Even though the system is pretty old, it’s had some upgrades. It’s got 1G of RAM, a 120G HD, DVD drive and a PCI video card (ATI 9250) with 256M. It won’t do Aero, or maybe it will in the future, but the 9250 isn’t listed on the ATI site as being compatible with their Vista driver. The processor on this machine is a 1G Athlon XP. It couldn’t be described as a speed demon by any means. But Vista and Office run pretty well on it. I was actually really pleased with it. It’s a perfect test bed for me to play with. It doesn’t knock down one of my “production” machines with beta code (Vista is RC1, Office 12 is Beta 2 with the Technical Refresh). It took a long time to load, but it mostly went without a hitch.
Drivers look like they’ll be one of the most significant things going into Vista. Even if I had the RTM bits from Microsoft, I’m not sure how well my real systems would work. I think there’s a RC1 driver for my sound card and video card now, but I’ve been watching and these are fairly new additions. There’s not a 64-bit driver for the sound card. The motherboad drivers don’t look like they’re available. It looks like Tyan’s not very speedy in this regard.
Anyway, I like the way Vista looks. I played with the gadgets for a while and found several that I really liked. I also was playing with some of the new games that come with Vista and I thought they were pretty neat. Chess, Majong, and a bundle of games for kids. I think my kids will enjoy the games a lot.
It took me a while to find stuff. I can’t say I’m used to the new Start menu, and my initial impression is that I like the old one better. I like being able to pin things to the menu. There’s probably a way to do this, but I haven’t been playing with it long enough to have tried to find it.
The good news in this regard is that I may have Vista on all of my computers once it comes out. I still have a P2-333 with 384M and a 6G HD that will continue to run XP and Office 2003, but otherwise, the other 3 systems will move to Vista once it’s available.
I’m excited about the graphics capabilities of Vista. I think it’s going to mean a LOT more cool games and applications coming down the pike. Between this and 64-bit, I think there will be a lot of benefits to upgrading.
The network stuff looks like it’s handled pretty smoothly. It took me a while to find the settings I needed, but they’re in there. Just some extra looking while I get accostomed to the new look.
I really didn’t do anything with Office 12… I mean 2007 Office. It took a long time to get them installed and updated to B2TR. I’m not sure how much I’ll be doing with them since I’m not confident putting real data on there.