[Beowulf] Re: Sidebar: Vista Rant

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Jul 18 16:45:53 PDT 2007

At 03:58 PM 7/18/2007, David Mathog wrote:
>Jim Lux wrote:
> > Here's the breakdown... hours per person per year
>Microsoft has provided that these new categories will appear in
>the 2007 list:

Are these entertainment?  (Perhaps for an observer?)

>Unpacking Vista PC                     1
>Pounding helplessly on PC             20
>Telephone support (includes hold time) 5
>Futilely Googling                      2
>Banging head on wall                   1
>Repacking Vista PC                     1
>Driving Vista PC back to store         1
>Return line at store                   1

you *are* an optimist with the last one.

>Celebrating the end of the pain (@bar) 3
>Hangover                               8

I will comment, my wife having recently  (a couple months ago) bought 
a HP laptop with Vista, that it worked just fine out of the box, and 
plays DVDs just fine, and runs Office just fine.  Sure, it might be a 
lot of CPU horsepower for what are essentially trivial tasks, but one 
buys such things for the service they provide, today, with no 
comparisons for what might have been or could be or was in previous 
versions.  You fork out the $1000 bucks or so, you get a box that 
plays videos and runs office.  Same as when I bought laptops 3 or 4 
years ago with XP.  Got a box that plays videos and runs office for 
about $800.  The new one is a bit lighter weight, has a nicer screen, 
and the batteries last longer on a charge.  It also has a remote 
control so you can pause/fast foward/rewind the movie.

So, viewed from the standpoint of "what do I get for a given quanta 
of cash" you get a slightly better experience today than 3 years 
ago.  Sure, it's a lot less than it could be, given the raw hardware 
capability.  It's like buying a toaster or coffee maker.. think in 
terms of the consumer appliance model.

You're not buying a computer that happens to play videos when you buy 
a PC with Vista. You're buying a media presentation device that 
happens to also work moderately ok as a computer.  In other words, my 
wife's new laptop is a heck of a TV/DVD/CD player, and an ok computer.

>David Mathog
>mathog at caltech.edu
>Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
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James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875 

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