Day: June 27, 2006

Noooooo! Adobe gobbles Pixmantec

Found via .i dream in red., and reported by dpreview – Adobe has purchased Pixmantec, the provider of my favourite RAW processing software.

I’m annoyed. I’m a paying customer and user of RawShooter Premium, which Adobe are discontinuing. Pixmantec haven’t contacted me with this information, I’ve found out about it from weblogs.

My fellow users are also annoyed.

Gaaah! I don’t want Adobe LightRoom. I’d like to expect a free upgrade anyway, but given the rumoured price, and what I paid for the excellent RSP, I doubt that will happen.

First encounter with Vista

We were out seeing friends on Saturday night, and during the evening they mentioned that they’d downloaded the DVD of the Windows Vista beta – would I like to see it? I’ve been following the saga of Vista for a long time, and I’ve seen hundreds of screenshots by now – but I’d never seen it running. So, I interrupted the socialising to go and have a play with this wonder of technology.

I should mention that although I’m skeptical of MS-hype, and generally don’t have favourable feelings towards their products, I’ve been becoming increasingly intrigued by what Vista was rumoured to have to offer. In particular, who doesn’t like eye candy? 🙂

Hmm. Well, the eye candy (and OS overall) are not so impressive when it is running in Microsoft Virtual Server, thinking it has a basic graphics card. I mean wow, it was SLOOOOW. On the other hand, I could forgive that, since it was a virtual machine. Naturally the high-end Aero graphics stuff was all switched off, since the virtual machine wasn’t exposing the features of the card in the host machine.

Based on 20 minutes playing, I think my overall impressions can be summarised as follows:

  • Not much new. The shell is pretty similar to XP.
  • … except, everything has moved around. Trying to get to various computer properties seemed to involve going through different dialogs. Time to re-learn where all the settings can be found.
  • All very grey. Which is a bit dull, really.
  • Documents and Settings has become Users (I think, from memory). The root of the C drive now just has Windows, Users, and Program Files.
  • Every time we wanted to do anything like, ooo, look at the event log or examine the system properties, we were prompted to allow access to this program – this is the MS approach to increased security, I believe – it got very old, very quickly.
  • Solution to the amusing problem of having an item called Shut Down on a menu accessed via a button labelled Start? Don’t label it Start anymore, bung a Windows logo there instead….
  • Including Media Center (this was the Ultimate version) is quite nice. I suspect that everyone will be buying Ultimate, I mean, why not get everything bundled in if you can?

Obviously I could download and install the beta for myself, but it does seem a bit of a hassle and I’m perfectly happy with the Linux experience on my main machines at home. So this was a good way for me to be able to play with it without contaminating my own machines or wasting my broadband connection.

What is really new, though? Why, fundamentally, would I want to spend £150 on an upgrade? (I’m guessing at prices, here, can’t be bothered to go look it up). We have the same basic user interface; the same way of organising files, folders, etc.. The MS hype pages do a reasonable job of explaining some of the new features, and encouraging me to get inexplicably excited, but I have to ask myself why I’d bother. I’m far more interested in the next (and free) version of my favourite Linux distribution – and I’ve not even been tracking those too closely, since the one I have does everything I want, already.

More on Paul Thurrott’s Windows Supersite, which I’ve been following for many years. He’s looked at a newer build than the one I played with, and he’s also got much more in-depth reviews of the various features which I didn’t stop to look at.

What do my readers you think? Anyone else played with Vista yet?