Windows Vista

 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Windows Vista Reply with quote

The first thing to be aware of when migrating to Windows Vista is that most problems encountered by users of Windows Vista have come from upgrading from a previous version of Windows. Doing a fresh install will avoid most of these issues.

We've been using Windows Vista on a Toshiba laptop and a new custom-built Quad-core desktop machine for a couple of months and have encountered only a few, relatively minor, issues:

1) No Vista drivers available for some legacy scanners and cameras.
With some effort, we've been able to get all of these devices to work. In some cases, we have had to wait for an updated driver.

2) Unstable drivers with new hardware (NVidia 8800 series, for example).
Most of these issues have been resolved with newer driver releases.

3) Some older software will not run under Windows Vista.
In almost all cases, the failures can be traced to the applications doing non-standard Windows operations. To take a good example, Steinberg's Wavelab uses non-standard file open/save dialogs. When the dialog is opened, Wavelab crashes to the desktop.

One recommendation we would give is that you install older applications differently than applications that are actually written to work with Vista. With Windows Vista, Microsoft has locked-down user access to the "Program Files" folder tree. What this means is that if an application needs to write data to its own folder, it won't be able to without altering the access rights to the folder, or running the application as an Administrator. A better solution is to simply install the application outside of this tree. For example, for older games, we've created a "Games" folder off of the root. We have yet to run into a game that won't run using this method, and perhaps also setting some "Compatibility" options.


Vista and Newsman Pro
Now for the important stuff Wink

We have had no issues installing and running Newsman Pro version 2.7.0.3 and later under Windows Vista. We have fully tested MySQL version 5.0.45 as well as Microsoft SQL Express 2005. Performance-wise, Windows Vista is even better than XP for Newsman Pro due to Vista's improved memory management. However, here are few things that you must consider:

* Windows Update - In Vista, Windows Update is set, by default, to automatically download and install important updates. That's not a problem. The problem lies in the fact that Vista will automatically reboot your machine after updates are installed. If you are running NMP when this occurs, you could end up having to repair your database as Vista simply kills any running application. We recommend changing the default settings for Windows Update.

* MySQL configuration - By default, MySQL installs itself to C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server x.x This is also the default location of the MY.INI configuration file where all MySQL settings are made. Since the Program Files tree is secured, Vista doesn't allow this file to be modified unless you are an administrator. To get around this, Microsoft has implemented what is called a Virtual Store. Any application that has it's own INI file will have a copy of the INI file placed in the VirtualStore folder. This is the actual configuration file that MySQL will use. The VirtualStore folder is located in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\VirtualStore and each application's INI file will be located in a subfolder named for the application. This is where you should edit the MY.INI file.

* Location of data files - Long-time users of Newsman Pro may be used to having their Data, Bodies, Headers and other files located in the folder where Newsman Pro is installed. We no longer place files and folders that Newsman writes to in the application folder by default. Therefore, if you do a fresh install of Newsman Pro, the files and folders will default to the following locations:

    Application Files: C:\Program Files\Newsman Pro
    Settings, Data and Folders: C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Newsman Pro
    Default Download Folder: C:\Users\<user>\Documents\Newsman Pro


If you insist on having everything in one place, you can still do so:

1) Shutdown NMP.
2) Modify security rights to C:\Program Files\Newsman Pro so that you have MODIFY rights to this folder.
3) Move everything in \AppData\Local\Newsman Pro into C:\Program Files\Newsman Pro.
4) Manually edit the folder settings in NMP.INI to point to the new location(s).
5) Restart NMP.

Keep in mind that Vista's VirtualStore will impact you if you do this.


Conclusion
While Vista still has some wrinkles to work out, just like Windows XP did a year after it was released, we have been pleasantly surprised at how stable Vista has been. The new Aero interface is very easy on the eyes and browsing/reading messages in NMP is better with the new system fonts than it was using the default fonts in Windows XP. Having said all of this, we wouldn't recommend upgrading an existing machine to Windows Vista unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Wait until you buy your next machine and make the jump at that time.
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