Monday, December 03, 2007

My First Week with Vista

I've had my new Vista (Home Basic) computer running for about a week now. I gotta tell ya', it's not that bad. I was expecting a lot of problems, but to be honest, I only ran into a couple of hiccups, and they were solved pretty simply.

The first is backward compatibility. There were several older programs I've got that I couldn't get to run properly, or even install - like my old copy of Myst and a few of my kid's programs. I was pleasantly surprised with others. Links (1999) and Tomb Raider III have never run better.

The next was my ISP. The software they used simply wasn't compatible with Vista. Not a big deal. They had been bought out by Netscape about a year or so ago and so all I had to do was cancel my regular account and open a Netscape account. Same price, same servers. It took about and hour, and some frustration with the one of the outsourced tech support people (Only one. The others were very good.), but in the end it got cleared up.

The last was my scanner/printer. Again, the drivers just weren't compatible. No big deal, though. With my ISP problems worked out I just hit the manufacturer's website and downloaded new drivers. Now it works like a charm.

If only the ink cartridges weren't so expensive.

But I digress.

There's one thing about it I really like about Vista - the Parental Controls. It was incredibly easy for me to set up my kids with their own accounts and limits as to what kinds of games, software, and even the times of day they can access the computer. It was ten times easier than setting up user access controls under XP.

I got to see it work, first hand, too. I was showing my middle daughter how to get into her account. It was later in the evening, and nearing the time I'd set up as a limit for when she could get on the computer. I clicked on something and BOOM, it came back to her log-in screen and told her she wasn't authorized to use the computer at this time. It turns out the clock had struck 8:00 PM and her account had turned into a pumpkin.

What's even better is that the games and programs I don't want her using don't even show up as options. She can't get tempted by them in the first place.

As a parent of young children, that's pretty cool.

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