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Topic Title: Vista versus XP
Topic Summary: Laptop getting slower and slower and slower....
Created On: 12 April 2009 05:44 PM
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 12 April 2009 05:44 PM
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timjames2

Posts: 117
Joined: 17 January 2006

Apologies if this has been discussed here before.

When is Windows 7 going to be available? I was too late to download the beta version so I have to wait and buy it now.

I have a laptop running Vista and I have to say I find it awful! It's pretty of course, but it takes such a long time to boot up (2 mins) and even longer to shut down.

I am considering ditching it altogether and putting XP on, although I haven't really got a spare day to do it. I cna probably put up with the current setup for another few weeks before I throw the laptop out of the window!

Is 7 going to be any better? I used my old Atari ST the other day, and it booted to a usable state in less than 1 second!

-------------------------
Tim James
PAT Testing Expert Ltd

PAT Testing Course
 12 April 2009 06:06 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
Joined: 17 June 2006

There is no official date for Windows 7, but one thing you can probably take to the bank is it will RTM in time for the shops to have Xmas stock of computers with it installed.

Regarding your laptop, have you considered using Sleep or Hibernate to help with getting it into a useful state quicker?

A few quick things to check:
1. Do you have at least 2GB of memory?
2. Do you have a load of programs starting up when Windows starts? Turn off the ones you don't need.
3. How many icons do you have down in the system tray (bottom right usually)?
4. What security software are you using? Norton and McAfee tend to cause longer boot times.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit
 12 April 2009 09:49 PM
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timjames2

Posts: 117
Joined: 17 January 2006

Thanks for the advice,

It's a acer laptop and came with norton already on it. I tried very hard to get rid of it, but I think remnants of it remain!

I have 2 GB of memory.

I try to keep the number of running programs as few as possible, although it's difficult to avoid clutter!

I tend to wipe the hard drive every 12 months or so, and do a complete install. That seems to be the easiest way of getting rid of everything I don't need / want. But in this case I don't have a clean install disk of vista - and if I use the Acer official method I will end up with all of the rubbish they put on it when it was new!

I am seriously considering putting XP on, but I thought if 7 was only a few weeks away I would wait and see how that ran!

Thanks

-------------------------
Tim James
PAT Testing Expert Ltd

PAT Testing Course
 12 April 2009 10:07 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
Joined: 17 June 2006

Use the Norton Removal Tool to get rid of Norton products.

I've also found you need to go into the registry and restore the Windows Security Center as Norton's uninstaller doesn't seem to restore everything it screwed with!

You can use the PC Decrapifier to remove all the trial and crapware installed by manufacturers.

Like you I've previously had to rebuild my laptop well before 12 months is up. My install of Vista is still running sweet and I can see it lasting until Windows 7 comes out.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit
 20 April 2009 04:16 AM
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Samuel Chan

Posts: 210
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Form some magazine, Windows 7 is also performed slow. Consider XP!

Samuel Chan
 21 April 2009 02:07 PM
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lowson_i

Posts: 130
Joined: 23 June 2008

Patience Grasshopper!

IF you switch back to classic mode and don't run a virus checker I find Vista performs just fine on a laptop (with the power cord in of course) As soon as the "new" virus checkers go on, whatever they are, they reduce performance by a considerable factor.

Laptops by their very nature are designed to be less power hungry and don't have the grunt of their desktop counterparts. This has always been the case and probably always will be! Possibly the same chip but designed to use less power. Think Honda Prius and Honda Civic Type R they both can be used on British roads and are perfectly capable of doing the speed limit. Not many car manufacturers use this marketing method but it seems fine for "operating systems" ie. This laptop will run Vista! How many games have you bought based on the minimum spec and really experienced the game?

Some laptops also have settings to "throttle them back" to conserve power. They also tend to switch off items that have not been used for a while and thus "access time" or reenabling the device is required before it can be used. These measures all increase battery time but frustrate users. You could make changes to the power settings and watch your battery dump after an hour!

Let's give Microsoft another bashing because of the hardware used!

-------------------------
Ian Lowson MIET

Do or do not, there is no try!

Edited: 21 April 2009 at 02:09 PM by lowson_i
 07 May 2009 05:42 AM
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spinlondon

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There is a very good chance that Windows 7 will be even slower than Vista.
 07 May 2009 06:06 AM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
Joined: 17 June 2006

There is a very good chance that Windows 7 will be even slower than Vista.


Oh please! Stop the FUD for goodness sake. Stop reading the Tux lovers comments elsewhere on the Internet.

If you have proof of this then please link to it and by proof I mean proper benchmark tests on a decently spec'd machine that is running the latest RC. Please don't link to some media articles or 3rd rate blogger that just repeat the same subjective rubbish.

I know of IT professionals who hated Vista but are already running Windows 7 exclusively on their systems and loving it! Most think it is the operating system that Vista should have been. That speaks volumes IMHO!

Incidently, the latest RC is now available and will stay alive until 2010.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit
 07 May 2009 12:34 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: Roundtrip
If you have proof of this then please link to it and by proof I mean proper benchmark tests on a decently spec'd machine that is running the latest RC.

The problem is , where does that leave those of us who don't run machines to the latest spec? At home I use a 2GHz machine with 500M memory. When I bought it it was extremely quick, it now isn't, and that is not because the hardware has got slower! (Incidentally it's still running XP.) What I would like to see - but am not holding my breath for - is software being produced in high spec/low spec versions, so that for those who want to spend £1000 on their PC every year they can, and for those of us who just want to be able to surf, write e-mails, write Word documents, and similar simple tasks we can.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that there does seem to be a disconnect between the IT industry and end users: when you are used to working with high spec kit it is easy to forget that many/most of your customers don't - and in many cases don't need to.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 07 May 2009 12:53 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
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Andy,

You've misquoted me there! The response was to do with the comment on Windows 7 being slower than Vista without any proof. However, let's deal with your points now...

Bump your XP computer up to 1GB and it should run really quick with XP. 512MB used to be the sweet spot for XP, but it is now 1GB IME.

I'm betting there are a number of other issues causing your slow down that either requires someone with experience to fix or a reinstall of Windows along with a minimum of amount of applications. I routinely look at slow performing computers and in many cases some housekeeping and some black magic skills, earned through experience and training, gets them motoring again at full speed without too much hassle. The majority of poor performing computers are not down to hardware issues IME, although you do see the very occasional one!

I've also seen reports of Windows 7 running on your spec machines, whereas Vista would be a complete disaster. Personally, I'd look to put in 2GB of memory and have a dedicated graphic card of at least 128MB to make your system run Windows 7 at good performance.

Minimal install applications based on how you use your computer:
1. Web browsing - Firefox
2. Email - Thunderbird
3. Office application - Open Office

All free on the WWW.

You may even want to look to Linux with a distro such as Ubuntu if you feel Windows is bloated and not for you.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit

Edited: 07 May 2009 at 12:54 PM by Roundtrip
 07 May 2009 12:58 PM
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tickner

Posts: 1229
Joined: 30 September 2001

Andy, your home machine is much more powerful than my work machine! (1.5GHz, 1G mem)

I think the IT industry also has a disconnect to industry in general - even in the good times we generally went 5 years between PC upgrades and other companies I have also worked for had not to dissimilar policies.

Right now, I suspect we won't see new machines until every single PC in the office is dead (and that is a few hundred of them).

-------------------------
Mark Tickner CEng MIET
 07 May 2009 01:34 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
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Mark raises an interesting point, but this is a business accountant decision that is driving IT refresh cycles in business. Not many businesses upgrade to a new OS on old hardware. The cost to purchase the next version of an OS, along with the support costs to perform the upgrade usually mean it is cheaper to purchase a new PC, which will be happened based on the write down period of old hardware. Most intelligent businesses now look at 3 - 4 year refresh rates... five years is now too long for all manner of reasons. They also look to have phased refreshes with a proportion of PCs being replaced every year. Business needs to become more intelligent in dealing with IT and count it with the same respect as other big capital expenditure items!

The IT industry also recognises that most people and businesses have a route of a new computer purchase to get at the latest version of Windows... not many go the Windows Upgrade disk route. As someone who works in the IT industry we also still see more XP machines being used in business than Vista so well understand the state of play.

I've got some customers using Windows 2000 Pro and XP Pro with lower specs than both of you and they are happy with the performance. Again this comes down to diligent housekeeping and routine maintenance, along with careful configuration and set-up. It is only now as Windows 2000 is coming near the end of its life that we're starting to observe minor issues with some bespoke software and drivers that are designed for XP. The customer is well aware that this computer will be retired soon when MS end of life the OS.

Moore's Law means that the IT industry assumes the systems being designed and built today will be approximately 3 times more powerful than the systems built back in the launch days of XP. Therefore, this leads to the question of why should new versions of software not look to benefit from the increasing power of systems and hardware and software innovation?

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit
 07 May 2009 02:37 PM
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tickner

Posts: 1229
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Originally posted by: Roundtrip
why should new versions of software not look to benefit from the increasing power of systems and hardware and software innovation?


Interesting point.

If the software didn't take advantage of the new power then things could be done quicker - for instance double the power, half the time to perform an operation (ok, this is simplistic, cpu cycles and processing time isn't necessarily linear).

However, this can also cause usability problems if the faster version worked faster than the user can handle - I've got an old game that one of the startup options is to not use wait-cycles, almost impossible to play as a result!)

Part of the argument is, does the software do anything useful in the spare cycles or is it just fluff? (technical term that ) I would prefer my computer to boot 50% quicker then play pretty graphics on the screen.

But I also like the extra features my software has grown into. For instance my Firefox 3.5 has many more features then the Phoenix 0.5 which I started using - which I agree with.

I guess it's one rule for the OS, one rule for the applications!

-------------------------
Mark Tickner CEng MIET
 07 May 2009 02:59 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
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Originally posted by: Roundtrip
You've misquoted me there! The response was to do with the comment on Windows 7 being slower than Vista without any proof.

Fair enough, I was perhaps taking your quote sideways at best

But, as an example of the point your original posting made me think of:
Bump your XP computer up to 1GB and it should run really quick with XP. 512MB used to be the sweet spot for XP, but it is now 1GB IME.

That is a brilliant example of what gets me frustrated. With any other technology I can think of you expect it, once bought, to work for the next 5-10 years WITHOUT having to upgrade it. OK, my analogue TVs (as an example) will need upgrading this year, but that's once in 40 years (i.e. the last time was 625/405 change).

It might be a good business model, I do have to question whether it is good engineering.

I suppose the fundamental problem is that whilst we like to think of PCs as mature technology they are actually very young.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 07 May 2009 at 03:05 PM by amillar
 07 May 2009 04:13 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
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Fair enough, I was perhaps taking your quote sideways at best


I was just about to call out the SAS to deal with the thread hijacking!

Microsoft service packs add major functionality and features that tend to require more resources. To make an car analogy, they are like changing an engine, lower the suspension, etc. Major upgrades on a car will usually result in other parts having to be replaced or upgraded to cope with the performance increase.

You've also got all the added burden of the 3rd party apps that need ever more resources that need to be considered. It isn't all Microsoft's fault! XP runs on 256MB but then you need all those 3rd party apps to make the computer a useful tool.

XP is over five years old so it does just fall into your time plan to require some upgrades to the system .

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit
 07 May 2009 04:29 PM
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spinlondon

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Not refering to "reading the Tux lovers comments elsewhere on the Internet."
I'm refering to my own opinion, which is based on experience.
As for "IT professionals who hated Vista but are already running Windows 7 exclusively on their systems and loving it! Most think it is the operating system that Vista should have been. That speaks volumes IMHO!"
Is that their opinion, based on proper benchmark tests on a decently spec'd machine? Or is it their opinion based on their experience?
Have any of these IT professionals voiced an opinion about the differences between XP and 7, or are their opinions just on the difference between XP and Vista?
As for your advice :
"Bump your XP computer up to 1GB and it should run really quick with XP. 512MB used to be the sweet spot for XP, but it is now 1GB IME." I would agree in principle, however a lot of older PCs do not allow for more RAM than 512MB.
 08 May 2009 12:19 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
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I'm refering to my own opinion, which is based on experience.

Do tell more as your initial comment made no mention of this.

Is that their opinion, based on proper benchmark tests on a decently spec'd machine? Or is it their opinion based on their experience?

It is their opinion based on running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 Beta and RC on decently spec'd systems with a view to finding out the ins and outs of each for use in business. They are proper evaluations and trials, not some simple benchmark test, that are realistic in their scope as the results have to be replicated on end customer systems at some point. The majority of comments I've see so far has seen many of them saying they are now running Windows 7 as the main OS on their day to day business systems. These guys are MVPs, MCSEs, SBSCs, etc who make their living from supply and supporting systems to business and domestic customers.

Have any of these IT professionals voiced an opinion about the differences between XP and 7, or are their opinions just on the difference between XP and Vista?

There is the full range of opinion. I've yet to see anyone show the dissent that was being voiced when Vista was released.

I would agree in principle, however a lot of older PCs do not allow for more RAM than 512MB.

Long time since I've seen a system that cannot be upgraded to at least 1GB, but I agree there are many really old systems that are candidates for retirement or require some specialist skills to minimise the load on their limited resources. These systems are certainly not candidates for using Vista or Windows 7.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards

John A Thomson
allayit
 08 May 2009 01:18 PM
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ANFierman

Posts: 136
Joined: 25 July 2008

Just to add to John A Thomson's comments about trying a Linux distribution for older machines.

There are several Linux distributions specifically geared to running older PCs. For instance, Xubuntu (http://www.xubuntu.org/get) and Antix (http://antix.mepis.org) will both run on PII machines with 128Mb of RAM.

If you need to be able to email, surf the web, read, write and edit MS Office files, read and create pdf files, work with databases, graphics, photo editing, web content creation, do schematic capture and PCB creation, circuit simulation, mathematical calculation and modelling, run things like Skype and Yugma then Linux is a perfectly practical option.

With this you'll get the latest in terms of device and interface driver options just running on slow old hardware.

Obviously, there are caveats on things like printer and scanner compatibility but with minimal research (such as a visit to http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/OpenPrinting), these limitations can be avoided.

And of course if you need it all to run faster then as John pointed out there are distributions aimed at the latest machines from Ubuntu, Mepis, OpenSuSE etc., etc.

I'm happy to chat to anyone who would like to know more about using Linux.

I run my business on it.



-------------------------
Andy Fierman

---------------------------
http://signality.co.uk
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 09 May 2009 11:39 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: Roundtrip
XP is over five years old so it does just fall into your time plan to require some upgrades to the system .


Five years! That's barely run in!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 14 May 2009 03:38 PM
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terrywilliams

Posts: 1
Joined: 18 September 2004

Hi, I,ve been in I.T. for over 30 years - & it's true that the operating systems seem to get slower as time goes by. This seems to be a consequence of Microsoft making things 'easier' for users (or more tedious - if you know what you are doing) coupled with the use of development software used for the operating system which although very modular tends to produce larger, slower code. Also, the current vogue to produce fancy window effects also slows down the machine - & gobbles resources from your video & cpu hardware.
Now, Windows XP & Vista both use the concept of registries - which is an attempt to produce an on-line database of all hardware & software that is used in your system. Whilst this is a splendid concept - the overheads of implementing it in terms of memory & run time processing are very high. Also, it provides a prime target for virus authors - who know & exploit the fact that burying code in the registry is hard to get at & as the registry is central to the very functioning of the operating system can use this to wreak havoc on the user's system.
Have you thought of trying a Linux distribution ? Linux does not have the registry concept - is free due to the GNU Open Source Licence & comes with a miriad of free applications. Most users of Windows XP & Vista mainly use Microsoft Office & Internet Explorer to surf the internet. Linux comes with Open Office - which has word processing, presentation manager, spread sheet & database which can import the microsoft office documents & has all the functionality of Microsoft Office - plus some additional ones (eg the ability to export any document in .pdf format). For web sufing you have a rich selection from Firefox to Opera & other 'lightweight' browsers.
Linux is now a very sophisticated operating system - & does not suffer from virus's at any where the same level as Windows. Also, Linux has a wide range of technical software available - from packages such as MathCAD to general CAD & modelling software. In many instances, if it is essential to run a Windows application, you can use the Wine emulator which allows many Windows applications to run under Linux.
Modern Linux distributions include Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora Core 10 & Mint. Any of these are downloadable as .iso images which can be burnt to a CD or DVD & then used to install the system. I would recommend doing some background reading if you are interested - a magazine such as Linux Format will give you a flavour of what's going on in the Linux world (available from Smiths) - & usually come with a free DVD with one or more Linux distros contained on it.
Most of the major Linux distros also have available what is known as a 'Live CD'. This allows you to boot the CD/DVD & try the system before installing it on your hard drive. Most will automatically pick up your WiFi networking & will allow you to log onto the internet without having to modify device drivers - & the Live CD offers a really good way to determine if Linux is going to be suitable for you. Also, most Linux distributions will allow you to install the Linux system on your hard drive alongside your existing Windows system - creating a multi boot startup screen which lets you select either windows or linux (beware here that Fedora Core 10 whilst creating a multi boot startup menu does not automatically enter the module name of the software to boot except for Fedora itself !).
As a good start point, I would recommend Linux Mint or Ubuntu. Both of these distributions use what is called the Debian repositories (the other major repository is known as the RPM repository). The main difference between Mint & Ubuntu is that Mint comes pre-loaded with various codecs which allow you to play windows style media files & it has been fine tuned to make it's installation & use very easy.
So, if you have the time & inclination give Linux a try (you can get onto any of the distributions home pages by doing a Google search for them) - & if you use a live CD you wont be jeopardising your existing windows installation.

Regards
Terry Williams C.Eng, M.I.E.T.

- prepared & sent using Linux Fedora Core 10.

IET » Information technology » Vista versus XP

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