Windows Vista Ultimate 32-Bit [Part 2]

February 17, 2007 8:50 pm

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 I 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.

If you did not read the first in this series, and want to, you can find it at:

So far I am happy with Vista. Time will tell as I use it on a regular basis as I do Windows XP Pro.

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The Paula Sanders Report is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.
February 19, 2007
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Article Comments

jonnyray ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 20 February 2007

Nice summary so far, Paula. :) I've been running Vista Ultimate on my work laptop since November (when it was released to volume license customers). I have to agree that many of the best features of Vista are also the hardest to find. My personal experience has been that on my laptop, overall performance is at least as good as XP and better in some areas. I've had some software compatibility issues, but mostly with "fringe" software that I need for the consulting work I do. I've held off on upgrading my graphics PC at home. Looking forward to hearing more as you try things out!

Cyba_Storm ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 21 February 2007

The rep for CHOICE MAGAZINE(Australia) was on the radio recently telling people not to waste their money on Vista. The so called new security features were cracked by their tech heads in only a couple of hours. There are compatibily problems with a large percentage of older programs and your cpu will run way hotter.

Arondelle ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 21 February 2007

I've been using Vista Home Basic version on my brand-new Dell for 2 weeks now, and am only now getting used to some of the "features." I have to shut off the User Account manager if I want to do a lot of file management, and sometimes the system will hang, but other than that, it's working OK for me. On the other hand, the Home Basic version doesn't have the fancy, animated Aero interface which chews up a lot of memory for... what? I dunno... One piece of advice, though: if you use WinZip to deal with zip files, upgrade to version 11 if you haven't already done so. I was using WinZip 8, and Vista will not "see" any files extracted with it even though programs, e.i., Poser, Word, etc., can see them just fine. You can extract file directly with Vista, but it's a slow process, particularly with the User Account function engaged.

kathym ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 21 February 2007

From everything I've read on Vista - it appears that Microsoft has once again jumped the gun in releasing a product thatcould very well use some additional tweaking. Overall Microsoft's main mission seems to be filling its pockets - not customer satisfaction. Which is alright for them to do, since they pretty much own the market when it comes to operating systems. If you were to swear off windows brand operating systems - you'd be left with two choices MAC or linux. As long as Microsoft doesn't release malware to force XP users to upgrade to Vista - I'm staying put. I know for a fact my programs run and that I can trust the stability of my OS.

sparrownightmare ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 21 February 2007

Here's a dumb question. Does the 64bit version of vista backwards support 32bit apps? Just about everyone I know has a 64bit CPU now and none are taking advantage of them.

MarkHirst ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 21 February 2007

The greatest competition against Vista seems to be Windows XP. Frankly, what else do I need an OS for but to run my important programs reliably, support attached devices and "do stuff", email, browse the web, whatever. Why do I need to spend time and money to get to somewhere short of where I am already ?

derrys1969 ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 21 February 2007

Here's my two cents...every review that I have read about Vista has not been gleaming. And after that "joke" of an OS upgrade known as ME, I'm pretty hesitant to jump on the Vista bandwagon at this time. I'm positive that after about two or three years, Vista will be a decent OS. After that, most of the tweaks and patches would have been published. But how can you not see that this whole Vista this and Vista that thing is nothing more than a ploy to get you to spend cash. And people actually help Microsoft in this endeavor by giving tuts like this and people like some in this forum actually fall for it. Out the box, you are going to have to do some serious driver upgrading to get your current machine to run Vista properly. To get the full potential of the Aero desktop, you will need to make sure you have a video card that supports that. While it's great that you are demonstrating to us that we can run Poser 6, 7, and other progs on this OS, I definitely feel that this is a "If it's not broke, don't fix it" scenario. If you purchase a new machine (whether it be laptop or desktop), you're pretty much stuck with Vista. But for those of us who are running an ironclad version of XP, it's great to know that Vista will handle some of our progs (total different from many of the reviews that I have read thus far), but in your humble opinion, do you really need to upgrade to Vista and go through all of this when XP works perfectly? I'm sure I will get some negative feedback from this, but I work in the IT industry and you wouldn't believe how many Microsoft professionals feel uncomfortable with Vista, but about three or four years ago, we felt the same about XP. Just my two cents. Thanks for testing and letting us know this stuff, anyway. How else would we know?

nickcharles ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

Thanks for the continuing look at Vista, Paula! I got a free upgrade to Vista with the recent purchase of a new PC, but I still can't seem to get myself to take that upgrade just yet.

novelist999 ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

Thanks for the info. I think I'm going to stick with Windows XP for the time being. :-)

urbanarmitage ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

Well think about it like this - What is the biggest market for Vista? The home market of course! Which computers arr most likely to be running the latest and greatest games? Home PC's yet again. What version of DirectX will be the only one to support all the latest and greatest graphics innovations that will emerge with the new games very soon? DirectX 10 of course. Now, which versions of Windows will DirectX10 support? Well, erm, only Vista! Game, set and match, no pun intended. :/

Prikshatk ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

Is there a button or option to switch off AERO with a single click?

deemarie ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

Wow Paula what a wonderful job of touching on just a few of the ins and outs of Vista. I hope you will continue this series, as I am learning a lot, and I am glad you are the one who is doing some of the trial and hunts, so that I will not have to :] One question. Do you think some of the earlier programs (for example: Photoshop 7 and Vue 4) will still function correctly in Vista? Thanks again for the excellent research! Dee-Marie

mask2 ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

i won't install that svista stuff until i have my back against the wall...

Paula Sanders ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 22 February 2007

deemarie - I really don't plan to put on older programs. Maybe someone has used these programs and can answer your question. I'm glad you are learning from this series. That was my intent to try to touch on some of the hidden facts of Vista. I was not writing a review of Vista nor was I advocating it.

Silver_Lich ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 23 February 2007

Thank you for the insight into Vista and what you have encountered so far with Poser and Vue. Now as for me pesonally I won't go over to Vista till about 9 to 12 months for now. The reasons being there is only one DX 10 video card on the market at the moment Nvidia's. AMD/ATI Doesn't release there Card till the end of Next Month and you all know how expensive Flagship Video Cards are. Secondly there are no applications or games that have DX 10. Thirdly all of us XP users will not have access to DX 10 without going over to Vista, Microsoft's nice little ploy to make sure that you buy Vista sooner than later. I will go to it but not till the bug fixes and the tweak guides come out to make it run as well if not better than XP.

svdl ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 23 February 2007

Very useful info. I like the way these articles neither advocate nor bash Vista - they're observations, they describe facts, not beliefs. Good to know that Vue 6 Infinite will run on Vista. Then again, I'm only interested in Vista 64 bit. Keep up the series!

msg24_7 ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 23 February 2007

Very interesting and informative reading! About those autostart programs... There is on very handy tool available (actually two) from Mark Russovic... AutoRuns and Process Explorer Those two will tell you a lot about your system. They have many other interesting tools at

nemirc ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 23 February 2007

Well, it seems that the next Dell that I get will have Vista by default... I am dying to know if Maya will run smoothly on Vista but I don't think you can try. BTW I read yesterday that the adobe programs don't run on Vista. Is it true?

z ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 24 February 2007

That OpenGL is NOT Vista! I was having the same video prob after re-installing XP and running Poser7. I replaced the crappy MS video divers with real ones from my vid card manufactor.(nvidia) Fixed.

Arondelle ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 24 February 2007

I have found that you can tell Vista to run older programs in a compatibility mode, that is, if your program gets too many hiccups running under Vista, you can set it to run them under WinXP or Win2000 -- all the way back to Win95.

laetia ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 24 February 2007

you know... reading comments here, people being scared of upgrading and applications not always working on the new system... kind of reminds me when Apple switched from System 9 to OS X. Don't mind me if I giggle a little bit. ;)

Paula Sanders ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 24 February 2007

Nemeric - I use Photoshop CS2 on Vista all the time. It runs perfectly. The new Reader 8 didn't want to install for some reason, but reader 7 runs perfectly. I also have Illustrator on it and the rest of the CS2. They all installed fine. I just don't use them much except for Photoshop (all the time) and Illustrator (some). I read a small positive artle on the future of Vista and 3D computing in a 3D magazine(I can't remeber which one or the issue). It mentioned Maya should run well. It didn't mention that they had tested it. I think the 3D mags should have articles on Vista and 3D programs.

Kaji ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 24 February 2007

Adobe programs don't run on Vista? Where did you see that? I'm also interested to find out if Cinema 4D will run on Vista.

starmage ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 25 February 2007

Just wondering if anyone else has this issue..?? I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 and Paint Shop Pro X. Both run fine under Vista. However, when I try and open a photo with WIndows Explorer by Double Clicking on it the screen goes momentarily black and then I end up with an error message saying the Program has been changed Illegally. And the file will not open. This happens whether I set jpeg's to open with PSP or PSE. Can't seem to fix it.

starmage ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 25 February 2007

There's a new Adobe Reader 8 for Vista.

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