Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sittin at the dock of the bay, watchin the tide roll in.

Well, Windows Vista is on the home computer, and thus far i'm very impressed. Rather than have this turn into some hard core geek entry, I'll just say this, the interface is damn beautiful. Individual screens have this awesome transparency effect on the go, and everything is animated to a huge degree. If i were on my home computer i'd take a few screencaps of my desktop and show it off... but alas. There are some even crazier snazzy visual enhancements that i haven't been able to figure out how to turn on yet, like highlighted items giving off this cool 3d "cut glass" effect (truth be told i don't think my vidja card can handle it). But either way everything is really neatly organized, a lot of the same options and such as XP, but everything is more logically named and more organized. The start menu has been drastically compacted, and folderviews in windows explorer are quite different. the fonts used in all of the displays are more rounded, less "digital", and generally more pleasing to the eye. The new version of Internet Explorer also looks rather sexy, and brings a lot of the features of Firefox to the table, but the thing is pretty intense on system resources, likewise the new media player (sexy, but processor intensive). Overall i'm happy, and i'll be making the move permanent i would imagine. Drawbacks? System resources for sure. Vista is intense, and i wouldn't recommend it if you have anything less than a 2GHZ processor and 1 gig of system ram. I'm running a 2.6, which is more than enough, but i do hit RAM bottlenecks where my drive starts chug chug chugging while it's dumping and reloading into my 768 mbs of system memory. I've also had one issue where something (possibly Windows Defender?) start's running in the background, and the machine becomes dead slow. Restart and all is well. This is probably just a scheduling issue, maybe I shoulod check maintennance settings and ensure that these background scanning programs are running at a time where i WON'T be on the system. To be perfectly fair, the virus scanner and spyware scanner under Windows XP would often render my windows environment a chugging mess even on my old setup, so i can't complain too much. Speaking of security, this thing is locked up tighter than a drum! You need administrator access to run any sort of installation program, and whenever anything attempts to alter your system registry, or even execute any sort of program, you need to allow it first (in much the same way you would unblock something on your firewall settings). I love this! The chances of your machine becoming a slave to malware and spyware becomes slim to none. Combine that with Microsoft's excellent anti-spyware package, and you have a pretty tight system.

I plan on updating the vidja card to a Radeon X1700 sometime in the near future (current card is a Radeon 9600 le), and a gig of RAM is dirt cheap right now. After that, i'll have a beast on my hands. Curiously enough, My first trial run, gaming wise, was with the pc version of Oblivion, which was adequate, if a little choppy on "low" video settings on XP, under Vista (which itself is supposed to be more intensive) the game actually ran considerably smoother, holding steady at about 35 frames a sec on "low" settings, and between 20-24 on "medium, which was unplayable under XP. Color me impressed. The fact that this is only a beta, and the final version isn't due until January, instills me with confidance that Microsoft is really doing this right. The fact that they're giving the beta version away for FREE to the general public (a version that will be fully supported and will feature fully featured and free updates), and this version will be supported until July 2007, is an unprecedented move on Microsoft's part, and i think it'll go a long way towards ending the longstanding tradition of having a pirated OS on your computer. It will also make them a ton of green!

Guess this was a geek post afterall.

Good bud, gun-polishing, minority-opressing American, and pointer-outer of bad flicks Mitch, has bit the bullet and grabbed hisself some Wolfmother - and all is right with the world, now if only Steve could get him to listen to some Sam Roberts! And if only Steve would stop talking in the third person! I, meanwhile, am hooked on Brit prog-rockers Porcupine Tree (thanks Mark!) Calling them Tool, crossed with Floyd, and mixed with a touch of early 90's rock (a la Helmet or Bush) wouldn't be too far off the mark.

I'm having a hard time creatvely this week. It frustrates the living shit out of me. Having taken in the Criterion Edition of DaZed and Confused, I had been mentally prepared to put metaphorical pen to paper and start writing a review. I have some great stuff buzzing around in my noggin, this is a film that means a lot to me personally, but i just can't get the goddamn thing started. This always seems to happen when someone comes to me and asks me about reviewing. I haven't managed more than 50 words that read like amateur garbage on either Dazed, Running Scared, or Butch n Sundance. Frustrating no? This past weekend i didn't want to do shit, no cleaning, no writing, no parenting, no nuthin! It's a bad scene, but i just needed a break ya know? I wound up having a campfire and watching Robert Downey Jr. Movies (The Singing Detective was INSANE!). Here's hoping things snap back into place after tonight (we get fitted for penguin suits this evening). I don't have a whole lot to worry about after that until last minute sort of stuff, and Wedding stuff won't be occupying my mind. Here's hoping i can get the creative fire back. I had started on another screenplay as well, based entirely on a single solitary image and title, and i'm not plotting or anything, just flying by the seat of my pants, so this one could very well be a tad insane! Then there's the fiction I've been writing in the hopes of sharing with you fine folk. It had been coming along until about a week ago. I read back over the 20 or so pages i have now, and i feel like just scrapping the whole thing, ouch! I'm my own harshest critic.

Enough outta me for now,

"I'm a loner Dottie, a rebel!"

"Where there's smoke... There's a party at the moon tower."


Mitch said...

Good bud, gun-polishing, minority-opressing American, and pointer-outer of bad flicks Mitch, has bit the bullet and grabbed hisself some Wolfmother - and all is right with the world...

And there was much rejoicing. Yay.

SteveTP said...


kevin said...

Windows Vista eh? Why does this have to happen just as I install Flyakite on my machine? computer looks and acts like a's weird. but awesome. and i've got a Widget that's just like the Vista sidebar! hehe (and i want more's sin to have a free slot in a laptop..)

Catherine is taking my tux measurements today...I'll fire them over asap.

i can't believe you're going to be in a tux.. muhahahaha

not plotting is the best. it's so liberating.

kevin said...


bmwracer said...

Guess this was a geek post afterall.

Word. ;)

STP, I'd like to try it out myself when it shows up, but I don't wanna hose my exisiting install of Win2K... Maybe I'll have to dig up one of my old hard drives and use it for a test mule...

SteveTP said...

Kev, we did the fitting yesterday, was fun - went and played some pool afterwards. Man it's been AGES since the old guard has been together like that, we missed ya bud!

I have teh guys on standby for your tux, deposit has been paid. All i need is measurements.

It's happening bud... ;)

Beamer - It's worth lookin into. If you've got a spare 20-40 gig drive floating around ;) Setup was pretty painless as well. Outside of Creative Labs crummy driver support for their Audigy cards.

Neil said...

Yah vista is looking strong so far. I had to turn off some of the administrator settings. Every frickin time I wasted to do anything ... ANYTHING I had to approve it 'cause I was the admin. Yuck.

A couple of things bothered me:
1. It too waaayyyy too long to install some of my extra fonts. yes there was over 2500 but in XP it only too a min but in vista it was 15. Ouch.
2. No 5.1!!! I had to install the beta drivers from Creative (Nov 2005!!) to get the card (Audigy 2 ZS) working and it does say I have 5.1 sound but there's only tunage out of the fron right and left and the sub. Not good.

But overall it's a-ok. It cool to be a part of the BETA and sould be interesting to see how it differs from teh final version in Jan.


kevin said...

i have also jumped on the wagon and am downloading it as i speak (or type)...uninstalled flyakite and dumped a load of files onto catherines 160G drive to free up space. looking forward to the install. :)

SteveTP said...

Neil - i'm having the same problem with regards to the 5.1

Kev - ONE OF US ONE OF US!!!!!!

Dunnyman's Castle said...

Oh wow, cool transparency effects?

Just like the ones that have been featured in OSX for the last 6 years?

Oh how cool......