I purchased my game computer almost a year ago, in part to play Vanguard, and also to update a sagging older computer that I used for more than five years. I really got a good deal on it, for the day, with dual processors, 4 gigabytes of RAM (yeah I know it really can’t see that much, but that is a different rant), a RAID hard drive, and a decent but not over the top video card; a 7900 GTS with 256 MB of RAM.
Even that monster machine had a rough time swallowing the huge chunks of data that Vanguard threw at it regularly. What I noticed, however, more than the stuttering and other hiccups of Vanguard, was that my gaming experience overall had dropped? How could it have become worse after, literally, upgrading every piece to two to three times the power!
What I noticed was that none of the devices in my computer was running right, and to try and upload new drivers was a chaotic wreck of constantly re-affirming the choices that I made. I often even hit a brick wall when I was told I did not have the authority to make that change, even though I was the only account on the computer and i was the Administrator.
Over the course of ten months, Microsoft and its vendors rectified the driver issues. Up until my last round of updating, I was still having problems with my Nvidia drivers — can you imagine that? That would be like driving up to a Shell gas station and pumping gas, but finding out it was a weird variant of diesel instead? The purpose of having drivers is that they “drive” the hardware in your computer. If a driver is going to make all my colors shift or run all my games at 15 Frames A Second, then really it should be called a Parker?
Most of my devices are running smoothly now, but I did have a terrible year with that. I consider myself somewhat savvy when it comes to computers, mostly little desktop jobs. If it wasn’t for my constantly fiddling and knowing what to do when, I believe that my computer would be collecting dust right now. I ask myself, is that what the average person is doing with their two thousand dollar computer?
My greatest enjoyment came last week when against all better judgment I turned off UAC . I had heard that if you turned it off, Vista would become completely vulnerable and an open door to all sorts of evil.
Let me say up front that without going into specific details, turning off the damn UAC has been utterly wonderful. I no longer feel like I am in a constant battle with the computer. I am free to copy, move, paste, and open any application I feel like.
Now, with that I of course have to be a bit more responsible in where I go and what I do. One of the things that I always wondered about Vista and their re-approving scheme was that in the year that I had UAC turned on, never once was I asked to approve a program that I did not initiate. So, I was either lucky or there are things going on that is not visible to an administrator — that itself begs the question?
I also turned off the silly sidebar and do not miss it one bit — just another added waste of memory and candy glitz that you don’t need.
There are at least a dozen other features you can turn off as well, including things like Faxing, Tablet Support, and various reporting features that seem only to track what you do and report it to Microsoft.
A friend of mine said to me, “Dump Vista and go back to XP!” The problem with that is, I have already bought Vista and my system runs fine other than all of their crazy protection schemes. buying XP (assuming you want to have a moral conscious) costs 90 to 200 dollars and I can’t justify that when Vista runs OK with UAC turned off. If people say, well without UAC you are no better than XP, I counter; its no worse either?!?
Vista and UAC is like a lock door to protect you against 99 percent of the thieves out there. The problem is UAC locks every door in your house. I dont need a lock on my linen cabinet…nor do I need to lock my bathroom door. One lock is fine — just don’t advertise FREE TV INSIDE on your lawn. Get it, be a bit responsible on your actions and you are fine.
All the other features of Vista including its Defender is still running. Get a FREE copy of Adaware run it every two weeks. And remember, don’t open attachments from anyone unless you know they are sending you something — even if mom says she has a video of Bin Laden in a dress?
The bottom line is don’t get rid of Vista when you can just turn off UAC.