Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Vista expired - no more craplets testable

Well, work sent me off to San Diego for a week plus - given the degrees-below-zero in Minnesota I missed ... sweet. But I didn't have the opportunity to try more open source with Vista. I was looking forward to Vista's reaction to Open Office etc, but I guess to paraphrase the words of Microsoft executives ... all open source tools which (of course) won't/can't pay Microsoft thousands of $$$ to certify their code is Vista-compatible are just "Craplets" that should NOT be allowed to run on Vista. So OpenOffice and FireFox are Craplets. The Craplet term was repeated by one of the Computer Power User columnists. I'd like to his column, but their site is having major web problems. Maybe their Windows Server 2005 is rebelling :-)

Anyway, my plan is still to update my "fun PC" to a next gen dual or quad core next summer. Hopefully by then AMD has had time to make a good, low-power counter to Intel's current family. Since Vista Home Premium costs like $200 just for an upgrade, I may try to find a commercial PC with suitable parts that I can scrap & "Frankenstein" for my home-brewed fun system.

Since Vista is tied closely to one's motherboard, I doubt I'll become dependent on it for more than a year. A year is about how long one of my mobo lasts before I change it. Since I've been changing my motherboard at least once a year, I stopped using Norton and a few other shareware tools with similar weaknesses. Every time I changed my mobo, after a month or two Norton would stop updating and I'd have to call some friendly help-desk person in India and explain that "No, I didn't install my Norton on 2 systems - I changed the motherboard on 1 system".

I also had a few shareware tools pull a worse stunt. Since the "software key" embeds some info about the motherboard, the tool would continue to work fine after the mobo swap since it was registered already. But after I reformatted my hard drive (swapped out a slow PATA 5400 rpm for a SATA 10000 rpm) I could not reinstall the tools again and I was told that I was out of the warrentee/update period so I'd have to pay for a new key. Luckily the 2 shareware tools I "lost" this way all had other newer open source tools alternatives I could switch to.

But I wonder how this "weakness" will impact Microsoft Vista - I suppose I am really part of a small minority. I suppose 98% of Vista users will obtain it as part of a new PC they will use for 3 to 5 years - without changing motherboards or processors.



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