April 15, 2007

Silly enough to buy the latest technology

Follow-up to Retro Vista from George Riches: Complaints from a middle aged layabout

With 20 years professional experience with software, I should have known better.

A catalogue of the woes I’ve had with my first notebook:

  • For the first few days I focused on establishing internet and desktop-notebook connectivity. I then discovered a DVD entitled “Upgrade you Windows Vista Experience”. I ran it, expecting a few bug fixes. Instead after turning on the notebook The Windows Vista home Basic product key you typed in is invalid for activation appeared.
    Selecting “Access your computer with reduced functionality” allowed my browser to run, but no other application programs. At the bottom right-hand corner of the screen Windows Vista™ Build 6000 this copy of Windows is not genuine appeared. I tried activation by telephone – phoning 0800 018 8354. I had to enter 54 digits by touch tone before getting transferred to a robot with an American accent….... I did get it activated in the end.
  • Lotus 123 (Millennium edition) 9.0 won’t install – it works fine on XP.
  • Zonealarm won’t install
  • AVG Anti-spyware will install, but when it runs, The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142). Click OK to terminate the application always appears
  • It took me four hours to get DVD videos to play. When I put a video DVD into the drive, Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card appeared. Needless to say the problem was nothing to do with the video card. After upgrading the BIOS and installing the latest audio codec driver, DVD videos (and audio CDs) do play.
  • I had to install winhlp32.exe manually
  • I can’t associate more than one program with a filetype

Perhaps a local retailer would have been better than Dell. Dell seem to have a rigid attitude to technical support. After 30 days their policy is that “all non-hardware related issues, e.g. software questions, virus removal, etc.” will only be dealt with via their chargeable software support telephone service. As I didn’t discover the problem with the audio until 44 days after delivery, that’s not very customer-friendly to me. A local retailer might have been more flexible, giving free support as long as the total time taken wasn’t excessive.

So far I’ve spent 25 hours setting up my notebook. I’ve yet to get any use or pleasure from it.

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. a holder

    Agree lotus123 millenium will NOT install despite internet saying it should on 32bit system. Dell says system is 32bit but it has AMD64 chip??? Could that be reason- whatever it is v. annoying plse advise if fix is found-web search found nothing useful. Your comment was first and only item I found on this topic.
    AGV antivirus no problem. VISTA does its own anti spam OK.

    27 Apr 2007, 19:48

  2. I’ve given up trying to get Lotus 123 (Millennium edition) to install. I’m strongly considering moving over to OpenOfiice Calc – although I suspect its charting features are weaker. There’s an argument for migrating to open source to avoid problems arising from competing commercial providers.

    I’d like Zonelarm to work on Vista, as it focuses on malware coming over the Internet. Currently I’m using McAfee, although I suspect it has a tendency to routinely check all my files for viruses – useless processor time-wasting. I use google for anti-Spam as I think a network-based solution should be far more effective than one based within user equipment. A network node views far more messages than a user node so it should detect new Spam signatures far earlier.

    I’ve heard that some PC vendors are allowing business users to have XP on new machines (with an upgrade to Vista on user demand) rather than forcing them on to Vista.

    28 Apr 2007, 09:38

  3. It suddenly struck me that the error reported when I tried to install Lotus Smartsuite (“Error accessing the system registry”) might have something to do with the feature on Vista which attempts to prevent rogue programs installing themselves.

    Usually, when one attempts to install a program with Vista, a dialogue box appears on the screen asking for confirmation that the human user actually expected some software to be installed. But when I put my Lotus Smartsuite CD in the drive and clicked on autorun.exe, no such dialogue box appeared before “Error accessing the system registry” came up.

    So, thought I, perhaps if I clicked on the CD’s setup.exe instead, it might lead Vista to execute an alternative path, one that would ask me whether the attempt to install was ok rather than acting as if it were not.

    And it worked!

    Saves me either buying a newer version of Smartsuite or migrating to Open Source! I find the charting features in the current (2.2) version of the Open Office spreadsheet (“Calc”) much inferior to those in my 1998 version of Lotus 123.

    22 May 2007, 16:54

  4. a holder

    Excellent!!Many thanks. Why didn’t I think of that?

    24 May 2007, 20:56

  5. xerty

    George, you are a god.
    I actually tried OpenOffice, but really hated that there was no sections available in Write (or whatever their WordPro is called).
    So, I decided to try googling again and found this.
    I now have Lotus ME running on Vista without any problems (actually been running for about a month now after seeing this).
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Is all I can say.

    10 Oct 2007, 02:12

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