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Mailbag: Vista Hardware Requirements, More

Here's one more scareware story to cap off the week. At least in this one, the user learns his lesson:

I have a boss, the company vice president yet, who has a bad habit of going places on the Internet that he shouldn't and clicking on things better left unclicked. In the past, I have been able to clean some of the scareware off his system, but the last couple of times I couldn't. The scareware folks had gotten smarter. The first thing they did was disable anything I could use to get rid of their work, such as Task Manager, the Run box, any malware or anti-virus products it could find, and even access to the c: drive (they hid it).

I basically told him that I couldn't get rid of the crap and that it would take me two days to reformat and reload his machine...two days during which he would have no access to his e-mail or anything else. Since the second two-day outage, he has been behaving himself much better.
-Phil

Readers share their thoughts on the "Vista Capable" logo lawsuit and the fuss over hardware requirements:

This is much ado about nothing. I've been in the industry for over 25 years and every edition of Windows which has ever shipped has needed twice the minimum RAM requirements to "get by" and four times that number to perform well. Vista is no different.

For instance: XP requirements were a 300MHz Pentium II with 128MB of RAM but it had to have an 800MHz Pentium 3 and 256MB of RAM to work OK and 512MB to run well. Vista requires an 800MHz Pentium 3 and 512MB to run but has to have a 1GHz Pentium 4 HT and 1GB of RAM to work OK and 2GB of RAM to run well. Nothing new here. That doesn't change the fact that Microsoft oversold Vista's new features and failed to get its ISVs and OEMs on board before going RTM. Missing the 2006 holiday season didn't help, either. That said, with any system sold today, Vista will run very well with 2GB of RAM.
-Marc

Specs on today's hardware are most impressive, particularly when you consider the low prices. The only thing more impressive is current Microsoft software's ability to drag it down. At first, I was thinking the hardware makers were inflating their claims, but if you run old benchmark programs on the new machines, the numbers are off the charts! Same thing if you load Win2K Pro or Win98 on a modern machine. They boot so fast, you'll miss it if you yawn. And Win98 shuts down so fast that you can't even get your finger away from the button!

So what exactly is Vista doing when (after a fresh install) it takes many minutes to boot on a triple-core 2.3Ghz machine with 2GB of memory?
-Robert

Doug suggested yesterday that when it comes to prices, PCs have greater appeal to the Joe Six-Packs of the world than Apple. One reader agrees:

I believe you might be showing your conservative values with that Joe Six-Pack statement. Good for you.

I agree with you. I went to get an MP3 player/radio for working out. iPod: $120. Radio tuner: another $50. Phillips player with radio that has the same memory and half the size: $60. I may get an iPod for my kids if my arm is twisted, but for me, no thank you.

-Joe "Six-Pack"

And finally, Mailbag gets political! Here are a few of your thoughts on the presidential candidates and the current economy:

In response to your query regarding the economic savvy of either of the anointed presidential candidates, all I can do is laugh. Both are completely freaking clueless about most things, in my opinion, but especially about the economy. As were all other candidates from both parties except one: Congressman Ron Paul. He's the only one who could get former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to sweat during committee testimony and the only one who can not only explain the issues, he predicted the current fiasco and took steps to avoid it.

Google "Ron Paul" and read his writings. Easier yet, do a search on YouTube and listen to him explain his philosophy. The man is short on sound bites but long on substance. Here's a place to start your education.
-J.C.

It has become painfully obvious to me that our country has been hijacked by some of the most vile, evil people imaginable who care not one iota about the middle class, lower class or even upper class. They are the 'elites' and they have done a really good job of creating a system that rewards criminals and punishes people who are good. They have ruined the U.S. economy and I personally don't want to play a rigged game. It is laughable that there are so many willing slaves.
-M.J.A.

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on October 09, 2008 at 11:52 AM