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Book Reviews Books Media

Windows Vista Annoyances 399

stoolpigeon writes "It has been well documented that the reception for Microsoft's Windows Vista has not been all that warm. Yet, visiting the web site of many PC manufacturers or visiting a retail outlet selling computers will show that most new hardware is being offered with Vista as the primary if not only option. O'Reilly's newest in their Annoyances series, "Windows Vista Annoyances", by David A. Karp, seeks to alleviate some of the pain for new Vista users. For the Vista owner who is able to put the book's suggestion into place, the edge should be taken off. For the individual considering a purchase of Vista and wondering if it can really be that bad, this book seems to indicate that yes, it is that bad." Read below for the rest of JR's review.
Windows Vista Annoyances
author David A. Karp
pages 641
publisher O'Reilly Media, Inc.
rating 8
reviewer JR Peck
ISBN 0-596-52762-4
summary Tips, Secrets and Solutions.
I've read a decent number of O'Reilly titles over the years. My bookshelf for technical books is a rainbow of the various volumes, each with their wood carving style cover. I don't think in all those years I've ever read an introduction like the one in annoyances. O'Reilly authors tend to be enthusiastic about their topic and are often well known proponents of the technology discussed. I can only guess that Karp is not a huge fan of Vista. The preface begins with a section labeled "Why am I annoyed?" and that section concludes with the question, "Would Microsoft be making decisions like these if it had to compete fairly for your business?" The first sentence of the first chapter is, "Windows Vista is like a papaya: sleek on the outside, but a big mess on the inside." And Karp never lets up. Throughout the book, from start to finish, he never tries to gloss over the ugliness of Vista. This book may be hazardous to the health of Microsoft fanboys. I would imagine that too much time reading would lead to high blood pressure at the very least.

In view of the mess that is Vista, Karp informs the reader that, "Whether it goes down smoothly or gives you heartburn is up to you." The point of the book is to give the reader the information that they need to make Vista palatable. This may sound simple but it brings up what I thought was the most difficult issue for Karp. Vista Annoyances is written with a level of detail and explanation that marks it clearly for the user with casual knowledge of personal computers and how they work. Karp takes the time to explain things like what it means to zip a file, what happens when defrag is run on a hard drive, networking basics and so on. This is great for someone like me, who is sure to start getting a slew of calls from friends and family as some of them move to Vista. The problem is, many of the solutions revolve around steps that are not necessarily a good idea for the pc novice. A large portion of the solutions revolve around editing the registry. The third chapter of the book deals solely with the registry. How it works, how to navigate within it and how to alter it. For some people this could be a great route to take, for many it could lead to much more serious problems than they had in the first place.

For the technically proficient, this book will seem a bit bloated. They don't need all the explanation given for the beginner. Many of the books solutions are not just Vista specific. They give information and work arounds for Windows issues that have existed in XP and possibly back to 98. The saving grace is a thorough index. The person who buys this as a reference to help out others, or deal with some specific issue will find that the extensive index helps to not waste time working through what could feel like a lot of extra material.

I don't think this issue of complexity is necessarily the author's fault. Many of the changes users will want to make to Vista just can't be made any other way than through the registry. Where it is possible to use a programitic interface (gui or command line) Karp gives thorough and detailed instructions, with screen shots on how to do so. But for many options those tools don't exist or have been removed, leaving direct editing of the registry as the only solution left. Another issue, that is somewhat similar, is that for most home users, some of the better solutions wont be available as they wont have access to tools available in Vista Ultimate and Business editions. This isn't Karps fault again, but it means for many the book will have a lot of information that they just can't use.

Dealing with the various editions and their features is handled immediately in the first chapter. That chapter, "Get Started with Windows Vista", also covers installation. Karp goes over the various types of installs and gives tips on how to deal with failed installs, how to best set up prior to an install and how to deal with licensing. Throughout the book, Karp makes note when he is talking about a feature, choice or tool that is limited to a subset of the Vista family. Keeping track of it all can be a bit confusing. Once again, I don't really see this as a shortcoming on the part of the author. It's just the nature of the beast.

The title of the second chapter threw me at first. It is, "Shell Tweaks." When I hear the word shell my mind immediately brings up bash or ksh. In this case Karp is talking about Windows Explorer. As this is the primary interface for users working with the Vista file system, the chapter holds some vital information for attaining a sane and consistent user experience. Karp points out that many of the defaults are not going to endear themselves to many users and in many cases do not make much sense. When Karp discusses explorer he explains how to modify it when opened to various folders and also in the context of the desktop and taskbar.

Karp points out many third party tools that he feels will help the user. Many are free, some are not. The tools mentioned more than any other are Creative Element's Powertools. Powertools can be downloaded for a free 45 day trial period but costs $18 to license beyond that time frame. This is important as many of Karps solutions can be managed without this software but would be very cumbersome. This is especially true of all the editing done in the registry.

The registry chapter is thorough and offers a detailed explanation of what the registry is and how it works. This material could be useful for anyone using any version of windows. The issue of trying to make Vista useful for non-technical users rears its head here quite a bit, as I mentioned. I found myself reading explanations of hex and binary as well as reading how to create a patch file for the registry. This could be useful information for me, in helping others with Windows issues. But when I consider my parents, there is no way I would want them trying out half of what is in this chapter. They would in all likelihood need a complete reinstall in no time. What reading this said to me, more than anything was that most people are going to just have to settle for Vista the way Microsoft gives it to them.

The chapter on dealing with multimedia was interesting and could prove helpful for users with less experience. There are solid explanations on codecs, players and how to get the most out of media, especially video. There is very little said about Vista and DRM. There is no mention of possible problems with hardware due to DRM. In fact the discussion on DRM was primarily limited to a short mention of Tunebite and MyFair Tunes for DRM removal. I assume that this is because finding and explaining such issues would have required a lot more time, research and hardware. Vista annoyances pretty much sticks to the basics of media use.

I had to chuckle a bit as I read the chapter on performance as many of the recommendations involve turning off much of what differentiates Vista from XP. It is useful though, as Karp explains what the configurable options are and how much one can expect in gains. He does make it clear that the initial defaults are less than ideal and it is worth the time to dig in and make adjustments. The same can be said for security and in that regard the chapters on networking and users are indispensable. Once again, getting all the tools will involve having Ultimate/Business and installing third party tools to bring Vista into line.

I've rated the book 8 out of 10. This is due to two issues. The first negative I have explained quite a bit and that is the book speaks to the novice but requires someone with more experience in many cases. While this is may not be the fault of the author and a necessity brought on by the subject matter, it still makes the book less useful. The second is that quite often I found the author bringing up points only to say that he would explain more later in the same chapter or in another chapter. This is because the chapters themselves are built around topics like performance and troubleshooting. But when Karp is working his way through each option of a menu it branches out into other topics, as many options in Vista are spread all over the place. Once again, this seems to be more of a Vista issue, but hinders learning none the less.

After finishing this book, my first thought was that I am going to do all I can to make sure that no family or friends buy a machine with Vista if possible. Service Pack 1 will address just a few of the issues that Vista brings to the table. From what I've read about it fixing activation 'loopholes' it could make some things worse. Should I find myself approached by someone who already has Vista and wants help, I would recommend this book if they have some idea of what they are doing or can learn without getting into too much trouble. For that classic parent or grandparent always brought up as an example, I think I would just tell them Visa is the way it is and hope that they adjust. If I like them enough, I'll pull this book off the shelf and head on over to help them out.

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Windows Vista Annoyances

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  • Meh (Score:5, Informative)

    by rwven ( 663186 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:26PM (#22237478)
    If you want to alleviate Vista annoyances, and you MUST use Vista, use vLite [vlite.net] and make a custom Vista install image with ONLY the stuff you want on it. I just did this yesterday and it works wonders. Vista doesn't feel like a slug anymore.
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:27PM (#22237492)

    A large portion of the solutions revolve around editing the registry. The third chapter of the book deals solely with the registry. How it works, how to navigate within it and how to alter it. For some people this could be a great route to take, for many it could lead to much more serious problems than they had in the first place.

    There are really only two options.

    #1. Run a utility that makes the Registry changes for you. Where are you going to find that?

    #2. Edit the Registry by hand. At least the option is there.
  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:32PM (#22237566) Homepage Journal
    Oh, sure. Provided you don't want to install any Service Packs now or in the future, I'm sure it's fine. From the link in your post:

    It came to my attention that some of you expected to install Service Pack on the lite Vista, without some components.
    Unfortunatelly that is not possible, nor it was ever expected to be because Service Pack is meant to update the whole installation, if it detects that something is missing it aborts.

    So the only way to use vLite on SP1 is to use it on the preintegrated version, meaning you can configure the Vista DVD or ISO which already has SP1 in it.
    Until Microsoft releases one you can try making your own by following this guide.
    But be careful, it's not official nor easy method so it is recommended only for the experienced users.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by el_gordo101 ( 643167 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:34PM (#22237606)
    O'Reilly publishes quite a few books [oreilly.com] in the "Annoyances" series (Windows XP Annoyances, Mac Annoyances, etc.) This is just the next one in the series.
  • Re:Shock Horror (Score:5, Informative)

    by apdyck ( 1010443 ) <aaron.p.dyck@gmaiYEATSl.com minus poet> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:39PM (#22237658) Homepage Journal
    The reason that OEMs appear to love Vista so much is that Microsoft forces it down their throats. Years ago I was a Microsoft OEM vendor. In order to obtain the best possible license price, you had to meet a certain quota. This was a hard-and-fast number of licenses that you had to sell to maintain your price point. So obviously the OEMs will want to sell as many copies of Vista as they can in order to maximize their profits. In addition to this, I also work in a technical support call center (although not as Tech Support). For the OEMs that my company handles, do you think that they want to have to train every new class on multiple operating systems? It's far cheaper for them to retrain the people who have XP and 2000 training, and then ONLY train the new agents in Vista and XP, and then drop XP completely when they are no longer supporting systems with XP installed on them. For the OEM, it pays them in the long run to force Vista down our throats.

    To summarize:
    1. Microsoft has quotas for license pricing that ensures OEMs will want to sell as many Vista licenses as possible
    2. OEMs do not want to have to train new technical support representatives on any more operating systems than they absolutely have to, and are therefore quick to throw an older version aside in favour of the newer version, even if the older version causes fewer problems.
  • Re:Shock Horror (Score:5, Informative)

    by NorbrookC ( 674063 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:46PM (#22237746) Journal

    If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost?

    Umm, pretty much because Microsoft is forcing them to. And, yes, Microsoft does get to say when you can or can't sell something.

    OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all, and it's not like Macs aren't selling either so it's clearly not just a Windows thing.

    You have no idea of what an OEM agreement is, do you? Yes, OEMs are forced into buying Vista. Either that, or they forfeit all the nice marketing support, pricing, and other goodies that Microsoft gives - and that amounts to a lot of money. Think I'm kidding? Just try to buy an XP computer from Dell or HP after June 30'th. That's the cut-off date set by Microsoft for OEM sales.

  • Screen Flicker (Score:2, Informative)

    by jb1z ( 1099055 ) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:49PM (#22237768)
    My biggest annoyance is the screen flickering when unlocking a laptop that has an external monitor plugged in. I found a way to get it to stop, but that disables the auto-detection of external monitors (http://comments.deviantart.com/18/976237/576101509 [deviantart.com]).

    If you do disable TMM, you will need to remember to disable the 2nd monitor before suspending your laptop to go somewhere. If you don't, you'll go to unlock your machine and be staring at a black screen. You'll then need to hit CTL-ALT-DEL, and select "Switch User", and re-login in order to use your machine again. Pretty freakin' annoying.
  • Re:Two things (Score:4, Informative)

    by RightSaidFred99 ( 874576 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:52PM (#22237808)
    Zzzz... The signed driver requirement isn't in Vista-64 for DRM reasons. The PMP code allows the applications to basically ask "show me all unsigned drivers", so they're covered there wiht or without restricting drivers to be signed. It's there so you know exactly who released a given driver, and for reasons of quality control and certification of drivers. In case you aren't aware, most of the stability problems in recent years with Windows are due to shoddy drivers.
  • by IntruderII ( 963018 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:53PM (#22237814)
    I hope you realize O'Reilly also wrote a book, "Fixing Windows XP Annoyances." http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/windowsxpannoy/index.html [oreilly.com] Also, Vista has very little to no resemblance of Windows ME. I can't help but think people who make this analogy haven't used both of them.
  • Re:Shock Horror (Score:2, Informative)

    by GalacticCmdr ( 944723 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:55PM (#22237834)

    If Vista is so terrible, how come every single retail shop sells it first and foremost? OEMs don't get forced into buying Vista after all, and it's not like Macs aren't selling either so it's clearly not just a Windows thing.

    I will assume that you are new to this because things have been this way since the Pentiums first rolled out. There is nothing illegal, immoral or anything else wrong. It has nothing to do with liking or even if the OS is useful to their customers. It all comes down to availability and profit. It is not even limited to the computer industry as Games Workshop does the same thing.

    Shops will sell what has the highest profit margin and what they can get their hands on. The two computer shops near my house could not get access to retail WinXP licenses after Vista shipped. There was nothing to be had as Microsoft stopped selling them through their channel. They had no choice but to put Vista on the shelves. The second company (much bigger than the first) actually got a nice sized "advertising" cost offset from Microsoft channels to display/sell Vista. The limitation was that they had to remove XP from the shelves and really push Vista to make up the numbers, thus giving them more offsets.

    OEMs love it because they are paid to love it. For the same reason there is that the Intel Inside sticker was put on everything. Microsoft pays them in advertising dollars for each time they run something with the Vista logo.

    Good or bad has nothing to do with why companies place Vista so highly. Companies could care less about Vista except that it has the capability to drive more expensive purchases. Its all about the money.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:56PM (#22237854) Journal

    ITs not an unstable crappy mess such as WindowsME ever was despite what the naysayers tell everyone about it.

    I am typing this on a machine with Vista and yes for people who do not like change it can be a hair pulling experience for the first month. Toshiba did not have any XP drivers for my notebook as I wanted to downgrade fast.

    However Vista works, areo takes a while to get used and after I discoved how to put the file menu's back into windows explorer a few weeks of being fustrated I felt alot better. I had to use the classic Windows explorer for awhile before I discovered VistaGlazz and finally getting used to the new gui.

    Its not perfect and has slow i/o in which crapware loaded with most OEM computers such as McAfee anti virus can ground a $5,000 machine to a halt as a result. The hard disk can spin randomly and suck battery life out if its idle.

    But it does have cool features such as speech recongition, the ability to load Windows updates withotu installing them, windows Media player 11 with flashdrive features, and my favorite which is resource monitor that has been added in the NT task manager. WIth the resource monitor you can find out exactly what the computer is doing and can find things like how many megs are being written to the disk from which program. Its like Solaris ptrace in alot of ways. Nice if you want to save battery power and something is using i/o and you want to find out what.

    Writing a book on how much Vista sucks is a waste of time. ITs not the end of the world but I would not mind Windows 7 and would tell others happy on XP to stay.
  • Best use for linux in my experience is the wireless "internet and email only" laptop. Only potential tripping point is which wireless card you decided on. Take my word for it however, I and my friends all became linux fans because that is all we use on our laptops, even if we use windows on our desktops for gaming.
  • I dunno - there's at least three magic copies, then, because I'm running a pain-free one at home (Ultimate), and at work (Business), which I use heavily, and I haven't run into any big annoyances at all.

    Oh, and to all you UAC haters, I actually like it. You all probably surfed the net with admin privileges on XP and thought you were secure because you use firefox. Not so, pineapple man! UAC works well, and is not intrusive. I only get prompts with (un)installs and serious configuration changes, but not in my daily use.
  • Re:Two things (Score:5, Informative)

    by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:19PM (#22238154)
    "if a shoddy driver is affecting stability beyond the device in question it's not the driver that's to blame. You may as well also subscribe to the BS microsoft spewed about old file formats being insecure rather than the program that reads them."

    I mostly disagree with this on a number of points.

    (1) Every other remotely common OS -- the various Unixes, Linux, OS X -- is just as susceptible as Windows is. They all use the same architecture: the driver runs in the kernel. Once you have that, an unstable driver can easily crash the system. Guess what: there are rootkits for Linux too, and they use the exact same principles as Windows ones: once you are installed as a driver, you are God.

    (2) The main reason that this has been done is that it's hard to do well another way. Until relatively recently, the only mechanism that provided protection against a badly behaved driver was to run it in its own protection domain. This means a context switch whenever the kernel wants to call the driver, and a system call when the driver wants to call the kernel or return. For many drivers, the overhead here has been unacceptable. In the last several years there have been a couple new ideas for how to provide protection with lower overhead, but (1) they remain in the research state and haven't made it to real-world products, and (2) they too have overheads that are not trivial.

    (3) MS is actually doing MORE to move drivers out of the kernel than the other mainstream OSes. Linux has some examples, for instance FUSE, but Vista introduces a new driver model that strongly encourages user mode drivers. (For instance, sound drivers are often written with the UMDF.) Performance critical drivers, such as parts of video card drivers, still run in the kernel.
  • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:25PM (#22238204)

    It took them +-5 years to rewrite the whole OS and it's only an incremental advance over the last release?

    The notion that Vista took ~5 years is a fallacy. During those first few years, much of the Windows team was focused on the security push and XP SP2. What few teams were left on Longhorn (as it was called at the time) were mostly without direction. Once XP SP2 shipped and teams started focusing back on Longhorn, it was clear that things had gotten out of hand and they implemented the famous Longhorn Reset [wikipedia.org]. That brought the codebase back to Windows Server 2003 as the base and essentially started Vista over from scratch. That was in mid-2004, which means Vista actually only took 2.5-3 years to write and was definitely not a complete rewrite of the whole OS (though portions did get a full rewrite, like the driver model).

    I've never worked at a software company where something like that wouldn't get a few teams fired.

    You don't think they didn't? It's been argued that Jim Allchin's [wikipedia.org] departure from Microsoft was a direct consequence of the Vista debacle. Otherwise, the firing or re-purposing of lower level employees isn't something that really makes the news. From the external point of view, of course it looks like everything's the same.

    But they're writing a new version of Windows for the next release too (MinWin or WinMin or whatever their codename for the kernel is

    I really don't think you understand what MinWin [wikipedia.org] is. The ability to strip down the OS to its bare essentials has been available in various forms at least since Windows XP Embedded [wikipedia.org] (if not earlier), and I'd be very surprised if MinWin is not working from that base. It's not a rewrite so much as it's a re-restructuring of the Windows architecture to facilitate more modular uses of the core platform.

    personally I don't know why they don't just call it DarWin and be honest for once about who they've been copying on-and-off for the past 20 years).

    And Apple's copied just as much from Microsoft. Many of the features in OS X were directly lifted from early plans and betas of Vista/Longhorn. The only difference was that Apple was able to execute quickly and ship product while Microsoft floundered. Only time will tell if the same will happen with Windows 7, but I think Microsoft may have learned its lesson the hard way this time around and will really surprise everybody with Win7.

  • by penguin_dance ( 536599 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:28PM (#22238240)
    When I bought my laptop last summer, I was dreading having to deal with Vista. To the point I was researching how to wipe Vista and install XP. (What I found is the newer hard drives do not have driver on XP natively so XP might not recognize the drive and so you have to load those first [cruftbox.com]....) Anyway, I decided to try Vista first to see if it was really worth going through a major headache of wiping the drive and starting over.

    I was, in fact, pleasantly surprised...mostly. I don't know if it was the manufacturer (HP) doing a great install configuration or the version (Home Premium) or the fact it was built for Vista vs. just slapping an upgrade on a current computer, but I've had very few problems. Only thing I've done was upgrade the memory from 1 to 2 GB. I also turned off UAC which I found beyond annoying. The computer is used mostly at home and behind a firewall--not to mention that UAC can be foiled--and chances are most people are going to automatically approve something when they're installing a program (which is usually when a person gets a virus), so the UAC becomes useless.

    If you're into voice recognition, the voice recognition that comes with Vista works surprisingly well--better than Dragon Naturally Speaking and with less training. (Just be sure and have a good microphone.) However you won't be able to use it with Open Office--you'll have to stick with MS Office, notepad, etc. Also I'm able to play even ancient DOS games with DOSBox and I've found very few programs I've had a problem running. Networking with my wireless router was a breeze.

    Vista IS a Mac rip-off with eye candy--stick a few new screensavers and Yahoo! Widgets on your XP and you're 2/3s there. The most annoying thing is once again having to FIND where they hid the settings again--almost none of it is helpful or makes things smoother--especially if you want to just view ALL the programs. It's not as great as the fan boys praise, but it's not as horrible as the nay Sayers make out either. Personally I wouldn't upgrade from XP as long as possible, but if you're getting a computer with it installed, you might find it isn't as bad as you think.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by clem ( 5683 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:29PM (#22238256) Homepage
    I accessed the EULA directly from my copy of Microsoft Office 2007. I saw no reference to the terms you specified. This smells like a misinformation.
  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Informative)

    by webmaster404 ( 1148909 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:43PM (#22238406)
    But you should *never* need a quad-core CPU and 2 Gigs of RAM to make an OS run decently. Linux/OS X are newer than Vista and require far less resources to run decently with more eye-candy even. Sloppy coding/DRM make for a system that requires a $1000 computer to run it. I for one will be just as happy saving $700 on a $300 PC that can run Linux just fine while running XP in a VM for Windows apps.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:27PM (#22238954)
    Actually, hidden away on Dell's website is a way to purchase laptops with XP installed on them [dell.com].
  • by h4rdc0d3 ( 724980 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:32PM (#22239038)
    About a week ago, I build a new pc and decided to give Vista (Ultimate x64) a try. I have been able to work through most of the problems/annoyances, such as disabling UAC and various other services that significantly slow the system down, but there is one small one that gets on my nerves that I can't find a fix for...

    I like to use the 'Details' view when browsing folders in Windows Explorer - I'm not a fan of all those giant icons. Whenever I perform copy/move operations by dragging a file/folder into the detail view, the sorting gets removed. For instance, when I have the folder contents listed alphabetically (by the 'Name' column), if I drag a file into this view, it drops it exactly where I let off the mouse button and removes the 'Name' sorting instead of organizing that file to where it should be in the list. I have to click on the 'Name' column header to sort the contents again.

    I have yet to find a way to disable this behavior and return it to the way every previous version of Windows worked. If anyone else has run into this and has a fix, I'd love to hear it!
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:2, Informative)

    by znerk ( 1162519 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:34PM (#22239066)
    I beg to differ. Symantec pcAnywhere seems to have no issues with allowing the remote user to "click through" the dialogue. I use it on a daily basis to provide support to my company's customers, and have decried the "security" of this feature ever since I clicked "Allow" on a system 220 miles from my physical location.
  • by Quarem ( 143878 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:44PM (#22239192)

    And correct me if I'm wrong but OS X doesn't have DRM at the OS layer. Apple is no fan of DRM, and has only reluctantly played along with the music companies on this. Microsoft, on the other hand, has embraced them.


    DRM is in the kernel.

    http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/01/0421248&from=rss [slashdot.org]

    FairPlay DRM is in Quicktime a major OS component.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay [wikipedia.org]

    The only reason that Apple does not have HDCP in Mac OS X is because they do not support playback from any high-definition optical discs. When Apple supports Bluray or HD-DVD you can bet HDCP is going to be there.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by joelleo ( 900926 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:48PM (#22239222)
    thats because pcanywhere connects the user to the console and runs as a kernel mode process. It even replaces the gina.dll. Without all that pcanywhere couldn't do it. If you've allowed spyware/malware that does all that to be installed on your machine then you're already screwed and no amount of sas will protect you.
  • by Mia'cova ( 691309 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:30PM (#22239804)
    You can instead type machinename_or_domain\username. Not the same thing but it's not as if you're blocked from logging in as a specific user. Depending on taste, it's nice to just having to type that instead of going "oups, I have the wrong dropdown." But totally a fair criticism.

    As for 2, I'm not sure what you mean. They've moved some things out of My Documents but it's all still in the "documents and settings" (now Users) area. They've also exposed more of that to the user by a creating a link to your user's root folder from the start menu. Some of those folders are, such as AppData, are understandably set hidden so this scheme works well for the novice.

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