On Vista

Now, I’m not a bleeding edge kind of person, though I am on occasion a sucker for something shiny.

I’m also a Vista User. Not exactly compatible statements are they?

Yet still, I’ve had Vista on my home Desktop Box for about 8 or 9 months now. Aside from stuff like the on board wifi not working, and inexplicable crashes, its worked great. Not any better or worse than XP, but it did what I wanted it to do.

I got it because I signed up for a beta and my Significant Other decided she liked the shiny appearance and ease of use of it. So when I saw a cheap upgrade edition, I got it.

A few of the things that I do dislike about Vista are the, frankly, obscene amounts of space it requires. Untweaked, out of the box the C:\Windows folder is about 16GB, compared to XP’s paltry 3 to 4 GB. Add to that the fact that Hibernate is on by default this time and Vista decides that it will match your memory in swap file size, I was looking at 22GB install size, unpatched and with no other programs installed.

Add in 9 months of program installs, patches and SP1 and I was at 30GB of disk space. So, I was surpised to find that I actually used 52GB. Now, unlike XP, Vista shows free space like this: 180GB free of 232GB, for example. Now, when I tallied up the amounts each folder had, it came to 20.5GB. Where the hell was the other 32GB?

Indexing information and System Restore points. Which coincidentally are not seen by the native OS!

So there was my missing 32GB. Now, I don’t use system restore, I don’t mess around that much anymore and I can usually fix a borked install easily enough, as my important data is on seperate physical drives, backed up to DVD regularly. And I definitely don’t use the Indexing Service. I know where things are, usually because of the intuitive directory structures I put in place, and partly due to the fact that I was the one putting them there.

What bothered me the most about this whole episode was the fact that nowhere on any Microsoft affiliated site was there a mention of just how much space these two apps ate. If power and advanced users knew this, and that the apps could be turned off, then maybe they’d be a bit more receptive to Vista, and the noise surrounding it  would die down to the levels of XP’s release so many years ago.