Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

Vista Pre-RC1 Build 5536

Quick comments….
Install time is MUCH quicker, 23 minutes from initial power on to sitting at a fully functional working desktop.
Install is very quick and easy, a little too basic from my perception though. The number of options are extremely limited.
Basically you choose fresh install on an existing partition, or upgrade an already installed OS.
No creating/changing partitions, no formatting, no deleting partitions, no choosing file systems.

At the end you choose country, and first user name, along with password if you choose. You choose user icon from a small seclection, as well as few selections of desktop backgrounds.
That’s it.
Very very simple. Great for people that don’t know much about computers (But how many of those are installing OS’s?), not very pleasing for advanced users.

Still, it really is quite an easy and quick install. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a few minutes could be cut off that by final release either as the final release won’t have to deal with the various debugging in the Beta’s, and other minor things like
checking the internet for latest beta drivers etc etc.

Boot time after install is about 5-6 seconds faster then a stock WinXP install… but still a 3-4 seconds slower then a tweaked WinXP bootup. Startup from hibernation is quicker then WinXP however, and given then I basically hibernate 99.9% of the time rather then doing a regular shutdown I’m satisfied.

After install…. much faster, and finally genuinely usable. The generally slow and laggy feel is gone. It’s not ideal, or as fluid as my WinXP install (Granted Vista hasn’t been tweaked/customized though) but definitely usable over the long term.
The Vista Aero interface also worked in full on my GF 6600GT, which wasn’t the case in any prior beta’s. It defaulted to the Aero Basic however.

Only two devices did not have drivers after initial install add-on 10/100 Ethernet card (Integrated ethernet did have drivers), and my sound card.
WinXP drivers worked for the 10/100 ethernet, and Creative’s Vista drivers worked…. vaguely. Vaguely as in very basic sound functionality was enabled, but that’s it. And it didn’t sound pleasant. I disabled the Creative card and used the integrated sound card on the mobo and it worked fine in Vista.

Still aggravated by how incredibly sloooooooooow the mouse is even after ramping up mouse speed as far as possible. Definitely still need to install Logitech software to get a reasonably comfortable mouse speed.

No stability issues yet, though I’ve not tested extensively. Most apps install and work properly immediately, though there are certainly a number that are still not functional. A surprisingly large number of applications that won’t natively install, Vista is able to diagnose the installation error and apply the needed backwards compatibility settings specific to that application and offer to attempt installation again which generally works.

A mild curiosity:
WinSAT performance ratings for my system-
Processor- 5.3  (I’m surprised a A64 3200+ albeit heavily overclocked to 2.6GHz was rated 5.3 as that’s Vista’s highest rating right now.)
Memory- 3.7 (Hmm… unusually low. I’d definitely have expected ~4.3 given the amount/bancwidth/latency.
Graphics-5.3 (Mildly surprising)
Gaming Graphics-4.7 (A GF 6600GT at stock clockspeed is just short of Vista’s highest rating? unusual.)
Primary HDD-5.3 (Unexpected… I’d have thought 3.7-4.3 for a Western Digital WD1200JB)

WinSat’s definitely not finalized though, so I imagine those results will change by final release.  Definitely MUCH different then the early Beta 1’s which had my system hovering around 2.0-3.3 across the board. But the initial WinSAt implementation was… dubious to say the least. Not that I’m particularly pleased with it’s current implementation either with it’s cookie cutter one size fits all lowest common denominator approach to the overall rating.

All considered it’s quite a bit better then previous beta’s performance wise. All the things I dislike are still there, but I already know none of those will change.


August 28, 2006 Posted by | Operating Systems | Leave a comment

The Evgeni Malkin Saga

Well, the Malkin saga is slowly drawing to a close. He’s safely ensconced in the US, likely soon to be signed with pittsburgh and resigned from his Russian club team.
Pittsburgh is happy, Malkin is happy, the NHL is mostly happy… his Russian GM is screaming bloody murder.

Now that it’s all slowly leaking out I have even less respect for Vilichkin (Mettalurg Magnitogorsk GM) then I did previously.

Malkin claimed he was under “great psychological pressure” and was concerned for his family throughout the recent drama concerning his departure from Mettalurg Magnitogorsk.
Malkin confirmed Mettalurg kept pressuring him to remain in Russia. “I was pressured very hard. I kept asking them, ‘Why aren’t you keeping your promise to let me play in America?’ They did not want to listen. They just kept on with their arguments”.
Over the past few days, we’ve heard tales of a 3 a.m. contract signing and immense pressure from the team on Malkin to keep him in Russia. Yesterday, we learned the team had even put a lockdown on his passport in a bid to keep him immobile.

We’ve also heard from the media how times have changed in Russia, and that the talk of a ‘cloak-and-dagger’ escape from the country by hockey players was a thing of a past. Given the way things went down, however, with Malkin’s agent parachuting into Finland and staying with him in a hideout, it’s easy to see the parallels with the defections of yesteryear.

It’s hard to disbelieve Malkin when his Russian compatriots in North America seem completely unsurprised by the litany of complaints. And Malkin’s former coach for Magnitogorsk has largely confirmed everything he’s said.

A good example came in Kamloops during the World Juniors, where the Russians were scheduled to play Latvia on the Thursday night but were supposed to arrive in the city and practice in the morning. Looking to write a small feature on Malkin,  James Mirtle (Hockey Journalist) managed to get a copy of the team’s entire itinerary — when and where they would eat, when practice was, etc. — for the few days they were in Kamloops.
The thing was, the Russians were never where they were supposed to be.
Practices were cancelled, media availability was denied and the team’s demeanor just had a very peculiar air to it.
After games the team was quickly herded onto the bus while the coach and one player answered a few brief questions through a translator in the media room. Malkin nowhere to be found.

The Malkin story does little to dispel the oft held opinion that Russian hockey at the professional level is little more than a shadow front for mobsters who will stop at nothing to get what they want whether it’s money or hockey players — mostly money. My sympathies are with Malkin, because Mettalurg promised him his release to play in the NHL and then reneged in hopes of squeezing the Penguins for millions. I suspect they’ll get nothing if this goes to litigation, which is why I think Vilichkin is so furious. He doesn’t care about his “national treasure”, only the millions he thinks Malkin is worth. His comments that Malkin was forced to leave border on the ludicrous, and that he thinks Malkin’s written reignation is a forgery… simply laughable. I understand the Russians position that they feel they should receive better compensation for their players who depart for the NHL, but the clumsy way they’re going about it won’t win them any sympathy or land them a better transfer deal.

August 19, 2006 Posted by | NHL-Other | Leave a comment

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock

I’m not normally one to talk about celebrities much…. but this is irresistable, so excuse the slight diversion.

Pamerla Andeson apparently got married to Kid Rock today…. for the 3rd time. I have to believe this is just a game to them, as why when you’ve been married and divorced twice in 3yrs already, what could possibly convince someone it would work this time?

Besides, who gets married in a pair of torn off jeans, a dirty white t-shirt, flip flops, and a cigarette sticking out of his mouth?
Kid Rock apparently did. Does this sound like he’s taking this whole thing seriously?
Given that his “Wife” was apparently wearing a transparent minidress and… nothing else, he probably took it about as seriously as she evidently did though.

It’s genuinely a pity that there couldn’t be a law against such blatantly frivolous marriages.
On another note… I’m not wholly sure how I feel about marriage and gays, I’m not completely against it but I’d prefer it be called something else such as the obvious “Civil Union” rather then “Marriage” as homophobic as that may sound. One thing I am certain about however is that Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock should be named the gay rights association (Does it have a name besides Gay Rights Association?  I presume it does) newest spokesmen however.

If straight people like them can make marriage into little more then a joking game and no one much cares, then why should gays not be allowed to enter into marriage?
The most homophobic person on the earth couldn’t call Kid Rock + Pamela Anderson a more legitimate marriage then two girls/guys.

Anyone got two dogs that are in love?   One wonders if they could get a marriage license.

August 17, 2006 Posted by | Relationships | Leave a comment

Windows Live Writer

Microsoft has released a beta version of a very nice blogging editor Windows Live Writer, I wouldn’t normally bother mentioning software like this but it’s free and even in Beta it’s vastly superior to the multitiude of other blogging editors available including those costing upwards of $30+.

If you use Windows, and your a blogger it’s very much worth the download.

It currently supports…
– Windows Live Spaces
– Blogger
– LiveJournal
– TypePad
– WordPress
– All blogs that support RSD (Really Simple Discoverability)
– Metaweblog API
– Moveable Type API

But their apparently working on supporting more bloggers in the future. Pretty much all of the major ones are already supported.

August 16, 2006 Posted by | Computer software | Leave a comment

Malkin Bolts from team while in Finland…AWOL…?734368#734368

A quick translation:
“Evgeni Malkin has gone AWOL from Metallurg. As a source at the club told a reporter, the forward, who came to Finland with his team to hold a training camp has left the team on Saturday with his personal belongings and travel documents. His whereabouts are unknown.”

Has yet to be confirmed but still noteworthy.

I always hate it when a player has to resort to sneaking out of their country/away from their team under the cover of night just to get to the NHL.

It’s occasionally been necessary especially in the old communist Russia but the results for the player is unfortunate. If true he probably won’t be welcomed onto any Russian International teams in the future, and it may not be altogether… “healthy” for him to travel to Russia anytime in the remote future which pretty much ensures he’s cut off from family/friends.

August 12, 2006 Posted by | NHL-Other | Leave a comment