I hate VISTA

I hate Microsoft Vista.  If you are getting a new box, get XP.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tim H says:

    Everybody hates Vista. When a was having my new box built, the vendor asked me “Vista or XP?”. When I said “XP” he replied “good choice” is a very serious tone.

  2. sigil7 says:

    I’ve been massively dissatisfied (an understatement) with Vista ever since I was saddled with it 6 months ago. I hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it…

  3. Joshua says:

    Get Linux….;)

  4. WCY says:

    MS Vista is analogous to a nanny communist government.

    Apparently, MS is letting OEMs give their customers an option to “downgrade” (or is that an “upgrade”?.

  5. I don’t plan on touching Vista, at least until that have their next Service Pack.

  6. Fr. D says:

    I don’t want to start a Mac-PC squabble but…….Fr. Z., you would be much happier with a Mac running OS X. Drink the Kool-Aid®, make the switch. Mac in Intel® based now which you have the option, if needed, of running either operating system. One can’t lose.

  7. Derik says:

    Not only is maddening, it is sometimes a problem to get back to WinXP.
    At least in Vaio laptops. I helped a friend to get through the
    installation process, and was a pain in the neck for a few days.

    I prefer Linux


  8. Pavegs says:

    I’m With Fr. D, MAC is the way to go. I have rarely if ever had problems with OS X. Besides MACs are just way cooler.

  9. I am so tempted sometimes to switch to Mac.

  10. Fr. Z, I love my Mac and never have a problem. Make a visit to that new Apple Store in Rome for a demo.

  11. Ian says:

    I’ve been running xp for several years and all-in-all it has been the best Windows desktop system. I like Macs but haven’t had enough time around them to use them efficiently.

  12. I am so tempted sometimes to switch to Mac.

    I’d go Linux before I went Mac. But I admit, I am just biased against Apple. ;P
    I just had a bad experience with programming in Pascal on Apple Macintoshes in high school (yes, I also have to admit it was about 20 years ago, and I would hope Apple has improved, especially with Intel compatibility now.)

  13. dcs says:

    I support both Windows and Macs and Macs give me way more headaches, despite the fact that they’re outnumbered 6-1.

    Apple died with the Apple II IMHO.

  14. GCC Catholic says:

    Dittos to what Joshua and Derik are saying: if you are a little tech savvy, try Linux. Ubuntu has been shaping up to be a good distribution, and you can demo it from a CD without having to install it (then you can install it from the CD if you like it). It’s available at http://www.ubuntu.com (and will be coming out with a new version in 2 weeks).

    Alternately, for the non-tech savvy (or those who don’t have the time/desire to try to troubleshoot if necessary), I’d say go for the Mac.

    As a side note, it sounds like Microsoft will require all manufacturers to move to Vista only sometime around the end of the year. XP is soon to become a scarce option.

  15. Augustine says:

    To get rid of a big irritation, turn of the User Account Control.

  16. Other Paul says:

    I recommend a Mac. I’m a diehard Linux guy myself but with the caveat that I haven’t tried the Ubuntu distro since it’s early days I believe that Linux isn’t quite there yet for the general user. And I would only recommend Windows to people I don’t like. My wife and I bought a Mac Powerbook for my daughter when she went off to college two years ago and neither we nor she has regretted it in the least. It just works, and works well.

  17. James says:

    I just got a brand-spanking new laptop with Vista Business loaded on it, and it is on the fritz after only one week!

    I was about to return it to the manufacturer when I realized it is just the crappy Microsoft software.

    Vista is evil. It has handicapped my computer, and the constant and unexplainable bugs are infuriating.

  18. Oh, yes, I’m with you on that one, Father!

  19. Rouxfus says:

    The Mac is a truly catholic computer, in the universal sense of the word. It can run Windows just as well as a PC right alongside all the great Apple applications (if you must.)

    One thing you won’t have to run on the Mac, at least for the nonce: anti-virus software. I returned to the Mac in 2000 and haven’t had to pay money to the parasitical protection racket known as the anti-virus software “industry”.

  20. Other Paul says:

    Windows is the standard where I work and the word on the street from desktop support there is to stay away from Vista. It’s not “there” yet and Microsoft will continue selling XP until at least June 30th, 2008.

  21. John Roberts says:

    I wanted to buy a computer 1 week before Vista came out. I had to beg the Circuit City guy to sell me an XP one. I’ve been fooled by Microsoft before with all their bugs in new versions. No XP is the ONLY way to go this time.

  22. Symeon says:

    Have you ever thought of a PC as a friend? At least in my experience PC:s are, if at all, spoken to with words like “stupid thing” or “I hate machines”, whereas your Mac is someONE that you actually look forward to be with when you get home.

    I realise that some people still like PCs better, but my impression is that Apple has a much more intuitive, working and fun way of being user friendly. The only back side is that you can’t sit with your computer as way of friday fasting when you own a Mac. But that’s a sacrifice I’m more than willing to make :)

    But as some said above – Linux is also an option, if you’re a pro, and want an even more customizable system.

    God bless you Fr. Z


  23. Johnny Domer says:

    OK, you know you’re all thinking this, so I’m going to be that guy…

    Windows is basically the Novus Ordo to the Mac’s TLM. We had the Mac back in the old days, then everybody got excited in the crazed days of Windows 95 when people would persecute you and mock you for liking Macs. Now Macs are coming back as people keep seeing more and more of the faults and drawbacks of Windows, even when used properly. I bet the Pope uses an iMac so that both Windows and Mac can operate together, hopefully with each exerting a positive influence on the other (but we all know which operating system we’d LIKE to see have more of an influence).

  24. Rob in Maine says:


    If you buy a Mac, the “leaf” on the Apple logo will match the pom-pom on your biretta.

  25. David says:

    As GCC Catholic says Ubuntu is a good start into the linux world, but if your like me and prefer the KDE desktop over the gnome desktop, then Kubuntu would be the way to go.

  26. GCC Catholic says:

    Other Paul,

    The upcoming version of Ubuntu (7.10) seems like it’s well on it’s way to being suited for general users; whether it’s “there” or not is a point of debate. I’ve been using 7.04 for about 4 months and it’s been working out very well for me, someone who is decently tech savvy but new to Linux, with only minor tweaking.

    Thanks for passing along the final XP date; I was curious about that.

  27. Ted Krasnicki says:

    There are demos available of the various versions of Ubuntu Linux 7.04 and they can be downloaded for free. These can be burned onto a CD, and then run directly from the CD without installing on the hard drive first. There is a version of Ubuntu for Christians. There are other free Linux distributions specifically put together for Christians. Linux is a co-operative effort by programmers around the globe, making this top notch operating system free of charge to anyone who wants it. The very poor no longer have to fork out impossible sums to Micro$oft and Apple for an excellent operating system. Also, Linux generally runs well even on more humble hardware.

  28. Brian Crane says:

    I like Ubuntu but the biggest struggle I always had was figuring out how to install programs on it. This is the nice thing about Windows: its programs always come with installers that do almost everything for you. I have never been able to find a quick-and-easy tutorial on this matter for Linux.

  29. Ernie Bragiel says:

    Fr. Z
    Mac all the way, all the time. I switched years ago and only have to suffer through MS apps at work. All of my home is Mac. Once you overcome the learning curve it will outperform MS and any of the best PCs everyday of the week. It just keeps getting better. And by the way forget the blackberry. I-phone much more versatile.

  30. Jim says:

    I love my iMac. No problems, ever.

  31. Father Bartoloma says:


  32. Other Paul says:

    GCC Catholic,

    I hope you’re right about Ubuntu. I use Fedora myself and find it more than adequate. But then I’m not exactly your average user – I hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, I’ve worked in the industry for 25 years, and was the maintainer of the Linux token-ring network driver from 1.1.57 to about 2.1.xx. I’m used to tinkering with things until they work. Most people won’t, though, and it takes only one bad experience to make them abandon their Linux experiment. Yet I’ve heard very good things about Ubuntu, and if due care is given to hardware selection then I am willing to believe that the software has finally bridged the usability gap and that Linux is really ready for the general user.

  33. Brian Day says:

    Don’t tell me that Mac’s are the “TLM” of computers!

    You’ll burn at the stake for that. 8)

    (If you want to argue PCM, then fine. Just not a Mac.)

  34. Henry Edwards says:


    Does this mean “gone within a generation”? I mean Windows, of course. As a former (and perhaps future) Mac user, let’s hope so.

  35. senseless says:

    Fr. Z with all due respect, what need does a busy, orthodox Catholic Priest have for the
    “latest and greatest” operating system? Realizing your efforts employ a number of computer technology
    and digital tools I fail to see how any of it or all of it taken together means you must acquire the
    latest bundle out of Redmond, WA or anywhere else when what you already have serves perfectly well.

    I pray this zeitgeist pass you by unscathed and that you not become overly attached to gadgetry and the

  36. Henry Edwards says:

    Augustine: To get rid of a big irritation, turn off the User Account Control.

    Yes, this gets rid of the most irritating “feature” of Vista-out-of-the-box I’ve seen.

  37. Arieh says:

    Macintosh is more Catholic. They were the first to use icons.


  38. Jamie says:

    I am with the macites here – go mac – I made the switch and it is the best thing I ever did. It makes my blogging life much easier too.

  39. senseless: Just pass another sheet of velum while I sharpen my quill.

    In the meantime, I suggest you stop reading this bog: it is far too up to date, and we can’t have that.

  40. Diane says:

    Yah! Vista was forced on me when I got my laptop. It took me time getting use to the interface, but you know, who needs all that memory eaten up for such things!!?!

    And, so many programs I needed were not available for Vista, or there were problems and work arounds needed. Nuts!

  41. Andrew says:

    I have a dual system: I choose either Linux or Windows XP when I boot up. For some things I need Windows, but for efficiency and uncluttered un-over-automated and un-intrusive operation I use Linux (Red Hat Fedora).

    But it takes some know-how and some time to set it up. Especially the part where a Linux bootup is installed on the first sector of the bootup partition of your hard drive. I think it’s best to start with a brand new hard-drive (not a big investments these days).

  42. RC says:

    VISTA? “Volunteers In Service To America”? Why does Fr. hate that? It was one of those civic-minded ’60s-type projects: is that a prob–?

    Oh: never mind.

  43. William says:

    As a side note, it sounds like Microsoft will require all manufacturers to move to Vista only sometime around the end of the year. XP is soon to become a scarce option.

    The end date for XP has been extended due to pressure from major customers.

    Microsoft will continue selling XP until at least June 30th, 2008.

    This date will also be extended. Vista is a dog and everybody knows it.

    Apple died with the Apple II IMHO.

    I still have an Apple II – can’t recommend it for day-to-day use though. I use Windows XP and Linux. I prefer Linux, but my wife needs Windows for reasons outside her control.

    I recommended Mac for my parents and they have been entirely satisfied. In fact, my Dad has purchased 4 or 5 Macs since that first one. I recommend a Mac also for you, Father Z – if you get to the point of needing a new computer. Until then, stick with what you have. If you can “downgrade” to XP, then go for it.

  44. Will says:

    They can have my Windows 98 when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

  45. Other Paul says:

    Well Father, it appears at least that you’ll have plenty of help available if you ever do choose to make the leap to either a Mac or Linux.

    Will: There will be no prying here. We’ll be happy to bury it with you when you go. :)

  46. boeciana says:

    I switched to Mac in a last-ditch attempt to keep a computer alive, having watched three Windows laptops die within about two years. My iBook’s been happy for over eighteen months now, as far as I can tell, and since it’s The Computer I Wrote My PhD On, I have very warm feelings for it!

    Mind you, I know nothing about actual computery things, so whether the Mac OS is cleverer or more efficient or whatever, I have no idea. It just seems to work for me.

  47. Forzajuv says:

    I am using Vista in my workplace and I think it has served me quite well. I am working in software development and I found that Vista has been a decent replacement for XP.

    The UAC seems to be an annoying feature, but from a security POV, it is a massive improvement from previous Windows which provides a free-for-all Administrator account for every user (hence, opening the doors wide to malicious programs).

    In Linux machines, the experience will not be much different. If you use a non-administrator user account to login (which is the default for most Linux distro), you will be prompted often for your root password (administrator password) too. Not too different from Vista’s UAC. It just takes some time to get familiar with.

    Some friends of mine have complained about Vista being slow. Probably this is where Vista fails… It is horribly slow on a single processor machine, whose RAM is lower than 2GB. It seems to be using some heavy multithreading to perform its tasks, and not to mention high RAM usage. So, unless you have a good dual-processor machine with 2GB+ RAM, stick with XP.

  48. ALL: I have several computers running on the network with XP, but one with Vista. Grrrr. Also, I have a couple old boxes mothballed with 95 and 98, if you can believe it. You just never know. Once in a while I fire them up and bingo, they connect just fine. I never had network problems till I added this Vista thing.

  49. R Anthony OPL says:

    Fr Z, I switched to Mac three years ago and I’ve never regretted it. This weekend, however, I needed to build a new machine for my parents to use in a hurry and decided to get them Ubuntu Linux. Though I have heard many wonderful things about the distribution, especially regarding ease of use and user-friendliness, I must say that if you ever need to do even the tiniest bit of maintenance (such as installing drivers) Linux is still far too difficult for someone without experience in UNIX. It also assumes you are willing to spend time compiling kernels and the like (comparable to time spent sweeping for viruses on Windows, though you actually need to understand what’s going on).

    You said that if you’re going to spend that much time with a breviary in your hand every day for the rest of your life, it’s well worth paying a little more for something nice. By this reasoning let me ask, how much time do you spend using your computer? How much of that time is spent trying to make your computer do what you need it to do (maintenance, troubleshooting, tinkering etc)? If you get a mac, you will definitely spend far less time in frustrated maintenance and more getting things done, in pleasant and enjoyable ways.

  50. Didymus says:

    Dell is now offering PCs with Ubuntu pre-loaded;
    hopefully more manufacturers will follow their example.

  51. R Anthony OPL: You said that if you’re going to spend that much time with a breviary in your hand every day for the rest of your life, it’s well worth paying a little more for something nice. By this reasoning let me ask, how much time do you spend using your computer?

    A very good argument, I’ll admit.

  52. Tadhg Seamus says:

    Listen to the Mac-ies, Father. They tell the truth.

  53. techno_aesthete says:

    Forzajuv, 2GB+ RAM
    “Noone will ever need more than 640k of RAM.” – Bill Gates
    (rolling eyes)

  54. Konrad says:

    I’ve been using Linux for twelve years now and I never remember having to recompile kernels etc the last three or four years now. My sister is a Linux-user for five years and she is definitelay not among the very tech-savvy, but she gets her work done quite decently. (Office, web, mail, digital photography etc.)

    While it’s true that the Mac is way cooler than any Linux-box (I want one, too, btw!) it seems to me, thar Fr. Z only recently acquired an new computer, so it seems to me a quite costly alternative to recommend him buying a new Mac. So give Ubuntu a try and download it. Or try to persuade the vendor to offer a “downgrade” to XP.

    I buy quite a lot of computers for my school district and any vendor until now gave me that choice.

  55. James W says:

    Fr. Z- I have an IMAC on a Windows network .Parallels software allows the Mac to have a Windows side when needed. Everyone who comes to my office wants to do the same thing- amazing how much animus MS has created. James W

  56. Marcin says:

    Dear Father,

    Mac or Win, you pay AND it’s you who owes the allegiance. That’s just a scheme. I concur – try Linux, particularily that you have some mothballed boxes. Ubuntu is a good choice these days. If the old ones are really old, you may put Xubuntu on them, which is a less demanding version, breathing entirely new life into them. BTW, my 9 year old son uses Ubuntu 7.04 on his computer alternately with XP on another box and switches back and forth without problems just as well as between Polish and English. In any instance I’m waiting for a final release of Gutsy Gibbon (7.10).

  57. Mark says:

    Vista isn’t a “dog” if you have sufficient memory and your hardware is “compatible”. I suggest that your run the Vista Upgrade Advisor Tool before upgrading. If you just upgrade, you are rolling the dice. Since many people have older hardware, any bad experiences you may be having are most likely due to compatibility and memory issues than it being due to Vista per se.

    If you already have upgraded to Vista, whether experiencing problems or not, I would run this tool as well. The tool can be run on XP or Vista.

    Go to the following link:


    in order to run the Upgrade Advisor Tool.

    Make sure you use Windows Update found in the Control Panel and enable it for automatic updates to ensure you have the latest critical updates and any optional updates that you may require.

    To be more productive using Vista, visit the Tips and Tricks site:


    Those of you in companies with help desks, leverage their services. If they are not able to help you in a timely manner, escalate to your management. Many larger companies have dedicated support agreements with Microsoft – if your Help Desk are not particularly helpful, try to leverage any support contracts you may have in place.

    Those of you who don’t have help desks or your companies do not have support agreements with Microsoft or you are on your own, you may leverage the “free” support once you have activated your copy of Vista.

    For the first 90 days after the Activation of Vista you may call:

    800.936.5700 (M-F 5am-9pm PST Sat/Sun – 6am to 3pm PST)

    You may also visit:


    to access a wealth of information to support you including support forums and newsgroups as well as submitting support requests directly online.

    As you might suspect, I work for Microsoft. :-)

    Father, you have my email – I will be happy to personally facilitate any assistance you may require.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

  58. Mark: That’s not the problem. I have a new box which is a powerful screaming machine. It came loaded with Vista. No upgrades involved.

  59. Mark says:

    Fr. Z: I understood this… I wanted to offer some direction and awareness of resources available to individuals in general – especially those who are having probems at this time. In particular, I wanted to offer you any assistance you may require. I would love the opportunity to turn you from being a “Vista Hater” to a “Vista Lover” if at all possible.

    Again, my offer still stands – please contact me by email, should you wish to take advantage of my fondness for you. :-)

    Ex anima,


  60. Jorge says:

    Mac all the way!

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