I’m having a personal struggle with operating systems at the moment. I’m looking for a rock solid OS which offers the ease of use expected by my grandmother, but that isn’t dumbed down so much that I can’t do some real computing with it. Since the new PC build I have been using Vista, and whilst the introduction of DX10 and the improved update system is a welcome surprise on the windows front, I feel that that the OS is just to bulky, bloated and slow. The same machine (core 2 duo E6600 OC to 3.4ghz, 2GB ram, 500GB sata2 drive and 8800GTS) feels super fast and responsive under xp, but very sluggish under Vista. Simple things annoy me, the length of time it takes to delete a file, the length of time to display the file structure on my ipod (I carry alot of files too and from work on the Ipod), and similar annoyances.
I’ve also taken to turning off most off the Aero Glass effects because they make the system feel even more cluncky and unresponsive. This was the major selling point for Vista, a new interface similar to OSX, and it has failed.
Gaming (the other primary reason for staying with the windows platform) has also been a nightmare. The Nvidia driver for the 8800 card have been terrible so far for Vista, and getting a game to run consistently is a great strain. For instance, playing Colin McCrae dirt last night, I had no less than 3 crashes in 1 hour. Mostly screen freeze issues, or the program has stopped responding errors. The Games for Windows badge is quickly becoming an oxymoron. I am seriously considering ditching the Vista Platform and DX10 in favour of the Xbox 360.
So the options I am left with are OSX or Ubuntu. Both of which are great operating systems.
I have successfully ran my licensed version of OSX on my Windows box (Intel core 2 duo box as above) and it runs almost perfectly with the exception of the Gfx support for the Nvidia 8800. If I could get this to run flawlessly without any issues I would use it as my primary OS, but the fact is that OSX is not supposed to run natively on a standard PC, and the so called hackintosh, whilst a great idea, is not very practical. I can’t use it for any serious dev work incase it crashes unexpectedly or requires a format due to a damaged kext file. If Apple would make a version of OSX available for PC owners, I’m sure many of us would jump at the chance to grab a copy of this Unix based monster of an OS.
This brings us on to Ubuntu. I love ubuntu, it does exactly what it says ont he tin and works very well, however I have niggling doubts about a full switch to Linux. Whilst I interact with Linux servers all day at work, I am not ready to convert my home machines to Linux just yet. I need certain applications to run, and run well (not in any state of emulation) such as Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Whilst the alternatives such as Gimp are great, I need to be able to use my programs and I need to be able to play my Games.
I guess that means I am stuck with the Vista OS, bloated, clunky Vista. I’m going to do my best to tweak Vista to try and resemble XP with DX10 functionality, will keep you posted……. Or I Might pop by the Apple store here in Manchester after work and grab a Mac Mini for work and keep the PC as a doorstop until I but a 360 to game on.