Series on Vista Ultimate 32-Bit Part 2
I will start this article by describing some more features of Vista that I found along the way and I will mention three programs: Vue 6 Infinite, Poser 6 and Poser 7. I know some of you might be saying, "but, if it doesn't work with my program, I'm not interested." Since I cannot cover all programs, I will discuss Vista itself and try to cover programs that I use on a regular basis. It takes time to go into depth with a program, so please realize that I am only touching the surface with all these programs.
One problem that I have found with Vista is that while it has some very interesting features, it is often hard to find them. For this reason books are useful. Another useful book is Windows Vista Bible by Alan Simpson. However, since many people do not like to buy books, I am trying to show how to access some Of Vista's touted but hidden areas.
I network my computers. I have done this since Windows 98. However, I could not see my other computer. It was because I had not turned on Network Discovery.
I had read about Vista's ability to be very customizable, but I could not find out how to do it. Using the Search on the Start menu, I typed in "perf" and under Programs, came up "Performance and Information Tools." When I clicked on that, I opened a menu that gave me a choice of Tasks.
The first task I decided to investigate was "Adjust Visual Effects." I had read that I could increase my performance by eliminating many of Vista's specialties. As you can see, there are many effects that can be eliminated.
Vista also claims that it can analyze your computer. Along with the task menu, on the right side of the screen, is a score that analyzes various components of your computer. Don't ask me how accurate it is; I do not know.
Vista has a bar for various Gadgets on the Desktop. One of these measures CPU usage and the other RAM. Vista is a hog. At rest it shows I am using between 25%-29% of my RAM. However, when I ran Vue 6 Infinite creating a rather simple scene, the usage didn't change much at all.
I decided to try to eliminate some of the autostart programs. I couldn't find the usual user>startup folders so I went to msconfig.exe. On Windows XP Pro, I could remove or disable some of them. However, even in Administrative mode, if I unchecked any, it started Windows in Diagnostic mode even when the two programs I unchecked were ones that had been installed with other programs. I found, though, that I could go to Control Panel>Programs>Change Startup programs and accomplish it that way. However, I could not modify many of the services or startup programs that were in msconfig.
There was some discussion on OpenGL. I found the quote below from: Graphics APIs in Windows Vista, By Chuck Walbourn, Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Game Technology Group. August 2006
"Windows Vista provides the same support as Windows XP for OpenGL, which allows video card manufactures to provide an installable client driver (ICD) for OpenGL that provides hardware-accelerated support; note that newer versions of such ICDs are required to fully support Windows Vista. If no ICD is installed, the system will fall back to the OpenGL v1.1 software layer in most cases."
However, I have read in a number of places that people are having trouble with their OpenGL games and screen savers.
Whether the problems illustrated below have to do with OpenGL I do not know since it is not consistent. Notice the preview and the render.
Now, I did two screen captures of Jessi: one in in Poser 6 and one in Poser 7. You will notice that the quality of her clothes are similar to Sidney's in the above preview. Starmage, a Renderosity reader, did not have the same problem. This points up an important point when testing programs. It is possibly the interaction of a driver with Vista and Poser 7 caused the problem and it is not a universal fault true for all systems.
When a program works smoothly, one knows it is possible; when it does not, it is often hard to state where the problem lies without a lot of confirmation with multiple computers and users.
I did work with Vue 6 Infinite and created a simple scene using the spectral atmospheric model. It worked smoothly and without problems. I did not use any outside models.
So far I am happy with Vista. Time will tell as I use it on a regular basis as I do Windows XP Pro.