We got two shiny new machines from AMD yesterday (actually, they are huge, black and very ugly). One of them is now under my desk. For some reason there's only 1GB RAM in it (thanks AMD), so I know I'll have to plug in a couple of gigs more. The more interesting fact is the operating system: Vista Home Premium, 64 Bit Edition. I resisted the instant urge to reformat and install XP immediately, instead I'll actually give Vista try.

First impressions after a few hours of use:
  • Vista installation works great. The only thing I had to type in was the user name and password.
  • Booting takes quite a bit longer then my Dell box. Could be the BIOS though.
  • Vista integrated immediately into our company network without setting anything manually. Internet works, Samba shares are visible. Cool but a bit scary.
  • Firefox installs and works just fine.
  • TortoiseCVS works, but only with the latest release candidates.
  • Tcl install is a bloody mess. Some files could be written, some don't. Guess I'll have to retry with admin rights or something...
  • The entire control panel area is a big letdown. After 2 clicks you're back in those horrible tab-ridden, fixed-size dialog boxes from XP. Just more of them with even more tabs. Shame shame shame...
  • UI feels nice and smooth as long as no heavy file system work is going on. Uninstalling some pre-installed shit, and unzipping the DirectX SDK at the same time freezes the entire UI (including mouse pointer) for up to 20 seconds. Never happened to me under XP. Horrible.
  • I hate those new display setting panels from ATI which take forever to start (NVIDIA's as well btw.). What was wrong with the old panels?
  • Whoever came up with that UAC crap should be forced to install applications day in day out, with the occasional malware thrown inbetween. After 4 or 5 times, you just don't recognize it anymore, you just click it away. It's just like EULAs, just skip the damn thing and click Next. Looks like MS replaced their usability people with lawyers. I guess you can't sue MS anymore after actively agreeing to install a virus on your machine.
  • Still have to install VStudio and Maya... wish me luck.
All in all, as a user I'm very unimpressed with Vista so far. Many things have changed, but only some of them to the better. It feels more like a new XP service pack with a custom skin. MS says it spent as much money on Vista as NASA on the moon program, and all we got are translucent, blurry window borders, what a waste. I know there are quite a few technical improvements under the hood, like virtualization of graphics memory, new driver model and so on. But nothing of this internal stuff makes my life as a user any better.