Vista Observations

Two points to note about vista.

Firstly, I was surprised, when it briefly worked, that I needed to download Flash. Java I can understand - after all, MS is the only company in the universe who have shunned the Java universal platform, and I fully expected (and was rewarded by) their petulant omission. But Flash ? Does this mean that MS has some shonky, third rate clunker clone of Flash waiting in the wings, ready to pounce ? If they do, I hope it's as successful as the Zune..

Secondly. The Vista client has a recovery thingie. Quite smart sounding really. So if you corrupt a driver or whatnot, it'll try and restore it. All fine and dandy. But thinking about my recent scrape with vista, I have came to this conclusion.

In windows XP - that old, dated, buggy, virus-ridden but much loved piece of crap that we all use - you have a C: drive - your hard drive, or "Virus Central". And usually your CD/DVD drive comes in as "D". Now you darent ever remap this to some other drive letter, or the nasty update goblins that live in all MS software get all cross and demand various sacrifices - money, time, patience, and hair. So the newer hard drive with oddles of disk space is then E: and F:. All fine and dandy.

So muggins here decides that "F" is a suitable drive letter for Vista (Picture the opening credits of Sesame Street, and the voiceover - "Vista is brought to you by the letter "F" and the number $60b!"), and off I go, happy as larry. And then it installs, and at some unspecified time in the future (thats the beauty of it. Its like knowing that your car will explode. You live each moment as if its your last), it'll die and take your lovely machine with it. And so the repair leaps in, like some caffeine-drunk adolescent, and says "I can fix this". And so it tries.

But our Windows repair has forgot that the CD/DVD drive is there, and is now convinced that my lovely descriptive "F" is now my "E" drive. So it replaces the shonky driver, and whilst there, takes a wee look under the skirts. "Um", it says, like a poorly paid and unwashed IT helpdesk person, "Thats odd. Its got all these refeences to "F" where it should be "E". Ho hum. It'll take a while, but I'll fix that too"...

And the poor sucker who's life depends on this machine is left slack-jawed as some random, easily fixed driver error is transformed into "Woops. Registry corrupt. Got a backup mate" ?

You see, I firmly believe that people who manage software companies should be old, have no hair (aside from the grey ones coming out of their ears) and be universally feared. And so when assorted pimply-faced script kiddies straight out of kindergarten say "Oh, we can fix this", or worse: "Oh yeah, we've tested it", the experienced software development manager can get the "retraining" device (a handy piece of wood. Bat shaped, with a nail through the end), and remind the said inexperienced programmer what "customer service" means.

And since the only old person I know of from Microsoft isnt a millionaire, I suspect we'll see far more "script-kiddie" issues like this.

Me ? Ageist ? Never. But youth is wasted on the young...