Hey, look at that, I’ve figured out how to put the novel cover on my blog. Ain’t technology amazing? (Sometimes I think of that and wonder how quickly any one of us nowadays would get burned as a witch if we suddenly found ourselves in the dark ages with so much as a beeping digital watch…I suppose there’s a short story in that. Hrm.)
So on with the whole geek/laptop experience, I suppose. I’m currently in a Tully’s with a mocha, actually able to type this live because they’ve got free wi-fi. It’s rather surprising that Starbucks and Barnes & Noble don’t have that–I don’t imagine it would cost that much to set up, and I’m sure places that have free wi-fi are able to pull away some of their customers. Then again, there’s a thing such as brand loyalty or just plain habit, so maybe they don’t have to. But hey, I wasn’t going to be talking about that, was I? Maybe later.
This laptop is my first experience with Windows Vista, and so far it’s actually not too bad. Oh, shocking, the Mac vs. PC ads overstated the problems once again. (I really do hate those ads…not really because I’m an avid PC supporter so much as I just dislike strawman arguments. Well, okay, so I dislike commercials in general. Someone needs to start a fund to get Jared from Subway ejected into space.) The whole issue with Vista asking you if you REALLY want to do something you just told it to do (User Access Control) isn’t that big of a deal, mostly because it’s quite easy to turn the sucker off. I suppose I really ought to turn it back on now that I’ve got it set up the way I want it so it can actually do what it’s designed to do–keeping spyware from messing with the system. Even before I turned it off, it wasn’t really that big of a deal. Oh, no, an additional click or two! Whatever shall we do! Precious seconds lost! Come on, people, you know you’d only waste them anyway, right? Oh! Maybe we can all get a class-action lawsuit going against Microsoft for all those lost seconds? …Okay, maybe I shouldn’t blog while shot full of caffeine.
Other than that, it’s not too terribly different from XP. I’m a little torn with regard to the new Start Menu in Vista. I like some things about it–the search function, for example, that pops up a program if you type it in–but I miss the way XP would expand the programs with just a mouse-over. In Vista you have to actually click it, which is a little more of a pain if you’re on a laptop using a touchpad. Maybe there’s a way to change it, but I’m not sure. Then again, on my XP machine at home I use the classic start menu, so maybe even XP doesn’t do that. The file explorer windows are different from XP, too. So far they just seem to be different for the sole purpose of being different; I haven’t noticed any more easy of use. Actually one thing I miss is the button that let you go up a level in the directory. I realized after a while that I can do that by clicking on the names of the directories in the top bar there (okay, so I’m not enough of a geek to know all the technical terms), but so far I’ve yet to learn to do that instinctively the way I have with XP. Perhaps I have issues with change.
The Aero graphics are kind of amusing, and certainly pretty (okay, so I’ve played with the window-tab thing that gives you a 3-D scrolling list of all your open windows a bit too much). As many have said before me, you could just as easily turn it off and free up a bit of computing power, but I rather like having it on. It doesn’t really help me, but there is something to be said for feeling like I’m using the latest new thing. (I paid for a new laptop, it should at least FEEL shiny and now, yes?)
I don’t really have a specific point about Vista so far. If anything this is less of an intelligent article on the subject and more just stream-of-consciousness rambling on a subject I only so far have a passing familiarity with, but it’s good to just write sometimes, if only for the practice. Plus this way I can look like I’m doing something important while I sit here at Tully’s.
I should talk about something more fun next time. Civilization 4 anyone?