Ang3lFir3 – Life as a Code Poet

May 27, 2006

Windows Vista Beta2: first impressions

Filed under: Microsoft, technology, Uncategorized, Windows Vista — ang3lfir3 @ 6:41 pm

So, as hopefully some of you already know I was waiting on hardware for a dedicated Vista test box. Well it arrived ontime on Thursday (Newegg always on time) but I've been really busy at work with my current project going beta in a few days.

This weekend however I've had some time to install Vista Beta2 and get some first impressions.

And, I'm pretty excited. Still there are a few things that I'm not too keen on (No listview for folders?) and many more things I'm really excited about. I've been playing with the Vista Ultimate edition since there is no reason to see anything else (least not for me..always install the best). You may also remember that I am very excited for the inclusion of Media Center in Vista. So after playing with the main OS for awhile, which is mostly just me fiddling with settings. I decided to install my Media Center hardware. Namely a VisionTek Theatre Pro 550 TV Tuner to go along with the Nvidia 6200TC (I do suggest something better for a more perminant solution) I'll be using for viewing on this test box.

Being a beta product I expected a lot of hassle with drivers not working and things like that. There is the distinct possibility that there may be no usable drivers for the hardware yet. Which is no fault of Microsoft's or even the hardware vendor's at this point. But, to my surprise and delight I had zero problems. The best part was the NV drivers were nicely preinstalled (gota love that) and when I decided to take the plunge with my onboard Realtek audio driver installation and the drivers for the Theatre Pro card I used the online driver search utility. Which worked like a charm. Anyone using XPSP2 can tell you that finding drivers with the included XP online tool can be difficult for modern hardware. In this case it was a snap and I was up and running in a matter of minutes.

I hit "The Green Button" on my MCE remote and stepped through the configuration wizard and was watching live TV on my Vista Media Center in a matter of minutes. It was such a pleasurable experience that I really thought I should share it with you all. Ohh, and Vista Media Center…. yeah I'm in love. Though the Guide listing for my channels wasn't always 100% correct about what was on, for the most part it got it right and with the scheduling options for recording I had my favorite series (wow what's the plural for series?) scheduled and ready to go in just a few minutes.

I'll speak to the Vista UI in a future post. For the most part after a few minutes of reconfiguration I was closer to what I wanted with not too much pain. I do however want my listview back. Maybe even some opinions on Office2007 though I'm sure there are enough floating around out there without me trying to same something intelligent.

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