One More Reason to Just Say No to Windows Vista

From what I’ve heard so far, Windows Vista, the planned successor to WinXP, is objectionable on moral grounds as it instantiates “DRM” and thus cripples your computer. But for those not entranced by arguments that having other people able to decide what your computer can do is a bad idea, here’s a more practical concern: Vista set to swallow 800MB of RAM. That’s just for the OS. Wait until you see how bloated the programs are.

Last week we installed SuSE on an Pentium II/400 we had gathering dust. So far it works great, although KDE is no speed demon with the limited RAM and tired old graphics card card on that one.

The next step is to turn a couple of the newer, faster XP machines into dual boot systems. Perhaps by the time Vista becomes a standard the whole family can be weaned onto some flavor of Linux?

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3 Responses to One More Reason to Just Say No to Windows Vista

  1. Jim says:

    Seriously? That’s a lot to conclude from one screenshot taken from the beta of an operating system. If you want to get away from Windows, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s hard for me to see how this should influence your decision at all. Worry about it when they come out with the real system requirements this summer, if you must.

    I will say, if you want memory bloat, tell me how my currently running Firefox instance came to be consuming over 200 MB of physical memory. Now that’s ridiculous.

  2. John says:

    Please note that the 800 MB is the display of the Page file usage. This has nothing to do with the amount of physical memory in use, which is noted in the top right display. I suggest that you discount any future discussion by the Register since they apparently don’t even know how to determine the amount of physical memory in use by Windows (and this has been the same since NT 4).

    Mark Russinovich of has a great book on Windows internal; I’m sure you’re not that interested, but I’m sure he’s discussed this topic in a magazine article somewhere…

  3. cafl says:

    You will find if you go into the KDE control center, select desktop->window behavior, and change some settings, things will speed up a lot (depending on what you chose when you entered the setup wizard the first time you logged on). I run Debian+KDE on a 500MHz Pentium II Thinkpad laptop with 196 MB of RAM. My settings for “moving” tab are to uncheck “display content in moving window”, “display content in resizing window” and “display window geometry when moving or resizing”. I set the animation speed to a relatively slow setting. For the advanced tab, I disabled active desktop borders. Adding memory does help performance when running lots of apps simultaneously. But my machine is quite old and slow as these things go and it works well for me (browsing, word processing, some development. I use Crossover Office very successfully to run MS Office -clients demand this- and a few other MS apps I can’t avoid). Most of my software development, i.e. compilation and builds, occurs on servers I connect to, so I don’t need lots of processing power on my laptop for that.

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