So long Vista… thanks for the view

Strongback Consulting

I have now ditched Microsoft Vista on my T61 laptop. Actually, I have simply put a fresh hard drive in, and installed Windows XP on it. I tried in earnest to give Vista a go. When I first turned on my laptop with Vista, I was pleased with the graphics and recognition of all my hardware, including my printer (an HP 690 deskjet), two non-descript web cams (won at JavaOne a year ago), as well as most of my other USB peripherals, and especially my eSATA PC card adapter which I use to connect to the family’s shared external USB drive.

Now, I say most of my peripherals. Vista would not recognize my HP ScanJet 4100c would not, and had no generic drivers for it. Granted, this scanner is about 9 years old, but it works. I use it scan expenses, and use it in place of a fax machine most of the time. I am simply not going to replace a scanner simply because its ‘old’ and the latest MS OS does not support it. Hell, every Linux distro I’ve tried over the past year supports it out of the box!

But that I can deal with – I was simply launching a virtual machine of Ubuntu, running my scans, then shutting down the VM. Simple. What I can’t deal with is the fact that some of the software I depend upon I can’t install on Vista. The two key ones are:

  • Cisco VPN client – there is a version 5.0 beta that works, but does not support the integrated firewall. This effectively is the same problem I have with the Linux version of the client. This is my biggest hurdle for both Linux and Vista. The fact that so many of my clients require an integrated firewall on their Cisco VPN concentrators is simply too big of a hurdle to ignore.
  • WebSphere Portal – I do a lot of work with Portal, and several versions of it. I have been unsuccessful in getting ANY version installed on Vista (Express, Enable, Extend, or Base). I must have a test environment for Portal so I can do my portlet development. Again, I could use a VM, but when Vista hogs a gigabyte of RAM sitting still (with nothing open but the sidebar, and no AV software), this is hard to do. You need a 2GB memory VM, and it has to be on an external drive. Running it on the main drive is not an option.

So, I still have Vista and all the data on the original 7200 drive, but I find that XP on a new 5400 RPM 160 GB Western Digital drive runs SOOOO much faster. Vista is just a dog. A barking dog (…XYZ progam is attempting to do yada yada yada… Cancel or Allow). Now that I am back on XP, I find a few issues with it (the fact that AV software is so much more important to run, and so much more of a performance drain as well). But… I can scan, and I can code. And for running my business this is good.

I will most likely do a full backup of the Vista drive after a clean off any project files or downloads I don’t need, then format the drive in preparation for a new Linux drive – and I’ll probably run Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon or OpenSUSE 10.3 .

2 Responses to “So long Vista… thanks for the view

  • Anonymous
    15 years ago

    Glad to see that I’m not the only one with these issues. I ditched Vista for Ubuntu about 3 months ago. No plans to switch back.

  • Ian Nicholson
    14 years ago

    I too have an HP690c printer. I couldn’t get it to run in XP! It was fine wit Windows 95, 98 and Millennium (which I used for nearly a week!). But the driver supplied in XP didn’t work and Hp weren’t interested in supplying one so I gave up.

    I’ve just bought a Vista laptop; I hadn’t thought of connecting the printer to it but as I’ve deleted XP from my desktop and installed Ubuntu Gutsy I’ll maybe try the HP with that.

Strongback Consulting