Roy Schestowitz wrote:
Wayne's Old Computer Gets Vista
,----[ Quote ] Opinion: Will a 2-year-old, but high-end, workstation
run Microsoft's new operating system? [...] Jan. 31, 9 a.m.: I tried
to investigate video cards again, and this time the NVidia site
worked, so I downloaded the list of cards that would work. Then I
called HP to find out which one I should use in my xw8000. [...]
(Feb. 8) 9 a.m.: IE7 still is speaking in Chinese. I check the
language settings. English is the only one selected. [...] Later that
Day: Promises of help arrive from Microsoft and from Symantec.
Actual help, however, does not. At least NAV will run for 72 more
days, and it tells me I'm virus-free. Time to set my Chinese
speaking, virus-free, workstation aside and let the news editor know
that I'm alive and will be writing today. Will the Vista problems be
solved? Probably not before next week. `----
Linux should only take minutes to install. It usually comes with all
the necessary software and rarely requires hardware upgrades.
A simple 'upgrade' of Windows sounds like a long journey judging by
this story from a guy who pretty much knows what he's doing. This
makes you woonder if Windows is an O/S for people who like to tinker
and handle complexity.
For his system to default to simplified Chinese is nothing new. After
all, as a cost saving measure, has not just about all tech support that
used to be western based been farmed out to the Orient? Actually I am
However, this next bit of information by Wayne I found interesting. He
ran into some difficulties nVidia on both operating systems. (nVidia
are proprietary drivers for Linux.) However, you would have expected
that the Vista version would have worked flawlessly.
Now, the GeForce 6200SE is no speed demon. Instead of having its own
video RAM, it cannibalizes 256MB of the system's main RAM. No one
expects to get any kind of WOW experience from this card.
What I did expect, though, was, given the rest of the system, to be
able to at least run Vista's fancy-pants new GUI, Aero, decently.
While I was installing Vista, it told me that my "Windows Experience
Index" was going to be 2.4. Let me translate that for you: my
graphics quality was going to be mediocre. A 3.0 is considered
adequate for Aero.
What I learned from this experience is that Microsoft has low-balled
Vista's requirements even more than I had thought they had.
Seriously, if you're going to run Vista and you want Aero, get a
high-end video card with 256MB of dedicated memory -- 512MB would be
What he has just stated is what I had expected. Running Vista will
require faster and greater resources to run this resource intensive
(more than Windows XP) operating system. This is the caption between
two graphic resource usage displays, Windows Manager and kInfo Center
With both systems completely idle except for their memory map
programs and the screenshot program, MEPIS has a memory footprint of
less than 100MB, while Vista is pounding down its foot with over
half-a-gigabyte of RAM.
This coincides with Rex Ballard's observation of a laptop using 700 MB
of memory and Vista without other software running. That 2 GB RAM
requirement for optimal Vista experience recommended in another
reviewer's observation sounds about right.
Now, that may change as Microsoft puts dollars into hardware vendors'
hands to support Vista. But, for now, if you're going to upgrade
your operating system on an existing PC, Linux gives you the better
shot of everything working correctly.
On the other hand, if you're planning on viewing or listening to
DRM-protected media of any sort, Linux is clearly going to give you
better hardware support. By incorporating DRM into the operating
system, Microsoft is going to make it very difficult for everyone
from PC DVR (digital video recorder) users to just a guy who wants to
play a DRM-crippled CD to be certain that everything will work
Adding insult to injury, since DRM protection schemes must evolve
constantly, to stay ahead of hackers tearing them down, I have little
doubt that one day you'll come home to find that a Vista update to
DRM-protection has just locked you out of your media collection. You
know, the same collection, which had worked just fine the day
before. Repeat after me: DRM does not belong in operating systems.
DRM of itself is another can of worms:
My test system's high-end audio outputs are S/PDIF (Sony/Philips
Digital Interface Format) compliant. S/PDIF is probably the most
common high-end audio port around for PCs today. It also has no
built-in DRM (digital rights management) capability, and that turned
out to be an important matter.
When I switched back to Vista, I tried to play Wilco's Yankee Hotel
Foxtrot CD. Whoops! Not a single sound emerged from my speakers.
After a little investigation, I found that Vista disables media
outputs that don't incorporate DRM, when you try to play DRM
protected media through them.
My test system's high-end S/PDIF audio port lacks built-in DRM.
Without that functionality, Vista won't play music through the PC's
speakers with Windows Media Player 11. MEPIS, on the other hand, has
no trouble playing online music. In this case, I'm using Streamtuner.
(Click to enlarge)
That was a kick in the head. I have a fully legal CD in my hand. Any
other version of Windows will play it, Linux will play it, Mac OS
will play it, and my CD player will play it, but if you're using
S/PDIF for your computer-driven audio and Vista, you're out of luck.
If you have a card with a Toslink optical digital audio port, you
will be able to play it.
That is an eye opener. He is not able to play a legal CD with Vista.
Oh, and I got a little chuckle at the news feed display for weather he
has in Mepis Debian based distro's task bar at the top: