Monday, February 11, 2008

Upgrading to XP

I did what all the cool kids are doing and upgraded my main PC from Vista to XP. I actually do have good reasons:
  1. The top reason is that my network just stops working at random. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason that I can tell. Sometimes its when I'm web surfing, sometimes its when I'm copying files or remote desktop. It could go hours or days before it happens. Then once it does nothing short of a reboot makes it work. I've tried swapping out the OEM with MS supplied drivers to no avail and I couldn't find anything like this on any support forums. If I was planning on keeping Vista I would have actually contacted the manufacturer's support, but since this is no longer happening on XP why bother?
  2. I was doing a huge chunk of my work over VPN connections, and here are a list of VPN clients that either flat out don't work or barely work at all on Vista:
    1. Cisco: On a sunny day when the stars are aligned I might be able to connect to some networks.
    2. Citrix: This is supposed to work, I just couldn't get it to.
    3. Juniper: This just flat out doesn't work
    This means I had to use an XP Virtual PC to connect to a remote network. If I was deploying software I have to copy the files locally to the VPC then copy to the remote network. Basically it was just a big pain in the ass.
  3. Everything runs slower/less responsive. I'm talking about general file system navigation, program launching, and switching between applications. Yeah we all said the same thing about XP when it came out, but it was true at the time as well. I'm sure in 7 years after a couple service packs and PC hardware quadrupling in power Vista will run just as fast as XP does today.

Additionally I don't have any compelling reason to use Vista over XP. While I do like the Vista theme and Aero look I wouldn't say it really adds any significant value to my general user experience. I disabled UAC because it was so annoying. I get by just fine with XP home networking, all the .NET 3.0 technologies (WPF, WCF, Cardspace) work just fine. While I think that Vista's WPF rendering takes better advantage of the video hardware acceleration, WPF hasn't really become wide spread enough to matter yet. I like XP's Windows explorer better than Vista's.

I'll still run Vista over a VPC in order to test application compatibility, but I'm really much more productive using Windows XP.

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