I have been running Windows Vista on my personal system now since about January 28th – just a couple of days before official launch.  I just so happen to have my system die on me (don’t get me started on that…) so I figured the timing was good and I would just move to the new operating system and save myself the trouble of upgrading later. 

So far, most of my experiences have been good ones.  The OS went on without too much hassle and driver support out of the box SEEMED to be pretty good.  But now that I am using the OS more and more, I am finding more and more problems.

First, the user account control (UAC) is completely useless.  After clicking “allow” about a hundred times in the first few days, I decided I’d rather be insecure in my OS than secure and annoyed the whole time.  It really puts this Apple ad in perspective

Next, I have had to deal with some nagging graphics driver issues; and I’m not even referring to the problems I found in my Vista Gaming Performance article either.  I use two monitors: a 30″ Dell and a 20″ Dell; (yeah, nice!) and my graphics card is a BFG GeForce 8800 GTS as well.  However, after using Vista for several hours I was noticing some flickering across the open Windows on the desktop when changing focus from one to the other.  It got quite annoying, has happened several times now after reboots so I decided to see if I could find the problem in the taks manager.  So, I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del…

Another Vista Rant - Editorial 3

Click to Enlarge

And was met with this: a garbled screen that is split down the middle with mirroring images.  WTF??  After reboot, the problem went away for a while but did come back.  Well, guess I’ll wait for another driver update…

Did you also notice that Windows Vista has completely killed off any chance your games had of working with multi-channel audio solutions like Creative Lab’s EAX?  Check out this thread at their site that basically details how the new OS forces the hardware audio processing game to end unless they use another audio codec than DirectSound.  Nice, just…nice.

Today though, is when I finally got fed up with the whole damn thing.  I have several printers, most of which I have been able to get to work, even with Windows XP drivers.  However, one of them is attached to a Linksys WPS54G wireless print server device that allows it to act as a local printer in another room on our wireless network.  I’ve had it almost a FULL YEAR and it was working fine under Windows XP.  However, looking for a driver for the print server for Vista on Linksys’ website, I came up empty so i thought iId try the online support chat thing.  Here’s where it gets funny…

Hi, my name is Anna Liza (27415). How may I help you?
Ryan: I’m looking for info on Vista support for this device
Anna Liza (27415): Okay.
Ryan: Running the Print server setup app results in an error when I attempt to finalize it
Ryan: “Set Printer Fail. Error Code: #87” shows up in a pop up
Anna Liza (27415): Are you using a Windows Vista to set up the Print Server?
Ryan: yes, i am running windows vista on this machine
Ryan: the printer server it self has been running for over a year
Ryan: i was just running the utility to try and enable printing to that device on this pc
Anna Liza (27415): Please stay on the line I will check if we do have a driver for Windows Vista to work on the Print Server.
Ryan: ok
Ryan: anks
Anna Liza (27415): ‘Linksys will provide support for the Microsoft Windows Vista operating systems on select products. However, some Linksys products may require driver or firmware upgrades as a necessary step to assure the highest possible level of quality and compatibility with Windows Vista.

Updates may not be immediately available for all supported products and some products released prior to the launch of Windows Vista may not be upgradeable at any point. A full list of supported products is available at: Linksys.com/vista.’

This is for everybody’s information and compliance.

Ah, okay, a hidden Vista support page on Linksys’ website!  I’ll just head there and find my device…  Wait, its not list on the page at all…

Another Vista Rant - Editorial 4

Hmmm…”there is no plan to support the product with Windows Vista.”  Well then.  I decided that maybe I’d missed something here and decided to ask what “Anna Liza” thought (btw, does that sound like some l337 / ebonics way of saying “analyzer” to any one else?):

You: so
You: my product is not listed there?
You: so that means no support for it ever???
You: *If your Linksys product does not appear on any of these three lists, there is no plan to support the product with Windows Vista.
You: but there are NO print servers listed….?
Anna Liza (27415): Yes if they are not list then it will not work.
Anna Liza (27415): I do apologized for the inconvenience that had caused you.

You: um
You: inconvenience isn’t really the word there
You: more like theft

I think that gets the point across pretty well.  But no worries, Linksys support has all the answers!!!

Anna Liza (27415): I know what you feel right now Ryan.

Do you?!?  Do you really??  Cause I don’t think so.  I spent $400 on a brand new OS so that I could be one with the universe or something and now I don’t even have the ability to print double sided color documents across the house???  So to paraphrase, this $100 print server is now useless; thanks!

Windows Vista CAN be a good operating system for users, even today, if everything you have is new or you’ve checked for software support BEFORE UPGRADING!  Otherwise, I’d sit back and chill on your Windows XP machine, knowing that hey, at least your crap works.

Feel free to head into this thread in our forums to discuss this rant and your own experiences with Windows Vista.