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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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 14 May 2009 04:27 PM
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ANFierman

Posts: 136
Joined: 25 July 2008

Just to clarify one minor point in Terrys post, MathCAD is only available for Windows. Some versions can be made to run using WINE (see http://appdb.winehq.org/object...=application&iId=263).

However, there are several other maths s/w packages available for Linux such as Scilab and Octave (both of which can run Matlab scripts).

(My earlier post gives some idea of the range of other s/w available for Linux.)

A point to emphasize here is that except for optional paid-for-support and/or voluntary contributions: Linux costs no more than the download and burning the iso's to disc or even to a USB stick.

Most distributions are available to run as Live or Live/install CD's or DVD's so you can try them out before you commit to installing and all will allow you to safely and non-destructively repartition your drive so that you can dual boot Linux or Windows.

Linux can share files and partitions with Windows quite happily (though Windows runs in blissful ignorance of the Linux partitions) and of course files can be shared across networks of mixed Linux and Windows machines.

As an aside, it is worth mentioning that such Live discs/sticks can also be used to recover infected or damaged machines. They have the interesting effect that if a machine can boot from the CD/DVD drive (or a USB) then you can do whatever you want with it.

I probably should stop enthusing now in case I get accused of hijacking a Windows thread ....

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Andy Fierman

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 14 May 2009 08:34 PM
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Roundtrip

Posts: 247
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Somebody shut the Windows... it's cold enough in here to get infested with penguins! Oh wait!

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

John A Thomson
allayit
 18 May 2009 11:42 AM
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lowson_i

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It's been a while folks but...

On the TV front. I remember 405 service being switched off in the mid eighties (I had the old tv from downstairs in my bedroom for my computer) even though PAL on UHF was introduced in 1967 (look it up on wikipediawikipedia). Since 1967 there has been, remote control (wired, ultra sonic & IR), colour, teletext, NICAM, DVB-T and now DVB-T2. These are just the general broadcast changes that don't include technology that has gone into the sets themselves (Automatic tuning for one!) So 40 years is a bit unfair...

The analogy of an OS I like to draw is:
If it were a car, the manufacturer intended the power of the engine to convey the car and four people. In this configuration it is probably more than capable. As time passes, people find they need to carry more things about. To the car it is more like adding a trailer, a roof box and putting a load of stuff in the boot. Still the same amount of power but more load. The increased security against crashes is like putting your children in car seats, stronger glass and a roll cage, some of which are really heavy, more mass, same performance! Some modern "family" estate cars outperform even old race cars on acceleration, cornering and speed. Think E-type against an Evo 10!

The 512Mb / 1Gb thing in XP is a direct result of running SP2. SP2 came with a load of "enhancements" that John T (roundtrip) correctly states as requiring more resources. (MS forced you to have a roofbox and the children must be in car seats of a certain mass!)

As regards poor performance from software there are many, many factors to consider and the number of resources contending for one processor. Increasing the resources (memory, HDD size) that are available can actually, in some cases, be detrimental. Please remember that performing benchmarking tests is against the EULA of certain OSs. On testing the performance of "parallel" processing (some call it multi-threading) of piplined "multi-core" processor systems, you have to structure your software in a completely different way to cater for this but may perform badly on single processor systems.

Also let's remember that the actual OS (the core or kernal if you will) is not the GUI you see. This is quite distinct in linux and not so in MS Windows (you can actually start to command line only and this is the quickest configuration there is on an MS box, there is little difference between this and a basic linux installation!) Just about every Windows software developer uses MS tools and develops "Windows applications" to be used within the MS Windows GUI. So IME developing for Windows is like limiting yourself to developing for X-Windows.

IME of using, administering and developing for MS Windows, it is very possible to mimic the behaviour of linux like features but the mind-set behind the development drivers are different. Out of the box Linux has to be administered and MS Windows is intended to be used. The end-point is the same but how you arrive there is obviously different. Both require configuration to make them "safe" or "bulletproof". Linux and it's various distro's is NOT the silver bullet many think it is.

Going back to the Vista and XP comparison. Vista is a new GUI on top of extended functionality of what is now termed unmanaged (Win32 API) to managed (.NET Framework) coding and support of this. What has been the limiting factor is that the general coding populace just didn't have the skills (and tools) to move to OO framework based development. A great many have no appriciation of "what's underneath" and have no idea about static pipeline hazards on the processor and wouldn't know whether to set the FDIV check in VB6 on or off!

So, the fact that Windows 7, Vista and XP perform differently is hardly surprising. IME it's a wonder that they work at all!

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

Do or do not, there is no try!

Edited: 18 May 2009 at 12:02 PM by lowson_i
 18 May 2009 12:51 PM
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Roundtrip

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I really enjoyed your reply Ian. Very informative and balanced. The car metaphor was excellent and something I'm sure will be inherited by a future argument.

Most VB6 developers aren't / weren't real developers anyway! The lack of OO support ensured they could continue to write applications without getting to grips with some fundamental software engineering knowledge and skills. I recall fighting with it during many uni assignments and cursing the fact that it wouldn't allow me to do things properly.

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

John A Thomson
allayit
 25 May 2009 04:48 PM
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timjames2

Posts: 118
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Good heavens! What have I started....

I posted the question a couple of months ago after waiting ages for my laptop to boot up.

I accept all of the arguments about hardware etc, but it is genuinely the case that my XP laptop takes about 30 seconds from pressing the power button to be able to do anything, and my Vista laptop takes about 2 minutes.

In comparison, the computer in my car takes about 0.5 of a second, and my nokia phone about 10 seconds. My Atari ST (which I still occasionally use in my recording studio) takes about 3 seconds (it takes longer for the screen to warm up) and my old ZX81 had a flashing cursor waiting patiently the very instant you turned it on. (although it used to crash if you breathed on it.)

I suppose it's easy to blame it all on progress!

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

PAT Testing Course
 29 May 2009 05:24 PM
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SkiptomyLou

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Originally posted by: lowson_i

So, the fact that Windows 7, Vista and XP perform differently is hardly surprising. IME it's a wonder that they work at all!



Haha, I am definitely not a Vista fan. In fact I still use Windows 7 and have refused to upgrade my own computer.
 05 June 2009 03:49 AM
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deleted_1_Nimer

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I also detest the newer versions of all of Microsoft's programs (i.e.: Windows Vista, Live Messenger, Media Player 11, Office 2007, etc.) because they were not created with the lower-spec computers in mind.

My proof; as I have worked in Panasonic's Toughbook service centre, I as involved in an experiment during the companiy's transition from selling Xp laptops to selling Vista laptops.

We've Compared a computer with a 1.6 GHz single-core processor, 1 GB of RAM & Windows XP SP2 with a laptop using a 2 GHz dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM & Vista. The results; for every program that ran on the XP machine (including Office 2003, MSN Messenger 7.5, Windows Media Player 10, etc.,) the equivalent Vista programs (i.e.: Office 2007, Live Messenger, Media player 11, etc.) took almost 25% longer to execute.

The bottom line, though, is that most consumers in the market for computers desire speed. Because of this desire, building programs without consideration of low-end hardware is Microsoft's way of encouraging users to buy faster/newer technologies (i.e.: Microsoft purposely made Vista take 25% more resources than XP in order to pressure consumers to buy newer hardware).

... And that is what I personally hate about Microsoft (note that I still have a fully-functional Commodore 64, a fully-functional Toshiba T1200 XT laptop running DOS & an IBM R51 laptop that triple-boots into DOS, XP & Ubuntu Linux).

-------------------------
Technology: something that's hated & cursed at by all engineers, technologists & technicians!

( Lousy modern technology! )
 05 June 2009 09:44 AM
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jhayes2

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Tim (et al), You may be interested in this 'first look' at Windows 7 by E&T's Consumer Technology Editor Kris Sangani. There's an accompanying video walk-through at the bottom of the page.

http://kn.theiet.org/magazine/...dinal-virtues-0910.cfm

James Hayes
Editor, IT Section
Engineering & Technology magazine

www.theiet.org/it
 11 September 2009 11:51 AM
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SimonGrogan

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When I bought my last laptop it came pre loaded with Vista. I had so many problems with it I went straight back to XP. It's a shame so many software manufacturers, Microsoft especially insist on bloating their software so much.

I still have a apple mac LC475 from 1991. The OS has a nice GUI is fine and easy to use. Boots up fairly fast and runs most things you'd need (photoshop, internet browsers etc) yet it has a 24mhz processor, 16mb of ram and a 160mb HD!

If only they'd build a new OS from the ground up and dump all the useless bloated code from it.
 15 September 2009 07:03 PM
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ernairnp

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If I buy a laptop preloaded with Vista, will I be able to format Vista and install XP in the same machine?

Some says that it is not feasible.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards
N P NAIR, MSc (Engg), C Eng, FIE(I), MIEE,Sr MIEEE.
 17 September 2009 05:51 PM
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SimonGrogan

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Originally posted by: ernairnp

If I buy a laptop preloaded with Vista, will I be able to format Vista and install XP in the same machine?



Some says that it is not feasible.


Yeah, that should work fine. I installed XP when my laptop came preloaded with vista. You may have to boot from CD to do it though rather than installing when in the vista desktop environment if they have put something inplace to try and deter you from going back to XP
 22 September 2009 12:13 PM
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cmap

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I personally use Windows XP because I do not like Windows Vista. I hope that Windows 7 is better than Windows Vista. I would definitely like to test Windows 7 but I think I am too late. I guess I must wait until it is officially released.
 23 September 2009 12:23 AM
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ernairnp

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I had used Vista for a short period. I had used trial version of Windows7. I feel Windows7 is more or less same as Vista.

MY EXPERIENCE:Vista and Windows7 will work well only on machines recommended by M/s Microsoft. They will not work well(Very slow) for ASSEMBLED machines even if they have more than required resources recommended by M/s Microsoft. However Vista and Windows7 are much better compared to XP for MULTIMEDIA uses. Also Vista and Windows7 are much quicker in BOOTING compared to XP.

Now I use XP only in an assembled 2.2 MHz computer with 4 GB RAM. If I upgrade my XP to Internet Explorer7, then also the machine become slow for certain applications like emails in SMPT/POP format.

-------------------------
Best wishes & regards
N P NAIR, MSc (Engg), C Eng, FIE(I), MIEE,Sr MIEEE.
 28 September 2009 05:17 PM
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Legh

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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.

As far as I'm aware its out now see Issue 15 E&T magazine Sept 12 to Sept 25



Legh

-------------------------
Why do we need Vernier Calipers when we have container ships?

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 28 September 2009 07:02 PM
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Roundtrip

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Originally posted by: Legh

As far as I'm aware its out now see Issue 15 E&T magazine Sept 12 to Sept 25


It is out if you are a volume license customer. Otherwise it is available for pre-order with it being officially launched on the 22nd October. In other words, you'll be looking at the 22nd October to get your hands on a copy. Shop around for the best pre-order pricing... check out Amazon on your travels .

-------------------------
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John A Thomson
allayit
 30 September 2009 05:41 AM
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stvrich

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Awwww Just WIPE the hard drive and reinstall XP. Save the info on an external hard drive and be DONE with it.
Then you don't NEED to buy win7. AND it'll run faster. Just keep saving the important stuff externally and when you're tired of it, reinstall the XP. I have several SEVERAL machines. one running Vista Server 2003 server 2008 and ubuntu8.1 right behind me. But the machine I'm typing THIS on is an old IBM thinkpad (a PIII with 256 megs of ram) it's FINE with xp (albeit a tad on the slow side) but for textual work, simple web browsing and upload/download of software, it's great. So I keep using it. (AND cleaning it regularly!) AND I use minimal security software --hence also the propensity to re-load it regularly. And don't let it frustrate you. with XP it'll just scream along... er, "RELATIVELY speaking" it'll "scream". re: bigger and bigger o/s's yeah, I figure it's getting to the point it's BAD to shut it down. soon enough the o/s will be SO "intelligent" it'll COMPLAIN and say, "HEY! ---WHAT--- do you think you're doing? SHUTTING ME DOWN? I, don't, think, so!" and that'll be that.

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Steve Richards
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 30 September 2009 05:44 AM
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stvrich

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Linux COULD be a good answer too. Especially if what you are doing is business oriented.

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Steve Richards
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 04 October 2009 09:12 PM
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michaelward

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Originally posted by: ernairnp

If I buy a laptop preloaded with Vista, will I be able to format Vista and install XP in the same machine?

Some says that it is not feasible.


If you buy a laptop with Vista at present, then you could get Win 7 as an upgrade free, after all Vista is complete rubbish, whoever would want that on their computer.
I had the free upgrade to Vista from XP, but took it off again because it was slower than XP.

For those interested in trying a version of Linux out, get an old laptop and put Puppy Linux on it. Ubuntu is quite slow unless you are using a modern machine.
 06 October 2009 09:57 AM
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ANFierman

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Another way to see what Linux could do for you is to download a .iso, burn a linux Live CD and then boot your machine from it.

A linux Live CD boots your machine up into a fully functional linux machine but does not alter your installed OS in any way. Take the disk out, reboot and there you are back in your original OS.

There are lots of such CDs and DVDs available for download. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu (runs well on older machines with less RAM) are the more well known (www.ubuntu.com) and are all able to run as live disks.

Mepis (www.mepis.org) is an especially good example though less well known.

Try your machine out with these to see what works and what doesn't (and have a good read of the manuals and providers website help and forums for the relevant distributions) and if you like it, then you can install it on your machine from the same live disk.

All Linux distributions have non-destructive partition editors. This means you can install so it dual (or more) boots Linux and your original OS or just install as the only OS.

Obviously, back up everything first just in case anything goes wrong, like you accidentally tell it to install using the whole hard drive ...

There are some live disks that are only live and can not be installed. Knoppix (www.knoppix.net) is a good example.

Nearly forgot: you can run a linux live/install off a USB stick too on a lot of distributions.

Quite startling to think that all of this is free. If you want, you can buy support but the OS and all the s/w is free (apart from your time). There are so many people using linux nowadays that the online communities are usually pretty good for support anyway.

FYI: I posted a bit more info on linux earlier in this thread: 08 May 2009 01:18 PM and 14 May 2009 04:27 PM.

A bit off topic but worth knowing: linux live disks can be used to rescue damaged machines. If you can boot off the CD (or DVD) then effectively that machine is yours. You can see everything on that machine. You can at least recover files and at best repair the damage.

Interesting to ponder the security implications of that too.



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Andy Fierman

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http://signality.co.uk
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 02 November 2009 03:36 PM
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faramog

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download CCLEANER (its freeware) and run it every couple of weeks. It clean off all the temp files and detritus that Microsoft generates and speeds things up a bit. Personally, although I have Vista on my laptop and XP on my home system, both are dual boot and use Ubuntu (just upgrades to 9.10 (Karmic Koala) and I use it almost exclusively .. just need Microsoft for Flight sim and downloads of BBCiplayer ... everything else is available, working quick and with no bugs and viruses on Linux !!

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Prebble CEng MIEE
IET » Information technology » Vista versus XP

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