Dan’s Weekly Rant

Dan’s Weekly Rant

What has really pissed me off this week in the technological world by Dan Ashcroft.

Firstly, Having forked out on Windows Vista, i have found it absolutely riddled with bugs: I keep on only being able to get local access on my wireless router; When I leave my laptop downloading overnight, i often find that it hasn’t been downloading, no: it decided to reboot at 3:00 in the morning because some display driver stopped responding. I have to agree that yes, Vista is an improvement on XP; regardless of what anyone says – it is more secure and they have finally changed the way Windows downloads updates.

It used to drive me insane the way that when Windows had finished installing an update on XP, the way it would constantly notify you every few minutes that you needed to reboot, and would be nice enough to do it for you, regardless if you had unsaved work and were not at your computer at the time. At least now with Vista, you can get the notification to piss off for up to four hours, that’s right, FOUR HOURS of sanity of not being disrupted whilst you try to finish off those taxing reports on word.

Windows Media Center has really provided a lot of e-rage this week, having decided to give Microsoft a chance to prove themselves in the audio software department, I decided to give Media Center a shot. Don’t let the new silky interface fool you: you have to wait around 10 seconds between pressing play now and actually hearing the first bit of the song. What an ingenious function, I’m sure that people wrote in the suggestion box for Vista, that they wanted to have a relaxing period of silence just before they got to hear their song. Another problem that I find is that when choosing an artist to play and am listening to a song, it just stops after the song and doesn’t go on to the next song if it’s from a different album. I wish Microsoft would show some team spirit as well; funny how when playing a song on Media center, it doesn’t show what you’re listening to on Windows Live Messenger but when using iTunes it does!! I’ve learned my lesson, and its back to good old iTunes. And I’m the one with the Vaio!

Amazon, this week have announced plans to create a music download site to rival Apple’s. When reading this, i thought “At last, something to challenge the DRM kings.” What I simply cannot understand is how people keep on buying song, after song on iTunes and yet they don’t actually own the frigging thing after forking out money for what can quite simply be downloaded for free by other means (but we wont go into that). At least REWARD the user that has decided to buy music legitimately with actually giving him (or her) what they have paid for.

That’s enough ranting for one week.


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  • I share the same pain/frustration that you are having with Vista.
    I recently got a new PC that was pre-loaded with Vista and 50 trial BS programs that immediately were uninstalled. Vista was such a non-consistant performer, I electee to unistall it and put XP on instead.
    Minus the performance bogging eye candy, I have a setup that works! For all that I have been through with Vista even before I got this PC, I realize that there was nothing at all wrong with XP.

  • lol yeah, why not just run XP but get a vista theme for it. Shame you can’t get aero on XP 64 bit (you’d think that it would be powerful enough)

  • aero is strictly a Vista feature as far as I know. Even if XP is powerful enough to support it, it would be undermining one of the key “new and revolutionary” features of Vista, and wouldn’t be so much of a novelty.

  • RRGGHH Vista!

    I feel your pain, I’ve actually got a copy of Vista laying here somewhere, but I feel safer on XP … I won’t make the switch till I’ve got completely new hardware which is guaranteed to be supported

  • Vista is absolutely riddled with bugs. It will not be a completely pleasant experience until SP1 late this year. Honestly it’s not worth upgrading until the stability and compatibility is issues are fixed. That is exactly why Dell was forced to continue offering XP on even consumer machines.

    I don’t understand how you accuse Apple of being DRM kings, especially after recent events. DRM is a product of the recording companies weather it benefits Apple or not. I’m glad there will be a DRM free competitor in the marketplace, but it has no bearing on Apple selling DRM music to date.

    And to answer your question:

    “how people keep on buying song, after song on iTunes and yet they don’t actually own the frigging thing after forking out money for what can quite simply be downloaded for free by other means (but we wont go into that). At least REWARD the user that has decided to buy music legitimately with actually giving him (or her) what they have paid for.”

    First of all they do actually own the frigging thing. There is virtually nothing you can not to with a song purchased from Itunes. You can burn it to CD, play it on up to (I believe) 5 different machines and unlimited iPods. That IS what you pay for. You’re not “REWARDED” for purchasing something, your given something in exchange for money. I think what your given for a menial .99 is obvious. Claiming that It’s not yours because your not given unlimited control over the media is a faulty claim. It’s like claiming your not REWARDED freedom with a purchased CD because you’re not provided with individual music track breakouts to do with what you please…that’s not what you purchased. Or your not REWARDED the freedom to make copies of Vista for all of your friends after buying a box copy…that’s not what you purchased. The function of a 99 cent DRM’d song purchased on iTunes is completely satisfying to the people who bought the last billion.

    Second the quality of most MP3’s that are available for (illegally) free are of significantly substandard quality. They have a 90% chance of being named wrong (misspelling), having incorrect meta data, or being dirty rips. It’s .99, not a big deal.

    I dig your site by the way. I’ll keep visiting. I’m a designer/geek too. 😉

  • Stan


    do yourself a favor. Switch to Mac. I have done so 6 months ago and I cannot imagine why I haven not done it before. It really just works. I know it sounds silly but at least for me it was a revelation. I have been using and tweaking winboxes since 1995.

    cheers, Stan

  • I think that Vista is a failure. Given the industry-wide changes and the sheer length of time Mircosoft took to complete Vista I would say that the only positive change is the skin. That said, I find Vista very distracting for graphic design work (especially the HUGE borders – which feel as if they’re only there becuase the wanted to make the transparent area as a big and visible as possible) and I actually prefer a minimalist theme that I run on a patched Windows XP system.

    Anyway, the reason I am posting is because there is an answer to your XP gripe – you can stop it from automatically rebooting (the person who invented that feature needs to be shot) and you can also prevent it from nagging you every 10 minutes to reboot (the person who invented THAT feature needs to be tortured and then shot).

    You use policy editor: Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc

    Browse to:

    Local Computer Policy
    Computer Configuration
    Administrative Templates
    Windows Components
    Windows Update

    There are two values that you need to change:

    No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations (set to enabled)

    Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations (set to enabled, 1440 minutes – the longest possible value)

    I lasted 2 weeks on Vista before I went back to XP. I am now slowly migrating to Ubuntu – I just wish that Adobe would release CS on Linux.

  • Varun

    Hey .. i have this really irritating problem with my windows live messenger .. please please please help .. i am desperate .. i log into WLM .. i use it for 5-10 minutes .. but then it just hangs .. and stops responding …. i have to restart it again .. and again in 5-10 minutes it just hangs … please help .. i am desperate …

  • Brendan

    I can’t believe you are a web developer and aren’t using a Mac. The best web developers and creative professionals use Macs. Don’t let yourself be put off by any ‘hearsay’ from your Windows friends who have never used a Mac, go into a store and have a play around with one. I switched from Windows XP to a Mac almost 2 years ago and haven’t looked back.

    I love your site by the way 🙂

  • Hi Brendan, we are actually a team of three, and one of us has a Mac [that’s me!]. You wouldn’t believe what I have gone through to try and get the other two to switch!

    Cheers for the appreciation 😉

  • I’m a developer, not a designer 🙂 Therefore I use Vista, cos i dislike OSX. Just because we’re web developers doesnt mean we HAVE to be using a Mac. I would’ve thought it’s better to use Linux as a web developer, actually. I use Vista because there’s a wide range of IDE’s available to me, so I can code without the limitations of programs.

    All Macs have is coda. Pfft.

  • ^^ See what I mean…

  • Thank you very muchh