One Last Computer Note
By Dwip January 28, 2009, 1:21 am Comments Off on One Last Computer Note RSS Feed for this post

One last brief commentary on computer upgrading, and then I swear to you I will talk to you about something that isn’t my computer – squirrels, or snow, or something. If you’re well and truly done with computing, go check out the lengthy political discussion at Samson’s blog.

For the rest of you, a couple observations.

1. So it turns out that all of my stability errors were pretty much due to the third RAM slot on my motherboard being bad, which was…bad. Switched everything out, works great. I am abreviating 3 hours of RAM testing here, which was actually kind of fun because of the oldschool ASCII interface and the blinking sequence of . / to make it seem like it was doing a * sort of move.

2. So I’m pretty well ok with Vista so far. It does the things I need it to do, and does them in a mostly non-annoying fashion, and it is shiny. There are two main exceptions to this:

– UAC, which is as I said annoying, although as I may have also said, it is somewhat harder to be annoyed when the picture you see is of a very sad and pensive kitten that really just needs a hug, but will tentatively settle for your administrator password. It may later want my credit card number, but we’re not that far in the relationship yet.

– Games Explorer, which is supposed to provide you with a one stop shop for all your games, giving you box art, version numbers, and all sorts of information, and may also make you waffles, all of which are fine ideas that I can get behind. The whole thing looks like this:

Looks fine and all, except when you realize that there are 27 games in that list. 10 of them are Windows games, the others are stuff I installed. What you don’t see are the other 15 or so games that didn’t show up, which is to say that autodetection and addition of games is spotty, to say the least, and very uneven – Morrowind made it, but Oblivion did not. Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault made it, Medal of Honor: Airborne, a newer game, did not.

Fortunately, you can add games manually, only there’s one problem – you can’t actually update any of the information, which is utterly beyond my comprehension. Fortunately, there exist workarounds, including a tool called Vista Games Explorer Editor, that allow you to fix that. Drag your shortcut into Games Explorer, run VGEE, go find your game on, download the box art, and manually edit everything. Short, but kind of onerous, and completely unnecessary, and there are a couple of things, such as ESRB, you just can’t touch.

Great idea, MS, but your implementation sucks.

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