Early impressions

Just finished up with getting my old PC installed in it’s new home, and now that I’m hot and sweaty, I figured I’d sit down and write a bit about what I like/dislike in XP after a few days of using it.

Things I like:

Clear Type -makes the screen so much more eye-friendly, and my now mid-thirties eyes appreciate that!

Completely customizable desktop and start menu! Let’s me put shortcuts where they are most useful to me and let’s me clear the desktop of all icons!

Remote Desktop -will be useful, I’m sure.

Compatibility modes. -I installed all the same software that was on my NT machine with only one patch needed, for Norton, and XP told me where to get the patch! The rest were easily setup to run in whatever OS mode that they are compatible with.

Stability! -it’s slightly better than NT but much better than 98.

Automatic grouping of similar task windows. -Keeps all your IE windows grouped together on the taskbar, for example. (or you can turn that off if you don’t like it)

My Pics screensaver that pulls pictures from My Pictures and makes the screensaver out of them. (Good for my vacation photos!)

Choices on how to handle updates, automatic download and install, automatic download and manual install or manual both. I went with manual on both fronts.

Things I don’t like:

There’s a noticeable delay in opening network resources. (15-30 seconds) I believe NT made the network connection and kept it open all the time, XP seems to be re-opening the connection every time you access a document over it. Nice for local system resources, I’m sure, but not so nice when you’re dealing with a lot of documents in different places on the network.

The Dell Startup process when I first plugged in the machine asked for network settings but when I logged into XP, I had to re-enter those same settings. Where did Dell stick those other ones?

Getting rid of MSN Messenger was a pain! They really embedded it deeply into the OS didn’t they?

I haven’t had to deal with WPA because it’s an OEM license, that would probably be a dislike if it comes down to upgrading current machines that we have to XP, but it’s not one on this machine, so I can’t count it.

Overall I do like it, it seems like XP, contrary to what most people say about Microsoft’s OS’s, gives you plenty of control over your system. You can configure the look and feel to almost anything you like, and run any software you like without having to worry too much about whether there’s an XP compatible version. You can accept default configurations or you can change most of them to suit your own needs. I like having choices, it’s a good thing!

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