In Part I, I had just taken delivery of my new desktop loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Patch 1 (SP1). Once I got all the cabling done, it was time to turn the power on and let Vista do its thing. Vista Home Premium ran through its initial setup and did a reboot with no problems incurred along the way. I then installed the upgrade to Vista Ultimate, connected to the Internet and downloaded and installed the latest updates from the Microsoft. Now it was time to find out just how many of my "legacy" applications would indeed run in a Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit environment.
My first "legacy" install was an HTML editor program (HomeSite 5.5) from Macromedia, which is now part of Adobe. I have been using Homesite for years now. Although Adobe has not provided any new releases of Homesite since they acquired Macromedia, they still offer it as a product and maintain a HomeSite Forum which is still quite active. Vista installed HomeSite 5.5 without complaining, so the next step was to see if the program would actually load and run under Vista. Much to my surprise, it did, even without setting it to run in Win XP compatibility mode. I have been using it ever since and have had no problems to date. As a matter of fact, I'm using HomeSite 5.5 to compose this article.
Next I tried some of my "mission-critical" open source applications. I downloaded and installed the latest versions of FileZilla (both client and server), 7-Zip, PuTTY and Wampserver. All are functioning as advertised and again, none of the programs had to be set to run in Win XP compatibility mode. Sol far, so good!
There were, as expected, some applications I use regularly that were not Vista compatible. The most notable of these were:
- Winzip - I had to upgrade to the latest release to get Vista compatibility. Yes I know I have 7_Zip installed and that Vista also has built-in zip/unzip functionality, but I like WinZip.
- Microsoft Money - same here, but I got a $20.00 rebate, so that easewd the pain a bit.
- CuteFTP Professional - again I had to upgrade to the latest release. I could have just used FileZilla client on a regular basis, but I prefer CuteFTP as I think its user interface and navigation is much better.
I'm sure that some of the complaints about Vista are well founded, but my personal opinion is that it is not nearly as bad as some would lead you to believe. Stay tuned for Part III...