Friday, July 27, 2007

vista really really sucks

If only it were fast. Someone once made the comparison that it takes longer to do a task under Vista than it did to perform the same task on an early Mac. I think that claim may be exaggerated, but the speed of the OS is certainly a huge issue. Huge enough that I'll bitch about it here even though they're helping me pay the bills. Perhaps Microsoft should think of it this way - if Vista was fast, I'd be a hell of a lot more productive than I am right now.

My general gripe with performance is that the OS can be so unresponsive at times that it's like a flashback to the days of old. See below.

The examples:

Booting up:
I love the Standby feature and how well it works in XP. I can close my laptop, reopen it and I'm right back where I left off in a matter of a few seconds. When I first got my new
2.0GHz 2GB laptop, I tried the lovely Standby feature only to discover that it took much longer to come back out from it's slumber and my network connections would also be permanently dead. Solution: Hibernation. I used hibernation back when I was on Windows 2000 because Standby still left the fan on for my laptop back then. Because it keeps all my work open, it's still better than a full reboot, and it's a whole lot faster. So how does XP do hibernation? Poorly. Without taking measurements, it takes just about as long to come out of hibernation, if not longer. Every morning I come in, plug in my laptop, press the power button, go to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, then come back to my laptop. Regularly I still see the white on black text for loading the BIOS for some components. Occassionally I get the Vista splash screen. Usually though I see the login screen. Sometimes it responds to Ctrl+Alt+Del, sometimes it doesn't. If it does, sometimes it's ready to take my password, sometimes I need to give it a few moments to think and try again. Afterwards logging in is when the real adventures take place. About once a month, I can get up an running within a minute or two of logging in. Usually it takes more along the order of ten minutes. Yesterday I rolled in at 9:53 from a meeting thinking that I would have plenty of time to shoot over an e-mail to some people to let them know I'd be OK to meet at 10am. Long story short(er), the e-mail didn't make it. Instead, I walked downstairs to deliver the message in person, hoping Robin could relay the message over to Caroline. Too late. No meeting. After getting back upstairs, my laptop was still churning away. I couldn't change windows, I couldn't open programs. My laptop was working, but doing its best to ignore me. It was 10:07, almost 15 minutes since I had tried to bring it out of its deep sleep. What does the experience remind me of? It reminds me of trying to browse Web sites over dial-up, but worse. Even that was usually more responsive.

General sluggishness:
I'm not sure if this is IE7, Outlook 2007, Office 2007, of Vista, but my guess is Vista. You may be asking how I came to classify this as general sluggishness. Let me try to paint a clearer picture. I find myself attempting to do basic tasks, like closing windows, moving windows, opening programs twice. Why? Because it takes longer than expected. Don't get me wrong - this doesn't happen all the time, but it certainly happens enough to piss me off. If I ask for a simple task like closing a window, just close it! Same with opening an e-mail outside of the preview pane. It's just an e-mail! I can open Photoshop 7.0 on my XP laptop in just about the same amount of time. That's just ridiculous. Perhaps it's because I'm used to how responsive XP is. Or maybe today's developers are so far removed from the days of 8MHz computers that they no longer even think of responsiveness. I don't know, but what I do know is that the amount of waiting that goes on reminds me of when computers used floppies and I would know when I would expect to have to wait for the computer to complete complex or I/O intensive commands. I haven't had to do that for years. It's as if I'm living in the past.

Vista isn't all bad though. And some things are fast. The photo viewer app is MUCH faster than the one in XP. I can't seem to understand how they still haven't figured out how to rotate images automatically for display based on EXIF information. Flickr can do it. Freeware jUploadr can do it. Why the hell can't Microsoft's photo utility do it?


Anonymous said...

Instead of bitching about the problem, fix it. You work for them! Write a memo or something.

mbagladiator said...

maybe u should work for apple...