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Ross, Tell Us What You Really Think About Windows Vista

By TechnoLawyer Blog | Tuesday, January 22, 2008

[Publisher's Note: Today, a special treat — a guest TechnoEditorial by industry legend Ross Kodner. In the TechnoEditorial below, Ross tells us what he thinks of Windows Vista as only Ross can. — Neil J. Squillante]


Welcome to the wonderful world of Vista (for a similar reference see: "Dante's Inferno" — impossible to distinguish between the two). Here's just one fun My Own Personal Hell (MOPH) observation — drive space disappearing at the rate of sometimes several gigabytes per day. It's because the System Restore function goes completely bonkers and gobbles up tons of space because it creates multiple restore points every day on some systems ... with no good explanation.

On my nearly new Thinkpad T61 which I finally decided to transition to, Vista has so thoroughly screwed itself up and in such a complete unfixable way (won't download updates and as I found, hasn't done so since August — nice). And with that, a what-should-be-screaming T7500 machine with Readyboost built-in, it feels more like a Pentium III with 256 Mb of RAM.

And Microsoft? They won't touch it because it's an OEM copy and say Lenovo needs to help. Lenovo of course says "duh, no clue, call Microsoft." Think about that absurdity — aren't virtually 90+% of Windows copies OEM copies that come pre-installed on new PC systems? That means Microsoft doesn't have to support virtually ANY Windows issues without charging $99 for a service incident? Oh, but wait — Microsoft says they will support for free, any issues related to update problems with Windows. But I challenge anyone to try and find out how to contact them for free on such an issue. On the U.S. Microsoft site, if you click on ANY of the links on this subject, you get jetted off on a digital Concorde to the Microsoft U.K. Web site — pages having nothing to do with support. That's nice (said in a mocking Borat voice).

Before you get too deep into setting up a new Vista machine, you should read my newest CLE materials on Vista right now. If you're going the masochistic route and staying with MOPH, then by all means, please do the things I've recommended — all learned the hard way after nearly a year with Vista.

But for me, faced with the prospect of having no choice but to do a clean install (which is about three days of screwing around reloading apps, data, etc.), I'm giving up on Vista on this machine. I've already asked Lenovo to send me their Vista to XP Pro "downgrade" kit. Which for me, will most certainly feel like an upgrade after logging over 6 days of totally wasted time — blood-pressure-increasing, angst-inducing wasted time. I hate Vista more than I have ever had previously — which was considerable.

There's nothing whatsoever I like in any way about Vista. Oh yeah, forgot to mention the last straw from last night. I had already upgraded the T61 to 2 GB of RAM when I ordered it. I wanted to see if doubling to 4 GB might have any positive effect on performance. So I installed the 2 x 2 GB SODIMMs and lo and behold, Vista reported only 3046 GB of RAM. After three hours of diagnosis including installing the RAM in other machines, I thought to check the T61's BIOS and sure enough, there was 4,096 GB of RAM showing. So no issue with the T61, no issue with the RAM itself, yet another Vista BS issue. Google the issue of underreported RAM on Vista systems and a flood of hits point out that everyone has faced the same frustration because the 32-bit version of MOPH is limited to only 3 GB of RAM while the 64 GB version can go up to 8. Again, nice.

Vista is the biggest software screw-up of all time. I've lived with its irritations for nearly a year. While I will keep it running on my Toshiba laptop, it's going away as fast as I can make it happen on my primary production T61.

Vista is the #1 reason Apple has been so successful in the overnight turnaround of its Mac product line. The best feature of the MacBook and iMac series is they DON'T have Vista, not the fact they now have Leopard.

Vista is Windows ME but many degrees worse. Vista is Microsoft BOB but much less reliable. Vista is MOPH and deserves to die. Painfully. Slowly. With as much agony as can possibly be inflicted on an inanimate intangible object.

So unless you subscribe to self-flagellation as form of personal amusement, "downgrade" now. Virtually every laptop maker offers a legal Microsoft-endorsed Vista-to-XP "downgrade" plan upon request. From one friend to another, "Friends don't let friends compute with Vista."

A version of the above article originally appeared in Ross Ipsa Loquitur, a legal technology blog written by industry legend Ross Kodner. Ross serves as the president of MicroLaw, which has helped law firms with technology since 1985, and is the only five-time individual Technolawyer @ Award winner, including the lifetime achievement award for Legal Technology Consultant of the Year in 1999. He also contributed to BlawgWorld 2007-08 with TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide.

About TechnoEditorials
A TechnoEditorial is the vehicle through which we opine and provide tips of interest to managing partners, law firm administrators, and others in the legal profession. TechnoEditorials appear first in TechnoGuide, and later here in TechnoLawyer Blog. TechnoGuide, which is free, also contains exclusive content. You can subscribe here.

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