Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Will Microsoft Vista Work for Me?

The last couple of days we have been in the going back to Texas mode. It takes a bit of planning for us to gather what we need and get ready to leave. But now Taylor has had a haircut and bath. Ned and I have haircuts. Lists are made of what to take and what to bring back.

One of the things on my list is a new computer. Mine is three years old....still working but I depend on my computer so much with all the digital imaging that I do. So I thought that I would take this one back to leave in Houston at my son's house for when we are visiting and I'd bring a new, super-dupper one back. Just one problem and that is figuring out if all my peripheral equipment will work with the new Vista operating system.

I've heard some people complain about Vista. If it is just the differences in how the machine operates, I can get use to it. I had used Windows 2000 and I loved that operating system but my next PC came with Windows XP Media Center. At first I wanted to kick the computer fairly often because it didn't work the same way. I had to learn and change but now I love the operating system. I'm sure I'll feel the same way with Vista until I figure out its little quirks.

I can adjust but I'll not be a happy camper if my cameras, scanner, printer and monitors don't want to play with Vista or maybe I should say if Vista doesn't want to play with them. This peripheral compatibility problem seems to be one of the issues that people have complained about. I've run a Microsoft program to analyze my current PC to see if it could be upgraded to Vista....not that I ever want to upgrade an operating system on an old computer. This program analyzed not only the innards of the PC but also the peripheral equipment that I had connected. The report said that everything would work.

But my friend Frank, who just bought the computer that I'll probably buy, brought up an issue. He wasn't sure that his 18 month old monitor was Vista certified. Uh-oh, my NEC MultiSync LCD 1980 SXi monitor is three years old. Was it going to work with Vista? A monitor for me is a big deal. It has to be one that can be color calibrated and that usually means it isn't just any monitor so that means it costs more money. I don't want to have to buy a monitor AND a computer at the same time. I went to the NEC website and couldn't find anything about Vista certification of their monitors so I sent an email to NEC's tech support. This morning I had two answers from NEC, one of them was signed with a name of a person....not just signed Tech Support....and both of them said that it would work fine with Vista.

I was hoping that my friend Frank would get his new computer all loaded with programs and hooked up to all his photo toys so I could let him be the guinea pig. Since we use a lot of the same stuff, I'd know where the pitfalls might be. But he is so busy that it might be another week or two before he is fully connected. I'm left wondering if Vista is going to work for me. And I'm left wondering if maybe I should just wait until the next trip back to Texas.....after all what I have now IS working. You know that old saying about "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Or "Don't open up a can of worms."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amiga -

I brought two new computers to Mexico(now almost 8 months old) both have VISTA.

I am pretty sure I don't like it much - but I tend to try and stay in the 'now' with my computer gear.

It is really less user friendly for the in depth user - in other words VISTA has added some distance between behind the scenes and a strict end user. The added hoops to get in depth is irritating but not insurmountable.

Almost all my software crossed over with some twiddling (minor).

Microsoft has had some false start OS's - but I think VISTA is here to stay and it is probably best to just go with it.

It does grow on you as well - now I pretty much have no problem with it - unless I have to force a program to quit and some extra steps to do file management.

I guess my short answer is go with it. Email me if you get in a jam - perhaps I can help.

John Calypso

Jonna said...

I have a forum friend who is a designer and has a very expensive large format printer. She's going through hell trying to get what she needs for this printer to work with her new pc and Vista. She would love to go back to XP but something in the computer prevents it.

I'd suggest going to the sites for your printer and scanner and see if they have updated drivers for Vista or if they say it will work out of the box.

wayne said...

Billie - short and sweet, I HAATE VISTA! But I agree with Juan that we are stuck with it. As of this June, XP will no longer be available and June 2009 will see the end of all support for it. None of my programs that have to be loaded from a CD (games, photo editing, etc) will work on Vista. I had to buy a new printer because Vista was not compatible with my old Lexmark. And Vista is not backwards compatible at all. Hardly anything that worked on a previous version of Windows will work with Vista....unless you buy it new. Most irritating is that programs stop running for no reason at all. You have to stop them in Task Manager, or Vista will give you a warning that the program has stopped responded and then shut down every window that you may have open. Maddening if you are in the process of uploaded pictures or a video to your blog! I don't think you have any other choice than to go with Vista though.

Anonymous said...

Wayne have you tried to run these programs in the Windows XP operating mode?

If you go to properties (right click) on the exectuable program you will find access to changing the way a program is affected by the VISTA OS - you might remember this feature from Windows 98 programs adapting to Windows XP - the compatiability mode.

You may have done all this - but it is just a thought.

John C.

Anonymous said...

Wayne have you tried to run these programs in the Windows XP operating mode?

If you go to properties (right click) on the exectuable program you will find access to changing the way a program is affected by the VISTA OS - you might remember this feature from Windows 98 programs adapting to Windows XP - the compatiability mode.

You may have done all this - but it is just a thought.

John C.

Billie said...

I have checked to see if I can d/l drivers for my scanner and large format printer. I can. Which version of Vista is causing problems. I've heard that the best to get is Vista Premium 32 bit. The 64 bit version can be problematic because fewer programs are ready for it. I looked at computers today and asked questions about the computer and Vista. Amazing that I know more about the equipment and issues than do the sales people at Circuit City. At least at Micro Center if they don't know the answer they try to look it up.

I'm still undecided about what to do. Buy now or buy later.

Anonymous said...

"Amazing that I know more about the equipment and issues than do the sales people at Circuit City."

Doesn't surprise me at all - the dumbing down of America has been in 'progress' for quite a while.

Yes premium 32 bit is the way to stay out of trouble for the time being - I think.

John

wayne said...

John, could you send me an email about the Vista issue? Don't want to use her blog for our discussion! I think I am linked in the sidebar here, Gringo in Paridise. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Six months ago when I decided to upgrade - and after years of thinking about it - I made the switch to Apple. I could not be happier. Photoshop, printer, etc. all work as they should. And I love the Time Machine feature for doing automatic backups of all my files. Establishing my LAN for file sharing between desktop and laptop computers was a breeze and I can easily run one computer from the other with screen sharing. Maybe I am missing something but with the fairly frequent difficulties Microsoft has with OS changes, I can understand why more and more people are making the move to Apple.