Windows Vista causing development woes?

October 11, 2007

Will’s animated (literally) woes of developing on Windows Vista are becoming more prevaliant on the web.  With just a few simple software packages installed, it sounds like it takes hours to get things going of a morning.

Tell myself if Vista were a human I would stab him / her in the neck with a pen.

Windows XP is Expired!Even Microsoft exec Steve Ballmer was ambushed by an angst driven mother regarding Vista in an interview earlier this week.  Her complaints revolved around functionality and how in the end they just rolled back to Windows XP.

So… what about the people out there that… well, it works for?  I think they exist.  The list of complaints, rants, and such is quite long; you can take a look at Google and see, but, I have to be honest that, for me, Visual Studio (both 2005 SP1 and 2008) has ran like a dream on Vista x64.  I haven’t had a lick of trouble: creating, compiling, debugging, and performance is amazing.  VS2008 starts up (after the UAC prompt) instantly and is ready to go.  Projects load in a matter of seconds—even pulling from SourceSafe.

I’ve been “XP-Free” since February now and would have a hard time going back.

Does Vista have problems?  Heck yeah.  Video and sound drivers—especially brand new devices like my 8800 GTXs and X-Fi sound cards, are kinda glitchy, but over time I’ve worked out almost all those bugs.  I understand hardware, but I can’t blame the OS for a lack of drivers—that’s the hardware vendors responsibility.

To address Will’s pain and frustration, I honestly wish I had an answer.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far with my experiences in Vista:

  1. Memory is king.  The more you have, the more you want.  I have 4GB of memory and a 4GB ReadyBoost jump drive.  That’s overkill and isn’t necessary (Vista x86 runs great on my laptop with 2GB), but makes things load almost instantly.
  2. Aero eats video cards alive.  If you don’t need it or don’t have a beefy video card, turn it off.
  3. Many applications MUST run as Administrator to work fine; you can automagically make the UAC dialog popup by customizing the shortcut.
  4. The Logical Link diagraming technology that builds the nifty network maps seems to add unnecessary overhead.  Unless you seem to misplace your computers or such, turn it off and benchmark—see if there’s any gain.
  5. Update drivers.  Seriously.  Motherboard drivers, BIOS, video drivers, everything.  While vendors are working out the kinks, keep updating and looking for improvement.

[Update: Will updated his video drivers and that’s fixed most his issues for now! w00t].

[Update: Typos fixed.]

  1. October 12, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Haha. Steve Ballmer’s mom complaining. Now that is hilarious.

    I updated my display drivers and problems seem to be disappearing! The only thing that freezes is IE 7 and that is maybe once a day now! Thanks to you and Andrew for steering me in that direction.

    My new MS-related beef is with IE6! I think I owned it yesterday though. 😉

  2. October 12, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Yeah, I saw that post. That was VERY annoying; I have build several reporting applications that the PDFs would do the same thing until I found that, though I never disabled content expiration–now I’m gonna have to dink with that. LOL

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