Saturday, February 28 2009, 07:45 pm

Chug, chug, chug, chug...

How on earth does the world use Vista? Yes, Microsoft Windows Vista. Backstory: I received a new laptop two days ago. An ASUS N80Vn-X5. It came with Vista Home Premium 64-bit. This is my first copy of Vista as I run Linux on all my machines. I did have a copy of XP but I stopped using that a few years ago. Why did I stop using XP? Because I wanted something more out of my computer. XP is fine and all, but I can accomplish more with Linux - not just because it is free.

I unpack it from its box and I plug in the AC adapter and boot the thing. Vista starts to load - and load - and load. 10 minutes later I get to the desktop. Why on earth did it take that long to get to my desktop? Wait a minute... the hard drive is still chugging. Why?

The first thing I do is kill the hideous sidebar that takes an extra 5 minutes to load on startup. Gone. The second thing I do is disable automatic updates. Now, I realize some readers will think better of themselves and call me an idiot, but I rarely use Windows and I know how to update it so I'm quite OK running updates when I should instead of having Windows do it for me.

It came with SP1 so I figured it should be pretty harmless. Where to update this thing? Hm, I don't see anything. Ah, I'll just use IE's "Windows Update" link. Oh what's this? There's an update to Windows Update. Oh! It requires a reboot. *Reboot* Ah, that was a nice 10 minute reboot. Windows update has about 30 updates for me. Fine. Downloading/updating takes about 15 minutes thanks to the attrociously large 100 meg .NET update. I'm on 20 megabit Internet mind you. Rebooting again. Seems that I'm up to date now, or am I?

The only thing loaded on this thing is about 5 ASUS utilities for the fingerprint reader, webcam, and some software that looks like it encrypts files. Grand total of hard disk space in use? 20 gigabytes. That alone is enough for me to be offended permenently because what does that 20 gigabytes net me? A video player, picture viewer, a web browser, and a movie maker. The features don't match the disk space requirements. It's also using 1 gig of RAM with no programs running. Yes, I uninstalled the Office 2007 trial.

Why would I be offended? Example: My default Fedora install cost me 4.5gigs. What did I get besides the stuff already in Vista? Full office suite, photo manipulation, SELinux, bittorent, GPS mapping, SIP phone, Pidgin, GCC, and a few other of my programming utilities, not to mention Wine, which will allow me to run Windows apps.

Time to reboot just to see that reboot time again. *clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." What's this? WHAT'S THIS? I have updates turned *OFF* and Windows is installing updates. Stealth updates - w00t. The little trust I had with Microsoft is completely gone at this point.

I let it reboot and go back into Vista just to find that after I log in the hard drive is chugging - and chugging - and chugging. 10 minutes later it finally quiets down and I decide to reboot to get into Fedora. *Clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." Yeah. I'm done with Microsoft.