I apparently have a strange idea of what's a good way to relax. And I'm not usually a computer nerd, but I'm about to sound like one.
I left work a little early today and stopped at Best Buy to get a 120 gig hard drive that they had on sale. Despite a migraine that kept peeking through the clouds of medication, I installed the hard drive and then installed the free beta release candidate of Windows Vista, which won't be available to the general public until first quarter next year.
In short, I was quite impressed. It was attractive, responsive, and had a sturdy, quick-footed feeling that Windows usually lacks. It also had a lot of nice new features, and a sidebar full of gadgets that actually beats out the Google sidebar, of which I'm an regular user. I can also say that the integrated search really made finding things easy -- especially programs. No more trying to remember which folder I put the program icon in. Just type a few letters of the program I'm looking for, and there it is. Very nice. Windows Internet Explorer 7, which is a little clunky on XP, flies along in 64bit mode on Vista. Very fast.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a full set of device drivers yet, so my sound-card and secondary video-card didn't work. Nor did my scanner. This is to be expected from a beta release, and I'm sure that the companies who made these items will produce Windows Vista drivers, once it's actually released.
And I'll tell you what -- if sound and my second monitor had worked -- I'd probably be re-installing all my programs to Vista right now -- I'd probably be writing this on Vista. I haven't been at all impressed by a new Microsoft release since Windows 95, back before I knew anything at all. This one looks pretty solid, and makes me happy that I got myself a next-generation 64bit PC, instead of a low-end Macintosh (for the same price). But don't quote me on that.
Alas, without sound and my second monitor, I'm back on XP for now. However, it only takes a reboot to switch between the two, so I might be playing with it more in the future. And when the upgrade finally comes out, I will certainly be making the switch.
That is the end of my computer-nerdery for a few years.
And so, now, I sleep.