Vista Beta 2, Mac OS X, and X Windows XGL

Ok, I’ve been trying out the new stuff.

Vista Beta 2

Mark J installed Vista Beta 2 on a desktop near him at work. Sweet! I checked out their progress. This release, IMHO, is getting much closer to production. Things are much snappier with the UI. According to the IHT, Ballmer said Microsoft was “on track” for the scheduled general release of Windows Vista in January. After seeing this BETA, I can see this happening.

So, overall… Vista’s UI is a nice refresh (DirectX rendering, bigger icons, etc.) I still wish they would make a better shell and compatability environment for Unix people. The CMD.exe shell and the lack of the ability to use ‘/’ is very annoying. Will I install it when it is ready? Yep. (It will be ‘ready’, next June/July when SP1 comes out.)

apple dashboard Mac OS X has been my desktop for the last 6 months. Either between my Mini or the Mac Book Pro that I have from work. What can I say about it? It’s solid. It looks good. It has very few issues (there are issues, though). I see myself also running this system for the forseable future. (Note, I use Apple’s dashboard a lot)

XGL

X Windows XGL. Wow! Ethan, has been telling me to check this out (Note, of course, he never checked it out himself 🙂 ) So after chatting with him about this today, we decided to give it a shot. After much typical Linux driver crap and flakery, I got it to work (Kororaa distro)… and it looks NICE! They have done things with XGL that the other systems (Win/Mac) have not. This is cool… I love competition. They also got the keyboard shortcuts right! If you want to see what I’m raving about, go search for XGL on youtube. More on this. The redraws finally don’t tear! On ubuntu, the fonts look nice! Of course, they all use firefox. Soon, Linux will have Xen built in as well. Will I install in the future? If I need a linux box with graphics… absolutely. Once XGL solidifies a bit (3 months)… I will try it on my spare Athlon box here at home. Yes, after this (XGL), the free Unix’s finally got some cred.

But what is going on here? Ah, this is all just the slow progression of 3D into our lives. The ‘operating systems’ out there are slowly but surely catching up with the game programs and giving everybody some good eye candy. People have talked about this, and it is finally becoming a reality. I mean, our computers can finally look like the screens that the hackers have in the movies! 🙂 I welcome it.

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