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Microsoft Internal Emails Show Dismay With Vista 662

Posted by kdawson
from the you-scratch-my-back dept.
bfwebster writes "Microsoft is currently facing a class-action suit over its designation of allegedly under-powered hardware as being 'Vista Capable.' The discovery process of that lawsuit has now compelled Microsoft to produce some internal emails discussing those issues. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has published extracts of some of those emails, along with a link to a a PDF file containing a more extensive email exchange. The emails reflect a lot of frustration among senior Microsoft personnel about Vista's performance problems and hardware incompatibilities. They also appear to indicate that Microsoft lowered the hardware requirements for 'Vista Capable' in order to include certain lower-end Intel chipsets, apparently as a favor to Intel: 'In the end, we lowered the requirement to help Intel make their quarterly earnings so they could continue to sell motherboards with 915 graphics embedded.' Read the whole PDF; it is informative, interesting, and at times (unintentionally) funny."
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Microsoft Internal Emails Show Dismay With Vista

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  • by milsoRgen (1016505) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:31PM (#22590722) Homepage
    Click Start > Right Click 'Computer' > Advanced System Settings > Performance Settings > Adjust For Best Performance

    Runs like a champ in a VM on my AM2 Sempron, with 512MB of memory allocated to it.
  • Vista on minimal HW (Score:4, Informative)

    by secPM_MS (1081961) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:32PM (#22590740)
    As my handle notes, I work at MS. I worked on Vista security during its development and was frequently at ship room concerning security issues. My focus is not on neat consumer feature and great graphics. I have found that Vista runs well on old hardware that is not really adequate for the new visuals. -- I turn off the Aero interface (which saves a lot of RAM as well), running "Windows Classic" for my UI. I then go to system advanced properties and optimize for performance. The resulting system works quite well. I have an old XP box (Dell GX620, ~ 3 GHz processor with 1 GByte of RAM) that I am running Vista business on. I added a 330 GByte drive and use it as an index server for ~ 150 GBytes of source code that I search. Except when it is syncing its files with the master, when ~ 40 command line processes run synchronization simultaneously, it is reasonably responsive.

    I have found that Windows server 2008 runs very well on a ~ 3 year old Dell 610 notebook, even when the system is locked into maximum battery life (and minimum performance) mode. It has a ~ 2GHz processor and 2 GBytes of RAM.

    Playing graphics games costs CPU and GPU processing power. From my point of view, the reason to upgrade to Vista is its significantly higher security than XP, let alone the earlier OS's. Search is also very nice and quite useful.

  • by forgoil (104808) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:37PM (#22590806) Homepage
    The problem is that the OS is so badly designed and un-optimized that you can't run it on that kind of hardware. There isn't any good reason why Vista should have been slower than XP really, and fancy FX should have been turned on only on premium hardware. Many other OSes can do it after all. Leopard is doing just fine on a core 2 duo with GMA 950 GFX after all...
  • by VampireByte (447578) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:39PM (#22590844) Homepage
    I'm running Vista Ultimate with Aero & dual monitors on an old 875 motherboard, 2.4Ghz Northwood, 1GB ram, Radeon 9600 AGP. No problems whatsoever and performance is fine for work apps (don't play games). I'm thinking of getting a couple of radeon 2400 cards (one AGP one PCI) so I can run three or four monitors.
  • by Sandbags (964742) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:42PM (#22590890) Journal
    unfortunately, the liekelyhood of you seeing a penny is slim. Even at a few billion dollars, a class action settlement would mostly go to the government and the lawyers. At the market value for RAM by the time the settlement ends, you'll probably get about $12 for your 512MB upgrade, if you see anything at all. anything much more than that and it would bankrupt microsoft. They can't possibly refund all the copies, even at OEM pricing, combined with the expenses and upgrade troubles, and the nice chunk for the lawers and uncle Sam.

    Also, the courts do have a basic understanding of the fact that if the machine you bought didn't have a graphics adapter, you shouldn't have expected the enhanced graphics interface (machines that run XP pro, but don't have GPUs don't play graphic games or screen savers either). As far as performance, they'll point of that the MINIMUM requirement meas MINIMUM FUNCTIONALITY, not RECCOMEDNED functionality. This is clearly understood by most in the industry, and considdfered common knowledge in computing. Whaterver the specs say the minimum is, you reasonably need 2-4 times that for performance to be fluid.

    Look at Pinacle Studeo for example. The miniumum specs, 256MB RAM and 5GB disk space, cover only whats necessary to install and run the program, and edit a "short" video clip (5 minutes of standard TV resolution 15fps, with no audio was the banchmark) A 30 minute HD video with stereo audio, accoring to Pinacle phone support for version 9 when I had it , should only be edited on a machine with striped performance HDDs and at least 2GB of RAM, and a multi-core (pentium D at the time) processor. lawyers will easily argue that, especially early adopters should have recognised this. "Let the buyer beware"

    The minimum requirements for Oblivion are 512MB System RAM, 2 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor , and 128MB Direct3D compatible video card. With those specs, at minimum resolution, the game gets aboutn 6FPS. With a $3,500 quad way SLI system, they still can't play it at higher than 30FPS at the game's maximum configurable resolutions. noone has yet built a system that can truly play the game. They reccomend 1GB of Ram and an x800 or better video card. Experts reccomedn 2GB and SLI systems to play at "comfortable quality at higher resolutions" Can I sue those guys becuase it' "unplayable" on my wife's computer even though it meets the minimum specs?

    minimum means MINIMUM. Windows 95 could run on 512K of RAM and a 20MB HDD. You can't really use it that way, let alone open a 3rd party application, but it does in fact RUN on it. Why did you expect Vista to be any different? Why did you expect it to require the same specs as XP if it's 7 years newer!?!
  • Mike Nash (Score:5, Informative)

    by mfh (56) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:47PM (#22590942) Journal
    LOL @ Mike Nash's complaint that his $2100 Sony was an email-only machine because it had the Intel 915 chipset that can't run glass or movie maker. Mike Nash is the Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management [].
  • by milsoRgen (1016505) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:47PM (#22590960) Homepage

    (don't play games)
    That's the deal breaker for me, I can't be comfortable knowing I'm seeing an average 10% reduction in frame rates by simply using Vista compared to XP on identical hardware. But I felt the same way in regards to 2000 vs. XP. And I suppose it (Vista) will eventually get installed when/if DX10 reaches critical mass.
  • Warned not to buy (Score:3, Informative)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @02:55PM (#22591062)
    My company just bought a dozen new machines. Before buying I checked with our vendor that provides one of our business software products and was told that since we use Samba on our servers, Vista can not work with Samba. So we bought XP and have had not a single issue.
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:18PM (#22591480)
    Before I took the plunge and wiped all MS off of my laptop in favor Ubuntu (and I couldn't be happier I might add), I had the same issue of not being able to find the XP drivers for my Acer 5620 laptop that I bought from best buy. I finally, after about a week of searching, hit up on the European site [] which had everything I needed. Also, when I first bought the computer, the BIOS it had didn't have the ability to emulate IDE or whatever on the SATA drives so XP couldn't even see them to do the install. An update to the latest BIOS fixed that.

    Basically, it was practically unusable with Vista, pretty good with XP, and I've fallen in love with Linux on it. Especially multi-tasking. People can say whatever they want about KDE or Gnome being slow. And yeah, if you have any even slightly older hardware running either of those two DE's on default settings then, yes, it will seem a bit sluggish until you reign the eye candy in a bit. But, as one that keeps a large number of programs and virtual desktops, etc. going simultaneously, nothing can touch *nix for multi-tasking. It's just so smooth, it's utterly amazing. Since I've gotten going here and all, I'll also mention that I make extensive use of virtual machines. VMware never ran so smoothly on XP or Win2K for that matter. It feels seemless. You fullscreen your VM and put it into exclusive mode and you will forget that you aren't on the bare metal. With Windows there was always some little stutter or jerky mouse, or something that broke you out of the moment and reminded you that you were in a VM. Linux really is amazing. I can't speak for the BSD's since I don't have any experience but if they're anything like as good as Linux, Microsoft has something very serious to worry about in the long term.

    And that's my 2 cents. Sorry for the rambling. I haven't had my coffee yet. Going now.

  • by MazzThePianoman (996530) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:22PM (#22591544) Homepage
    Actually letting windows "adjust for best performance" causes thrashing because it adjusts on the fly the size of the cache. If windows is working the page file hard, almost all the case on these underpowered machines, then it is almost constantly adjusting the size of the page file more than actually using it. The best configuration to set the page file so it is static. This is done by setting the min and max to twice your physical RAM. On desktops having it on a second hard drive increases hard performance even more. If you are setting a system up from scratch then having a separate FAT32 partition at the beginning of that second drive is excellent.
  • by moxley (895517) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:22PM (#22591546)
    512 is XP "barely adequate?" For what?

    From what I have seen, for 98% of things in XP 512MB is enough on a properly configured system. I'd say for XP that 128mb is "barely adequate."

    It really depends on what you're doing. Personally, I like to have 2GB or more, especially if we're talking Vista, but 512MB is XP is fine for everything but serious gaming or trying to burn a DVD while multitasking.

  • by LunaticTippy (872397) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:22PM (#22591552)
    I've seen lots of third party driver updates on windows update. Video, modem, network, even HID. Take a 5 year old mainstream computer (like a dell) and put a fresh OS on it. You'll see several "Optional Hardware" updates.
  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:40PM (#22591840) Homepage

    Are they going to reimburse me for buying extra RAM for my daughter's new Toshiba laptop that had 512 MB of RAM with Vista, officially offered for sale at a store that way, but with 64 MB of it reserved for video RAM, leaving the system with a whopping 448 MB of RAM? And it takes about 10 minutes to start up because the HDD is running virtually nonstop, thrashing as it pages in the minimal amount of stuff needed? And opening a web page or a simple program takes almost as long, for the same reason? ...

    Nearly all OEMs still allow you to upgrade to XP, but you have to ask. They won't tell you about it, you have to be active about it. But then, those that make active decisions about hardware and systems rarely end up with Windows, let alone MS Vista. Lots of people are getting burned by leaving too much of the decision up to the sales staff.

    But even if you can't upgrade to XP, unless she's playing heavily some games that don't run in WINE or surfing a lot of WMV porn, then she'll get more mileage out of a linux distro like CentOS [] and Kubuntu []. Try it. If they suck, then you can crow about it. If they save you time and effort, then it was time well spent and you can go around to any MS Vista users and rub their noses in it. Nowadays even Photoshop runs in WINE.

    If it's for school only, then the 13" macbook is perfect for the backpack and can run your choice of Linux or OS X or both, plus a number of legacy applications from Windows.

  • by Haeleth (414428) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:57PM (#22592102) Journal

    Microsoft said, "trust us," and the shoppers who did got fucked.
    Sucks to be them, but I still don't see where they deserve my sympathy. Trusting Microsoft is a sign of either wilful ignorance or terminal negligence. There's nothing wrong with choosing Vista if you decide after consideration that it's the OS that meets your needs best, but if you buy a computer without doing the research first, you deserve everything you get.
  • by TimedArt (937097) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:03PM (#22592214)
    --- quote ---
    From what I have seen, for 98% of things in XP 512MB is enough on a properly configured system. I'd say for XP that 128mb is "barely adequate."
    --- end quote ---

    Unless of course you like to run Photoshop, or you have a need to run Word and Dreamweaver at (gasp!) the same time, or you like to play mp3s while working or a number of other situations.

    Novice users - you might say - are not going to be running Photoshop, but I will be that they *will* have a large number of applications open at once, without thinking anything of it.

    I would argue that 512 was ok for 2000, but is inadequate for XP or (god forbid) Vista.
  • by joshv (13017) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:35PM (#22592544)
    "Are you fucking kidding me? That's really in Vista? If it's a checkbox, why isn't it checked by default? If it's a slider, what does the other side say? "Needlessly consume CPU cycles"? "I'm stupid, tell me where to buy new hardware"?"

    There are four radio buttons:
    - Let Windows choose what's best for my computer (default)
    - Adjust for best appearance
    - Adjust for best performance
    - Custom

    The first radio button is selected by default, and at least on my system, is the same as "Adjust for best appearance", which is what I would expect to be selected by default. This might be different on lower powered machines.

    The "Custom" option lets you enable and disable about two dozen fine grained options such as "Slide taskbar buttons", or "Smooth edges of screen fonts".
  • Emails (pdf) Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by petehead (1041740) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:35PM (#22592548)
    Here is a summary for those that don't want to read the PDF:

    Early 2006: Microsoft got cozy with HP to make sure that HP invested in a better graphical experience for Vista. Intel had to make its quarterly earnings and convinced Microsoft to call their chipset "capable" even though it couldn't meat the graphic standards. Microsoft had explicitly told HP that they wouldn't do this, but they, led by some dude named Will Poole, decided to bone HP to make Intel (specifically some SVP chick named Renee-most likely Renee James) happy. Then MS discussed how they are going to try to play it off to intel with some fancy obfuscating letter. They got this guy at MS named Jim Allchin to sign off on it, which he reluctantly did, but chastised them for pulling this crap. Some dude named Mike Ybarra pointed out to Jim that they are boning HP and their customers just to get cuddly wuddly with Intel and Jim seemed to agree, but figured the wheels were in motion and could not be stopped. Mike specifically said, "We are caving to Intel... We are really burning HP... We are allowing Intel to drive our consumer experience..."

    Fast forward a year later and some board member John Shirley sends some borderline literate guy named Steve Balmer an email about how his shit won't work with Vista and that some of the stuff may never get Vista drivers. They surmise that vendors didn't trust them to deliver Vista (gee, wonder why) so they didn't make drivers. Balmer sends an email to some guy named Steven Sinofsky asking about the driver situation. Sinofsky agrees that vendors didn't expect them to ship and also says that changes to Vista made it so XP drivers wouldn't work, he questions how smart it was to call the Intel chipset "capable" when it wasn't, and says that they need to be clearer with the industry. Then some exec named Mike Nash points out how his company boned him because he bought a $2100 "Vista capable" laptop that is only good as an email machine.

    In the end, some exec John Kalman says that lowering their standard for Intel screwed them and they won't make such a stupid mistake with Windows 7.

    In short, Will Poole is a weasel who is just trying to make some Intel chick happy. Mike Ybarra is too thoughtful and has too much foresight to work at MS. Jim Allchin needs to go with his gut and remind Will Poole which side of the desk he sits on. Steve Ballmer is missing some keys on his keyboard. Steven Sinofsky and Kohn Kalman have 20/20 hindsight. HP deserves to kick somebody's ass at MS. They should probably kick Intel's ass too, but MS is too busy licking it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:43PM (#22592622)
    Well, if it was a joke, consider that before the GP responded to it as if it was not a joke, so had a half dozen other people. Not one moderator has found it funny enough to mod +1, Funny. And the poster of said 'joke' has not come back to defend it as such. In fact, the only one who seems thinks it was a joke is you.

  • by KalvinB (205500) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:48PM (#22592676) Homepage
    We bought an $800 Mac Mini a year or two ago. The dual core intel version. It came with 512MB of ram. My wife would complain that the dual core was worthless because the thing wasn't any faster than my single core PC. And in fact seem slower. It would take forever for Safari to load for example.

    We finally got around to bothering with it a month or so ago and asked an Apple rep from what kind of memory the thing used. It was standard SODIMM stuff so we looked it up on NewEgg and found the exact memory that the rep mentioned for about $25 for 1GB.

    The Mini is designed to not be easily upgradable by a user so I figured since it was only $25 for the memory I'd splurg and let the Apple Store take care of it. I figured $20 - $40 tops for the installation. I call them up and ask if they'll install a 3rd party memory module. Nope. So I ask how much for 1GB. They told me $150 dollars and the "installation is free." I told them that was ridiculous and hung up.

    So we went ahead and risked opening up the thing to install the memory ourselves. There was a guide on-line we found. It wasn't too much trouble.

    So this isn't an MS problem. It's a "cheap bastards" problem. They'd rather cut costs on the hardware to save a few bucks. At least with MS, you're working with a system that can be easily upgraded cheaply. I'd be annoyed with lack of memory from Dell but at least they don't make their system a pain to upgrade or mark up their prices astronomically.

    We'll never buy a Mac again. The system is fine, we'll forgive them for not including enough memory for OS X by default but charging $150 for a $25 part is inexcusable.
  • by petehead (1041740) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:48PM (#22592686)
    Oops, replying to my own comment: The obfuscating letter was to play it off to HP, not Intel. It was obfuscating the fact that they were making "capable" less capable because they were bending over for Intel.
  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:54PM (#22592764) Journal
    Screw MBAs. You know why that correlation works? Because the huge over-budgeted projects have such a freaking massive scope. Any PMP will tell you that a good project needs a limited scope, and a big project needs to not exist; break your big project into a lot of smaller projects of limited scope, and then have a small project to assemble the components into a product. Look at GNOME for example. The whole desktop environment is a small project, just assembling a Desktop project with applications. The Desktop itself involves Nautilus, Metacity, and the Panel. These in turn involve things live gnome-volume-manager, which is built on top gnome-vfs, which utilizes all kinds of other small GNOME libraries. Each individual application follows the same stack. Every thing-built-on-another-thing is a project, and every one of those other things is a project. Get to the libraries, and every bug fixes and feature add represents a project--"we will fix the screen corruption bug in libpoppler" is a project, "we will add RSS reading to Evolution" is a project, and they can be start-to-start with "begin work on the next release of (product)" and happen in parallel. If Microsoft had a start-to-start for a thousand efforts to go into Vista, with finish-to-starts on other efforts, and milestones, and quality control, they could have one big "create the next iteration of Windows" that just says "Assign each of these tasks to an individual, isolated team" and everything would get working in an orderly manner. It's a bunch of small efforts, not one big "how does the OS look today?" effort; programmers shouldn't have to show anything for their work if they're not making something you show (for example, an algorithm in a library?), they should just have to pass it to the guy who needs to use it to make the pretty showy app (probably work in conjunction with him to determine the scope of their project as it affects his).
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:56PM (#22592786) Homepage

    What does this option do that turning off Aero (or going all the way back to 'Windows Classic' theme) doesn't do?

    From what I can see, that's pretty much what it does. So in order to get good performance on Vista, according to Microsoft, you need to roll it back to Windows 2000 look-and-feel.

  • Re:At least... (Score:5, Informative)

    by beuges (613130) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:48PM (#22593396) Homepage
    Sometimes I really hate slashdot. Its posters claim to keep themselves informed about technical issues, yet they constantly post untruth after untruth, and spread the very same FUD that they despise.

    Please, please, PLEASE stop spreading the utter trash about the "dos aint done till lotus won't run" as if it is some sort of truth. It is not. Repeating it just makes you appear to be either a troll, or someone who unfortunately believed the misinformation trolls that post this crap on this site.

    Please read the first few links on this search result and stop yourself spreading FUD in the future []

    And please, spare me the comments about being a M$$$ $hill. I have no affiliation with microsoft, I just really hate it when people spread misinformation on this site, which then gets repeated infinitely as if it were truth. The less FUD coming from, and aimed at microsoft, the better.

  • by jawtheshark (198669) * <{slashdot} {at} {}> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:55PM (#22593532) Homepage Journal

    Hell, 512MB on a laptop with XP is barely adequate

    *blinks* Are you for real? 512MB is quite adequate for XP. That's what my wifes machine had before I upgraded it and that only because the RAM was on sale. I have a good dozen programms running in WinXP Pro and I have... wait for it.... 547MB used... So, yes, it would hit a bit on swap... However, with a good swap out strategy , it would be stuff I rarely use (if Windows has a good swap out strategy is another discussion). 512MB for XP is very adequate.

  • by jawtheshark (198669) * <{slashdot} {at} {}> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @06:06PM (#22593650) Homepage Journal

    Just for another reality check: I ran Windows XP Pro on a 600MHz P-III with 512Meg RAM for about two years. That machine was absolutely usable and I could run iTunes, 2.0 (at the time), Firefox 1.5.x, Thunderbird 1.5.x, AVG Antivirus, Gnucleus, Truecrypt, GAIM (Pidgin, back then it was called GAIM), and "Media Player Classic" at the same time. Heck, even Eclipse (not know for its frugality on the memory aspect) ran just fine for smaller projects. I only bought a new laptop because it physically started to fall apart!

    Anyone saying that 512MB for XP is borderline has simply no clue.... I'd say that 512MB is advisable as a minimum, but it will work great if you have 512MB.

    Yes, this was a fully patched XP SP2....

    The fun part is that upgrading the harddisk had more impact on the performance than going from 256MB to 512MB. (It was a laptop and the old laptop harddisk was really, really, slow...

    My dad uses a P-III 733MHz/512Meg RAM laptop with XP Pro to this day.... Yes, he's a poweruser and does database stuff with his laptop. It's amazing.

  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @06:13PM (#22593768) Homepage Journal
    OK, a bit more data. Writing about this made me curious as to what was going on, so I rebooted to Vista with Superfetch disabled. Right off the bat, login takes about twice as long, however, once complete the system is completely responsive -- with superfetch on, the desktop shows faster, but the system is sluggish for a minute or so afterwards.

    Memory usage is still high -- about 1G of physical RAM in use at idle,so I disable ReadyBoost, which brings physical memory in use down to 850M.

    Now I reboot, and launch a task mananger, giving a few minutes for the system reach equillibrium. Once it has, I launch my first vmware machine, and the physical memory shoots up to 1.98 GB, and the system appears crashed. However the disk is working, and there are occasional flashes of screen update. After about five minutes I start to get occasional screen updates which show about 3/4 of physical memory free and about 3/4 of kernel memory paged; CPU use is about 10%, but the system is still unresponsive. A few minutes later the virtual machine is up and everything is responsive, and most of the physical memory is free. I can start and stop the virtual machines with no problem.

    Apparently Vista handles a sudden large memory allocation very poorly. The vmware demon doesn't allocate any memory until the first VM is launched, after that it hangs on to a large block of pages. During the initial allocation, it would appear that is about 400M of physical RAM taken up by operating system pages that aren't really needed anytime soon but which Vista feels it needs to swap out to disk. After things stabilize and I quit all running vmware machines, I'm cruising along using under 500MB of physical RAM, 400MB less than before I launched vmware, although there are a lot of page sitting in swap.

    So it would appear that the problem isn't the size of Vista's working set, but an amazingly huge virtual memory footprint combined with poor handling of large memory allocations. This would explain, for example, why you supposedly can use Vista on 512 MB; the actual working set of the OS is probably small enough, but getting the bulk of the memory footprint swapped out could take a while. I'd say a typical office apps user probably is safe with 1GB, but somebody like me probably should have 4GB of RAM.

    In any case, for my usage patterns, Superfetch only results in superficial performance; ReadyBoost, however, helps a great deal with the fact I don't have enough RAM to launch vmware smoothly; aside from that the improvement is not very noticeable.
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @06:20PM (#22593854) Journal

    He said 'automatically'. SELinux and AppArmor aren't automatically installed. And in my experience they usually aren't.
    Apparently, you have not installed a recent Red Hat distribution (RH4 or later) since SELinux IS installed by default on RH4 and later.
  • Re:At least... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Devin Jeanpierre (1243322) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @06:24PM (#22593896)
    Yes, I would, if the project would fail were I to go ahead. Not doing so would be falling victim to the Sunk Cost Fallacy [].
  • by goodtim (458647) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @11:16PM (#22596602) Journal

    From what I have seen, for 98% of things in XP 512MB is enough on a properly configured system. I'd say for XP that 128mb is "barely adequate."

    Apparently you don't run Firefox.

    I am running XP and I currently I have 2 applications running (Firefox and Pidgin), and I am using 579MB (of 2GB) of memory. Top offenders: Firefox (53MB with two tabs open) and, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate (67MB). Infact, even explorer.exe is using 51MB of RAM.

    If you have less then 512MB, sure it may "run", but you have to be some kind of masochist.

  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Friday February 29, 2008 @03:10AM (#22597722) Homepage Journal

    Robin Leonard, a Microsoft employee, wrote that Wal-Mart is "extremely disappointed in the fact that the standards were lowered and feel like customer confusion will ensue.

    If Walmart is complaining about quality, then you've really dumped a steaming turd into the marketplace.

  • by SL Baur (19540) <> on Friday February 29, 2008 @04:29AM (#22597998) Homepage Journal

    You're setup sounds entirely reasonable for a developer. Personally I gave up on virtual desktops back in the Windows 3.1 days,
    I've had all kinds of strange situations where I've needed a lot of windows simultaneously visible. In the late 80's when I was coding the core of a networked application I had to work at a critical time (a few weeks prior to a personal review by the highest ranking General in the US Army at the time) sans my Sun Workstation and used GNU Emacs as a windowing environment on an 80x24 terminal so I could follow the trace output from the various networked processes.

    I just happen to find it easier to set up a desktop with three or more windows dedicated to some activity and keep switching to different ones when different situations arise.

    My editor windows all show as the window/frame label the host I'm logged into and the userid. My terminal windows show the window label as the host and current directory and as I use zsh, the $RPS1 shows the host, userid and exit status of the last command I executed and the wonderful command hook lets me keep everything up-to-date no matter whether I ssh/telnet or cd somewhere else. This happens to interact wonderfully with how KDE displays stuff in the summary bar.

    I developed all that over years of experience. I don't think any job that I've had in the last 20 years or so has required anything less than being logged into several machines simultaneously. One required being logged into dozens of computers under different userids each day and that's where I did most of the shell stuff to keep from becoming completely confused and typing who am i; pwd; hostname all day.

    but I keep plenty of applications open on my current 1GB main work beast as well. I don't think Linux is the only OS that could load what you have loaded
    I didn't say that it was. My environment also works on CDE, but not as well because CDE is kind of stupid and when I use the Solaris Workstation on my desk, my login directory is NFS mounted and that's rather a pain. Herein lies a lesson that Sun never learned from Microsoft. Having copies of your basic system files local, rather than fetched via network over NFS or the equivalent will always lose. I only need critical dotfiles like .emacs, .z*, etc. propagated over a network. Everything else is pretty much O.K. to have on only one machine.

    I'm glad for you that you gave up on virtual desktops in the Microsoft Windows 3.1 days, whenever those were, I can't live without them and to each his or her own. Just curious, but I thought virtual desktops weren't supported under Microsoft Winodws. At least when I was in Microsoft Windows XP appreciation "class" I never found a way to enable them. The answer only matters in a theoretical sense. The Microsoft Windows 2k desktop box they gave me at work (used only as a footrest) was upgraded to RHEL 5 last summer and was described in the previous message and the Lenovo T60 Microsoft Windows XP notebook was also upgraded to RHEL at the same time.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.