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Windows Vista on VIA EPIA Nehemiah C3

So I've installed Windows Vista Beta* (Peter) 2 - Build 5384 - The system has a C3 / Nehemiah CPU at 1.2ghz, 512mb ram (DDR, Laptop RAM), 120gb Maxtor Drive and Pioneer 16x DVDRW. Updating the VGA driver seems to have found the correct VIA graphics driver from Microsoft. * Please bear in mind that all that I post is related to the beta version, so Vista could be drastically different (better?) when finalised.

It's almost like running some alien or Linux operating system because it looks so strange compared to Windows, they've lost the Start button, and replaced it with the windows logo in a circle, which will be great (not) for tech. support, instead of saying, "Click the Start button...", they can now say "Click symbol formerly known as the start button", or "Click the round blob with the windows logo in the bottom left corner..." "... no, not that one." "...no bottom left"... ad infinitum. Stupid basically. The Start button has been around since 1995 - people have been using it for 11, ELEVEN years dammit!! You can change the appearance of the Start Menu from the Windows XP look to the Windows 2000 (and earlier) look, but you can't get the 'Start' button back... unless you customise the visual appearance and select Windows Standard - this makes it look like Windows 2000. (and also appears to speed up the system!) You can also change to Windows Classic in the theme section...

My initial system rating is 1. This is the worst possible in Windows Vista. The VIA Nehemiah processor scores 1.1, my 512mb ram scores 1.8, my 58gb of free space scores 3.1, the standard VGA Driver scores 2.0(!), as does the VIA/S3 Unichrome graphics driver and so on... with the higher numbers being better. I can imagine the performance rating being used in several ways, most of them to make the customer spend more money: 1. So you can diagnose why Vista is running so slowly on your PC, and upgrade the slowest bit (useful / handy if it's just the RAM because that's easy to upgrade) 2. So sales people can tell you that you need to buy a more expensive PC with a higher rating. 3. So sales people can tell you your current PC is rubbish and make you buy a new pc. 4. So people who want the fastest PC ever can brag about how their PC rating is higher than yours.

I think I'm missing some important drivers, because initial system boot-up to desktop (start bar appearing) is taking over 5 minutes and 30 seconds!

There are some neat screensavers built in: Aurora, Bubbles, Photo slideshow - however - Mystify, and Ribbons don't seem to work properly - it appears to be a graphics driver related problem.

Good Things:
- Classic Control Panel still available
- Windows Defender included as standard

Bad Things:
- Start button missing
- Install uses 7gb
- MSN Messenger missing (replaced by Vista Live Messenger with phone over IP abilities)
- Still needs anti-virus software
- Disk-defragger doesn't show graphical representation on how fragmented your drive is - doesn't show you a progress bar, simply says "this may take a few minutes, or a few hours!"

...more later...

Useful Links:
VIA EPIA Windows Vista Drivers Downloads
Windows Vista Pants Rating
Windows Vista Live Messenger (replaces MSN Messenger)
Comodo Anti-Virus Software for Windows XP - Free*

* Update: Windows Vista seemed to stop working after installing this, so I've reinstalled in again and it seems a bit quicker than before.

IE7 tabs don't work properly, ie you are on the first tab, you type in where you want to go, then press enter. If you then click a different tab, it opens the page in the tab you've just clicked on instead of opening it in the tab you were originally wanting it in.

Standard Save File Basic | Save File Browse

Wow - it has a horrible file "save as..." box! The browse folders button that expands this is equally strange and complicated compared to the easily understood Windows 2000 / XP way of doing things. The colours are nice though, and presumably, with time, it should be possible to get used to them.

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