The computer I built for my In-Laws died this week and I no longer had the parts to repair it. The trusty old Windows 2000 computer that had served so well for so long was toast. They needed a windows computer to run their genealogy software (otherwise I would have bought them an iMac) so, I went shopping in search of a replacement. Dell had a 2 week wait on a system that I thought would fit the bill, but 2 weeks was too long to wait. Best Buy does not sell just a computer – they want to sell you a monitor with it. The same goes for Costco. I did find a nice little computer, sans monitor, at Walmart made by eMachines and bought it.

I have now had my first taste of Micro$oft Vista – What a joke! They have added transparency to all of those annoying, pop-up, ‘Are you really sure you want to do this?’, click-happy confirmation dialogs and they have artfully moved all of the the tools and configuration GUIs to places where they are hard to find. Oh, and they now dim the rest of the screen so you can tell what little pop up you need to pay attention to. There appears to be more wide spread use of pop ups and they have restricted what I am allowed to do¬† – even though I am a frackin’ administrator! All of the ‘power tools’ I need to quickly configure/fix things are now either completely hidden or hard to get to. They have been replaced with wizards that perform inanely simple tasks. Micro$oft must think we are all idiots! Aside from the rearranging of the locations of the tools, there is really very little¬† – other than eye-candy & fluff – to Vista. I was really happy that I could make almost everything appear in ‘Classic’ form so as not to shock the In-Laws with the new computer. That alone tells me that Micro$oft knows that nothing in Vista is really that different from Windoze 2000 – other than fluff. Those stupid Wizards aren’t that helpful either. I had copied all of the user stuff from the old system over to the new one’s D: drive. Importing the email settings, address book, and mailboxes was a real pain. Apparently, you need to import things in a particular order. Once I imported the address book, I could then import the mailboxes – not the other way around. I never did figure out how to import the Favorites in Internet Explorer – it appeared to want to import them one link at a time(!!!) – so, I just copied them over to the proper location – which had not changed in Vista. I still have no idea where the email mailboxes are hiding though.

I just hope that damned Genealogy software runs under Vista.