True or False: Vista!

Just quietly, before we begin, small shout-out to Arvixe web hosting who are hosting my blog and stuff now! Thanks!

I have a question to pose. What was wrong with Windows Vista?

I had used Vista from Beta through to the other day when I finally upgrade to Windows 7 (because I wanted new technology like DX11) and never, ever had an issue with it as an operating system. My system specs were not amazing, nothing about my computer other than myself (being savvy) is different than one bought off the shelf anywhere else, and yet it ran flawlessly. And I am not the only one. I have built computers within prices ranging from $900 – $1600 for friends, installed Vista, and none of them have a problem with it either.

This leads me to believe that the problem has to be the setup of the operating system itself. Any computer enthusiast should understand that an operating system is just like any other program, and needs to have its options configured to how the user wants in order for the software to behave accordingly. This is a 5 minute job which changes the entire feel of Windows Vista for the better, and in my opinion, makes it more than “liveable”.

Admittedly, Vista was a long way from Windows XP in polish when it came out, and some features were a little annoying, but these could all be switched off (User Account Control – Bah!) There is only a marginal difference in RAM usage from Vista to 7 (both fresh installs, no upgrade) possibly 5 – 10% overall on my system with 4GB, and not a lot more on my laptop with 2GB. So alright, it does use slightly more, but then again, it does look a lot better than XP. If you don’t want it to look better, turn it off!

It seems to me, that because the “IT Professionals” preferred a little speed on older computers and were not used to the default setup of Vista, they took an instant dislike to it, and then wrote on their blogs about it. Then the people who don’t know as much about computers listened. And refused to buy it. And the sales crashed. And more blogs by people who know even less came out about how they don’t like it. And the internet wins again.

I don’t want to get too rant-y here, but let’s just see what the latest internet trends are… Tiger Woods (celebrity scandals! O noes!), New Moon (Teen Vamp movies…), Lady Gaga (Bad music…) and Avatar (The movie, I’m guessing). My point is that you cannot listen to the internet. The best bet would be to ask someone who LIKES Vista to tell you why, rather than someone who hates it. Admittedly, both opinions have their flaws, but why not hear both sides of the story?

I guess the point of this blog wasn’t to give you my opinion, but to help you understand everyone else’s. If you do still have vista and haven’t already followed the fanboy rush at the Windows 7 desk of your local JB HiFi then please, take my advice and do the following:

  1. Turn off User Account Control.
    This helps make the computer a smoother, less obtrusive instrument to get what you want done.
  2. Change your Security Centre settings to stop notifying you.
    This gets awfully tiring after a while. Personally I don’t run Anti-virus or anything so it will always alert you otherwise.
  3. Set Control Panel to Classic View.
    The best for people who are used to using Windows XP. It’s the same again!
  4. Set your Start Menu to Classic View and customise to your liking.
    Also suggest using small icons here. This is something I have always had until I upgraded to 7. No, you cannot do that in Windows 7, but you can make it a bit better…
  5. Set your desktop to Small Icons.
    Much cleaner for those with smaller monitors / laptops

There is a lot of other small tweaks that you can do, and I’m sure you can google those yourself.

In closing, please don’t judge before you try. You really can make Vista an acceptable operating system with just a few small changes here and there. It’s like OS Feng-shui. Or something.

Have fun,
Andrew

Moving On Up!

Well, over the years my blog provider has provided my blog (surprise surprise) and now that I am moved up in the world (I.e. better hosting) it is about time to give the ol’ girl her last hurrah. Well, Hurrah!

My new blog address is http://blog.andrewdor.com and is an exact copy of this blog (down to the last hair! Get it? Computers don’t have hair!) and because the MySQL databases have been updated to refer to this new URL, everyone should end up there sooner or later.

As for me, watch out. I will hopefully be reviewing some games I have been playing (I say that a lot, but I mean it this time)

Andrew

p.s. I will be cross-posting this, to the new website’s RSS feed as well! Which by the way, can be found here!

Fan-Dangle-d Tech-Knowl-Igy?

Just a quick one today, I feel like I want to share some information I have become privy to in the recent minutes. After deciding that I want to format Patrice’s Asus eeepc 900 and install Windows 7 Ultimate, I read a cool guide to do so here, which also points at a very nice Microsoft tutorial on Installing Windows 7 from a USB Drive. The only issue I have with this, is that I don’t want to use a USB key (I have an 80gb Portable 2.5″ HDD.)

This brings me to the issue of how do you format a hard drive to FAT32 (required to be able to boot from the disk). I had done this once before on my Vista setup, which took quite a long time and involved using a 3rd party app to format. Of course somewhere along the line I lost the application. After a quick Google I found The Answer very quickly.

Download the archive file from Here and extract it to an easy place to find (I recommend C:\) then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your disk is connected
  2. hit Start / Run
  3. type “cmd”
  4. be very, VERY careful you know what disk you want to format
  5. type “c:\fat32format x:” (Where x: is your drive)
  6. once again, triple-check you have the right drive
  7. type “y” and press enter
  8. Don’t go have a cup of coffee. I dislike it when people that make lists and include those stupid items which are meant to be smart.
  9. That’s it. You now have a FAT32 formatted drive of any size!

Now there are a few things to remember, Due to the way FAT works, I would not suggest using it for a primary hard drive, or anything like that. It can get awfully clogged and tiresome to defragment. Also, people might laugh at you if they ever found out.

This trick is especially useful when running a large drive to play DivX or Xvid movies on your PS3 or USB-DVD player (completely legally, of course) as those devices only use FAT32 disks and USB drives. Also, when building USB Boot-drives for a netbook.

Other than that, I am considering getting one of These Puppies for myself, as I do not have a small laptop, my current one is large and cumbersome.

Keep “with it”,
Andrew

The Next Step

Well, here I am again, posting another blog, this time however I am at a net cafe’ style setup at a shopping centre due to the installation of my old stereo head unit into my new car! I don’t know if I had regaled you with the tale of the vehicles, but just quickly, I have a new one cause the old one was run into.

To the business end of this discussion, I have been applying for jobs around Brisbane in Game Dev positions, but it appears that the market is not what it used to be. I have sent off approximately 7 resumes and have heard back twice, with negative replies. This is understandable considering that Krome Stuidos have just fired about 30 of their staff. Don’t ask me why. I have however found a position in a different line of work. Interactive Design for E-Learning systems! The job which I am looking at would be excellent, fits all the criteria and is almost twice as much money as I was looking at getting in the first place. Fingers crossed!

Die Hard weapon magazines
Die Hard weapon magazines

As for entertainment, I have played through and finished then entirety of Borderlands in about 3 days (Which was a very, very fun game, taking me back to the times of Diablo, Quake, and various other FPS/RPG’s. I have also been watching a fair few movies (such as the Die Hard series) which I have been enjoying the nostalgia of. (See image!)

I am also in the process of playing Star Wars: The Force Unleased and am thinking about getting Modern Warefare 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. Does DA:O have a prequel? I should find that out. Most stuff with subtitles does.

As for anything else happening, I have put down for more hours at Big W where I have been working for the last 5 years! (I KNOW!) and they have started giving me exactly what I wanted. Surprising, right? The reason I need to work more unfortunately is that I have to stop mooching off the government. But hopefully I will get that job I was talking about beforehand.
In hardware news, the new Radeon 5970 is out, and looks amazing. It is only a little more expensive than the 5870 but is using the uber-cool single-card-crossfire bizniz which graphics cards love to use these days. Hit up Anandtechif you want some reviews. I certainly did. I am also waiting with bated breath for the release of Intel Core i9’s which will be Hexacore processors with hypterthreading, meaning that i will finally be able to have >10 threads! And yes, I do need it!
Well, That’s about it from me, and since that I have to head off in a few minutes to pick up my car, I bid you farewell! I will keep you updated on the situation of myself. Which is what blogs are about. Oh, and follow me on Twitter! *shakes fist*
Andrew

Looking to the Future!

Last night was an auspicious evening of canapé’s, white wine and people sitting down and playing Cyber Granny. It was, of course, the Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment Industry Exhibition. This was great cause for celebration as my beautiful fiancé had baked cookies, provided a pretty pink “table cloth” and booth-babe’d for us! Stephen created for the group a large number of specialised teabags with Cyber Granny on the label of each individual bag, brought a tea pot and a walking stick, and was the voice of our group. I myself printed the DVD case inserts and the poster, burned 10 DVDs, set up the electronics and generally looked awesome.

The day itself went really well, with some very positive responses from the industry representatives and other students who took the time to sit down and play the game. My father came in the evening for the food and drinks, and to see how it all turned out. This was especially interesting because he could not stop himself playing the game while no one else was.

As for what I am going to do now that I have done my last presentation of my education life, I intend to get a job (as I have said) and would love it to be at THQ. They currently have a Level Design position going of which I fit the criteria to a tee. The only problem is that every Tom, Dick and Gabe Newel will most likely be applying for the position, making it well hard for a undergrad like myself to even get an interview, let alone secure the position.

The other option is to get a job doing something else in the industry (Such as Quality Assurance or making coffee) and then work my way up from there. Unfortunately that renders my university degree pointless, and I do not appreciate pointless expenditures of gratuitous amounts of money.

On a lighter side, I feel I am finally become fed up with FarmVille on facebook, as it is just getting tedious now, and I believe I will start spending more of my time watching movies which I have not seen yet. Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ghost in the Shell – Both of which I intend to watch within the next day or two. There are a large number of films which I have not seen and would really like to, but as I have been more focused on playing games than other forms of storytelling, haven’t had the chance.

In the world of games, I have spent some time playing Need for Speed: Shift which has taken a couple hours, and is actually pretty decent. I would give it 7 out of 10. Much better than the previous few instalments of the same game, but could be better.

Anyway, I’m going to meet up with Stuart my friend from uni who I haven’t seen in quite some time, so for now, I bid you Farewell!

Andrew