Vista Woes and more


Hotmail: celebrating circa 12 years of account ownership..

See attached image – looks like I’ve had a hotmail account since January 1995.  In reality it is closer to September or so, but a nice touch in live mail is to show the length of time the account’s been active since.  I wonder how many other legacy accounts are still out there?

Vista: the fun, the experience

What has happened to the Windows shell?  Once a bastion of the word stable (okay, so maybe it hasn’t always been stable but in Windows XP I think you’d have to agree – it’s a lot more dependable), the Windows Vista shell experience is – for lack of a better word – horrible.

Yes, it’s great that the windows experience loads all that lovely and useful bonus meta-data which comes associated with content files (.mp3, mpeg and jpeg files) but at what point should someone have questioned the logic behind retrieving it all in all circumstances.  Two scenarios have played out badly for me:

1. USB 1.1 device connected as a hard drive, and
2. Network shares

These two folders should never be polling meta-data by default.  They are (or can be) slow to access (especially the USB 1.1 device) and it’s embarrassingly hard to remove all those unwanted columns without having to wait through the arduous task of Windows performing actions you didn’t want performed in the first place.  Here’s a bright idea – why not allow users to classify drives – i.e. specify that a drive is a removable slow access device?

Want more proof?  See the attached picture (wtf.jpg).  This is the result of cancelling a file copy operation to a USB (2.0) device.  It takes the shell ages to cancel a file copy operation.  The file copy itself isn’t lightning fast, and the time it takes to ‘initialize’ file copy operations is also sloth-like.  What gives?  The exact same file operation on Windows XP starts when it is requested and stops when the cancel button is pressed – for the same files and the same USB device.

Don’t even ask about file operations across a network share.

Now I know what you’re thinking.. Maybe this is a machine issue – something’s wrong with the laptop or workstation..?  This same machine with Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server and Windows Media Centre Edition all performed network and local device operations without any issue.  This is a Windows Vista issue.

The ‘improved’ networking (TCP/IP stack implementation) might also have a few kinks in it too – still deciding for myself if there is any added value.

To summarise.. What has the Windows Vista team done to the Windows Shell and when can we expect it to be fixed/improved without making it worse?  Please, please fix the shell.  Or else, I’m going back to Windows XP – which works!

The experience is also littered with Vista specials.. see attached.  It takes minutes to get something on the screen to indicate what is going on.  The first few times I tried uploading from Vista I got impatient and clicked cancel.  Looks like they’ve thrown away the basic rules of usability – keep the user in the loop.  Give them some idea that something is happening!

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