I did something foolish this past weekend: I upgraded my laptop’s operating software from Windows XP to Windows Vista.
Some 8 hours and $50 later, I couldn’t even boot up in safe mode. Today, after several more hours of being online with India, I think everything is finally working. Still, I have a nagging suspicion that Vista install problems will continue to dog me as long as I own this laptop.
Regular readers of this blog are likely recalling me extolling XP, praising the news of “XP eXtended,” saying “Long Live Windows XP,” and even proclaiming “not now” after Microsoft’s successful Mojave experiment. Indeed most readers were sympathetic and in agreement with my caution. It was only a minority who urged me forward.
So, why did I do it? I’d like to say it was a momentary lack of judgment or temporary insanity, but in reality it was a logical and strategic move.
First, if I waited for Windows 7 to come out in two years (or more), the learning curve from XP to Seven would have been even steeper. Upgrading now spreads the agony out, making it less unbearable.
Second, it is time to upgrade my desktop and foolish not to buy it with Vista. With tight magazine production schedules there is little room for error, so even losing a day to a not-yet-optimized Vista configuration would be disastrous. Since my laptop is not critical to running my business, it is sensible to first learn Vista on it at a non-hurried pace.
Now that Vista is correctly installed and working, it doesn’t seem that bad, although it will take more tweaking to stop the incessant windows that forever prompt me to “allow” this or that innocuous task to continue. Also, even with extra RAM, it takes much longer to boot and is certainly not as nimble as XP, but I think I’ll survive — it’s the price of progress.