Monday, March 31, 2008

News tidbits clearance!

There's been a lot of Vista news floating around lately. I haven't really been in the mood to just repeat what has already been written out there, but some of it is good to know... so here it comes...

1) Microsoft surprised many when it quietly announced through a blog post that it was going to start offering free Vista SP1 support for installation and compatibility issues. Here's their official page:

I'm sure many of you will make good use of this over the coming year. I wouldn't mind hearing what kind of success you have with the phone support.

2) It turns out that 30% of Vista's crashes over the past year (that have been reported) are the fault of NVidia and faulty drivers. I don't know how to feel about this. Some have suggested that this means we have been unfairly blaming Vista and that maybe Microsoft is due for an apology. Maybe. But why has NVidia been having so much trouble successfully writing drivers for Vista? I don't think their developers want to have a failed product - and I don't think they have suddenly gotten stupid - so why has this happened?

3) Could NVidia have been doing what Creative Labs has been doing? It looks like Creative Labs has been purposely crippling and ruining Vista drivers for older sound cards. This comes from Daniel_K who wrote improved drivers by basically revamping previously released Creative Labs drivers. There is a great deal of outrage all over the net because Creative Labs asked Daniel_K to cease and desist release of working drivers. I would like to add my voice to the chorus of outrage! Not so much for the take-down request as for Creative Lab's choice not to release working drivers. I experienced the same problem many years ago at the hands of HP. Microsoft released Windows 95 and HP decided that my 1 year old expensive scanners with feeders, etc. should remain as Windows 3.1 only devices and not receive updated drivers. Planned obsolescence does not make me a happy customer. In the past decade I have refused to even consider HP scanner products. They have lost out on a dozen scanner sales and plenty of bad publicity for that stunt. (I much prefer Microtek scanners where one driver seems to work for all their scanners - no matter how old.) I've said it before - companies have to treat their customers right.
[UPDATE 01/04/2008] Wired has an explanation from the now famous Daniel Kawakami. A good read. He is now allowed by Creative to continue some modding and receive donations. His mods for Creative sound cards are here:, but you'll probably need to figure out what the files are for first...[/UPDATE]

4) A lot of web news outlets have published the story of Linux winning a hacking/security contest over Mac and Vista. I just mention it here because there has simply been so much coverage. I think it validates Linux's design when you consider that its basic approach has changed very little and yet it can still win contests like this. Windows has been flipped on its head (Vista), making users feel pain (UAC) and still didn't win. Will bugs get ironed out so that maybe Vista can win next year? Or does Microsoft still have an inferior design?

5) I found this detailed article describing how Vista licensing has been circumvented yet again. This hack doesn't just avoid licensing nags, it actually makes the OS look fully licensed. This really bugs me. I have to suffer by jumping through licensing hoops and maintaining licensing servers - don't even get me started talking about the labs! - while the pirates can still get access to whatever they want anyway. Frustrating.

1 comment:

0stmeistr said...

Yeah, they've [Creative] really bit the big one here; - what more is there to say?

Some will be 'forced' to continue supporting them in one way or the other, but for those who have followed this embarracing incident will probably not ever buy from them again.