Social Capital, Pop Culture and Bitching

Billys Biggest Blunder

   Wed, January 24, 2007 - 5:37 PM

Microsoft Vista has several "enhancements" that make it a real horror. Sure, it is pretty, but you need to spend $2000.00 for new hardware to use the most expansive of the pretty new features. The estimates are approximately 71% of computers in use today do not meet the requirements to run Vista. The "horror" part comes in the form of errors in applying the new security policies, the DRM and the licensing.

First, the main change to security involves mimicking Linux in making permanent, separate, administrator and user accounts. This works very well in Linux. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the implementation makes doing anything on your Vista based computer about impossible. You get endless pop ups and roadblocks when you try to do the simplest things. The pre-release testing showed that the testers soon turned off the security features because they were too annoying. It is now a real pain to install anything like a hosts file or other third party security features that help make up for the lack of it in Windows. So much for security.

Next, we have the DRM. Digital Rights Management is what Microsoft and it's partners, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) use to control what you see and hear on your computer. Believe it or not, the RIAA and the MPAA have a tool built into Vista that allows them to revoke your ability to use your computer. Like the other spyware on your computer, this spyware reports back to them what you are doing in real time then allows them to stop your computer if they think that you don't actually own what you are listening to or viewing. Congratulations, you now have a $2000.00 boat anchor, at least until you install Linux on it that is.

Getting treated like a criminal just got easier with Vista. The WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) has been taken to the next level. Not only is the thing continually checking to see if it is really a licensed copy, it also checks every installed program on your computer to see if it thinks those are licensed too. You guessed it, it reports back to Microsoft on it's findings. If it doesn't like what it finds, your computer is disabled. When you "buy" software, you really don't buy it, you license it. The creator still owns it, you just get to use it in consideration of the money you paid out. In past versions of Windows, you can reinstall your operating system as many times as you want. When the viruses keep on messing things up, you can keep on making things new again with fresh installs. This changes with Vista. Now, you get two installs including the original one, before you need to buy it all over again. Linux is looking better and better all the time.


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Wed, January 24, 2007 - 6:10 PM

I always did like penguins.
Wed, January 24, 2007 - 6:15 PM
Over 93% of the people that use a computer only use it for simple word processing tasks and web surfing/email checking. No reason NOT to use Linux.
Wed, January 24, 2007 - 7:31 PM
Yeah, I remember when I was at Circuit City one time, there were two people looking for computers. One said all she wanted was to browse the web, etc., but strangely she went for the most expensive. They wouldn't listen to the salesman at all it seemed. It kind of scares me since I might want to work at a computer store over the summer.

For me though, Windows XP is actually just as good as Windows Vista, except for maybe the integration of all the stuff I've got on my computer. As for the looks, I pay around $40 a year to get Object Desktop. It lets me make my computer look how I want it, and gives me all the flashy effects that Vista has. I don't think I'll be repaying for my subscription this year though since they are moving onto making more stuff for Vista. Fine by me, because they can't really do much more there...

I'm open to what I want to do for my next computer, probably after college. It might be a dual boot Mac or I might go along with Linux depending on where everything is at the time.
Wed, January 24, 2007 - 8:57 PM
I loved desktopx/object desktop. very handy - I'd still use it if this laptop wasn't kind of a weenie.

re: Circuit City.
ask me for some stories some time, I worked there for a few years.
Thu, February 8, 2007 - 6:23 PM
Hmmm do you have any documentation of how these features work precisely (or generally i guess)? Im definitely not pro Windows but i dont think it could possibly be that bad... as in i highly doubt the DRM and License monitoring features are as draconian as youve mentioned and im even more certain someone will find a reltively easy way to neutralize them. Forgive me if i dont have faith in MS ability to produce solid code. :-)

As for the security thing from what ive rea dit sounds similar to OS X except for one very important thing - it never prompts you for an administrator level account user/password and instead just lets you click "Allow" or "Deny". All i can say is you get used to it, and after you get int he habit its no big annoyance. In fact ive even got mine locked down as tight as it will go... all my stuff is enabled with this feature where its availble. I get really suspicious if i dont get prompted... OFcourse i also review all my system logs once a month... so maybe im just paranoid and anal.
Fri, February 9, 2007 - 6:11 AM
I suppose it's in here somewhere;

I read so much so many places who knows what the original articles said.

But as far as all the popups go, human nature will tend toward spacing what all the warning say and it will degenerate into mindless clicking.