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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Vista SP1 Beta

On Friday, I updated my laptop using Windows Update; the entire install process went smoothly.

Things I’ve noticed.

  • In the past, remote desktop connections to non-Vista machines always prompted the user to confirm connection.   New in Vista SP1 is the ability to turn off that warning on a computer-by-computer basis.  A small thing, but I found this really irritating in the past.  Cool.
  • The Start -> Search menu is gone.  A little strange, I think.  You can get the same functionality from any explorer window, so I don’t see how this levels the playing field for other search vendors.
  • Strangely enough, when I installed the prerequisites (which are purportedly related to improving Vista update performance), my Alps touchpad tray icon appeared for the first time ever.  I clicked on it and found that, again for the first time ever, the touchpad’s unique “device select” tab was available in the mouse control panel.  Weird, but good.  Now I can turn off the tap while typing.

Things I haven’t noticed.

  • Any changes in stability.  In general, I feel that the stability of Vista has improved over the year, but my Reliability Monitor tells a different tale.  My reliability index moves between 1 and 3 and hasn’t gotten over 5 since July 31st.  I hope that this changes in SP1, though it isn’t clear how much of this is the OS and how much is bad application behavior.  I wish I could weight failures on the system for how they impact me and possibly exclude them from the Reliability Monitor.
  • Any changes in performance. 

All in all I’ve been getting happier with Vista as the year has progressed.  I initially had all sorts of networking problems, but Dell or Intel seems to have mostly solved those.  Long gone are the days when I had to reboot my machine to get it on a network.  We even now have a VPN solution that supports Vista.

Aside from the trouble, I like Vista.  The only part I don’t like about it is feeling like an early adopter with it.  After all, why did I install SP1?  To provide feedback to Microsoft, yes, but also in hope that it makes my experience better sooner.

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