pip_r_lagenta (pip_r_lagenta) wrote,

Multitasking: It Seems That I Can't Blame Vista For This

I got a new computer a little over a year ago, and it has not been a pleasant experience. The new computer has the Microsoft Vista Operating System on it. Vista is far more vile than anyone can possibly express. You may think that you know that Vista is bad, but let me tell you, you have no fucking clue.

To get the computer that I wanted, I got too clever by half. I went to Puget Systems Custom Computers and had them build a system for me. Mistake! I cannot recommend Puget to anyone. Right out of the box, there were problems with the Puget computer. Certain peripherals failed to work because they were not plugged in to the motherboard properly. A minor problem.

But soon, I was tricked by the Vista Operating System into destroying the main, one-terabyte, hard drive. "Tricked?" you say. "Aren’t you just blaming your own stupidity on Vista?" Well, I certainly was stupid to trust Vista to put the "Off symbol" on a function that would actually turn the computer off. When I first got the Vista machine, I had not yet learned that I could not trust Vista to do even the simplest of things. I trusted "off" to mean "off", and in that, I was very, very stupid.

When I first got the Vista computer, to shut it off, I would click on the button on which Vista put the "Off Symbol". The computer would then appear to shut down. I would then shut the power off to the computer. That destroyed the hard drive. You see, MICROSOFT’S VISTA HAS THE OFF SYMBOL ON A COMMAND THAT PUTS THE COMPUTER INTO A LOW POWER STATE, BUT DOES NOT, IN FACT, SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER. When you cut off the power to a computer that has not been properly shut down, the platter inside the hard drive stops rotating, and the actuator arm inside the hard drive slams down onto the platter causing damage to both the platter and the actuator arm. If you do that enough, the hard drive is destroyed.

Quickly, my Samsung SpinPoint 1TB SATA II hard drive failed. Diagnosing the difficulty, with the help of Puget Systems technicians, was arduous, time consuming and labor intensive. In the end, we replaced the hard drive. Then I had to reload the Vista operating system, and all the software.

The Puget Systems computer has never run well. Vista shut out ("is not compatible with") the key programs that I require. Vista also shut out ("is not compatible with") the key peripherals (hardware) that I require. Vista also put draconian limits on the use of the few peripherals (hardware) that Vista is compatible with. For example, I used to be able to link other computers in my home network through my main computer to the printer, so that the other computers on my home network could use the printer. This system was trivial to set up in XP. Vista, on the other hand, won’t allow it. Vista demands a password to access the printer from outside. There are no passwords. I do not use passwords in my home network. I have not set up any passwords. But Vista will not let any other computer use the printer without entering the password that Vista, alone, knows. This bizarre draconian requirement means that my other computers are shut out of printer access. (Vista is so loathsome!)

Vista has a nasty habit of cluttering up key (heavily used) directories with random, useless crap. My main directory that has vital, or important, subdirectories such as "Desktop", "Documents", "Downloads", "Music" and "Videos" has been polluted by worthless subdirectories such as ".housecall", ".java" (an empty directory), ".javaws", ".nbi", "amaya", and (my favorite), "{edb2e081-a6f0-4605-b8b5-992e7e31e07e}". Additionally, Vista dumps files into this directory that should have nothing but subdirectories in it. These mystery files have names like "plugin131_02.trace". Other than to be annoying, there is no reason for Vista to abandon these things in my main directory. Vista is just foul.

The XP operating system had a useful little item called "My Recent Documents". The Vista version of the same thing is called "Recent Items", and, as you might suspect, it is worthless. It does not seem to have anything really recent in it. In the XP version, you could find the file that you were working on an hour ago or a day ago. But Vista’s "Recent Items" contains things that are more like a week or two old. That thing you just closed, or used yesterday just won’t be there. Vista’s "Recent Items" tends to contain the names of files that have been deleted. If you try to open one of those, you get an error message saying that Vista can’t find the file. Well, of course not! It has been deleted! And Vista’s "Recent Items" does not contain the name of every file that you used a week or two ago, just a random selection. There is no way to predict what it will have, and what it won’t. This "not quite recent" aspect, along with the randomness of the files included, renders Vista’s "Recent Items" ineffectual, at best. Vista really is rubbish.

But never mind these minor annoyances, Vista’s main characteristics are that 1) Vista does not work with software required for the user to be productive; and 2) Vista does not work with hardware required for the user to be productive. However, my new computer has a third crippling problem. It has had this third problem as long as the computer has had Vista as an operating system. In other words, it has always had this problem:
My Puget Systems custom computer has never been able to multitask. That is to say, most of the complex programs on this computer have always degenerated into uselessness if something is running in the background. I had originally thought that this was a Vista problem, and therefore, there was nothing that I could do about it. Vista has destroyed my productivity in a variety of ways. Vista does not work with the hardware that I need to use to be productive. Vista does not work with the software that I need to use to be productive. The fact that Vista did not work at all when something is going on in the background just seemed to be another characteristic of the vile Vista operating system. A clue to me that this was, indeed, a Vista problem comes when I use "Photoshop". When I open the Photoshop application "Adobe Bridge", I ALWAYS get a message that says "This application requires an Intel Pentium 4, Intel Celeron, Intel Core Duo or Intel Core 2 compatible processor. (0/6/5894) The application may perform poorly. Are you sure you want to continue?" My Puget Custom Computer HAS an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (3.16GHz, FSB1333, 6MB of L2 cache). It seemed clear to me that Vista was keeping programs from using, or even knowing about, the full power of the CPU. Being a Vista problem, there could be no solution.

I keep my computer well protected from viruses and spyware. I run a variety of scans regularly. (I ran one today, I ran one yesterday. I run them four or five times a week.) I keep the virus protection software and the operating system fully updated at all times. This is not a virus or spyware problem. The inability to multitask has been unchanged since the day that I got this computer. Multitasking has never worked.

Even something as simple as listening to music becomes a static-filled nightmare when Vista kicks in some background operation. I have gone into "task Manager" to try to track down whatever is dominating the CPU. (I note that the duel cores are NOT equally sharing the work load.) Vista does not allow a method by which these background operations can be traced down and shut off. They just suck up the CPU runtime, and allow no productive work to be done. Since "no productive work" is my total experience with Vista, I assumed that Vista did not allow for multitasking. I now suspect that I am wrong on this issue. I have people assuring me that Vista does not kill multitasking. So, what is the problem?

I can use Photoshop, Windows Movie Maker, a Nero sound editing program, or other complex programs (or games) only so long as Vista does not have anything running in the background. I try to reroute all resources to the program. I go into Vista’s "performance options", and under the "visual effects" tab, I set the button to "adjust for best performance". I try to shut off all applications that can be shut off. This does work to some small degree, but only so long as Vista does not have anything running in the background. Then, everything grinds to a halt: the programs become extremely slow to respond and tend to freeze, the sound becomes full of static, moving pictures become slide shows. Even the mouse pointer’s movements become jerky. Doing something as simple as watching a YouTube video becomes (for all intents and purposes) impossible. Never mind trying to edit a movie.

I now suspect a BIOS setting problem. Is there a way for me to find out what the correct (optimal) BIOS settings for my Puget Custom Computer are? Hell, even if it isn’t a BIOS setting problem, I still want the correct (optimal) BIOS settings for my Computer! I have an email in with Puget on this issue. I do not expect that they will be able to help me.

 --Pip R. Lagenta

Tags: computer, microsoft, microsoft vista, microsoft windows vista 32-bit ultimate, multitasking, puget, puget systems, vista, vista sucks
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