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Egg anyone?

I've got a bit of egg on my face today. 

August 29th I wrote to Microsoft about Windows Vista quality.  I made some strong statements about my views on Windows Vista quality, and, it turns out that I was wrong. The problems I had with Vista were caused by a faulty 1 Gig stick of RAM.  When I pulled that stick of memory out of the PC a week ago,  replacing it temporarily with a 512M stick, everything stabilized, and I've had no problems since. 

Similarly, last week while at the Red Herring conference I had a catastrophic meltdown on my tablet.  At one point there were seven blue-screens in a 2 hour period.  I had to shut it down and put it away.  The culprit? Memory again.

In the case of the first computer, it was difficult to figure out.  The PC finally reached a stage where it would load Windows part way, and then simply blue screen and reboot.  I panicked, and put the Windows setup disk in the drive to see if I could load a fresh copy of Windows Vista and at least get access to my data.  It blue screened as well… which meant that the problem wasn't Vista, but the hardware itself.  So, I systematically started removing and replacing components, beginning with the graphics card, until I was able to boot the PC again. 

My tablet was a little easier to figure out.  It produces a log file to send to Microsoft, and on two occasions that file was corrupted.  Windows guessed that the reason was memory.

In retrospect, the only real complaint I might have had with Microsoft was that the diagnostic messages were unhelpful, or even misleading as Windows suggested on several occasions that the problem was a faulty driver.  The quality of the Microsoft software was not the issue.  Rather, it was the quality of the hardware that was the problem.

There you have it.

I did buy a new PC Saturday as well.  I did not, however, buy a Mac.  I bought the HP Pavilion DV6000, a dual core Turion 64 machine with 2G of memory, NVidia graphics, a 15.3 inch widescreen display and a 200G hard drive.  At $999 it was a steal compared to the equivalent Macbook Pro at $2199.99.  Add in the costs of obtaining Mac Office, and the headaches of integrating the Mac with my all Windows network, and it was a no-brainer.

And by the way… Windows Vista, and Office 2007… very very smooth on the dual core machine. 

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Ben Lucier September 20, 2007, 4:29 pm

    Well what can you do Alec… we've all been there before. The important part is that you had the integrity to own up to your mistake.

    And as long as we're on the topic of Vista…

    I installed Vista to my old Gateway laptop earlier in the year and immediately fell in love with it. It was soooo pretty. People were complaining about UAC (user account control), but I didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

    But over the course of a few months, something happened that I couldn't quite put my finger on – I fell out of love with Vista. Like a lusting, loving relationship that fizzles into just a friendship… that's how it felt for me.

    There were so many options with Vista and so many different ways of doing the same thing. Windows didn't pop onto my screen fast enough when I clicked on them. There was no easy way to relocate my entire home directory to an alternate partition. I didn't have as much memory as I used to. Vista isn't a pig – it's a cow. Mooooo.

    Unrelated to Vista, my laptop bit the dust. I had to buy a new PC. Instead of a PC though, I settled on a very nice MacBook with 2GB of RAM. Since my company is PC based, I needed Window support which I use Parallels for. You haven't lived until you run a Mac, with Windows Vista running in Parallels' Coherence mode. Windows Vista applications running in a Window INSIDE OSX. It's amazing. And I get the best of both worlds.

    That's why Apple is selling 1 Mac for every 6 PCs… and it's going to snowball.

    It won't be THAT bad for Microsoft though.. they'll still sell their OS. But I don't imagine it makes HP, Sony and Dell very happy as the laptop/PC makers. Ah well… somebody's gotta service the low end.

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