Vista and Me, Part I
I was planning on buying a new PC for a while now. As I thought about just what hardware and software configuration I wanted, it occurred to me that there was one important decision that I had to make. The decision wasn't about the PC hardware as this stuff is pretty much commoditized these days. Rather it was regarding the operating system. I'm well-versed in both Windows and Linux, but truth be told, most of the applications and tools I use on a day-to-day basis are Windows-centric. I'm still not convinced that Linux is ready for prime time as my desktop operating environment.
That left me with the choice of continuing on with Win XP or finally dealing with Win Vista. In the past I had been an "early adopter" of the various incarnations of Windows through the years, starting with the first semi-decent release (Win 95) way back when. But I was really hesitant to migrate to Vista. It wasn't due to all the negative press and Vista bashing on forums and blogs. Those of us who have been around for a while heard many of the same complaints about Win XP.
What was really making me take it slow on Vista was all the things I had been hearing about the lack of and/or support for hardware drivers. I wanted to continue to use my existing printers, scanner and numerous other peripherals that were in perfectly good working condition (and of course, the financial impact of replacing them all at the same time wa also a consideration!). A secondary concern was just how well Vista would support some of my older application software packages, some of which had been around since the Win 98 days.
As I was having this great "XP versus Vista" debate with myself, I happened upon a deal being advertised on the Internet site of one of the "Big-Box" stores. For a reasonable price, I could get an HP Pavilion equipped with an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB Hard Drive, and a bunch of additional bells and whistles. And a 22-inch Flat Panel Monitor and all-in-one printer/scanner/copier were also included in the bundle. The operating system was Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit with an upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with a mail-in rebate.
I took the hook, ordered the system over the Internet and picked it up at the store a day later. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this saga...