Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vista Revisited

I've written from time to time here about my struggles with Vista on both JennySlash's laptop and the desktop I bought for Mom and I managed to purge Vista from our house this summer, opting for Windows XP as well as an Ubuntu-based desktop to play around with.

That changed in early October when I was able to get what was essentially a free laptop. I got a Dell XPS that naturally came with Vista (with SP1) along with a Blu-Ray player, 4GB RAM and a kick-ass video card. I have to admit that I've had none of the hangs, interruptions, slowdowns, etc. that everyone else has reported. Of course the interface is still wonky and I still don't see any reason in the world that they moved some of the controls around the way they did (there was a logical progression from Win95 to Win98 to WinXP that got blown away with Vista). But on the whole, I've had no real problems with Vista this time. Now, I have no doubt that this is due to a) having SP1 from the get-go and b) having 4GB of RAM and a video card that doesn't steal memory from the mobo. I'd like to complain (you know me - I REALLY would) but I really haven't had anything to bitch about. Yet.

To be on the safe side, I've repurposed the Ubuntu box as a Vista test box so I can install stuff on it before putting it on the laptop. Ubuntu worked fine for the most part, with the exception of flash-based websites causing the box to crash, regardless of what browser I was using. That's a more than minor annoyance - I found a number of purported fixes for it but none seemed to do the trick. I've got a partition set aside to install Linux but I might try Fedora for a couple of months next.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh No! The Adults are Taking Over!

Sad chuckle thinking about the talking idiots eight years ago hurrahing over the incoming Bush administration as "the adults" taking over. At least the Onion saw through it:
at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history
that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by
unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace
overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.

So I don't have any issues at all with the number of ex-Clinton folks that are being tapped for positions in the Obama administration. Seems like a pretty good place to find competent, experienced people.

What concerns me more is the number of strong senators and governors that are leaving those positions for the Obama cabinet or at least being discussed for them. Even though those seats will (I think in all cases) be backfilled by Democrats, that's a lot of experience that the Senate and statehouses will be losing. I think it also points to the reality of the last 25 years or so - the consolidation of governmental power in the Executive branch. It certainly hasn't been linear - Bush 41 certainly didn't have a free hand and Clinton was limited in a lot of respects by the Gingrich-led Republican Congress - but it has been leaning more and more towards that point of the triangle. I'm not one of those that believes that it's better when the Executive and the Legislative are from different parties, especially now that they're both controlled by MY party, but I do hope that this Congress will not sit back and let the President drive like their Republican counterparts did during the first 6 years of Bush 43.