99 Vista Bugs & Security Ain’t One of Em

As I talked about in my last post, there is a bit of publicity in the blogosphere around Vista and the idea of a forced startup sound. That post was triggered by a post 우리카지노 of Robert Scoble’s Blog and he just posted an update where he talks with Steve Ball from Microsoft who is in charge of the audio for such things. I recommend that you read this post before continuing on with my oppinions.

The question on my mind in my previous post was whats the big deal. This is answered by Steve Ball with the following statement:

“1. A spiritual side of the branding experience. A short, brief, positive confirmation that your machine is now conscious and ready to react. You can turn on your Vista machine, go eat some cereal, while your machine is cold booting and then this gentle sound will come out telling you that you can log in. You won’t need to wait for your machine to startup, he says.”

A confirmation that your machine is ready to go? I thought (or atleast this is how it is in XP) when the sound plays, you are just logging into your machine. The icons, startmenu, etc aren’t even on the screen yet. Not to mention if you have any programs set to auto-start when Windows boots. So, this sound does not, in fact, signify anything.

Go eat some cereal? You’re joking right? When I turn on my computer, that means that I have something I need to do on it. I don’t want to go “eat some cereal first”. How long is it going to take Vista to boot? Considering all the hardware it’s going to need, I guess there talking about people who install it on their current machines. Right?

“2. Volume control in a Windows machine is a wild west. A mess. The startup sound is designed to help you calibrate or fix something that got out of wack when you startup your machine. Let’s say you muted your machine, and you don’t hear your startup sound, you know you aren’t ready to listen to stuff. The Xbox has a hard-wired startup sound. There is one way to mute it: to turn down the speakers that are connected to your Xbox. Same will be true for Windows Vista.”

There is one statement in that quote that I totally agree with. “Volume control in windows is a mess”. Yea, you are totally right. So why use a sound file to help you “adjust” your volume and fix the volume management hassle that’s apparent in previous Windows products. Fix the problem, not give a quick fix. “Hard-wired start-up sound…one way to mute it: turn down speakers”. Maybe I don’t want to turn down my speakers. When I’m jamming to some Ozzy or Aerosmith, and my computer randomly restarts or crashes, I the crap scared out of me when its time for that sound file.

One last thing I want to mention is the last part of Robert’s post where he says they went on to talk about how sounds should be a part of a user’s Windows experience. Frankly, I dont care. The same thing in AIM used to bug me all the time, (Before I switched to the great Open Source GAIM application). I would have iTunes open, or I would be watching a video with the sound up, and every time I sent or received a message, I would hear the annoying ding. This is a little different because you had the option of turning it off, this will not be the case in Vista and tha

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