Friday, June 30, 2006

Intel-Native Office: The Sooner, the Better

Oh, and while I was at Best Buy I also stopped to briefly try out a MacBook. I was particularly interested in checking out the new keyboard, so when I walked up to it (a black one, for the record), I clicked on the first word processing application I saw in the dock: Word. Wow, it was slow to launch. I didn't time it, but I just tried it on my 2001-vintage, 500MHz G3 iBook and it brought up Word a lot quicker. I didn't try doing anything but opening a new document and typing a little, but just the launch time alone would have me wishing daily for an Intel-native version of Office.

And for the record, the MacBook's new keyboard didn't bother me, nor did the shiny screen.

Vista, First Impressions

Best Buy has a Seagate 120GB hard drive on sale for $50 -- with no rebate nonsense -- so I decided I'd pick one up to throw Vista on. Read on for some of my first impressions.

The installer was a bit lame. I booted off the DVD I'd burned and it installed ok. But when it came to reboot, it booted off the DVD again and wanted to start the install again. I'm not sure if that's just because of my particular PC's BIOS settings, but from when I've done XP installs, I seem to recall it managing to reboot to the hard drive without issues. They could at least add a message saying to remove the DVD before rebooting, since it isn't needed after reboot anyway.

My video card is weak (64MB GeForce4 MX 440) so I can only use the Vista Basic theme. So no Aero for me. Do get at least some of the new effects though. The pulsing blue default button reminds me a lot of Mac OS X. But I do think the new progress bar effect is pretty neat. In programs that support it correctly, anyway. Firefox doesn't. Window borders for non-maximized windows are too big and take up too much space.

The sideways folder icon is silly.

Since I have separate Vista and XP installations, it would be nice if Vista could still recognize and use the apps I have installed in my XP partition, so I don't have to reinstall stuff to use under Vista.

IE7 has tabs. Nice. Firefox was still the first program I downloaded and installed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Windows Vista Is Too Big

I downloaded Windows Vista Beta 2 to install on the spare 6GB hard drive in my PC in order to check it out. It won't fit. I guess Vista will have to wait until I get around to buying a bigger spare hard drive, assuming it ever gets on the PC at all (it's already iffy with my low-end 64MB GeForce4 MX 440 graphics card).

I didn't figure that part out until I'd already wiped out the Ubuntu install on that disk. But that's not a big loss, since I still have Gentoo as my main Linux install on the machine, and the Ubuntu install had completed its purpose of my testing a Linux distribution to recommend besides Gentoo. I approve of Ubuntu, and the network manager in Dapper Drake looks like the next best thing to Mac OS X I've seen yet.