Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Short status update 14/1/2009

Last month or so was really boring to be honest. Very little happened so I haven't have much to write about.

I installed Windows 7 beta (build 7000) on both my Wind and my desktop pc. Deinstalled beta from desktop probably because the performance wasn't there and couldn't use shared printer on the network. Installed vista 64, deinstalled because of somewhat poor performance in Team Fortess 2. Installed vista x86 (another way to say it is 32bit) slightly better than x64 but still somewhat poor framerate. I did notice something more though. TF2 (or any other game) have a difficult to describe micro stutters when moving mouse. It just isn't silky smooth as in windows xp. Moreover, when I scroll with the mouse wheel in firefox under windows xp, the text and images scroll very, very smoothly, but not so in vista, which isn't smooth like that. This is difficult for me to capture but maybe one day I'll do it for the sake of it. So now I'm on windows xp again. But even windows xp isn't really rock stable (as it was) anymore (vista is though). When surfing on my Wind and I'm connected to desktop's wifi (which is configured to act as an Access Point through driver), desktop will go bsod ("driver irql less then or equal"). This never happened in vista even though the driver is exactly the same. Btw, I can't use ad-hoc networks because they are completely crippled in vista/windows 7 so I can't have a reliable connection with my Wind (who is running windows 7 beta).

To sum up the problems I have with windows releases:

  • Windows xp: everything is blazingly fast, but bluescreens when I surf the web on my msi wind. And the old age is really starting to show up in these days.
  • Windows Vista x86 (32bit): bloated, considerable drop in performance in games, doesn't scroll in firefox right, but has no blue screens, has media center (much better software than absolute crap of software I got with my tv tuner)
  • Windows Vista x64 (64bit): even poorer performance as 32bit version, but not much so though. Supports 3.5GB+ of RAM. Not many programs are written directly for 64bit so they run in 32bit mode with is slightly slower than a native 64bit mode. That means slower games (more noticeably, TF2 is 32bit only) and slower programs (eg. firefox is 32bit only too but you don't notice the difference).
  • Windows 7 beta x86 (32bit): slightly less bloated than vista, wifi management is better, but it is still in beta, cannot use a printer shared on my other networked computer, homegroup doesn't work for me, network sharing is a mess. Game performance is about as same as Vista, that means not very good.
  • Windows 7 beta x64: didn't try it yet.

So there you have it. Probably I can't have it all though. There was much of the discussion on slashdot on windows 7 performance which I was very interested in because I tested Windows 7 extensively on my Wind (have it installed since the first pre-beta) and desktop (had it for a few days, but it is the same as on my wind so the problems are the same). I did conclude that the performance isn't there because I actually tested the performance in games. Performance in windows is a bit better than in vista though, but this is very slight performance gain though. But what I'm specially amused about are this "facts":

Ars technica was always very "in-depth" (especially when testing processors and graphics cards), but this "in-depth tour" has the same depth as a dried up lake - no depth at all. There is not a word of mention that you can revert the new, completely unusable, counterintuitive taskbar to (improved) classic one in three mouse clicks, not a word on a new mini windows for selecting wireless networks etc. They tackled the windows 7 performance only by linking to the
zdnet's comparison which is rubbish(1) (ie: first test - boot time). So hardly in-depth. I did intentionally mention that zdnet's comparison because those slashdot microsoft fanboys were wetting themselves over that the zdnet's test ultimately shows that windows 7 is faster than xp (which frankly it isn't) and completely disregarding the most obvious rubbish that the vista is even faster than xp.

Lets take a look at some of the comments from the slashdot discussion (even slashdot is going down the drain I'm afraid)

Slashdot continues to moan because the average commenter has neither ran the beta or used Vista for longer than 5 minutes. Its more fun to bitch about Microsoft than to actually use the product.

Its also fun to sit and read some of the bitch comments and see how many Slashdotters overlooked the "beta" part, bitch about missing features, and apparently thought they were downloading the final RTM code.

I've never had a lick of trouble running Vista. Nor have I had a lick of trouble in the two weeks I've been running this beta. But then I made sure to put it on a modern PC built with Vista in mind, not my grandfather's Packard-Bell 486 with 4 meg of ram.

(Score:5, Insightful)

Then we have a reply:

Yes that's nice. It's clear MS didn't finish the OS. Because of things like this []. They didn't even bother making the Aero UI that they hyped up for so long mesh with the rest of the OS. They took the Desktop Properties window (right click->Properties) in Windows XP, and just separated the tabs and provided a link to each one. Boy that's an improvement.

Or how about having to click 3x more than XP just to get to the network connection status or, Bill Gates forbid, make changes to the TCP/IP settings. Jeez it feels like 15 clicks. I have to STOP doing what I'm doing and concentrating on, and figure out which of the 5 buttons to click, and do that for about 5 more windows that come up before I get there. With WinXP I just double click the little computer on the taskbar and it opens it for me. Or I right click it and can get to the TCP/IP settings with one more click.

(Score:2, Insightful)

Strange he didn't get a troll mod. Now read this:

My experience doesn't match their assessment. I'm running Windows 7 on my Dell Mini and it runs faster than Windows XP Home ran on this exact same machine.

(Score:4, Informative)

And this from another poster:

Likewise I'm finding that Windows 7 feels subjectively more responsive than XP on the same hardware. So far I'm really liking the beta, but as a microsoftie friend of mine pointed out, "the vista betas worked really well too...."

(Score:3, Informative)

This is really getting out of hand. No, Windows 7 doesn't feel any faster than xp, if it actually does, you have spam/virus infested windows xp installation (can hapen to 7 easily too) or you are too stupid to configure windows xp. And no, Vista beta never felt fast, on the contrary it was always slow. Slow in the beta, slow in the RC, slow in RTM. I know, I tested them all.

Then you have a typical fanboy who is talking out of his ass, clearly confused with the ars technica's preview and zdnet's comparison:

TFA has six pages, almost all of which were praise for Windows 7, and yet the "summary" picks out three choice sentences that were negative.

Nevermind the new features (both under the hood and with the UI), nevermind all the annoyances of Vista that this undoes, nevermind the ZDNet tests that show 7 to be faster than XP and Vista.

No, let's scan the entire article and post the most damning phrases we can find and call that a summary.

And no I'm not new here.

(Score:5, Insightful)

He is only a confused kid, maybe not a new, but clearly confused. (very few vista's annoyances were resolved, only some with wifi, and a thing here and there, but nothing serious to be honest).

Then the saga continues with this fanboyism:

Let me start off by saying that Windows Vista is no longer the piece of shit that it once was. Ever since SP1, the many problems that Vista used to have have been gone. I was using Vista Ultimate since July and had absolutely no issues with anything, and it actually runs faster (gasp!) than XP on my machine. (Let me point out that my machine has a Q6600, 4GB of RAM, and an 8800GT)

(Score:3, Interesting)

Yeah, right. And I have even faster computer (and even slower 2) and nothing runs fast as windows xp. Nothing. Period.

Then you have this gem which pretty much sums up my point about windows 7.

1. I was able to work with Excel without a problem. It opened up and ran as fast as a dual core machine running XP. So that's fine.

2. Installation speeds were completely in line with what I'm used to. I installed Firefox, Flash, Adobe Reader and Office 2007. I didn't run into any problems.

3. The OS' installation was seemless. I didn't try to upgrade and just let it go from scratch. Once I finished the basic setup I just let it sit for about an hour and it did it itself. Once it finally booted up I didn't need to install new drivers. I really liked this to be honest given how painful driver installations and downloads can be.

(Score:2, Informative)

There you have it. Even a 10 year old computer will run office 2007, excel or whaterver fine. Vista runs every non gaming app fine. Windows 7 runs every non gaming app fine. But only Windows xp runs all of that + games fine. That is my whole point. Those fanboy tards look at those two mentioned articles and say, wow, windows 7 surely is fast! It runs firefox very fast! The new task bar is surely cool! That means windows 7 is great for gaming! lol

Anyways, doesn't seem to you as well as it seems to me, dear reader, that this the most obvious problem microsoft is facing: if windows ever goes bad in games/gaming (as vista is, whatever the horde of kids says otherwise) and more gamers go to consoles, and lets imagine that very few gamers even play on windows, what would happen really? All those kids who used pc for gaming used it for writing documents, surfing the web etc. But when you remove games, what is actually left in windows which binds a gamer to it? Nothing really. Doesn't it seem to you that when games become more popular on consoles (as they already are as a matter of fact) those kids won't bother with windows at all? Then those kids will push alternative operating systems to their relatives (as they/we did with windows) because those alternatives are as good for writing documents and surfing the web as windows. Food for thought.

Lastly, I'm presenting you a stupid picture I did in a couple of hours of photoshop and night diving.

(1) Why zdnet's comparison is rubbish and has no real world weight? Because it uses Passmark, PCMark vantage, Cinebench r10 which are nothing but rubbish tests. Why, firstly they are sythetic so they are not real-world (it is better to test copy speed of huge directories, launching huge programs, images, run games with this and that graphic settings, mark low/high fps, does windows management feel fast or slow etc) and secondly, when a test like that puts vista ahead of xp then I know that the test is complete and utter bullshit.

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