The comments on this article inspired Tetge to respond:
I see from the responses in comments about my rant that this is a somewhat emotional issue. The original e-mail from me that Joe put up was actually a discussion of my impression of Win-7, Ubuntu, and XP. It was not intended to be a review of Win-7. I would like to make it clear that I frequent Overclockers.com and have, it seems, done so forever, because I used to overclock everything insanely, and the only computer that I did not build myself was my initial DX33 that I got from a small local system builder a million years ago.
I did raise the front side bus on the DX33 which is how my overclocking began. Then I got a DX4-66 and then an AMD DX4-100 before starting down the Pentium road. I have closets full of obsolete computer stuff that I should toss but which I keep for some unknown reason. As I upgraded many times over the years I always used Microsoft OS’s although I started trying Linux very early on. In the closet are Windows 3.0 for Workgroups ( I had earlier versions and I still have DOS on floppies) and Win 95 and all flavors of Win 98 including SE and ME. NT4.0 and W2K and XP all followed as well. So I do upgrade both hardware and OS’s,
Lately I have been slowing down because computers have become quite powerful and quite capable of doing the tasks I do without overclocking and without constant hardware upgrades. However, I started with a single video card on my current computer and then when an identical card’s price came down, I tried SLI and then I changed to the 8800GTX because it was a great deal.
Since I initially put this system together, I changed the sound card and other internal parts of the computer so I am not stuck in one spot satisfied with my hardware. I have an Adaptec 29160 SCSI card and SCSI HD’s and I upgraded the SCSI HD’s to larger ones not long ago. It is only SCSI 160 but these cards and drives are quite expensive, so it has been moved from build to build.
My ASUS MB resides in a CM Stacker case (another upgrade) about the size of a small apartment building with numerous fans. I have a relatively big Corsair 750 modular power supply that I picked up not long ago. Also on my desk is a second computer that is fairly modern and there is a third older computer using a wireless connection next to my keyboard in another room. These are all networked and they are all up to date on firmware and BIOS and Windows updates and virus defs, etc. A fair amount of effort went into building and configuring these boxes and I do more maintenance than most. Not your average Joe Sixpack setup.
I have installed and configured a fair amount of software over the years and, in fact, because I am a religious user of Ghost backups, I am free to experiment with software with no real risk. In some ways, it is almost the same thing as it is with my Mustang versus my good friend’s Evo XIII (which went 11.7x in the 1/4 highly modified). He is all about modern technology and 4WD and turbos and manual BOV’s and I am all about old school, to some extent, although my SVT Cobra has a crude IRS and a DOHC engine, American V-8 muscle.
Interestingly, the ricer crew pays little to no attention to my Mustang at the strip or on the street, and, visa versa, so the points of view of two car enthusiast groups do not converge. I can appreciate that they are enthusiasts, but, I don’t get it. It is true, however, that the Mustang is a lot better suited for the do it yourself home mechanic than the Evo since the “old” tech is a lot easier to understand and deal with than all the cutting edge modern stuff.
It seems thus with Vista and Win-7, since they are definitely of the “we will do it all for you” school and they are new and modern in look and feel. In contrast, I like to retain some control over the operating system. Naturally my car does not have an auto trans but I understand that a surprising number of current drivers have never used a manual trans and would not know how to drive a car so equipped. There seems to be a philosophical difference involved.
I do not upgrade my hardware as frequently as I once did because I do not play games (although GTR-2 plays great maxed out on my system) and I also can not afford it, and, as with my race car/daily driver, if it ain’t broke why fix it? I recently made a wish list at NewEgg and it came to around $1000 with CA tax and delivery and that was using a lot of the existing parts of my system. This was based on the newest Intel Core I7 920; ASUS P6T Deluxe; 3 GB Corsair DDR3 1600; and an aftermarket CPU cooler (one might wish to push this configuration just a bit over stock just because one could). I also added a 250GB and 500GB Seagate SATA HD and a SATA DVD burner as it appears that it is time to give up on my old SCSI 160 card.
The new stuff is so fast, I would not miss the SCSI and SATA is much cheaper, neater, and efficient from a builder’s point of view. But, I am delaying, both in the hope that AMD ( I admit to being an AMD fan boy) will bring something out that I can live with and that is perhaps more affordable or that, if I have to go with INTEL, more Core I7 performance will be within my price range.
As for the OS issue?
I spent years configuring XP Pro so that it never BSOD’s and so that it just works. I can not even remember all the tweaks I did but, it is pretty refined at this point. Anyone I know who ever builds and configures their own system(s) can get weary over time with the process. The hardware part is usually still sort of fun, but the software installation can get tedious. It certainly takes days initially even when one is familiar with the OS. So, an OS that fights you is not much fun at this point in my computer journey.
I also feel that Microsoft almost forces an experienced person to get the Ultimate version of Vista or Win-7 if for no other reason that both contain a real full backup program, so there is a savings there.Obviously my older versions of Ghost would not work on Vista or Win-7. I agree that a newbie or a person who likes to change the look and feel of things would not be as bothered by Vista/Win-7 as I am. But I also know that time is money and when programs change there is some loss of efficiency while the new way of going things is mastered.
Some have suggested turning off UAC in Vista if that is a major annoyance, but that defeats one of the great security advances in Vista and Win-7. UAC is annoying but perhaps worth it. Ubuntu asks for my password to do updates and install things for the same reason. But I also have to point out that Linux, in my case Ubuntu, has a very different look and feel than any Windows OS so I am not categorically disposed against new things.
I have been working with and trying to get on board with Linux for years if for no other reason than MS stuff is expensive for the Pro or Ultimate versions. Linux used to be too much for me in terms of retaining control over the OS since it required a lot of knowledge at the command prompt to configure Linux. But, Ubuntu is promising and is a lot more plug and play than Linux used to be and, unlike some, I do not wish to give up exploring alternative options because “It is a Windows world“. It is interesting that some would dismiss me as not interested in progress and then go on to suggest that attempting to migrate to Linux from Windows would be futile. I am trying to keep an open mind and, if Linux works and it is free, why not adopt it?
At the end of the day, I am not knocking those that like Vista and that will like Win-7 almost for sure. I am just expressing my opinion after years and years of building systems and configuring them that I am not comfortable or happy with the apparent direction Microsoft is going with Windows. I personally do not see any improvements over XP Pro and I felt that Win2K was just about right. I know that Microsoft needs to keep “improving” their products and I know that the partners of Microsoft are staying in business in part due to churning. Progress and/or change puts food on a lot of tables and I seriously doubt that my opinion will change anything.
I also concede that hardware advances may call for differences in operating systems, but I am seeking an alternative and Linux may end up being the way I go. I realize that Linux has limitations as a desktop OS in a Window’s world, but depending on what is expected from a computer, Linux could possibly serve all one’s needs.
I do use some software that has no Linux version such as DynoJet’s dyno file reader, and Diablo Sports serial port Predator programing software (just examples). I don’t know if Wine would run these programs under Linux so I have to admit that I may have to have some version of Windows installed on some computer as a dual boot. However, I could leave an old version of XP installed for years no doubt and still use the old software on various devices that I own for which there are only Windows interfaces.
For now I am waiting and running XP Pro on my old computer. I am watching Ubuntu and other flavors of Linux ( I have a huge stack of Linux CD’s collected over the years but Ubuntu is my current favorite) to see if Linux can fully serve my needs. Perhaps I will have to keep only a single Windows computer which will definitely save me money. Only time will tell, but, I am still giving the thumbs down to Vista and Win-7.