April 27, 2008

Vista - Day something

Ok, just a few comments from using Vista so far. There's something wrong with Vista's built-in unzip capability. It is slower than dog doo dripping down an even sidewalk on a cold day. I downloaded and installed 7-zip, which is free and open-source (and licensed under LGPL!!! for you programmer/license geeks out there). 7-Zip works much faster than Vista's builtin unzip, so it's worth the extra right-click-menu instead of the simple drag-and-drop out of the archive file.

Other than that problem, Vista works fine for me, and I haven't run into any problems that a simple 'Run as Administrator' doesn't fix. I actually prefer the UAC turned on in Vista as it lets me know when the computer is going to do something potentially destructive.

One of my favorite oldies games is Thief:Dark Project. It requires to be set as Administrator to run because it changes files in the program's installed directory as it runs videos and does save-game files. Thief also is older than multi-processor machines, and freezes up when run on a dual core machine. To fix this, you can either edit the process affinity after you kick it off, or patch the executable (I found the instructions here). Of course, if you run as administrator, you can't simply change the process affinity (as its permissions are higher than yours). I opted to patch my executable.

I also decided I wanted to have Linux around with this laptop, but I didn't want to repartition it and re-install Vista and Linux. So I downloaded Wubi which lets you install Linux into a software partition created by the Wubi product. It also installs Grub and boots into the software partition when you turn on the machine, so it's not running Linux [Ubuntu] in a virtual machine. Linux can be uninstalled quickly from within Windows as well. I'd suggest it for anyone wanting to give Linux a try with minimal pain.

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