The vista from an apple

I spent three days trying to reinstall Vista on my son's Dell Inspiron laptop; three solid days. Using Dell's supplied disks and instructions, no less. Each time it would fail for some unknown reason. We lost everything on the hard drive because it seems you can't boot from the rescue disk and copy data to another drive and you have to reformat because Vista won't recognise that the partition of the old system can be reused. That's just bullshit. It turns out that if I want to activate the media control buttons, I have to reformat the drive and do it all again. Like hell I will.

I bought and installed XP onto VMWare Fusion on my Mac tonight. It took about 40 minutes, with some 4 minutes download and the use of an existing copy of XP Home. It runs at a blazing speed. Even that's too slow an installation for me.

When I have installed or reinstalled Mac OS X, it takes me less time than that (typically 30 minutes), and it works first time, and all I need to do is follow the instructions. And if I needed to, I could boot from a DVD and copy to another disk all the contents of the internal boot drive.

Just sayin'...

And another thing - in my last job I was head of a department that used around 14 Macs of various flavours, and two Windows machines. We spent at least 90% of the time spent on maintenance and troubleshooting on the Windows machines. If we could have run the cool animation software on a Mac, we would have (and now you can). Basically I'd install Linux and claw my own teeth out with a garden rake before I'd ever run another Windows machine by choice. [Actually, I like Ubuntu, which my mate Malte put me onto, but I'm a sucker for well realised software like Keynote.]

Like I said, just sayin'


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I am certainly no MS apologist but there is one thing that most people don't think about when they compare an Apple OS to Windows. Apple has 100% control of the hardware in their machines. With that knowledge they can pocus on making everything work well with that hardware alone. And from what I heard about the most recent Mac OS they even managed to screw a few things up given that much control.

Windows (along with any other OS for a PC) has to contend with the fact that they have absolutely no control over the hardware in the box. They need to make something that will work regardless of what hardware the machine has. That is a bit harder to do.

Just sayin, it isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison.

As a gamer who builds my own machines I will never buy an Apple of any kind because I have no control over the hardware, nor can I ever upgrade any components. Totally unacceptable.

'I will never buy an Apple of any kind because I have no control over the hardware, nor can I ever upgrade any components. "

Depends on what you buy. Apple laptops are as upgradeable as any other laptop (I've replaced the hard drive and memory on my iBook myself). Their all-in-one iMacs aren't very customizable, but nor are comparable offerings from Dell or Gateway.

If you are talking about a tower computer, well, you can buy OTS hardware of all kinds to upgrade your Mac Pro or G4/G5 tower: video cards, network cards, audio cards, TV cards, specialty cards like FibreChannel RAID cards, etc etc.

However, if you're a hardcore gamer then Windows is probably more attractive to you as there are a lot more games for Windows, and certainly building a maxed out custom machine is a large part of the gaming community. So it makes more sense to go that route.

3 days and destroyed data. I too have had similarly ugly windows install experiences. Never had a Linux or *BSD install go so poorly, however. Of course, the Linux and *BSD people control the PC hardware that they run on, so, like Apple, they have a huge advantage over Microsoft, the poor benighted victim of the all-powerful hardware vendors.

Ah, the joys of loading Vista. My sympathies.

Were you trying to load onto a PC with SATA or SATA II hard drives? My experience is that the Windows drivers for these are dodgy and installation often crashes through inability of the installation to communicate properly with the drive/s.

After spending many frustrating hours (over a couple of days while I searched the web for solutions) I resorted to temporally installing an IDE drive onto which Vista loaded seamlessly and then copying over to the SATA drive/s.

It works fine but I'm still not convinced it was worth the hassle ie no WOW! factor for me. Cheers.

I for one, welcome our Microsoft overlords! (sorry, couldn't resist mate). There are interesting parallels between OS advocacy and religious/political proselytizing. Might be worth a paper or two (and no doubt already has been). Which OS has the moral high ground? Which is better oriented towards users rights? And for the evolutionist, which has more survival value (good scientific theories should always make predictions ;)

Jings. I still can't convince my laptop that my copy of Vista, which came preinstalled, is genuine. It'll be fine for about five minutes, after spending 3 hrs trying to contact MS to troubleshoot the issue, and then the moment I so much as move a file, the bastard thing does it again.

One of the MS people said, "Oh that happens a lot. Basically you have to try not to change anything. Then you'll be alright."


I feel your pain:-) So many days of my life lost to the ridiculously annoying software of Microsoft. I gave up a few years ago and switched all my machines over to Ubuntu. Such a refreshing experience.

There are a few special categories of apps that aren't as polished on Ubuntu, but that is rapidly changing. My interface is far more beautiful and productive now than before. And there is always Wine...

That's peculiar, to say the least. When the hard disk of my Toshiba laptop (which came with Vista pre-installed) broke, I was able to boot it with the supplied Vista installation DVD and check the other drives (the HD malfunction was mechanical, and thought it no longer was able to support the whole OS, it was at least partially functional and I was able to retrieve some files... by the way, Toshiba makes the HDs for the iPhone; I don't know about Macs...) after changing the HD myself (that's another story!) I was able to install Vista witout a problem after formatting the HD to a compatible format while booting from the DVD. Before the formatting, the installation refused to go through more or less in the way you describe. If you changed the HD, the problem might be its formatting, not Vista's fault.

I am not dumb, and I have a graduate diploma in computing. I spent twenty years or more maintaining a variety of OSs, and I know *nix well enough to use it.

But no matter what Dell told me, or what the onscreen prompts, I was unable to retrieve the data on that disk. It had a single disk partitioned into three, and the OS partition was inaccessible from the rescue disk. Hence I could not reinstall the OS. The rescue disk booted into an install window and would not let me browse that disk. The only way I could get the machine working again (and all the machine required was a single DLL by the way) was to reformat and reinstall the whole OS. That is just crap design.

One blogger snarkily said "that's the difference between PC and Mac users - we never have to reinstall our OSs". Well unless I'm upgrading, neither do I, but when a Mac goes belly up I can boot from a system disk and retrieve the data onto another disk before I need to reformat the internal drive - if I do. And the reason this was needed is because my boy failed to back up, and as his dad I have to solve his tech problems. It's all very well to tell me I should back up - I do and religiously. Tell him (I have, repeatedly).

The HD was fine. It was a corruption of the OS that set all this off, and that is Vista's fault. It's a piece of shit, basically. XP is much friendlier.

Interestingly enough I don't know any software developers that uses Vista - and I am a .NET developer (which means that I work only on MS technologies). Vista sucks.

Having said that, I've had serious issues with Ubuntu in the past as well (on DELL laptops). Resulted in data-loss even.

Macs never held any appeal to me - overpriced and under performing. The only appeal is their OS, which I can't use, since I need the MS platform. OK. The design is nice as well, but not worth the extra cost.