Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vista Premium and loading open-source public tools

So Vista Home Premium installed Ok last night.

Score so far is 2 Ok of 3:
- Vista Home Premium: success - is happy with my old Motherboard
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus v6: failed to install
- Creative Audigy 4 driver: success - Windows Media Player works

Reminder: I am NOT trying to find new things that work - only if the tools I am comfortable with work. For example no doubt Vista comes with a snazy media player, but I want to use VLC from http://www.videolan.org/ - so if no VLC, then no Vista for me (yet).

U3 on my portable drive:
Beep - big not-o. I have a 2GB USB drive which contains FireFox, OpenOffice and all of my normal tools and settings. I use this daily on 4 to 5 computers at work. My ScanDisk u3 Cruzor USB device shows up as broken under Device manager and no virtual CD shows up under Windows Explorer. The "data" section of the drive shows up, but since it is encrypted it cannot be accessed without the "LaunchPad" working. Having Windows search for an updated driver gets the nice message "It is up to date" but it doesn't work. www.u3.com is pretty useless (as of today) since it just says click your U3 task bar icon to update ... but of course I have no U3 task bar icon since LaunchPad doesn't work.

Score so far is 2 of 4 Ok:
- U3 USB sticks: failed - they don't mount

So, no USB stick with FireFox so lets see how official non-portable FireFox works from http://www.mozilla.com. Oops - I get the error "FireFox Setup" is not a valid Win32 application.

Score so far is 2 of 5 Ok:
- FireFox failed: isn't even recognized as valid Win32 app

Aarg! I just noticed Vista Windows Explorer STILL starts up in my "Start menu" directory. Holy cow - such an idiotic thing; of all the things they change mindlessly, they don't change the one dumbest decision Microsoft ever made! Why don't they start Windows explorer in my home directory or some other SANE place!

I look at my download directory and see that FireFox never downloaded - it is an empty file. Guess that explains why Vista complained. So I try to download again, and just to be safe don't agree with Vista that this is an application. Now it installs fine. Mozilla Corp did a nice job of signing and all of the Vista admin popups have nice, clean messages!

Score so far is 3 of 5 Ok:
- FireFox sucess, but first download failed for some reason

Mounting my DLink DNS-323 raid file server:
I have a NAS or network disk array with dual SATA 150GB drives. I use it to backup my files and share downloads between systems. That way none of my home systems share their own files. Windows Explorer lost the old menus - so no Map to Nework Drive anymore. Hitting the help button is useless as a search for "mount network drive" pulls up 30 items unrelated to mounting a network drive. One of the first items suggests I go to Windows online help for IT professionals!

Ok, use your head Lynn. Under the Start Menu is a Networks selection - this opens up my network and shows all of my homes systems, my NAS, and even my DSL router. Must be a UPnP thing since my Digi network devices don't show up. But alas, I cannot log into my DLink NAS using my name and password; Vista must have changed the way passwords are handled. DLink has no support info related to Vista and DNS-323. So another task for another day!

Score so far is 3 of 6 Ok:
- DLink DNS-323 NAS: failure: won't allow Vista to connect to drives

How about Java Runtime:
I go to www.runescape.com - a massive online game that just costs $5 per month and is pretty sane for me. I don't get off on killing fellow players and have many Singapore friends. FireFox sends me off to find the Java plugin, which is unavailable. Before I try manual install, lets try Microsoft iExplorer - it happily to download plugin J2SE Runtime 5.0 update 10. My player LinseLA happily can head off to the fourth level of the security dungeon by Edgeville to stock up on blood mage runes. The game seems a bit laggy - but then with 120,000 players online it could just be the server system. Better still, this also setup java for FireFox so that works as well.

Score so far is 4 of 7 Ok:
- Java Runtime: success: but had to install under iE ... FireFox couldn't find the plugin

VideoLAN 0.8.6a - VLC media player:
I like the VLC player at www.videolan.org. It offers DVD support without asking for money like most of the "free" OEM players included with systems. Plus it includes many codecs common online. One gets so SICK of needing 4 or 5 "main-stream" media players. For example Windows Media Player handles a few Windows forms, but no DVDs. WinDVD plays DVD, but one also needs QuickTime and RealPlayer and yuk. VLC just plays them all without all the popups and reminders to upgrade for $$$ etc.

Oops - it installs, but isn't self-signed so the install is ugly. Plus it plays a high-definition video Ok with beautiful audio - but there is no video overlay image from my ATI X1600. This could be an ATI issue, not one with VLC.

Score so far is 4 of 8 Ok:
- VideoLAN 0.8.6a: fails: audio is wonderful 5.1, but no video overlay (may be ATI issue)

Recheck ATI Radeon X1600 video driver:
Since VLC cannot reach the video overlay, I need to double check my ATI driver. My Radeon X1600 driver is dated September 2006, which is probably too old for Vista's newness. http://ati.amd.com shows a newer Vista 64-bit driver dated 29-Jan-2007 ... hot off the press. The ATI Catalyst system is bit top-heavy and bloated, but no point under-enabling my modestly nice graphics hardware. Need to reboot

Score so far is 5 of 9 Ok:
- latst ATI video drivers: success

Yah know, as Vista starts up I hear quite a bit of chatter in my Raptor - the downside to its speed is its chatter. I certainly hope Vista is meddling with XP in ways it should not be - probably is Ok. Vista mounts the old Samsung drive as C: and the Raptor as E: Guess I won't be opposed to Vista using the Raptor as swap space, but heaven knows where Microsoft moved such a setting in Vista. :-)

Recheck VideoLAN 0.8.6a - VLC media player:
Nope - still no video overlay.

So today's score is 5 success and 4 failures:
- Vista Home Premium: success - is happy with my old Motherboard
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus v6: failed to install
- Creative Audigy 4 driver: success - Windows Media Player works
- U3 USB sticks: failure - they don't mount
- FireFox sucess, but first download failed for some reason
- DLink DNS-323 NAS: failure: won't allow Vista to connect to drives
- Java Runtime: success: but had to install under iE ... FireFox couldn't find the plugin
- VideoLAN 0.8.6a: failure: audio is wonderful 5.1, but no video overlay (not an ATI issue)
- Latst ATI video drivers: success



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doh. I found the Map network drive under the Network and share center, but I can't connect to the NAS even though I can connect with my XP pc. Found any solution?

March 19, 2007 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Lynn August Linse said...

Sorry, my Vista long ago expired & I won't have another copy until I guess I buy a new PC for some reason. I find it too easy to make new power-systems for less than buying a new system. Plus now I know that an "OEM" system (the Vista you get for "free" *cough*) is legally limited to the motherboard supplied. So you cannot even legally upgrade the hardware of a cheap HP or Dell into something better without buying a new Microsoft Vista license.

But the failure has to be a "new" security scheme being used under the excuse of being more secure (not saying it would or would not be :-) ... just as Win2K hosed up Win98 system shares.

I hope DLink will update the NAS firmware to compensate - it is just embedded Linux by the way.

I've had surprising luck just browsing the NAS window shares from Ubuntu 6.10 and 7.04 desktops. It takes a while to find them, but they just show up. However to do a big file copy a Linux-to-Linux (ie: Ubuntu to the NAS) FTP can hit 11m BYTES per second. I copies some CD ISO images into the NAS the other day and the speed was astounding. The same copy by Windows XP would have taken 5-10 minutes instead of 30-40 seconds.

April 8, 2007 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 5, 2007 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The solution to map DNS-323 drives in vista:

1. Run the registry editor and open this key:


1. If it doesn't already exist, create a DWORD value named

3. Set the value to 1

July 5, 2007 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Lynn August Linse said...

Thanks for the tip Bjorne-Inge.

I did try VISTA again in Jan-2008, but it didn't last even a week before some app hosed the filesystem (see my March 2008 blog entry).

I just got too sick of seeing that "spinning wheel" as VISTA could take up to a minute to show me a new directory. I've read online this might be due to a "design-feature" which forces VISTA to estimate the TIME to do everything. Thus it does TOO much useless work just to show simple directory. Hmmm, sounded good on paper I guess - and to be honest I'm running GriSoft AVG, not Microsoft DEFENDER (tada) so perhaps VISTA is waiting for AVG to scan everything too often.

March 8, 2008 at 8:04 AM  

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