New Windows Vista PC

I’ve finally purchased my ‘Vista’ PC for my home.  My new PC was custom built from parts from Fry’s with the help (or should I say completely assembled why I just watched) by Britt from the D2 team (thanks Britt).  It’s a smokin’ machine, pretty blue LED lights in front, a bunch of huge drives, 2GB of RAM, ATI 1600 vid card w/512MB of RAM and an AMD 64 bit processor.  It’s a great machine and should last me a long time.  With Windows Vista and Office 2007 installed it is quite nice.  I’m also playing around with Adobe Lightroom Beta 4 which is starting to look like a really good photo processing app for RAW shooters. 

The improvements in Windows Vista are vast.  With the latest builds I am encountering hardly any issues.  It even auto-detected my networked HP 6127 (XP can’t do that!) and although there was no built in driver (boo!),  I was easily able to install the XP driver from HPs website and I was on my way.  We talk a lot about ‘integrated search’ but a cool place to see this at work (other than the Start menu which is a pretty obvious improvement) is in Control Panel.   When you open Control Panel you are presented with a list of icons like ‘System and Maintenance’ and ‘Security’, etc.  But, we all know there is a pant-load of settings and configuration options lurking below those 10 icons.  If you switch to ‘Classic View’ you can see it gets pretty overwhelming quickly.  But – forget classic view, just go up to the ubiquitous ‘Search’ box at the top and type what you are looking for – very quickly that big simple UI transforms itself into a list of all the things in control panel that may pertain to what you typed.  Try things like ‘remote’ or ‘password’ or ‘desktop’ and you get a quick list of all things that can be tweeked that relate to what you typed.

But the real validation came from my son, who when he saw Windows Vista in its full-glass-glory for the first time, simply said “super-cool!”.  There are a lot of great things in the product, but when people look at it and think “I’ve got to have that” – that is what will really cause Windows Vista to take off.


Comments (5)
  1. ska says:

    Hey… nice going with the new PC… sounds like an exciting little machnine. i am looking to build/buy a new one for myself and was curious how much the PC cost you and the cost per component if you dont mind sharing… also what kind of monitor do you use?

  2. Andy Simonds says:

    Found my Fry’s receipt:

    Aspire X-Discovery Case   – $89

    Asus A8N-SLI DLK Motherboard – $139.99

    1GB DDR RAM module (Qty 2)  –  $129.99 ($258 total)

    AMD A64 3500+ CPU – $99

    Maxtor SATA 120GB Drive – $79.99

    Maxtor SATA 200GB Drive – $ 79.99  (think the checkout person screwed up giving me the 2nd one at the same price as the 1st)

    Pioneer DVR-710 – $59.99

    ATI x1600 w/512MB RAM – ~$169 (I bought the video card the day before at Circuit City, not exactly sure of the price)

    Monitor – Samsung 940BF (bought 6 months ago)

  3. Andy Simonds says:

    Meant to add-  this configuration is a 4.1 on the Vista Experience Index (r-click on ‘Computer’ from the start menu and select ‘Properties’).  The processor is the weakest link in the chain – but very easy to upgrade and I probably will in a couple of years.  I wanted to keep the whole system below $1000 so I did not go as speedy on the processor as I could have.

  4. Andreas says:

    Hi Andy,

    I also did a Vista test with my HP 6127. Can you open the Property window where you can set the print quality to draft/normal/good?

    This does not work on my PC.

    This window pops up very quickly and vanished directly.

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