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back to article Latest Vista SP1 tweak open to everyone with a week to spare

Microsoft is now letting the common rabble get its mitts on the latest beta build of Windows Vista Service Pack 1. While the company released the tweak on January 9, it originally restricted the download to approximately 15,000 steely-nerved beta testers. Two days later, the company was feeling more adventurous. Microsoft posted …

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Gates Horns

Wow...

and I thought it was hard figuring out the straight quote from my Auto Mechanic... Geez!

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Happy

I wonder ....

I do wonder if they could make Vista any better ? I had nothing but problems with Vista since its release, with customer after customer coming forward with problems, and my final straw were large file copying over a network, which forced me to force a customer to downgrade all new Dell workstations from Vista to XP just to get them working.

I am no Vista basher, if a product is working, or almost working, I can work with it, but what Vista is doing goes way beyond that point, its almost unworkable in my point of view. If RC1 can improve all the showstoppers, then may be I will give it another try, otherwise, more XP licence will be coming this way.

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Silver badge

Welcome to the world of beta (Microsoft release) testing

Your mission should you decide to accept it.....

...this mission will self destruct in 6 months (maybe less!)

Why would anyone decide to TEST a service pack is beyond me.

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I'd like to test but...

I don't think I can stand having Vista on my PC for 4 days.

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... Wonder not!

I have been running a variety of builds of SP1 for over 6 months now and have been *much* heartened by the radical improvements ... particularly to file-copy perf, networking perf, reduced disk t(h)rashing, massively improved sleep/hibernate and many other issues.

Herby: One tests an SP to make damn sure that it doesn't unnecessarily break something in your environment and that if it promises to solve a particuilar problem, then it damn well does so.

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Multiple reboots?

Are you serious?

It's bad enough that windows update "sometimes" (ie usually) requires a reboot. Its unacceptable that it "sometimes" (ie frequently) does a reboot, even though you've told it not to reboot and/or that it persistently nags you if you persistently say NO NOT YET and then does it the moment you turn your back, despite the fact there are important jobs running which can't be interrupted.

However, multiple reboots -- that's just plain STUPIDER THAN STUPID and INCOMPETENTER THAN INCOMPENTENT.

I'll say this just once.

BILL GATES, ITS HIGH TIME YOU RESIGNED AND WERE REPLACED BY SOMEBODY THAT UNDERSTANDS HOW TO DESIGN MAINTAINABLE SYSTEMS THAT *D*O*N*T* NEED REBOOTING EVERY FIVE MINUTES, or better still don't require rebooting at all -- and above all, never ever without the user's permission.

Did you hear that ? Well, did you?

And if you don't understand WHY the above is necessary, then its definitely high time you went.

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Pirate

The mandatory joke

Lets add the mandatoy joke...

Would it work properly before the deadline?

Does it behave like other OSs, and get faster, not fatter with each update (like OSX and Linux)

Does it allow you to use you computer in the way you wish, like playing the "Premium Content" you want on the screen you want. (Like OSX and Linux)

Does it make life simpler, with only one low price, one version, and one method of operation (i.e. Working properly rather than "Dragging it's gonads across a variety of rough surfaces")

I don't think any amount of downloads with overly long names and an even longer installation processes will fix these problems.

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Bronze badge

@Herby

Some has to test it. If no one does it will be you and me that test it.

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Pfft! Opens favorite beverage

Here's to another lousy millennium.

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J
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One hour?

THAT was funny! After the software tells you (does it?) "completed", wait an hour just in case it decides to do something else? I wonder how many times before MS software behaved like this, but we didn't know and happily proceeded to turn the thing off or whatever...

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Gates Horns

Mission critical systems

> Caution: If you install this on any mission-critical machinery you are quite simply mad.

I take this to mean your talking about Vista itself, rather than the RC of SP1?

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Works well for me......

For a beta release it's working very well on my work laptop and my home Media Center.

Tried it on the laptop for a few days just to test it but's been so good I went ahead and installed on my media center too

Seems to dramatically speed up my file transfers and system start up is also alot faster.

Have yet to see any bugs or crashes, if you're having any problems with Vista it's well worth installing it.

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Happy

That reminds me

I must go and check if there any important debian updates, and if there are, maybe select a few to install while I browse the interwebby

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Paris Hilton

An hour of scary thoughts...

So what exactly is it doing in that hour? There is only one logical conclusion to take from this recommendation: MS do not fully understand SP1-RC1's install process. There's something happening that they can't predict, and so cannot delay the 'Installation finished' message to account for it.

This means that they've run a few tests, found the longest observed time that it takes for this 'thing' to occur (or at least, for evidence of it to appear), and then, if we're lucky, multiplied it by a random integer. Murphy's Law states that someone somewhere is going to be a statistical improbability. Sorry - correction. Murphy's Law states that *you* are going to be a statistical improbability.

Actually, I can think of one other logical conclusion: that MS is collecting some sort of data, but it absolutely positively cannot be stored on disk (evidence, obviously!), so you have to wait to make sure that it's had a chance of getting through to the MS servers....which surely means you'd need to wait longer than an hour, eh?

PH icon, as surely she's sifting through the data as we speak.

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Happy

RE: Devon Buchanan

Actually, Linux has grown massively since the Good Ol' Days - it used to be several floppies, whereas now most distributions worth downloading are at least two CDs and then need more downloads/RPMs/whatevers to build into a useful system.

There are only three types of people actually downloading this Beta - firstly, the stupidly optimistic who think it will cure the Vista they installed under the delusion of the same stupid optimism; the legal but morally-light consultants that are looking to fleece the stupidly optimistic by learning where the new bugs are in advance and then selling their services under the promise of alleviating the pain of the stupidly optimistic; and lastly, the criminal hackers, whom are looking to thoroughly fleece the stupidly optimistic by finding security holes in the new SP (though it must be pointed out the last group are probably the ones working hardest!).

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Emo
Alert

hmm

So now we've beta tested Vista for 12 months (retail) we now get another wee test. Oh joy of joys.

I think'll wait till the official SP1 comes out.

Having said that, it's been fine for me, apart from not liking a BIOS update.. oops!

/coat

/door

/pub

PS to the first poster - aren't you aware Bill G is leaving Microsoft?

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Multiple Reboots

Now, I may not be completely clued in with how Vista works, having only used it a handful of times, but i don't understand this whole multiple reboots and leaving an hour thing.... Surely the reboots are to make sure it hasn't fudged your mbr/boot and the hour is to make sure there are no background processes still running that were started but surely good design concepts mean this is all supposed to be sorted anyway?

Its not like this is an alpha test, for god's sake

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Alert

I'd rather have an RC to play with than not...

I dunno why people who don't OBJECTIVELY try a new OS for more than a few days waste time bashing it. Just stay with XP or OSX or Linux or whatever and be content that you're so much more brilliant than everyone else.

Personally, since I'm a tablet guy (TabletPC, Wacom tablet on the desktop), I've been running Vista since RTM for over a year for the extra inking capabilities. It has been more stable than XP on the same hardware (have run it on 2 tablets and one desktop).

Yes, Vista has some performance issues, and yes there are a couple games that still suck bag, and yes some hardware manufacturers still include better software for XP than Vista... a good example there being my ASUS motherboard includes Vista HD audio drivers, but no software to remap the audio ports for stereo/surround configs... under XP, that little app is there. In my case, several new and very useful features more than make up for that stuff IMHO.

What is definitely missing is some high-end hardware support (e.g. Infiniband), which at least is out there for XP... but I know I'm in the minority there having IB at home ;) That support will come... it only took 4 years or so for XP to get support.

For the record, if not for the tablet thing, FreeBSD is my OS of choice. Booya.

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Gates Horns

more chrome plating, that just doesn't work

As a "statisticaly improbable" and stupidly optimistic acquaintance of mine said in reply to an email from me about the 130 days file copying ... err FEATURE ...

"verry funny.. you know sp1 is out for vista now.. I'm sure they fixed everything !!"

ya right, maybe I can sell him a bridge....

the stink was/is getting soo bad, that M$ began trying to cover it up with the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC Refresh, which provides a thicker chrome plating for the biggest turd ever dropped anywhere period.

Who else is betting that this floater is the better part of a 1GB download? ... wait, its the WORST part .. oh and its 436.5 MB.

Your time and bandwidth would be better spent downloading the Netinstall ISO for Debian 4.0r2, its a lot simpler and easier to deal with, and probably able to run more programs from previous windows versions than Fistya will ever be able to.

http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/

:-p

Call me a fanboi if you like but at least I have enough brain cells to know that Vindows Wista is more hindrance, hair pulling, wailing, moaning, gnashing of teeth, and embarrassment than it is functional.

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Re: I dunno why

Gosh, you're right. After all, reading about embedded DRM, increased nannying and scores of functionality being ripped out is no reason to not want to play with the product, is it ? And 20 different license versions is absolutely not a reason to complain, hmm ?

Because, really, if you're told that a new product will OBJECTIVELY decide that you cannot read a DVD without even asking your opinion, well it's not a problem, now is it ?

Absolutely not. Now why don't you go and play some more with the nice man in the white coat ? He has some ice cream for you and he'll take you to the park, promise.

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Paris Hilton

Testing service packs

I'm running XP SP3 RC on my laptop. First thing I notice is it suspends and resumes MUCH faster. I haven't noticed much more speed elsewhere, really, but so far everything is ok. Second major thing I've noticed is not once have I had to power-off my laptop because Explorer (the desktop) hung on me. Maybe better drivers, who knows, but I don't care as it just seems to work better.

On my desktop system I have installed XP x64 Edition and I absolutely love it. Fast, stable, full 4GB of memory available and I can go to 8GB if I want or need, which I may for running several Virtual PC instances.

I've noticed that there's not much mention of pros or cons of Vista x64 specifically. As Vista and XP x64 are cousins, I would like to assume that Vista x64 runs much better than its x86 sibling. Anyone??

Paris icon because I fell in love with a Paris Hilton look-alike last Halloween.

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The last line... Ok I'll bite, I'll bite...

Was vista ever working 'properly' at all in the first place?

Hmmm... even Leopard >>> Vista. That's saying a lot, since Leopard is shite.

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This is getting ridiculous

Several reboots for a service pack? An aopparently it doesn't even solve the major issues? MS engineers must be out of their minds to expect it's customer to go for this (and call this a RC).

Despite being a microsoft person, for my last computer I made the jump to Ubuntu in order to avoid Vista until the bugs were fixed. I don't think I'l come back to vista for anything except maybe my game machine. Ubuntu has it's own share of user unfriendly features (such as having to download some restricted driver and the componant to read commercial DVDs) but:

- When I see the issues the people with vista (the few that didn't downgrade to XP yet) have, I think I made the good choice

- Once you have configured everything it works fast and reliable

- At least Ubuntu is free, you don't have to shell out 200€ for something that works badly.

- I have yet to see an update that requires a reboot (but I didn't upgrade the kernel yet).

I won't "upgrade" my XP machines to Ubuntu because they work fine with XP, but for the time being no: Vista installs in my home. For now MS definitely lost a customer with me.

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Flame

Terrific

Im trying to install the current updates on Vista Ultimate 64bit and its gone wrong,

it keeps sticking on 1 out of 6. (after leaving it on ALL night and next day)

ive tried to install the updates seperately and it always says (after log out / on / turn off etc) that there is an install in progress.

(basically its locked, and wont unlock the update it thinks its doing.)

i played for about an hour last night and still no joy.

im hopeing there are some none criptic solutions out there to unlock a windows vista auto update (insert yeah !right here)..

if this is anything to go by people may mever even get SP1 installed and hence have no choice to start again.

now i do like (well some of the time) Vista, but if i had to reinstall and start again, i have to admit XP+SP3 would be where i went.

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First for everything

"The final release date is based on quality"... whaddya know, if he's telling the truth it might actually work, or be here in 2009/10/11/<enter year of your choice>...

I still won't use it though, as a matter of principle

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I have to ask

The article says things like it needs to reboot

"Multiple times"

and

"Two to three updates are also required before RC Refresh can be installed — with a restart required after each one. Users then move on to Windows Update readying the prerequisites for the pack "over the next several days."

Are we talking about Vista or SP1. You need to download something to then update on Vista and that requires multiple reboots half the time.

But I think

"Microsoft instructs users to wait one hour after uninstalling so Windows can "clean up and complete the uninstall" prior to installing RC Refresh. "

Says it all. They can't even run an uninstall properly. Even a beta can have a reg edit tool written to remove correctly.

Think I will skip it.

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Boffin

I smile smugly...

...knowing that there are VMS machines out there with uptimes longer than any given M$ Windoze release lifetime.

I can't imagine owning a computer, only to turn its operation over to a company that thinks it knows your needs and desires better than you do. Everything I hear about Vista has been bad from the get-go; why on Earth would anyone subject themselves to such torture?

Thankfully I dumped M$ for Linux on my home PC several years ago.

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Gates Halo

@ Bill should resign

I don't think Bill actually does the low-level design of every product Microsoft produces any more.

But I could be wrong - he could be a multiple-brained cyborg alien with an IQ of 10,000 and a perception of time about 200 times slower than us mortals, allowing him to do the hundreds of thousands of manhours of work per year that it would require.

In which case, he definitely should *not* resign :)

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Gates Halo

Vista problems?

All I can say is I installed Vista on my desktop and it has worked perfectly since it was installed. The install asked just two questions and went about it’s business. No problems, automatic updates work fine and I have not had a single crash, I even feel slightly left out since I have not seen any evidence of any of the bugs (file copy times etc) that so many people report.

I use Ubuntu on my Laptop and this has worked perfectly since it was installed. The install was just as simple as the Vista install (apart from having a visit to the forums to find out how to set everything up so that the MASSIVE text that appeared on screen, meaning I couldn’t log-in to the graphic environment), the updates work fine and I have not had a single crash.

Personally (being VERY lazy) I think Windows is easier to use and also to find solutions for questions you may have since there are so many sources of information, I found the Ubuntu forums rather intimidating since, when you asked a simple question, you would invariably be greeted with either withering scorn that you probably shouldn’t be using Ubuntu because your clearly not intelligent enough or a (perfectly Valid) very, very, very obscure command line string to type in to the terminal without really understanding what the command was going to do.

Now if they could only make Ubuntu as useable as Windows (i.e. no command line stuff at all, unless you really, really want to) then "they" could be on to a winner.

Oh, and as for Bill, no matter what you think of him or his company they don’t call it Micro$oft for nothing, after all he's the one in the solid gold mansion driving to work each day in his rocket car (Slight paraphrase from Chester Lampwick there) :-)

As for Beta testing service packs, I’ll leave that to others, as I said I am a lazy, lazy man.

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Stop

@Pascal Monett

The DRM will go the way of all DRM, it will be canned within another year, the increased nannying can be turned off in 2 minutes, and where is the functionality that is being ripped out, are you talking about the (terrible) GDI being deprecated? Or MS actually following up on threats they've been making for the last six years to make their best programming practises compulsory? Everything I need I have, network performance is fixed in the SP for me, when I suspend my USB soundcard is now fixed on waking up, leaving my one gripe, which is that I can't easily edit files in the Program Files dir.

Seriously, stop.

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Hurray! A service pack!

I am REALLY excited about this service pack! I bet it fixes all the problems i've ever had with Vista! I love microsoft!

.......and now i've spent all the money i was paid to say that on beer, so i can come back to reality. I will never, and i mean NEVER, put vista on a machine. Not even as part of my job. We are currently re-imaging any new laptop/desktop that comes in, replacing vista with xp.

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Paris Hilton

RE: Rebecca Putman - hope the smile is flameproof!

"Uptime.... <drone, drone>.... " Oh, so it must be running old VMS like 7.x? Yeah, so much use that you have to use Linux for your home PC. If VMS was so good you'd have a DS10 or 15 at home and wouldn't need a PC and Linux, or could it be that the application set is so tiny it makes zero sense to have VMS as a PC replacement?

And if I wanted an antiquated batch OS I'd choose MPE over VMS any day of the week, at least MPE was POSIX compliant for years, so you could do simple stuff like "cd" rather than the horrors of "$set def $<hostname>$<drive>:[000000]".

No, I don't have Vista on any of my systems (do I sound that crazy!?!?! - OK, don't answer that one!), BUT this is a BETA of an SP so I am not surprised it needs several reboots. It is only after the bugs have been ironed out that the M$ team will then work on making it a single-reboot install when it goes GOLD. I have done work with Linux updates (and VMS patches) where there was a reboot after every patch..... This whole process is just like XP - lots of bad noise followed by gradual acceptance followed by resistance to upgrade. Just like XP, I will let some other mugs find the bugs, then in a year's time I'll get my finally tested and capable Vista, but not before then.

Paris Hilton 'cos I'm being steretypically sexist and assuming your post was due to blondeness! :P

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@Andy ORourke

What forums are you visiting? The UF I hang out on is one of the most friendly and helpful tech forums around. It is one of Ubuntu's biggest advantages.

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Latest RC is pretty good, so far

The previous one had problems with suspending, and turning monitors off and on - not so with this release.

Vista x64 so far is fast, stable, and I quite like the Unix subsystem. Given some interface and UAC tweaks, it might even be better than XP.

I need to bash it a bit more to see if there's any showstoppers, but so far I've seen zero problems with this beta (more than could be said for previous ones).

Now all Microsoft need to do is kick driver writers up the arse to improve the quality of their work..

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What beta?

M$ does test by public using so call released final products. What beta you are talking about? Nowadays, there is no such thing as beta. What used to be beta, is now final release. For M$, it is not even beta, it is alpha release as final.

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Gates Horns

yup

Roll on XP SP3.........

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@Mahou Saru

Please tell us what Ubuntu forum you found that is friendly and helpful.

Seriously, I use Ubuntu in a VM as I need to write software that works under Linux, but I avoid it as much as possible because I frequently find I have small problems and when I drop into a forum to ask for help I invariably get some form of "If you don't understand that then you are to stupid to use a real OS so f**k off back to Bill and s**k his ****" or "If you had any sense you would have Googled that before asking here so wouldn't need to ask - so we're not going to tell you"

If I ever have a Windows problem that needs to be asked in a forum I get tons of helpful and friendly advice.

I really want to break free from M$, but it seems that I still don't qualify to be let into the "Real Geeks Club" which would allow me to get things running properly.

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Gates Halo

What's the problem?

Were in the process of installing this on all our desktops at the bank (to fix the file transfer issue) and haven't had any problems with it. It's a lot easier than doing Unix.

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@kirstian

Re your updates that won't install. Run sfcscan from the DOS prompt. (Remember to change to admin privileges first) Reboot, and try again.

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Linux

Re: What's the problem?

Seriously guys, the whole Windows management is easier than Unix/Linux is overrated. It all depends which solution you chose/implemented. I don't find one harder than the other.

That being said, to the man cursing after Bill Gates (who stepped off long time ago), use something else, make your heart happy.

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Coat

@AC

"Were in the process of installing this on all our desktops at the bank (to fix the file transfer issue) and haven't had any problems with it. It's a lot easier than doing Unix."

Hopefully, you are joking. If not, hopefully you are well paid by Bill. If not, then hopefully your bank is not one that i use.........

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@Maty

Nice one, i will try that when i get home.

Cheers

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Go

@maty

sfc /scannow

Does anyone know if this SP1 will cripple the pre-activated versions of Vista? (need to know for a friend of a friend)

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Multiple reboots.

My guess would be that the files being replaced are system files that can't be replaced easily when the machine is running (due to security settings) and, also, may reside in memory that is not addressable once the system is running (again, for security reasons). However, that's just a guess based upon some of Vista's features I've seen mentioned -- so it's probably wrong.

On the same subject, am I the only one who found that "restart now" when installing Windows programs and updates has always actually meant "reboot twice", in order to remove run-once registry keys and the like?

Anyhow, I don't know what the fuss is about here -- at least you don't have to recompile the kernel to upgrade. ;~)

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Worked fine for me

Smooth install, less than an hour, no problems with it after a couple of weeks (the original release candidate), Vista definitely seems quicker after.

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Paris Hilton

@ C

"the stink was/is getting soo bad, that M$ began trying to cover it up with the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC Refresh, which provides a thicker chrome plating for the biggest turd ever dropped anywhere period."

Ask permission to use it as a quote for my (private) email... Your are poetry man!

G B

Paris because it's far more interesting than a SP.

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Tom
Coat

Soda?

Is that Yoda's little sister?

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C
Go

@ Gabriele

permission granted :)

Also I've been meaning to mention that I have recently checked out Ubuntu, actually Kubuntu, coz I like KDE. Its smooth sailing, the control panel is lots simpler than even XP, well at least the classic view, then again the default view isn't very functional. And it works well.

Also its noticeably faster than XP on the same machine. I've worked on machines considerably more capable than my own running Vista, and in all honesty it was just as fast as a P100 running windows 95, except for the constant nagging ... so I'm not letting that crap anywher near my personal computer(s).

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Coat

Well

I bought a laptop with Vista home premium installed, had so much bother with it I wiped it off and went to XP on the laptop (plus it certainly didnt have enough ram to run vista, 1gb). I vowed never to return again, but I bought a geforce 8800gt and decided to "upgrade" my main machine to Vista Ultimate X64 and chuck another 2gb memory in it (4gb now). I have to say it has never once crashed and has behaved impeccably, older hardware drivers are obviously a problem but apart from that, dare I say it, it has behaved even better than XP.

Sure I turned off the fast search and modded it a little for quicker system performance, but it has honestly been stable as a rock. Am surprised myself, but am gutted I fell into the hype (which is unlike me, cynical bas*tard!) of DX10 which was my main reason for switching. But it has been solid must say.

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hhhmmmm

been running vista at home, and testing for use here in a production environment, and I have to say it won me over. Yeah, I know, theres still a lot of bugs and glitches to iron out, many of them I suspect more due to user error than anything else. Most of the problems I've had has been either driver-related (in the early days) or having to upgrade hardware to get the best out of it.

I can understand everyones comments regarding this new SP release, but lets be realistic, its public beta testing. The SP is an RC, not a final release, and the whole point is to get it ready for release. Kudos to M$ for fleecing us and using us for free testing, but remember, before you install the final release you WILL HAVE TO UNINSTALL the beta. If you don't like it then wait.

I also find it quite telling that there are two camps here: The "oh no I never will" camp, and the "actually we have and its been fine, really" camp.

For everyone thats bashing vista (for whatever reason) why oh why don't you evaluate it before you write it off? a lot of guys here are IT pro's, yet throwing away a lot of good features by not even bothering to evaluate it...the changes to group policy alone are enough to make me think about introducing to my LAN environment.

:) Flame away.

mines the silver all-in-one asbestos suit btw

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