Hip Social Software
I enjoyed reading Michael Otey's Top 10: “Google Applications” (October 2006, InstantDoc ID 92793). I had never heard of the Firefox extension Gmail Space, but I tried it out and it works OK. I really wish that Google would bless Gmail Space because then I would suggest it to some of my power users who have bumped up against their quota for file services. The problem is that Gmail Space saves documents as email messages, so you are stuck with the 10MB limit per file. Also, I really think Microsoft would show a different side of itself (a hip “social software” side like Google and others) if it created a service whereby people would get a few gigabytes of space that could be mounted as a network drive from within a Windows desktop and that encrypted traffic back and forth. Of course, Microsoft would probably view such a service as a free lunch and wouldn't recognize the great PR it would generate.
2 Views of Vista RC1
I stumbled onto your Web site while searching for something and found my way to a review of Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) by Paul Thurrott (http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/winvista_rc1_02.asp). I had never read Windows IT Pro before, but I was curious as to why Mr. Thurrott was giving so much hate to the x64 version of Vista RC1. In one area of the article he says, “Applications like Microsoft Office work just fine on the x64 versions of Windows Vista, but almost nothing else does.” I'm not sure how many applications he tried, but I'm running Vista RC1 x64 build 5600 (the same version that was available when Paul wrote his review) and have all kinds of typical software that's running great. Granted, a few essentials (such as device drivers that are still in beta) aren't compatible, but it's to be expected that developers who've been writing 32-bit drivers for the past 10 years would take a little longer in a 64-bit environment.
I've actually been pleasantly surprised with Vista RC1 because I'm one of the last people who'd install a beta or RC version on my main system. The only reason I went with the x64 version is because the x86 version sees only 3.25GB of my 4GB total RAM. My setup includes an Intel 975XBX mother-board with a Pentium D processor and 4GB of Corsair RAM. Some of the software I run includes Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Illustrator CS2, Visual Studio .NET, WinRAR, Trillian, and World of Warcraft (I was a little surprised that I had no problems with this one). I noticed that RC2 of the x86 version of Vista came out recently—perhaps the x64 version will follow suit soon.
I'm a network administrator for a small building and remodeling company. I was so eager to try out Vista RC1 that I even maxed out the RAM on my laptop to run it in Microsoft Virtual Server. It's pretty—and that's about it. I don't see my company upgrading any time soon. I love the idea of better security and least privilege, but nearly all the conventions that I learned since Windows 3.1 are just about gone. My users and I are going to be playing catch-up for years. If you want pretty you buy a Mac. If you want to work you buy Windows. I'm sick of the PC becoming more of a toy than a tool. Games are great, and I'm sure Vista will make them look incredible, but that doesn't help most of us. Microsoft has some great ideas with Vista. Fine, let's take those ideas, put Vista back on the shelf, and bring out Windows XP SP3 because some of us have work to do.
TechNet Plus Suggestions
After reading Karen Forster's IT Pro Perspective: “Just-In-Time or Just-Too Much Information?” (October 2006, InstantDoc ID 93454), I have some comments to make about TechNet Plus. The new subscriber downloads are great, but now I don't really need the CD shipments. It would be nice if I could convert my subscription to a direct subscription to stop the CDs from coming. It would be even nicer to get a few months free to reflect the lower price. A way to recycle old CDs would also be nice. Finally, I would like to see an expanded number of newsgroups offered under the managed newsgroups.
My company uses TechNet CDs for disaster recovery: If we were to lose our building or if we couldn't access online resources quickly, we'd at least have the media to refer to. Another reason we keep the CDs is because we use older versions of Windows and Exchange. I've noticed that older support resources are often archived or taken offline in favor of newer articles. If you rely only on online support resources, you might lose access to the support you need most. I don't believe Microsoft will keep information on older systems online because it wants everyone to upgrade to the latest software.