back to article Texas senator wants to ban Vista purchases

Windows Vista gets a lot of grief both in tech circles and the general public — but one Texas lawmaker wants to make it a matter of public policy. Democrat Texas state Senator Juan Hinojosa recently added a rider to Texas' $182bn budget plan that would ban the state's agencies from purchasing Vista (and all Vista-related …

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  1. nicholas22
    Gates Horns

    Fun story

    Vista sucks big time.

  2. Rich Turner
    Paris Hilton

    Nonsense

    Whilst Vista isn't the speed demon it was originally touted to be, it's certainly not the perf whore many are claiming it to be.

    If you're seeing major perf issues with Vista, you should:

    1) Remove unnecessary start-up apps from your startup group and using MSCONFIG.

    2) Update! Make sure you're fully patched via Windows Update. You ARE running SP1, right?

    3) Check your HDD's - major sudden perf degradation often indicates a dying HDD.

    4) Check your 3rd party drivers - graphics drivers in particular have improved enormously over the last 2 years.

    However, you'll probably enjoy life more if you move to Win7 - it is Windows Redefined.

    Paris because she too enjoys a dubious reputation.

  3. Hud Dunlap
    Happy

    It should be " texas state Senator"

    That being said. If he proposed it based on feedback from state workers I would say ok. But if that is the case this should have happened a long time ago.

  4. Codge
    Linux

    @ Rich Turner

    I smell the blood of an MS troll !!!

    It's shit and you know it is.

    Wake up and smell the Penguin shit, you tosser!

    FFS. Why do they let them loose around here?

  5. MacRat

    A Special Visit

    I'm sure Steve Balmer will be making special visits in Texas.

  6. alan
    Unhappy

    @ Codge

    so somebody likes something you dislike, therefore they must be a tosser.

    what great arguement, you sound like the tosser to me.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    We don't need no steeeenking Vista!

    God uses XP!

  8. Steve

    So what if he "read a lot about it"?

    Politicians rarely have first hand experience of the things they are legislating about or running. At least this guy seems to have understood what he read which is more than you can say about most politicians when they talk about technology. Compare and contrast:

    "We have a lot of problems with the Vista program. It had a lot of bugs. It takes up a lot of memory. It's not compatible with other equipment, and it's supposed to be an upgrade from the XP program that is being used by state agencies, and it's not."

    "The National Identity Register will be unhackable because it won't be connected to teh intawebs!"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Woah

    There is intelligent life in Texas after all.. totally ruins the image I got after visiting there last year...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rich

    Your comments apply to any OS... don't run too much unnecessary stuff, keep up to date with patches and drivers and watch for faulty hardware.

    If you're suggesting Vista is particularly prone to any of these issues than you're making the Senators point for him.

    Oh, and just wait for the next version of MS Whatever - it's so much better than the version you've got now... just give us your credit card details/billing address.

    I've got clients on 3yr old hardware using XP & Office 2000. It works. I've used Vista on recent hardware (it works well but what's there to get excited about?) and older machines (it's a dog). I struggle to any truly compelling reasons to recommend any of my clients upgrade and many reasons to recommend they don't (h/w upgrades, retraining, general disruption, cost...)

    The Senators POV strikes me as eminently sensible... now I have to go lie down, the strain of agreeing with a politician is just too much for me.

  11. Dave
    Gates Horns

    Job for the Boy$

    I can $ee all the Micro$oft lawyer$ waking up and checking airline $chedule$ for flight$ to Texa$.

  12. H2Nick

    Wonder if this isn't just a ploy to get a discount

    ...Like Newham Council managed (I speculate) a few years ago

    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39163383,00.htm

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It's not rocket science to see why companies/orgs won't adopt Vista.

    They have XP and it works.

    Most corporate desktops would run like a dog with Vista. Hell, most of them run XP with only the bare minimum hardware - after all, why give your users 1GB of memory when you can get away with 500MB? To move to Vista will require a huge outlay, not least on the hardware upgrades. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money for something they don't actually need.

    The only reason they'll move off XP is because of Microsoft blackmailing them by threatening to withdraw support and they don't want to be exposed to the risk (which is small) that that will produce.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Codge

    TBH, I'm gettin to the point where I'd rather have someone extoll the virtues of the market's dominant-by-a-huge-margin OS rather than the people who insist that Linux is some Godlike, consumer-market-ready force for all that's good and right and just about at the point where it'll take the market completely next week. Ubuntu's almost close to being useable for most people but not many other other distros I've tried can be said to be anywhere close- so people stick with Windows. Yes, it'd be great if my company ran Linux- my PC would probably run a bit better and it'd save money in these crunchy times. However, it'd also mean retraining the IT staff- and probably a lot of work telling people not to panic- and relying on the likes of WINE to run the software I want (AutoCAD, etc).

    As people stick with Windows, it can be useful for people to be told about ways of speeding up the version of Windows on their computer- especially in the case of anyone running Vista as, well, it's bloody slow compared to earlier versions of windows.

    Back on topic, it's good to see that the senator is proposing banning them from using stuff with such a bad rep; okay, he's not too technically minded. But his heart seems in the right place and that's the important thing. Get rid of the crap, or stop shovelling it on top of the systems you put in place, and you're left with an improved system compared to how it could have been.

  15. Aditya Krishnan

    Is it just me...?

    I seriously don't get it. I got a Dell with Vista Home Basic pre-installed in September 2007 and I can honestly say I haven't had ANY problems with it so far... the only program that didn't work was DaemonTools and PowerISO replaced that... and a slight issue with my Epson MFD and a driver upgrade fixed it. Smooth sailing ever since, on a Core Duo 1.8 GHz with 1 GB RAM.

    I do take security very seriously though... haven't had a virus since I got this laptop, and have never had to reformat the drive and reinstall the OS.

  16. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Don't use MSCONFIG, FFS

    DAMMIT! I am absolutely fed up with people touting MSCONFIG as a phuqn cure-all for PC problems. It is a troubleshooting tool only, and should NOT be used for regular operations. Use a real program to remove the offending start-ups properly.

    If you do not like using REGEDIT or SERVICES.MSC, then use something like Windows Defender, AVG's System Tools module, or any other number of programs which give you an easy-to-use interface to actually remove the entries and not kludge the system into running.

    Other than that, I agree fully with Rich Turner -- well, except that I still do not like the "phone tree" approach introduced by Vista and still present in 7. I am very impressed with the performance in 7 given that I have only used it in a VirtualPC environment.

    And I apologize if that sounded like a lash-out at Rich as it certainly was not.

    Paris, a troubleshooting tool, and should not be used for regular operations.

  17. Stef
    Gates Horns

    A Lone Star

    For once, Texas gets it right!

  18. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Splitting hairs here...

    ... but anybody who calls an Operating System a "program" doesn't get to make decisions like this.

    THAT should be public policy.

  19. Joe K
    Thumb Up

    Perfectly reasonable

    Having gimps and wannabe-techheads choose to install Vista willy-nilly can add massive costs, both in support and apps that don't work.

    I see nothing wrong with someone having the balls to say "hey, lets keep it all standard for christ sake, Vista will be obsolete by the end of the year anyway!"

  20. Psymon

    exercising caution is fine

    but making a blanket policy like this is idiotic, and it's only going to cause more problems than it solves.

    I love it when senior management start sticking their nose in and making sweeping generalisations.

    I have actually seen a fair amount of software that runs faster and more smoothly on vista than xp.

    as for the resource overheads...

    We all baulked at XP when it first came out. OK, Vista was WAY over the top on first release, but windows 7 is pretty reasonable now. Especially considering its functionality.

    @MacRat

    Yeah, I can definately envisage a little trip coming up for Stevie B in the imminant future

  21. Lionel Baden
    Flame

    wtf

    Hinojosa admits he has no personal experience with the operating system

    So basically he is jumping on a bandwagon on which he hasnt a f'ing clue and is stupid enough to admit it.

    Has he even spoken to IT?

    this person needs a good smash in the face along with most politicians.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm no fan of Vista

    . . . but if you're not a technical person stay out of IT policy. Hire intelligent qualified people and let them run IT while you focus on getting re-elected and scamming the public.

    Paris, because she'd know better.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is nasty

    And we all know it,.

    Even with SP1 and fully updated drivers for products on thw HCL , it still runs like a dead dog.

  24. Kirk

    Reminded me of those silly "Don't Mess With Texas" road signs

    I've been a windows vista users since day one release and i haven't had a single issue with it to be honest. If Windows 7 requires the same modern day hardware that ticked off XP users then their will be more crying once it's release as well. I'll be uprading to Windows 7 as soon as its released because i enjoy the new experience even if i have to learn a little more.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sen. Hinojosa is obviously an IT expert

    as denoted by his use of the phrase "the Vista prgram"

  26. s
    Thumb Down

    @Codge

    I smell the blood of a linux troll...

    The onely people who say Vista is shot these days are those that have either never used it, or used it on old crappy machines...

    Been using it since it was released and a) it was never as bad other made it out and b) has improved a lot with the service packs.

    Prat.

  27. Edwin

    Sheesh

    Whether or not you like Vista is beside the point.

    I rather suspect that it's illegal to legislate that a given supplier's product cannot be used (unless it's non-'merkin, in which case the UN might find it illegal, but 'merkins don't care).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @Codge

    Have you not seen the MS ads around here! The Reg are amongst the biggest shills!!! Time and time again we are told how 'easy' Windows is to use out-of the-box, then we get;

    "Remove unnecessary start-up apps from your startup group and using MSCONFIG."

    I can tell you for free - Mr Joe Q Average would know to look for 'MSCONFIG', not to mention how to use it!

    Well Done Texas, this nearly atones for giving us George W Bush...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @codge

    why is someone who likes vista a troll all of a sudden.

    i have just "tried" moving to linux 64 bit (ubuntu) and if i am honest it is a pile of shite!

    even things like the built in app getter for wine to allow some of my needed Windows apps such as spotify and usenet readers wouldnt work unless extra libraries were compiled. At this time the wine.budgetdedicated.com was down so I couldnt get an updated wine to work with 64 bit.

    a lot of people would like to have a machine where things are packaged for them in terms of a simple exe or msi and are prepared to take the performance hit to allow ease of use.

    I use vista and admit it has got better over time with SP1 and the RC of SP2 - will i ever leave vista and go fully to the handicapped (IMO) penguin. Probably never, doesnt mean I am a troll or fanboi just realistic enough to realise that when I am on my home PC i want things to just work!

    and in response to your FFS - could we not say the same about you trying to be a linux fanboi when the story was about MS Vista?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yeah - right!

    Sad thing about this - its not funny anymore - April Fools or not - its just too true! Working in IT/MIS - Vista is a bad investment no matter how you look at it. True or not - he has my vote!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Smart Man - Now Ban Windows 7

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Hinojosa

    Then get a green card! And learn to speak English! -- Just kidding!

    So... I know - lets build a fancy bridge at the Redmond Micro$oft campus with taxpayer money.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Who said Texans are all idiots?

    "And just judging by the rider's title, "Limitation on Purchase of Microsoft Vista Information Technology," it's safe to assume this man isn't the technical wiz to be dictating what software a government agency can use."

    On the contrary, it shows exactly the opposite.

  33. Charles King
    Heart

    What do you expect from Texas?

    Remember, this is the State that gave us Dubya...

    'nuff said

    Are you from Texas too, Codge?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FWIW...

    ...I just put vista on a wretched old box to see what would happen - an Athlon 3400 with 1.5gb and 128mb shared onboard card. Awful all-around, and I fully expected it to be total shit.

    Shocka - it's actually totally usable. Yeah, there's barely any free RAM - 300mb or so, whereas XP would have 800ish - but nobody ever said the thing was going to have less of a mem footprint than XP. And aside from that, it's been solid, done its job, and is as snappy as you'd expect doing heavy lifting like starting Firefox. :P

    Oddly, it runs fine even with multiple FF windows open, and a few other things, despite the horrible RAM shortage. You can hear it thrashing away at the disk, but if the HD was silent it wouldn't be too obvious (ie, no "watch the screen redraw scanline-by-scanline when we exit this app").

    Do I run Vista on the machines I use to run motion systems? Nope - some of the drivers crash it hard. But is it the stinkiest stinky-poo that ever stank out of a stinky place, like a lot of people say? Not as far as I can tell.

    A little balance would lend credibility. And - Codge? - a little less 'blatant asshole' would win more Linux converts. I stay away from Linux just to avoid associating myself with the users thanks to guys like you.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Well as a Texas State Worker

    Where I am at they have tried to stop - or at least really slow down - the use of Vista. Too many issues.

    Now having said that - we have a lot of boneheads in poly-ticks in TaxUs. They come from both sides of the isle. GW Busch be-in the best known example. I be suggest-in that we swabs be a mutinee(arrgh)ing. Oh what the hell do I care - I be r(arrgh)un-in OSX.

  36. BioTube
    Boffin

    Can you blame him?

    A several-billion budget deficit is expected in 2011, so not buying the licenses is one less area to worry about cutting next biennial.

  37. Pierre

    He's certainly not a wiz

    Not even moderately tech-litterate I would say. BUT in tough times, an OS that:

    -costs millions in license fees

    -costs millions in harware upgrades

    -costs millions in staff retraining

    -doesn't do anything better than its cheaper -and already owned- predecessor running on cheaper -and already owned- hardware

    should certainly not be bought without a very good and specific reason.

    See it as a "if it ain't broken, don't spend millions to fix it" policy, if you wish. And if for once some sense comes from a bureaucrat, well, all the better. Not that I care much about how the yanks spend their taxdollars, after all, that or the Bridge To MicroSoft... I just hope that *my* gub'mint will stop thinking that the US are "too big to let fail" ;-)

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Darth Ballmer ...

    ... will no doubt detect this stirring in the Force, and spur the evil Empire into action.

  39. Pierre

    @ Hud Dunlap

    "If he proposed it based on feedback from state workers I would say ok. But if that is the case this should have happened a long time ago."

    I guess that "feedback" implies a bit of time. Also, Vista's imminent obsolescence might have played a role (which actually makes the proposal a bit dull. "Vista" should probably read "any new expensive OS requiring hardware upgrade")

  40. Magilla
    Coat

    Re: A Special Visit

    He won't need to. The ICBC* system that Microsoft have been testing should sort it out sharpish.

    *Inter-Continental Ballistic Chair

  41. J
    Joke

    @Nonsense

    Hey, wasn't that Windows thing supposed to be easy to use and just work? So I've heard. But MSCONFIG, services, SP1, WTF, drivers? Where's the Start button. Oh, there it is, I feel much better now.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    A cure-all for Vista problems found!!!

    It's called Ubuntu.

    It's the Mouthwash for getting that Bitter Taste from Your Mouth, after Sucking Long and Hard on the Little Awful Dick called Microsoft Vista.

  43. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Stop

    @ Codge...

    Just throwing seeds here man but I think you'll find that it's you that is the tosser. Although having the mental age of 5 I doubt you've worked out what it's for yet have you?

    Anyhoo... well done Reg for not simply using this story as a tool to bash MS and at least having the integrity to balance the story with the fact that Senator Hinojosa probabaly has no experience of using the O/S.

  44. Chewy

    @Rich Turner

    Sorry but I prefer Vista to the FOSS offerings I've tried. It isn't perfect but then neither are the FOSS offerings I've tried - pretty good but doesn't tick all the boxes for me.

    The fact is that I have two machines running Vista and I haven't experienced any of the problems that frequently get reported around here. The main issue Vista had was drivers (or lack of) but then that also has affected FOSS, but both have improved.

    Regarding the statement by the Senator there are probably good reasons not to upgrade to Vista on a mass scale. It does sound like he's calling Microsoft out though.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Codge

    Rich is right, up to a point. Any poorly configured system will run like a dog, be it Windows or Linux. However he is a wrong about Win7. Anyone with a brain should stick to XP until it becomes totally non-viable.

    As for smelling the "Penguin shit", no chance matey. Linux may be good on the server and for geeks, but for the average user it is still hostile and hard to use. It also does not support business applications such as MS Office and business languages like .Net.

    Yes, I know there are F/OSS alternatives but they are:

    1) Not compatible. You think an MS Office plug-in will run on OpenOffice? And what if that plug-in is part of your business process? Wake up and smell the compliance regulations.

    2) Not full-featured. Mono cannot run anything more than basic "Hello world!" type stuff. I know as I have examined the Mono project in some detail and seen the amount of "stub" methods and "Not Implemented" exceptions they throw

    3) Too expensive. You might save a cent or two on licensing, but you will spend way more on re-training and new administrators. Administrators who cost a lot more than MS admins. Remember - licenses only account for about 7% of TCO.

    4) Are hard to manage for updates. F/OSS updates come thick, fast and without any warning. This is a serious issue when trying to run an enterprise (not that Linux will penetrate the desktop very far for the reasons I have given above).

    5) Lacking decent support. The only support you get are a few crappy forums populated with elitist geeks whose only response is "Go read the manual. EDUCATE YOURSELF!" Very helpful to the new user without a degree in computer science and rather abusive (a bit like yourself).

    Linux on the server? Yeah.

    Linux on the cloud? Yeah.

    Linux embedded? PVRs etc, yeah.

    Linux on the desktop? Niche only.

    Linux on the netbook/laptop? Pfft.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    MSCONFIG

    I've tried to use MSCONJOB, sorry MSCONFIG, to improve the performance of Vista, but it won't let me remove Vista and install XP

  47. Jason Togneri
    Boffin

    Muppets

    "Shocka - it's actually totally usable. Yeah, there's barely any free RAM - 300mb or so, whereas XP would have 800ish - but nobody ever said the thing was going to have less of a mem footprint than XP."

    Why do you people constantly advocate Linux and then say idiotic things like this? Why is it so hard for people to understand memory management? Let's go through it one more time:

    a) free RAM in XP is wasted RAM. It's not worth having, because it's not doing anything.

    b) RAM is used in Vista in Superfetch (look it up), which uses it for actively precaching data from your most-used apps - but will give this RAM up when needed

    c) Vista runs quite smoothly (with Aero skin off) on an old Presario 2500 laptop with 1GB of RAM and shared onboard graphics, because RAM use is scaleable due to b)

    d) point b) is exactly what *nix has been doing for years. It's not new, and MS took ages to get round to doing it, and it's a more efficient use of resources (even though the "used RAM" bar is higher)

    So: it uses RAM efficiently. It returns RAM when needed for an app. It manages RAM in the same efficient way as $linux_distro. It is a million times better than XP in that sense. And you complain because of it? Don't you people know anything about computers? Learn a little about the subject before you fire off your automated reactionary bandwagon nonsense.

  48. Andy

    At the risk of seeming to be a nerd:

    http://xkcd.com/528/

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Windows 7

    Given that MS are telling us basically that Vista is a pile of shit and we should upgrade to Windows 7, which we will have to pay for, which of course is a nice earner for MS, it would seem sensible, financially, NOT to waste money on the Vista integration and save that money and time and wait until Windows 7 is out.

    Who do you YOU think should be making decisions about who should be "dictating what software a government agency can use"? Right now in a lot of places that decision seems to be being taken by suits in Redmond by use of illegal monopolistic practices.

    There are other ways of speeding up Vista's performance : if you have more than a GB or RAM is turn off their damned stupid pre-fetch which, if you've got 3GB of RAM kills your machine for minutes after start up as MS decides what applications to shove into all that nice free memory. Oh, and turn of the fucking stupid search indexer because that hammers things as well.

  50. Lionel Baden
    Paris Hilton

    @So what if he "read a lot about it"? By Steve

    Yes i would only agree with you by 2%

    This isnt poverty were talking about were not asking him to go live in a council estate

    Were not asking him to live in the third world

    It's OS on a computer

    Im sure he could install it and look at before condeming it.

    If i were to condemn Birmingham for being a shithole and needs walling up, Would i not need to go there or just listen to the cliche that birmingham is shite and pass a law it should be condemned

    p.s. ive been to birmingham and reckon it should be walled up (actually just put that wall just south of the M25 and im happy)

    paris cause this guy must be a natural blond

  51. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    @AC - Biz specs

    Exactly the point re: Vista and Business. Licensing a shed load of desktops is expensive, so you get away with the bare minimum you can on the desktop, enough for O/S, Office, couple of apps, not much else. The odd exception you add another 512M for the screaming PA or manager to shut them up so they can browse and work, but in the main most of us get dumped with a bog standard single CPU 512M/80GB trash pile running XP. Not great., but it's the cheapest there is and it works, most of the time!

    Vista comes along and instantly the CPU is not quite good enough and the memory has to be doubled. Fine of Mr/Mrs Home user with a bit of spare cash to make a £20 memory purchase, but not for a business with a minimum of 3000+ desktops to upgrade at lets say £10 a stick of 512M or worse a new £500 desktop machine.

    Sorry, but XP works with what we have paid for and the budget will certainly not allow upgrades for the forseeable, especially with Gordo doing his nest to put us all on the dole!

    Me I tried Vista, it was OK, nice and shiny. ran everything I tried, but I dumped Windows and now the Lord Jobs is my shepherd at home and the Penguin is my worktime desktop co-pilot!

  52. ratfox
    Thumb Down

    Vista may be sh1tty but...

    I wonder what a senator is doing proposing laws on what OS to use or not to use.

    I mean, does he want to regulate the size of donuts in state agencies, too?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @09:15GMT AC

    "5) Lacking decent support. The only support you get are a few crappy forums populated with elitist geeks whose only response is "Go read the manual. EDUCATE YOURSELF!" Very helpful to the new user without a degree in computer science and rather abusive (a bit like yourself)."

    Mmm. Because all commercial products have wonderful support, don't they?

    Like one fax server provider who won't even provide access to a service pack unless the support contract is renewed. From the time it expired. 18mo ago. No per-call option. So that'll be £2k for two years of support expiring in six months just to get a service pack, then.

    Now, about active community support?

  54. Remy Redert

    @Psymon

    When I switched to XP for the first time on my old computer, an AMD Duron 700 with 256mb of RAM, it started almost as fast as Windows 98, it ran as fast and in some cases then Windows 98 and it didn't crash any more.

    When I installed Vista for the first time on my at that point still recent computer (AMD X2 6400+, Nvidia Geforce 7950 GT), it took about 30 seconds longer to start up (even though I hadn't installed any apps yet), it ran like a dog and it ate most of that machine's 2gb of RAM.

    Yes, XP used a lot more resources then windows 98. Yes, a lot of old machines couldn't handle it. But the majority of fairly recent machines (I believe mine was about a year and a half old at that point) could run it fine, without issues, a small speed increase and a major boost in stability.

    Vista, comparitively, slows everything but top of the line hardware down to a crawl, it starts up significantly slower, runs idle at much higher CPU utilisation and has no major increase in stability over XP.

    Add to that the driver issues at the start and you can't conclude anything but it being crap.

  55. Tim Poppleton
    Gates Halo

    Clearly a moron...

    "I've had no experience with the operating system, but heard bad things". Hmm yeah, thats pretty much the reaction of a lot of stupid people. Used Vista for years, only had one problem with it in all the time I used it. No incompatabilites, not even a BSoD. Though naturally, I will update to Windows 7 =)

  56. RoyalHeart
    Coat

    FWIW

    I've used Win95, then 98 and 98SE for approximately ten years. I have very little exposure to XP, zero with Vista.

    I moved to OpenSUSE 10.1 two years ago, later 10.3. Now my computer I built myself: AMD XP 2200+ CPU (1.8GHz), 512MB DDR, FX5200 graphics card. Yesterday I was OGGing another of my music CDs from my collection while watching a movie online with no problems (well, until the streaming server got a case of the hiccups halfway through [#&@^$*!%#^$@&&&#!!!!!]).

    That said, consider this: I cobbled a machine together from a bunch of parts I was given. The main parts I used were a mobo made in the late 90s from some off-the-wall company on the outskirts of Io (had a devil of time finding info on setting the jumpers), 256MB SDRAM, an S3 Trio3D GC, and...wait for it...an AMD K6-2-300 CPU (yes, 300 MHz).

    On this snail of a machine was installed OpenSUSE 11.0, which at the time was the latest version of OpenSUSE Linux. It runs just fine, albeit rather slow compared to my 1.8GHz system, but it is completely usable, her kids fight over it, and she can do more than just surf the web with it (read: watch DVDs, use OO with no problems, basically the same things she was doing on her laptop in XP [until she decided she preferred Linux over XP that is]).

    This turtle of a computer would just run Win 98. I seriously doubt XP would be in any way usable on it. OpenSUSE 11.0 as I stated is quite usable and extremely stable.

    Microsofties, take note: it is this ability to run on old hardware (TMK even 386-class CPUs) that IMO gives Linux a major leg up on Windows and the like.

    BTW, I switched to Linux simply because of economics: for US $65 I received a full-fledged OS and thousands of applications, tools, utilities, etc. No need to buy or search the Net for other software to do what I need. As for Windows...

    Also, I absolutely LOVE the software repositories: update all software installed from them in one place (software update module in YAST) instead of downloading individual updates manually then installing one by one. Windows on the other hand...

    Mine's the one with the "Linux Shell Scripting with bash" in the hip pocket.

  57. Astarte

    @Ash OS v. Program

    I understand a program to be something loaded into memory, or resident in non-volatile memory in order to execute a series of instructions. This includes Operating Systems which provide a fundemental interface with the basic system hardware. An OS is obviously a program executed by commands issued by a BIOS of some sort (even if it is simply an interrupt to say that the POST has completed).

    An OS has to be designed coded, tested, compiled etc before it can be executed by the hardware - just like any other program - it can be edited and updated just like any other program (given the source and the tools etc). I will agree that an OS has a special status as an executive deciding how when and where applications should be dealt with and it provides a basic foundation on which to run other applications.

    So an OS is a just computer program or collection of executable code. Don't accord any special significance to it. I'll agree to the distinction between 'OS' and 'Application' but not much more.

  58. RoyalHeart

    @FWIW

    Oops. I inadvertently left out a piece of code in my prior post. The line

    "That said, consider this: I cobbled a machine together from a bunch of parts I was given."

    should have been

    "That said, consider this: I cobbled a machine together for my soon-to-be bride from a bunch of parts I was given."

    The updated RPM is available at www314159.toerrbepenguin.ogg.

  59. Tom Stone
    Happy

    Keep the date in mind!

    I hope that you all noticed that this was posted on April 1st. I think there might be a connection.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Perhaps he has a point...

    Since the issue at stake was the IT budget, perhaps he was trying avoid it all being blown on unnecessary Vista upgrades. Let's face it, from a corporate perspective, there are almost no advantages to an upgrade from XP, which is why so few corporations have actually done it.

    Being bullied by M$ is not a good reason to upgrade; justifying an upgrade with a sound business case is the right way to go.

    Go Senator!

  61. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    Common sence

    If there is nothing to gain from swithing to Vista, then why do it.

    Simple as that, and a problem only for Microsoft.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jason Togneri

    Are you confusing "will never run linux" with advocating linux? I thought my post was fairly clear on that, but apparently I stand corrected. I posted to say how impressed I was with Vista's performance on a low-spec machine and to take linux zealots to task, and you respond my calling me a muppet for advocating linux and hating on vista?! Erhhh....

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    for being a vista virgin

    He would have been better off working to get the religious right radicals off the state board of education. His time and effort would have been much better spent.

  64. Pierre
    Gates Horns

    @ the bunch of braindead Vista tr0llz here!

    You lot seem to think that "Vista runs fine on my $2000 gaming rig -after 2 month of heavy tuning" means "Big structures with thousands of 10-yo low-end machines should migrate to Vista".

    Though I am a vocal *NIX zealot, I wouldn't advocate a massive migration to Linux or BSD for state administration in money-scarse times, either: in spite of the savings on hardware and licenses, the cost of staff retraining (or lost work hours) would be huge. It's even worst with a very expensive *erm* OS *cough* needing expensive new hardware. Especially as said *erm* OS' obsolescence is planned for later this year..

    The guy is tech-illiterate and has no Vista hands-on experience... but who cares? He read complaints from state workers and saw the costs of Vista, that's more than enough to make such a policy. If you really, really need the latest, most expensive, least efficient and soon-to-be obsolete OS*cough*, you should have to justify why. It shouldn't be Vista-specific, either.

    I doubt any politician have any hands-on experience on any issue they discuss. Which politico lost their house in the credit crunch? Which one ever went to war in Iraq? Which one ever got to guide a space shuttle? Which one had to suffer from gambling, or from sex abuse? Which one ever went to jail? Which one has hands-on experience on stem cell research? They just read up. That's good enough most of the time -when they ask for the right people's opinion, that is.

    To the person here who dissed Linux on laptops and netbooks: most low-ressource portable machines (AKA netbooks or whatever) run massively faster with linux than with windows, the only problem -sales-wise- is stupid lusers unable to cope with a slightly different GUI. Those are lost with Vista, too. As for regular laptops, I do own two, they both dual-boot, and my custom Debian installs run better (including hardware support) than the factory-installed Vistas.

  65. brandon hatch
    IT Angle

    The truth shall set you free...From MS BS

    I live in Austin...its no hoax.

    And to all you stupid MS shrills complaing about why a senator is making a law on tech when he is clearly nontechnical...I'll fill you in.

    Like most rational people (none of who I live around), I hate...no, despise most things about TX. But one thing is for certain is the extent of truth being pushed down here in the last few years. Some of the smarter politicians are seeing the real effects of FOSS. Go read the Helios Blog for one of the best examples of actual results of Linux in the hands of "average users".

    And as far as the money crunched lawmaker is concerned...have you MS hacks thought that because Win7 is coming out soon, that this law isn't concerned with tech at all, and simply done because the "next POS" he can buy is coming in a matter of months anyway. Id personally like to believe he's done this with the RIGHT intentions of placing TX on a more interoperable tech roadmap to look out for the best interests of the public. But like everything else in TX....it's probably about getting more money and looking good.

  66. Gaz
    Flame

    Cannot shake the feeling

    he is simply another headline chasing politician without a clue. That he seems to have the right intentions appears to be entirely by accident. Despite the apparent merits of this piece of legislation I would oppose it just on the fact it has been poorly thought out with little research...

  67. JC

    What's The Fuss?

    Vista costs more, runs slower, brings nothing to the table they need. It'd be dense to switch and therefore makes perfect sense to rein in the puppets that feel compelled to switch over because the latest isn't necessarily the greatest. Less is more.

  68. Codge
    Stop

    @ Rich Turner. Sorry. I was out of order.

    First things first.

    I got in from work at 8PM, thanks to yet another Windows "problem". Cold dinner syndrome!

    I then proceeded to get pissed, and a little stoned.

    I then saw the words Windows and Vista. The cause of my late working. I then saw you defending Vista.

    I saw red!

    I was bang out of order by calling you a tosser. You may well be a thoroughly nice chap! Sorry for that. I was the tosser...

    However, although your words about optimising your Vista setup are valid, they miss the point somewhat.

    Most Linux installs are secure and fast, straight out of the box. No MSCONFIG, no deleting crud from your Start up folder, no REGEDIT crap. NO version of Ms Windows is, from my experience, either of those! And that experience started at IBM-DOS 3.3 and Windows 3.0. Trust me on this, I've been in "Computering" for quite a while...

    To the various "AC" posters. Ubuntu Linux certainly is "Ready for the desktop". I have installed it on nearly 300 "Home" PCs in the last nine months, and I have only ever had support calls from TWO users, One is as thick as pig shit, the other is an M.O.D. Plod. Need I say more!!! Those users range in age from 7 (my niece), to 75 (my Mum). With all steps in between. And no, they are not all family members. Most of these ordinary (L)users were amazed at how fast their computers ran after I installed Linux, after the drudgery of booting, and running XP or Vista.

    There should be NO NEED to re-install the OS every year, because it has slowed to a crawl.

    Umbongo, currently at 8.04 on this lappy,was upgraded from 7.04 to 7.10. It's still Fast as Fuck!

    @ Poster who quoted re-training costs.

    And what about the re-training costs involved with MS Vista. Loads of stuff has moved, or had it's name changed!

    My 3 year old Dell Laptop (dual boot, obviously), takes over six minutes to finish loading XP.

    It boots Umbongo in about 1 and a half. I can power up, login, send a mail or two, and shut it down, in less time than XP takes to load. Gnome is so easy to use, you really don't need a brain. It's just obvious, after about 10 minutes of "training"!

    So, after all is said and done, All versions of MS Windows are a steaming pile of dingo's kidneys, Linux, of virtually any flavour, is superior in "almost" every way!!!

    @AC's. If you won't show your name,or at least a "Handle", when you pass comment on ANYTHING, you snivelling wankers, then just eat Tux shit, then FOAD!

    G'night all! Tux WILL rule.......... One day! ;oD

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Codge

    Linux is a crock of shit!

    Which is why I use FreeBSD for serious stuff, and wait for it, Windows for work!

    Different tools for different jobs.

  70. Mark Jonson
    Thumb Down

    Figures Bush's state would do something like that...

    Microsoft should tell the the legislature if they pass that bill Microsoft will pick up and move all of their Texas operations out of state and take all those (much needed, in this economy) jobs with them.

  71. Bryan W
    Gates Horns

    Poor Vista

    Everyone hates you.

    I waited a year to install Vista. It runs just fine, but my computer wasn't made in the '70s like so many "government" machines or whining sub-power-users. Of course, the only reason I installed it was for DirectX 10. (sneaky MS bastids). I like to use my video cards.

    I like the way this politician refers to XP as a "program". Can we have more people in power that don't think computers still run on punch cards?

    Everyone loves Bill!

  72. Dean H.
    Stop

    Dont' Mess With Texas

    >>> Reminded me of those silly "Don't Mess With Texas" road signs

    Maybe you don't understand all three meanings of those signs?

    1. Don't litter in Texas

    2. Don't enter into a war against Texas

    3. Don't go into or have anything to do with Texas

    Between the three possible meanings they offer something that is valid for everyone.

  73. Gordon Crawford
    Happy

    IT always cost$

    and an OS is a program.

    as for April 1st , it must be .

    Since when do politicians make such an acute and accurate call on savings ?on IT costs , Equipment , and retraining . Not to mention the headaches of learning Vista to be retrained on WIN7 in 2 months [95,98,2000,2003,now2007[2years late?]me,nt,xp,vista,?]

    As for M$ leaving Texas over this . hahahaha no way. M$ have other BIG clients there . M$ has newer software they can push . [w7] . And if M$ did leave , who's to say the BIG T would not only succeed with out M$ , but show the BIG clients can too. Don't messy with the Texans..... I'm surprised the Rangers have not lassoed this big bull[y] already .

  74. Chris

    @ Charles King

    check your facts bubba!! GwBjr is a former governor but TX never gave him to us... he is a blue blood yankee...

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