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Thread: PC Mag's Louderback "I may switch to Linux"

  1. #21
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    Re: PC Mag's Louderback "I may switch to Linux"

    @porcorosso: Thanks for the reply. Just a few comments in return:

    *I did get a couple BSODs, but they were admittedly both with open-source, graphics-intensive gamea tested on XP. So, that may not be fair. (Though I have to say, the lack of backwards-compatability is my oldest gripe with MS; I was a teenager when Win95 came out, and remember being very upset that nothing new would work with 3.11).

    *UAC is, I think, overrated. Other security measures -- like sandboxing MSIE -- are great. UAC in particular, though, seems like little more than an update on the old "Files downloaded from the Internet can be useful, but . . ." message in XP. Given the lack of password protection on it, too, it seems like only a matter of time before a scripter learns how to bypass it.

    *I did not realize that non-admin mode was now a viable option (didn't even try). I agree that this is a great and much-needed improvement, and will be testing it out next time I boot into Vista.

    I still think the following things should have been addressed:
    1) Comodo and Spybot S&D still outperform the default Win Firewall and Defender programs.
    2) This has been said to death, so I'll paraphrase: "I kan has no registry??!!?"
    3) Patch Tuesday still presents exploit risks and, possibly, crashes Skype (joking!). Admittedly, this isn't version-specific, so probably should directed at MS rather than their youngest child.

    Finally, re: crapware. I have no idea why hardware vendors think this is okay. I recently bought a Compaq laptop (with a Linux-compatible wireless adpater, mind you). It came with Windows, of course, and I wanted to make the recovery disks before installing Linux. The most time-consuming part of the first-bootup process was removing all the HP-added junk. If I were Ballmer, I would prohibit OEM vendors from doing this -- it's driving people away from Windows.
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  2. #22
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    Re: PC Mag's Louderback "I may switch to Linux"

    Well, the lack of a UAC prompt for a password happens ONLY within admin accounts. And I think that scripters may have a pretty hard time getting around even the OK prompt. But it's UAC that makes the regular user accounts useful now. You DO get prompted in an ordinary user account, and you provide the credentials for an admin account -- or you don't get to do whatever it was you were trying to do. Big, BIG improvement. And, as I said, finally you can actually get work done with a regular user account. I always hated working as an admin, but having to set up runas for every danged admin level application (and there are a TON of them) was just ridiculous.

    Yeah, you mentioned the sandboxing of Internet Exploder in Vista. Works really well, and it was one of the many things I neglected to mention. Considering the integration of ActiveX into the core of the installation processes of the OS it was about danged time!

    You and I seem to have very different takes on backward compatibility. I think that MS has put WAY too much effort into making each successive OS version try to run all of the old crap. A good argument could be made for that attitude having been the cause of the major downfall of Windows from the standpoint of reliability and security. Take drivers, for instance. MS was going to exclude old-style WDM (and older, ugh) drivers from Vista, but they have allowed people to install the danged things in RTM. Nothing will turn any operating system into a steaming pile of dog poo quicker than installing a bad kernel mode driver.

    Operating system versions and software and hardware are all commodities. I've paid thousands of dollars per workstation to license some operating systems. At consumer prices, well -- if everything has to get upgraded, seems to me it's just good for the economy. (joke) Actually, it's going provide impetus for the switch to Open Source. Hmmm. Maybe that's MS tries so hard to provide backward compatibility. But really, is there anything funnier than a guy who has just spent 5 grand on an Alien game machine running Vista who is crapping his pants because his $50 HP printer quit working???

    I think that so much absolute crap (drivers and software) has been written that MS really just needs to make everybody step up and do the right thing -- if they want their junk to work on Vista. I can dream, can't I? But it's a serious problem for the closed source community. The OS writers DON'T have control over the code that gets installed on the system, yet they have to provide access to the APIs in order to keep their gigantic share of the market.

    On the Open Source side everybody understands (I hope) about repositories and gets the idea that installing junk imperils the operating system installation's viability. But when somebody buys a badly written game or AV software or whatever and installs it on WinXP or Vista and things go to heck in a handbasket, likely as not, he'll blame MS for it.

    I still think the following things should have been addressed:
    1) Comodo and Spybot S&D still outperform the default Win Firewall and Defender programs.
    2) This has been said to death, so I'll paraphrase: "I kan has no registry??!!?"
    3) Patch Tuesday still presents exploit risks and, possibly, crashes Skype (joking!). Admittedly, this isn't version-specific, so probably should directed at MS rather than their youngest child.
    Not familiar with Comodo, Spybot S&D (last time I looked) wasn't Vista ready. The Win Firewall and the WinDefend program are plenty good enough for Vista. We used outside administered and audited security testing from two separate sources on our little 80 Vista machine domain, and it proved solid. But I guess that's looking at it from a corporate level. On a personal level I'd think that any reasonably careful person running the default firewall, Windows Defender, and a decent anti-virus (like NOD32) would be pretty safe. You were aware that the firewall can be controlled VERY precisely through policies, weren't you? (Wasn't sure how deeply you had looked into this.)

    I'm sorry I don't recognize the "I kan has no registry?" remark. I'm probably out of the loop.

    Patch Tuesday really is no more an issue in Vista. Your Vista installation should be catching updates as they come out. The thee machines I have at home do, though the ones at work are using the provided update source on the domain, of course -- you know, so we get to test updates before they're deployed (if we need to).

    The thing MS needs to fix is having to reboot the system so often, but it really is finally happening less (Not sure I would say a LOT less.) in Vista.

    Anyway, I'm not really defending Vista -- except to say that it is a lot more defensible than any previous version of Windows. It ain't like I'm in love with it, but it does behave a lot better than the older Windows versions I've used.

    Now I'm going to stop writing because I want to get back to trying to make my Ubuntu box behave itself properly with a dual head setup and the restricted driver.

    Last edited by porcorosso; August 26th, 2007 at 08:14 PM.

  3. #23
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    Re: PC Mag's Louderback "I may switch to Linux"

    Didn't realize that UAC required a password for non-admins. That's very cool. I'm going to set up a default, non-admin user on my Vista partition.

    Comodo = very good commercial Windows firewall software available for free to non-commercial users.

    Spybot S&D is indeed now Vista-compatible.

    I'm sorry I don't recognize the "I kan has no registry?" remark. I'm probably out of the loop.
    I was just being silly (in-loop explanation). My point was that Windows still uses a registry, and this is among its biggest flaws in terms of security.

    As for backward compatibility, I'm actually of two minds about that. Windows could improve substantially by getting rid of things like the registry and default admin-mode. At the same time, my experience tells me that Linux is actually more compatible with legacy apps (through Wine and Dosbox) than Vista is, and it does this without really compromising the system. MS is able to do that, too, but they won't, since selling Office 2007 makes them more money.

    And, yes, I know that you're not defending MS. I asked you for reasons why Vista was better than XP, and got a number of good ones. So, thanks.
    I am aware of all internet traditions. | Getting the best help | Text formatting codes | My last.fm profile
    Should I PM support questions? NO!

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