Ok, I have to admit it, I have never been very lenient on Vista. I've always criticized how much of a resource hog it can be, or how it tends to over-facilitate things for users through excessive use of wizards and guided stuff.

However, since I got my own laptop, I moved to Vista since I got that bundled with it, activated and ready for use. So I thought I might update my review of it a bit, and providing some more feelings on MS's flagship OS.

I gave Tiny Vista a download to try it. It's just a stripped-down version of Vista made by some guy using VLite. It failed for me, so I got VLite and decided to make my own Tiny Vista.

Vista, as you already know since I mentioned, is a real resource hog. Being the geek I am, I hate that. I love my HD free, my RAM uncrowded and everything unlagged. Vista didn't initially give me what I wanted. So, I decided to customize my Vista version, by using VLite to strip down its components. What is VLite? It's simply a program that allows you to choose which components to install even before you actually install Vista.

Using it, I was able to shrink Vista from 2.96GB initially to around 1.6GB. Not much, but still I stripped quite a bit of bloatware that I'll never use, eg. the various drivers of printers of makes I never heard. I kept the bare minimum drivers, the most essential programs, and what I found useful like Windows Calendar. Things like Speech support, Tablet PC support went to the bin directly.

After cleaning up a bit, I decided to try the install. FAILED! WTF! Again, I retried, FAILED! Now that got my nerves. I re-burnt the DVD. FAILED! OMGWTF! What happened? After some trial and errors, and 3 dead disks (4th, I used DVD-RW! :P), I got the thing working. It figures it VLite (latest version, duh!) had a problem with its ISO making engine. I had to resort to CDImage to make the ISO and burn it. Quite a waste, and a real pain.

After the effort, I got into Vista. Checking my HD consumption, 8 GB was taken! Even after removing all the junk, 8GB! That's annoying. Checking my RAM, I saw it was ok-consumption. My integrated Intel GMA 965 X3100 chipset was taking 157MB to power the Aero interface of Vista.

What is Aero? It's the fancy things you see when you boot Vista, that is the glass transparency and other fancy effects, plus the small preview windows you get when you pause on something on the task bar. It can be useful, but again, I think it's a resource hog. Even then, I kept it on for the sake of Vista. I mean, lots of people switched to Vista just for the cool effects.

Now for the serious stuff. Vista is really of an improvement over XP. Loads of things were changed to make things easier to access and configure. Some things almost require no configuration! It's kinda noobish, but ok for casual users. I had a tough time fighting to find the settings I was looking for. Eg. changing screen resolution was dug somewhere in Personalize -> Display -> Display Settings, instead of the usual right-click desktop -> properties -> advanced. Finding the settings can be a pain in Vista. That's a fact I assert.

Vista also has compatibility issues. As proof, my FN keys on laptop, together with my integrated webcam are totally useless. I think they would work on XP with some fiddling. Also, getting drivers for Vista is a real pain! I couldn't get them, no matter the amount of googling! This is something to be blamed on Sony, the manufacturer of my lappy!

I liked Vista for just 1-2 things. First is the revamped security via UAC and others. The constant prompt for "Allow this?" is quite of a security measure, copied from Linux IMHO, but ok. It tends to get annoying after some time. I saw a fun quote somewhere:

Even viruses have compatibility issues with Vista
This is a comment which I think holds VERY true! It's quite secured out-of-the-box, with Windows Defender, BitLocker, Malware Detection and the now 2-way Firewall. It might save you some troubles with malware encounters.

That's all I have to say for now.. More about Vista when I get things to blame it about, or even to appreciate about it. For now, I don't find anything overly special about it.



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