I bought my Vaio Type T that I’m writing this on almost exactly one and a half years ago. Of course it came with Windows Vista, which was almost new at that time. Vista had its share of problems, so Service Pack 1 was released some time early spring 2008. But I never got it…
Then the other day when I had some spare time and was tweaking things in the Control Panel anyway, I noticed that you could get a history of updated done by Windows Update, and lo and behold there it was – the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 update that I had been waiting for!
So it appears Windows Update failed to install SP1, and then just gave up without notifying me of the failure. When I downloaded the update and installed it manually, there were no problems at all. That’s pretty bad I think. If it’s just some random minor software update I don’t care, but a whole service pack…
Anyway, I haven’t noticed any difference with SP1 installed, so I kind of wonder what was in it. It seems bashing Vista is still fashionable, but I’m very satisfied with Vista. It is in fact all I ever wanted from an OS: the functionality of XP but without the blue-green-red color scheme; Vista looks good and it runs emacs, skype, Visual Studio (a nice debugger that lacks a decent editor and compiler), Firefox, the gimp, and the occasional game I want to play (lately Spore and Civ 4 Colonization). Although the first thing I did when I got the computer was to disable two dozen features that makes Vista crawl.
The other big piece of software update I’ve done lately is to Firefox. I actually updated to Firefox 3 on release day but had to go back to using version 2 because the plug-ins hadn’t been updated yet. It took about half a year until almost all the plugins I use had been ported, which has to be seen as a major disadvantage for Mozilla… There should really be more of an incentive for plugin developers to port early. I guess most people hold off with updating anyway, perhaps?
Firefox 3 is not significantly different from version 2, but it is noticeably faster. I also somewhat like the “awesomebar“, except I have to learn to type the first letters of the title of the pages I usually visit instead of the first letters of the URL, i.e. to get to Ballard Street, I used to type “co” as in “comics.com/ballard_street”, but now it’s somewhat more efficient to type “ba” as in “Ballard Street”. That won’t take long to adjust to though. It also seems to save and keep the zoom level individually for each site, which is a very welcome improvement.
Now, I just hope I can get used to Gimp 2.6. I tried it and immediately downgraded; at home I’m still using 2.2 and at work I’m using 2.4… Bah, as a software engineer I’ll make sure not to make my own software less usable with each release. Unless I get paid to do it.