Sunday, March 15, 2009

XP vs Vista

I've lit up your RSS reader today to ask a simple question. I am picking out a new computer for my mom, I am going to get it with XP installed instead of Vista. Is this still the correct course of action?


  1. I think it is. If you think she can handle it I'd recommend skipping Windows and trying Ubuntu.

  2. You've asked by faulty question, the error came with the inherent presupisition. You know what OS she needs, and everybody else for that matter. Can XP run apples OS? Because my apple has XP on it (thats two computers for one if your doing the math). I've said my piece.

  3. yeah but at only $350 for a new computer that she won't have to share with my Apple using dad. she'll probably want to stay with windows. I will float the OSX idea though.

  4. @Anonymous: Your argument seems to be that OS X can virtualize XP, therefore OS X is the OS for Kendall's mom. I don't think that conclusion follows from the premise. As an aside, "can XP run Apple's OS?" is a loaded question. I'd be surprised if there was a technical reason as to why XP couldn't host OS X (as it can host other OSes). AFAIK, Apple's OS X license forbids it, so virtualization software doesn't support it.

    Anyways, XP v. Vista v. Ubuntu v. OS X.

    I can't really offer a solid opinion between XP and Vista; I used XP for about a month before I couldn't take it anymore and installed Ubuntu. Mostly because I missed my favorite tools, but also because XP's resource usage (memory and CPU) was out of whack. Heavy swapping and constant CPU usage was the norm, but the norm for me was running some pretty heavy apps. (Ubuntu handled the same load a little more gracefully).

    I've used Vista sparingly; installing a few apps on top of a fresh Vista install is about it. Coworkers had some serious problems with third party software on Vista initially, but I think those have been sorted out now.

    Never used OS X for anything. It's built on some cool stuff: BSD on top of a microkernel. Of course, that's pretty much irrelevant here.

    The last version of Ubuntu has been rubbing me kinda wrong; things broke during the last upgrade. Some issues I still haven't been able to sort out. The year of Linux on the desktop is a long running joke, but Ubuntu does a pretty solid job, though some things still aren't as seamless as they are in Windows. Video conferencing, recent Flash player, etc. will likely require tinkering.

    Dell does support Ubuntu on some configurations; don't know what exactly that covers. Word on the streets is that 1/3 of their netbooks ship with Ubuntu, so it must be decently usable.

    Installing and updating software is probably what I like most about Ubuntu. Aptitude (CLI), Synaptic (GUI), and the Update Manager make it ridiculously easy. No downloading, saving, or install wizards. (Sometimes knowing _what_ to install is a challenge, but Google is a friend.) Also, remote troubleshooting/administration is a real possibility.

    Overly long post is now over. :)

  5. Please refer to above post as further evidence why an apple makes more sense for a mom that wants an easy to use, well integrated OS. :) Bravo to nerd speak though.