Playing With Vista Beta 2

So tonight while I was doing some coding on the Linux box, I installed the Vista Beta 2 that Microsoft so graciously put out for legal download and install. I installed on a spare 20G drive with my main hard drive unplugged, just in case. It wouldn’t be the first time I chose the wrong drive when doing something late at night.

Install was pretty boring. I have boring hardware. In the set up I was asked for a username and password (not required). I am assuming that this default user is an admin user. Isn’t that what the security experts have been railing against? Here are a few quick impressions before bed.

  • after logging in the first thing I saw was a note that vista had recovered from an unexpected shutdown
  • one of the first things I saw after that was the question of is this a private or public network in regards to sharing files. I have no idea what it actually does (which worries me a bit) but since I am firewalled I said ‘private’.
  • immediately after this I got the ‘full modal’ “something is trying to do something” dialog where the rest of the screen greys out. EEEK!
  • … in the course of typing the above, the dialog timed out, so I got to ignore it 🙂
  • nice personal greeting after this though, ‘Alan, welcome to your computer’. sniff so friendly!
  • Default sexy aero look (I assume auto-detected from my video card). Oooooohhh…. sexy….
  • The sidebar thing is turned on by default. The default gagets are a slideshow, big ass clock, and rss reader.
  • It was a bit surprising to not have the ‘right click, properties, settings’ flow to set my screen resolution. Now it’s ‘right click, personalize, display settings’.
  • Default ram used after boot with not doing anything is 553mb. This went down to 478 when I got closed the welcome center, exited the sidebar and clicked through a couple of other random dialogs that popped up when I clicked on the RSS feed on the sidebar earlier, telling me about IE7 phishing philter.

More later. For now though, it’s about on par with XP as far as annoying-shit-on-install. With xp you have the tour, telling you about your tray icons, and that stuff. Vista has phishing philters and security update notices.