Windows Vista

Well, what an anti-climax it is. OK, I’ve not been as exposed to the hype as I was before the release of XP, but overall Vista’s just so much *yawn*.

I haven’t used it much. Finding someone who’s got it on a machine is quite hard. Everyone I’ve stayed with is still on XP (or Linux in Jörn’s case), as are all the cybercafes. I read that one of the UK PC sales companies even returned a huge number of their install licenses to Microsoft as customers still want XP. I have also heard that the home edition is somewhat unstable while the business or whatever version isn’t bad.

The over-riding impression I get, though, is that it’s just a big fancy graphic-heavy front end that achieves absolutely nothing over XP. It looks pretty, yes. It’s slick, yes. It needs a stupidly powerful PC, yes. But it doesn’t increase productivity, it offers nothing new that you couldn’t download as freeware for XP and… it needs a dog’s bollocks PC to run it.

I’m sure if I played for longer or read up on it, there’s a lot going on under the bonnet in Vista I don’t know about yet. But I don’t care. I’ve slipped from “geek” to “user” over the last 18 months, and looking at it from this perspective I just don’t see the point in “upgrading”.

I can see myself sticking to XP for some time to come. I was still overcoming compatibility problems with older software on that. Shifting to Vista would be a nightmare.

Whoops. Bad wallet.

After a quick trip to Sim Lim Tower I ended up with a PSP seeing as I can’t purchase a Mylo. For the grand total of $543 (£175 at the current exchange rate) I got:

modified PSP (plays all region UMDs)
4Gb memory stick duo with about 15 full games on
utility UMD (required for the games to work)
additional high-capacity battery (3600mAh)
additional external battery charge pack thing (9800mAh)
crystal protective case
USB data cable
UK plug and cable
headphones with remote control

Not bad when you consider that the PSP itself back home is £140, though that pack includes the headphones (as well as a wrist strap and a soft carry case I’d never use).

I’ve had a fiddle with it and the online capability is good, though it does need some kind of keyboard if someone ever developes one. I can send email from GMail with it, but can’t post to this blog for some reason. Blogger “works” until I click “publish” at which point knack all happens.

There’s WMV and MP4 video format compatibility so I now need to find out how easy it is to convert all those episodes of Heroes I nabbed into a viewable format. Plus I’m carrying just shy of 10Gb of mp3s around with me. Another 4Gb card may be a worthwhile investment, especially as the one I have is half-full of games software!

All I need to do now is sit and wait for the batteries to charge. The small one takes over 2 hours, apparently. Hey ho.

Why no Mylo?

I want one of these (you have to have Flash enabled or you’ll get a blank screen – shitty website without even a warning or non-Flash message). Given that Sony have no plans to release a keyboard for the PSP and Logic3 have scrapped their plans to launch one, this little thing is ideal for my travels.

Text files, videos, MP3s, loaded with Skype and a web browser with 802.11x wireless and a diddy keyboard. Spot on.

And only available in the US. Why, Sony, why?

Vista – first attempt

I “used” Vista for the first time yesterday. Norton Internet Security was doing its usual trick on a friend’s laptop (i.e. completely preventing internet access – secure, admittedly, but annoying). I disabled it, popped on Windows Firewall… and then found that no major “free” firewall software yet works with Vista. Hey ho.

Vista *looks* good, but a) software compatibility is lousy, b) hardware compatibility is lousy as you’ve discovered and c) it does everything that XP does, it just needs twice the hardware to do it and make it look pretty at the same time. So what’s the point?

Another win

I got some emails from some old work colleages recently saying that Acer had been in touch trying to locate the TFT screen they mis-delivered to the wrong address.

It also seems the couldn’t find it. According to an email from my dad, “Looks like you are now the proud owner of a brand new Acer 17″ monitor, complete with cables, power supply, etc.”

Score another one for the pissed-off punter. And add another item to your list of things to do if the company you’re dealing with try to **** you over: write to the Managing Director.