the point is rather that there’s just no really big new features that I haven’t come to expect of a modern OS.

It screams “oh sh!t!” because…well…let’s face it, they effed a lot of stuff up and Vista tried to fix it. Horrible security issues? Oh sh!t! Overdo it with User Account Controls! Cluttered menus? Oh sh!t! Hide everything with shiny buttons! Cluttered Start Menu? Oh sh!t! Add a search feature!

I don’t really care if you don’t like OS X. Yeah, it crashes. It’s not perfect; nothing us human beings make is perfect. But when I press cancel, the task is canceled. When I force quit something, the process is gone. I find OS X to just be so snappy and intuitive, especially with features like spring-loaded folders and ExposĂ© with hot corners enabled. Nothing really helps my workflow as much as shoving my mouse in the bottom left corner of my screen to hide all of my windows, grabbing a file off of my desktop, throwing my mouse in the top right of my screen to show all open windows, hovering over where I want to put the file, and then just dropping that file right there.

OS X might not have a perfect filesystem, but at least it mostly manages itself by defragmenting on-the-fly. I mean, that’s smart. It makes sense. Something happens automatically to correct a problem every time it happens rather than you having to manually go into a defragmentation tool (and running it for hours on end) after your system is crawling when accessing the hard disk.

Having one unified menu bar is also really smart. My screen real estate is important and I don’t really want 10 menu bars open for 10 windows. I want one that controls them all, because odds are, I won’t even be using it, and instead I’ll opt to use key combinations to perform tasks.

Maybe I’m just starting to not like Windows as much or something, because I’m just coming to the realization more and more that my computer is supposed to work for me, not me for it.

How the hell does a login process fail? Why does the registry even exist anymore (don’t answer that – backwards compatibility is BS when it breaks the rest of your system)? Why does it take so long for fixes and mostly for service packs to come out?

And there’s just so many cool apps for OS X. It’s like Mac developers just care more about their programs. Before Office 2007/2008, even Microsoft Office for the Mac was better and better-looking than its Windows counterpart.

Gah, it just frustrates me! How can Microsoft make so little progress in 5 years? Was the scope for Vista really so bad? Everything that was planned for Vista and taken out would’ve been the equivalent of maybe two OS X upgrades. Everything that actually made it to Vista was like one OS X upgrade. In the 5 years it took Vista to come out, there were what? Five versions of OS X? Like 30 or 40 major security updates (10.X.X, 10.X.X+1, 10.X.X+2, etc.)? Compared to Microsoft’s one OS release in that period, Windows XP. Which had 2 major security updates: service pack 1 and 2, the latter of which was a nightmare for half of the people that installed it immediately.

This is just getting to be ranting now. No one will read this anyway, but I guess my point is that Vista has just been a disappointment lately, and ever since Leopard came out I’ve just been liking Windows in general less and less. When I was writing my Q&A article for Tiger Weekly recently, I couldn’t even think of a reason to tell people to upgrade to Windows Vista besides that it’s free if you’re a student. What was I supposed to say? “It’s shiny, go spend $200 on this.” “The improved security features will keep your system safe…if you don’t turn them off because they bug the crap out of you.”

I’m thinking about installing XP on my MacBook Pro, though I should probably just reinstall Vista. I’m not really sure. Maybe this sudden dislike of Windows is just temporary.

-Philip

O ISDS, How Inconsistent Thou Art

One of the major themes of Andrew Schwartz’s ISDS 3100 class is that there is no such thing as an IT project; only business projects that implement IT.

This is a line in a slide from my ISDS 4113 class (Project Management): “Every project (IT or other) should have a clear link to the organization’s strategy.”

Oh ho? An IT Project eh?

-Philip

Cobra Starship Pt. 2, and Other Adventures!

First of all, sorry for not writing in a while. I’ve been busy. Michelle came to visit me on my birthday because…it was my birthday, duh. Then I went and got her after class on Wednesday and she was with me since then, until I left her earlier, and I tend to not get on the Internet much when she’s around. Anyway, she treated me to the Cheesecake Bistro on my birthday, which was nice. She’s the best for coming to see me. <3 It was really nice being around her for so long. Usually I have to wait until Friday to see her after I leave Sunday, but lately I haven't had to wait as long, so that'll make this week seem longer or something. But I have two exams and a presentation to do. : We'll see about all of that. I bought a new mouse - a Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000, and it is some kind of awesome. It's bluetooth and rechargeable, and I've been wanting it for at least a year, but it's $90 almost everywhere I looked. Well, I'd given up and had settled on the Bluetooth notebook mouse Microsoft makes (branded the Microsoft Wireless Notebook Mouse 5000), and was seeing how much it was at Circuit City, when I noticed the 8000 for $45. Needless to say, I bought it barely without thinking twice, and it's been great so far. It's really nice looking (brushed aluminum), and it even matches my Apple Wireless Keyboard (kind of, haha), which is what I bought it to accompany, for whenever Apple updates the Mac Minis and I buy one. As most of you know, I'm "semi"-lactose intolerant. I put that in quotes because people sometimes don't believe me when I say that. Get over it - I am. However, thanks to some vital information from MCat, it doesn't matter anymore! She's completely lactose intolerant, and she told me about a supplement called Lactaid Fast Act that actually works for her, so I tried it and it works for me too! :D Lactaid Fast Act can't protect me from underpaid Popeye's employees though. : Michelle's parents bought us a bunch of nuggets on Saturday, which are usually pretty good, but not this time. Why? They were raw.

So yeah, we ate some raw chicken. I couldn’t tell because they’re nuggets, you know? They looked fine on the outside. You pop them into your mouth without looking on the inside of them. Plus, we were eating them with buffalo sauce, which kind of makes you taste less of the chicken and more of the sauce. I ate like 3 of them and she ate 4, and neither of us have salmonellosis yet, which is a good thing, but it’s still a possibility since it takes 6-72 hours to contract it. I don’t even like touching raw chicken, and the fact that I had it in my mouth is just…ewww.

But, we did go see Cobra Starship today, which was great. It was the second time I’ve seen them, and the first for Michelle. Last time I saw them was on Valentine’s Day last year with Cesar. I’m pretty sure this is the first band I’ve ever seen twice. It was the first time I’ve been to the Parish though (last time they were with Cartel, so it was in the House of Blues main music hall). Anyway, they sang a lot of my favorite songs by them, and it was just an overall good time. The crowd was pretty loud though, which made it harder to hear Mr. Gabe Saporta singing. And my ears are still ringing. D:

Also, when I was leaving Michelle’s house today, I stubbed my pinky toe on my driver’s side tire, and like…effed up my toenail pretty bad. It looks kind of gross but it doesn’t feel that bad.

Anywho, I’m off to bed. Early morning tomorrow, and a long day. D:

-Philip

22

It was officially my birthday about 13 minutes ago at 10:12 AM, so now I’m 22. I get to spend this momentous occasion studying for ISDS 4120 and MKT 3401, and that’s about it.

I walked out of my door this morning and found this:

That made me laugh a good bit. Thanks Adam Z. :)

Anyway, there’s nothing else interesting going on today, so I’m done writing.

-Philip

Scrambled Tires

Yesterday when I got back to my car at 8 PM after class and work, I noticed a big egg in my front driver’s side tire, so right now I’m skipping Project Management to get it replaced so it doesn’t blow out on me when I’m going to Michelle’s later. No one had the kind of tire I normally use so this tire is just a temporary replacement until I can bring it to Houma in a couple weeks.

So, many thanks to the residents of the Beau Chene condos across the street from this tire place for the free WiFi. :D

Total Randomness

I’m not sure why, but I feel the urgent need to blog about something right now. Nothing particularly interesting has happened lately, so bear with me; this will probably be really random.

I think you should have to pass a speaking test to be a teacher at any level, kindergarten – university. If you talk in an uneducated or hard to understand way…you’re gone.

I learned that China didn’t have drive-thrus until 2005, when McDonald’s opened the country’s first one. Apparently the Chinese had no idea how to use it, either. I guess they don’t watch enough American TV. :P

The stupid display on the head unit in my car keeps coming on and off, mostly off. I wish it would quit and just stay on.

I wish Viz wasn’t so anal about their licensing of Death Note, because that episode that I fake-fansubbed was really fun and I’d love to do more and get them out there somewhere.

I can’t wait until this summer because I want to go to the beach! :D

Well, I guess that’s enough randomness for now.

-Philip

Mardi Gras and Other Stuff

I don’t really feel like recalling everything that happened since my last real update, so I won’t. Quick recap – I spent the entire break with Michelle in Houma. <3 We went to Terranians on Sunday (which my brother rode in), Cleopatra on Monday night, and Houmas and Kajuns on Mardi Gras day. We caught a bunch of crap and gave 99% of it to her parents so they could have it for next year when they ride in the Des Allemands parade. We flew kites in the park on Wednesday too. Pictures are on Facebook of Tuesday and Wednesday, if interested. I went and voted today in the Louisiana primary for Ron Paul. I know it's pointless since Huckabee or McCain is going to win the primary, but hopefully Dr. Paul will still get some delegates from the caucus. I just hope Obama wins the democratic nomination so I have someone to vote for in November. This week is going to be so freaking busy. D: -Philip