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The End of the Vista Experiment

28 replies on 2 pages. Most recent reply: May 21, 2008 2:53 AM by Pietro Mele

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Bruce Eckel

Posts: 875
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Dec 28, 2007 8:07 AM
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> IMO, parsing the LaTeX input files for code, and
> performing automated tests on LaTeX source should be at
> least as easy as doing this with Word.

The key word here being "should." As I've said, I created a book with Latex, and I have created books with Word. I have tried within the last year to use OpenOffice to work on a book-length document and it was debilitating, it was so slow.

To get it right, you have to see what you're creating. Latex doesn't do this -- you make a change, and sometime later you see the effects of that change, and if there's a problem you fix it, then you wait again. This loop introduces errors. Seeing the change instantly in a WYSIWYG system reduces those errors.

I agree, you should be able to use OO for book length documents. It no longer crashes on documents of that size (I sent them an earlier version of TIJ when it did, so I think they might have used that as a test subject), so maybe someday OO will get fast enough that it can handle such things. But right now, saying that it "should" work doesn't make it so.


Posts: 1
Nickname: jwillis
Registered: Dec, 2007

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Dec 29, 2007 12:11 AM
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Maybe it should be a sociology specialty of study, but it seems the larger a group that works on a product or project the more likely it is to loose its purpose and focus.

As a successful product in the past Windows was likely to attract a lot of opinionated and immobile personalities that add noise to the process.

Innovative people either adapt or move on, people who know what they're doing just tend to leave when there's no progress.

I'd say Microsoft has a culture by now that has chased off most of the innovators and doers and become more like a legal holding company.

One model that they seem to be adopting is acquisition, patent defense and licensing. As a released product Vista is more like a "publication" of their sponsored lab efforts than a real product... its up for review and the review isn't good.

The Java model where the OS(es) is a collection of libraries tailored for a purpose seems to be doing well.

But ultimately you need a physical hardware model to run the OS on.. Apple is doing the best at the desktop level, various forms of virtualization seem to be presaging a new virtual machine industry where you run your enterprise apps at data centers, or at least on virtualized hardware that is portable from one system to another.

Look at your current parallels experiment with XP.. your doing it to run a specialized app for a legacy function and actively looking to transition to something else.

Vista ain't it.

Online we currently have "shared services" accounts (web application accounts) "dedicated server" accounts (for legacy admins with no virtualization experience) and "virtual server" accounts using Xen or VMware

Since Google built its industry on opensource and vanilla hardware.. I'd expect a big service industry play where Google eventually rents virtual servers to any and everyone and dynamically reassigns resources on realtime use.

Java and Mono would make great tools in that space.

John Faughnan

Posts: 2
Nickname: jfaughnan
Registered: Dec, 2007

OS X alternatives to Camtasia and Word Posted: Dec 30, 2007 8:11 AM
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Of course I can't resist adding OS X device.

Word processing: Try Nisus Writer Pro. I use Nisus Writer Express but the Pro version is more book oriented. My experience with NWE has been very good -- the primary defect is the 'save as HTML' is worthless. Also it doesn't do bitmap compression. File format is RTF and it will treat .DOC as a native format as well. I wouldn't ever adopt a WP that didn't use a de facto 50 year standard for its file format.

Of course Word for Mac is being updated now and the new version will be released at MacWorld. It can't possibly be lousier than Word 2007.

Camtasia: Wow, there are great OS X alternatives -- much better than Camtasia and far less expensive. I use iShowU:
or go directly to

Elizabeth Wiethoff

Posts: 89
Nickname: ewiethoff
Registered: Mar, 2005

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Jan 4, 2008 9:47 PM
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Sune Hansen wrote: "make fun of my tin foil hat if you must, but Vista coming out after MS and NSA had chats, combined with all that "activity" on the hard drive...basically you don't have a clue what your machine is doing and who is on it."

Basically, "upgrading" to Vista gives you perpetually paranoid digital rights mangagement monitoring run amok:

Benjamin Cox

Posts: 1
Nickname: bencox76
Registered: Dec, 2007

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Jan 7, 2008 11:30 AM
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> <p>Camtasia is another tool that only seems to run on
> Windows, and it has recently become important to me. Then
> there are all the programs around the edges, both payware
> and freeware, that have been written for the largest
> market and not yet ported to the other machines.

You mean like Java 6? ;-)

bd satish

Posts: 1
Nickname: bdsatish
Registered: Feb, 2008

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Feb 11, 2008 1:43 AM
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I too have used LaTeX for preparing books & articles. IMO it is a lot better than M$ WORD. I've got rid of "write/compile/view" cycle of LaTeX, thanks to TeXmaker. This is a beautiful IDE that gives me the PDF view of LaTeX document at the click of a button. This also has a "tree browser" to keep track of chapters,sections, etc in a book. Click & go to the chapter of your choice!

If that's not enough, try TeXmacs. This is my current favorite. Because, it is a WYSIWYG editor that understands LaTeX ! You can export LaTeX code as PDF, HTML and other formats. It also has built-in styles of LaTeX such as book, article, letter, etc. You can create diagrams, pictures and tables right within TeXmacs. All of this in a WYSIWYG way. Adjusting table widths, line spacing, and paragraph indentation at the click of a button. Of course, there are keyboard shortcuts too. It has pre-defined macros for all these things and using customizing macros is very easy (as in Emacs). And the good thing is all of your document is stored as plain text, using XML-like syntax. You can edit your document in operating system Z, for all values of Z, even if TeXmacs is not installed! Even presentations (similar to Powerpoint) can be created with TeXmacs.

Moreover, TeXmacs is time-tested and very stable on my Ubuntu Linux machine. Give it a try. There's no point in using WinXP just for M$-WORD !

Hannu Heikkinen

Posts: 2
Nickname: hannuxx
Registered: Jan, 2007

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Feb 11, 2008 3:14 AM
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Got Vista on Acer Aspire, and after reinstalling Vista
10 times I decided to go back to XP. Vista crashed mysteriously giving BSOD. And no real crash dump, nothing.
Frustration level was high, believe me.

You may use OpenOffice for Word-alike writing. I dislike MS
products due to legacy interfaces, frameworks, and file

Fernando Private

Posts: 1
Nickname: numberfive
Registered: Mar, 2008

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Mar 19, 2008 11:22 PM
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Hello, my computer is also extremely noisy. i have a PC with an ASUS motherboard, intel chipset ( i think ) pentium 4 HT.
My computer is really noisy and im not sure if its because of the power fan or the one in the processor.
Besides , i live in a hot country ( Brazil ).
Running some programs that made heavy use of HD and/or CPU like runnng a complete virus scan with AVG, besides starting making an absurd noise, it would make the computer so hot that it restarted. I found some setting in the bios of my asus motherboard that somehow avoids or tries to avoid the temperature to reach certain levels. This was turned off so i turned on. Now usually the computer does not restart but the noise is so unbearable that i simply cant use some programs like running full avg scan, or Desktop Search utilities.
I cant afford a 3,000$ quiet computer, but if anybody can help me to make my computer quieter i would appreciate. bye

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Mar 20, 2008 2:07 AM
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You could try replacing some or all of the fans with bigger ones, they would cool more effectively. You can also buy fans that are specifically designed to be quiet. Since, almost all PC fans are of a common size and voltage then replacing any of then should be too great a problem.

The best and quietest (and most difficult) way to cool a PC is to install a water based cooling system. There are many web sites that talk about or sell such systems. They may be worth investigating.

Bill Plummer

Posts: 2
Nickname: bplummer
Registered: Apr, 2008

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Apr 4, 2008 6:22 AM
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I do mostly Microsoft C# development and for the last couple of years I've been using virtual computers for my development.

My first VM's were done with MS Virtual PC, but I changed to VMWare Workstation because I like the interface better.

Then I went to Ubuntu 7.04 amd64 to take advantage of my 64 bit processor. That worked well for me, and my latest move was to Ubuntu 8.04 amd64 beta on my home workstation. 7.10 had given me fits with the sound card driver. So far 8.04 appears to be better.

So, if you like XP (like I do) and you need to run MS Word why not run the OS of choice in a virtual computer. Mine work great, they are fast, and more stable than when I have XP installed as the host operating system. Plus, I back my VM's up on several hard drives to keep from losing my work in a system crash. (you may not understand that last comment if you've never had to rebuild your operating system from scratch... if you did, I'm sure you had all your data backed up on another drive:-))

Filipe Catraia

Posts: 1
Nickname: fcatraia
Registered: Apr, 2008

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Apr 6, 2008 6:29 AM
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> In my opinion Vista is first Microsoft OS built with
> security in mind,
and Microsoft should be praised for
> that. Yes it's slower than XP and some programs like
> Windows Media Player run slow for no apparent reason
> (although I suppose it is fault of built DRM in Vista),
> but it is more secure than previous versions of Windows
> and that's why I recommend it to all ordinary home
> computer users who ask me for advice.

In my very humble opinion, you can't add a major feature to an OS using the same old principles. Creating Vista with built-in security (which is too intrusive!) is an epic battle between Microsoft's concern with having a better OS and the code itselft.

As to not moving away from Windows because of a few softwares, I guess the advantages on picking Mac or Linux are more than enough to counter the loss of a few utilities. And, fortunately, I'm moving to Mac (my notebook arrives Wednesday) despite and in spite of all those years using Windows.

Michael Gogins

Posts: 1
Nickname: gogins
Registered: Apr, 2008

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Apr 14, 2008 7:39 AM
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About word processors, why use one?

I use LaTeX. All mathematicians, most physicists, and many other scientists write all their papers and books with LaTeX on dinky computers. It's a learning curve, but there are user-friendly front ends (I use TexNicenter). LaTeX is capable of large scholarly books with equations, graphics, tables, complex bibliographies, program listings, and much much more at the highest professional levels of typography. I'm never going back to Word unless the editor makes me. Of course it is completely free and is well documented.


Andrew Binstock

Posts: 9
Nickname: binstock
Registered: Sep, 2006

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: Apr 26, 2008 5:32 PM
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You must not have seen FrameMaker in a very long time. It definitely does word-processing. And it has improved with its features with every release from Adobe.

Pietro Mele

Posts: 1
Nickname: pietrom
Registered: May, 2008

Re: The End of the Vista Experiment Posted: May 21, 2008 2:53 AM
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"Although I'm (so far) still stuck using Word, I've become very reluctant to upgrade to new versions."

May suggest you a much better, multiplatform, open source, compiled (i.e. no JVM) alternative word processor?


You can start with LyX on Windows, and then, when you feel ready, go with LyX on Linux. It is extremely easy to use, and its equation editor is much much better than anything else I have seen.

Just let me know what you think about it when you have tried it.

This is my web site (in case you should be interested in neural networks...):

Yours (i.e. one of your readers),


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