Friday, January 06, 2006

More ramblings about Vista and OSX86

Some advice if you plan on installing one of those Vista beta versions:
- Vista has a new bootloader which is quite annoying (it will also overwrite any other boot loader, which might make your Linux or OSX86 boot loader unavailable) - so if possible install Vista on a separate disk or keep some cool recovery gizmo around
(you can probably also use a bootable CD for that recovery);
- the new bootloader does seem to still use the BOOT.INI configuration file, but it will also add some other stuff;
- there seems to also be some very promising things inside - like for instance the new "desktop composition model" which will dramatically improve things like scaling , previewing , large DPI viewing and even remoting !!! (of course that advanced graphics cards will be needed to take full advantage but it is quite amazing how backwards compatibility in some display-context stuff was going back to Windows 3.0 - so it was the right time to put performance and efficiency at the same level as backward compatibility)!

- anyway remember - it is still a beta FAR from being ready !!!

Actually a lot more impressive from the "readiness" point of view is OSX86 - it is a good thing that it will be launched before Vista since it will push Microsoft into getting things done in a much better way! And another important advice for Microsoft - fire one of the "eye-candy" managers responsible for Vista and spend his salary on getting a few breathtaking wallpapers and screensavers - and place at least 3-4 from them on the "standard CD", much more on the "standard DVD" and only the rest can be left as "extra packs" - a lot of people consider that OSX is "cool" just since it has better wallpapers and screensavers "by default" !

Now back to OSX86 - the most amazing part about it is not the effort from the Apple engineers (which is not bad at all, but I am afraid that A LOT of it is going into the wrong direction - like protections) but instead the work from a few enthusiasts (known only by their internet handles, and given the known Apple paranoia things should for the moment stay like that) who managed to patch things so that it is now possible to run OSX86 on "cheap beige boxes" with results not so far away from the latest 3000+ US$ G5 machine ...

But don't set your hopes too high - the second most annoying thing about Apple (after the myth of technical superiority which is now clearly busted) is their pathological desire for a monopoly that would let them "milk" more and more money from their customers - if you think that Microsoft is a bad monopolist then you simply don't realize how bad Apple could be !!!

On this I will have to quote somebody with a much longer experience in this field:

"Bottom line: Apple's move to Intel is NOT for the end-user's benefit. It's solely for Apple's benefit. If your interests align with Apple's, then you'll do great with their hardware and software. But if things like "bang for the buck" or wide applicability and broad compatibility are important to you, Apple has *never* been a good choice. And I'll be very, very surprised if that changes any time soon."

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