Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Windows Vista Build 5536
I have been running Windows Vista on my primary home machine, a Dell Latitude C800. I had recently upgraded the drive on this system from a 4800 RPM drive to a 5600 RPM unit. As such I thought it might be a good time to check out Vista.

I did not play around with most of the cool new stuff like widgets. But I have a few initial impressions. First the UI is really cool. I could not find a driver for the NVidia card in this computer so I imagine its even cooler when you can run it on some accelerated hardware. Sadly I have this system sitting on my desk where I usually use two screens - the laptop display which is an awesome 1600x1200 panel and my trusty Samsung SyncMaster 213T, a 21 inch flat panel. Presumably because vista was running on the generic driver it could not sort out the dual head capability and only offered me one screen. Strike one.

So with one screen I forged ahead. IE 7 has added the tabbed browsing pioneered by Firefox eons ago. IE has kicked it up a notch with two minor improvements. First you can set multiple home pages. This is really cool. Fire up your browser and all of your primary sites are on line. With Saas coming into mainstream this is great. Tab 1 - email. Tab 2 - groups. Tab 3 - Blogger. Tab 4 RSS aggregator. You get the idea. Nice. The second thing I like about IE 7 is that when you right click on link and select "open in new tab" it opens that tab adjacent to the tab you are on. Firefox always opens the new tab last - which is never where you want it unless you were already on the right most tab.

Generally most of my browser pages worked in IE7 with one notable exception. In Blogger there is a screen called "edit posts" and it is a collection of your last n (n=50, 100, etc) blog posts. There is a triangle gizmo on each post which allows you to expand or collapse the content of that post. That is very handy and simply does not work in IE7. Strike two. (Also the home page for the application that my team builds (current working build) is broken in IE 7 - Note to self - get an engineer on that problem.)

The Windows Explorer has a cool improvement that I'll also comment on. The right hand tree view of folders automagically centers the view on the part of the tree that you are working with. By this I mean that there is no scroll bar that you have jack with to get tree centered. As the tree folds out to right and you scroll into that part of the tree - the view port moves to the right so you can see what you are doing. That makes for a very nice experience. Well done.

So the first and most critical application that I needed to install was my Polar Precision software. Basically this is the software that keeps track of my exercise logs and receives the data from my trusty Polar S610i. It is the software that also allows me to publish my HR profiles. I had no problem installing the software, updating it, and loading my data. It actually seems to work pretty well. Until I went to dump the data from my watch that is.

The watch hooks up via IR. The IR port on the latitude can see the watch, but someone is not talking. Just for grins I dug up another IR target I had around here and plugged it into the latitude and it could also see the 610 but could not carry on a conversation with it. Strike three - you're outta here!

So I will ghost off this build and reimage my XP back on this box. Then we can keep an eye on Vista until these problems are solved.

By the way - no crashes - Vista was very stable. But you can't say I stressed it that much.

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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012