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Filed under: General — 19day @ 00:24:18

So my XP computer has been having issues, it was bluescreening and rebooting spontaneously in ways that made me feel like its days were numbered. So in somewhat of an impulsive move, I bought a computer off my brother. I had been toying with the idea of getting a new computer for a while, but I had held off due to wanting to avoid Vista. But the recent crisis tipped my hand and I took the plunge.

So what do I have, it is an HP m9450f, Intel Core2 Quad 2.50GHz, 8 GB RAM, Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT, and running, regrettably, Vista, and not just any Vista, but Vista x64. Well, with that amount of RAM, you probably knew that. More specifically, it’s Vista Home Premium, which has most but not quite all the features most people would want, and of course, Vista Business has them, but takes other stuff away, forcing people to go to Ultimate, sneaky.

Unfortunately, I’ve been hit by the double whammy of Vista and being 64bit, in that, basically nothing works. I’m sure if I was running 32 bit Vista I’d have some problems, but not others, but the 64bit causes all sorts of new fun. 16 bit stuff won’t work at all anymore. Well, I got Dosbox and was able to run The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text game (as sort of a christening of dosbox) well enough, and who gives a crap about 16 bit windows programs, right? Well, it seems that a few things used 16 bit programs as part of their installers. So I wanted to install the ancient version of 3d studio I have to see it render fast and bring tears to my eyes, to find that the installer wouldn’t run because it was incompatible, which still brought tears to my eyes none-the-less. I can’t VPN into work either, not with the currently supplied Cisco software. Someone said they got something that worked with vista and gave me the link, I tried to run it, and it wouldn’t work. 64 bit be damned.

So I thought, Vista is a pain, but I bet I can use VirtualBox to install a copy of XP, so I install the software and hunt around for my XP disc, and can’t find it. Looking up the system information on my computer, it seems I had an OEM version after all, so I wouldn’t be able to install it anyway, at least not in Microsoft approved ways. Since I had VirtualBox installed anyway, I decided to install Ubuntu instead.

I’ll have to keep the XP box around for a while I guess, it has for the moment ceased it’s spasms so I guess I have more time with it. I bought a wireless router to hook both boxes up to the internet and, more importantly, so they could see each other so as to trade files. When I opened the router box, there was a tape across the wired ports imploring me to run the included CD first. I couldn’t imagine what kind of software would be on this CD, but I tried it anyway. And it provided detailed, step by step instructions on how to install the router. I decided to do all this on the Vista box so I could still use the old machine to look up help in case things failed.

It managed to fail very quickly. The autorun on the CD failed when start.exe couldn’t be run, but not to fear, Vista has applied compatibility settings to the file and I should try again. I quickly look at the router box again… Vista Certified… indeed. I run it, this time it launches the step by step guide to installing the router.

First, plug the ethernet cord that was in the computer into the uplink (or ‘yellow’) port. Done
Now, plug one end of the included ethernet cord into the port marked 1 and the other end into the computer. Done
Now, plug the power adapter into the router. Done
Now, plug the power adapter plug into an outlet. Shit, I did that at step 3, hopefully that’s okay.

Detecting network.. detecting router,… detecting internet. Can’t find internet *slap*. Yeah, I followed your steps, but you can’t find my internet? It offers to either end the installation without having internet, or to try looking for it again. Trying to Look Again just has it immediately tell me it still can’t find it, so I tell it to just finish up, figuring I’ll still have better luck than it will. I go and configure the router to shut down the wireless component, since I didn’t want to deal with that bit yet (Wii).

After going into Vista’s network manager screen, I delete some erroneous networks it created, and it goes and figures out the rest on its own and bam, internet. I plug in my XP computer to the second port, ipconfig release and renew, bam, both have new IP’s on the private network, and both can see the internet. Pity they can’t see each other. Vista can ping the other machine, but the funky graphical network map can’t see it. XP is even worse, it can’t see the Vista machine via the IP at all, not even to ping it.

So I install some hotfix on XP that makes Vista capable of seeing it, and that appears to be enough for it to see the shares I had left on the thing from my university days. I had to spend some time on the internet to figure out how to get Vista to let XP see stuff. I’ve also discovered that on Vista, selecting the Sharing option on a folder and using the basic “Share this folder” just doesn’t seem to work, I have to go into Advanced Sharing and get whammed by a UAC window in order to really share it. But at least at the end, it worked. That and I had to go into the pre-installed Norton Internet Security thingy and tell it to let the other computer in. I love the pre-installed junk that comes with computers. And bonus, since it belonged to my brother for a duration before I got it, it arrived telling me that my protection was expired. yay.

Anyway, I’ve only had this thing for a couple of days, but I think I’m going to end up still using the old one for a while yet, both the switch to Vista, and 64bit, just limits me a bit too much. I’m hoping Windows 7 will live up to the hype, and I may install it on this box when it comes out.

I installed Doom 3 though, High quality mode, pretty snappy.

P.S. This was written and posted from the Vista machine, IE crashed consistently when looking at the history, but that’s fine, I just needed IE long enough to get to the Firefox download site.

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