Newsletter #138 - Feb 17, 2007
Vista - Using Other Apps - Part
So far my writings about Vista have
been about features included in the operating system such
as Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and DVD Maker. Now, with the rest of the
world having the final release version, I'm starting to install my
usual apps and see if and how well they work.
From what I read... mostly posts on newsgroups and
forums, one could easily conclude that the whole roll-out isn't going very well.
But I know from years of looking at posts that the far majority are
made by those with problems. The silent majority is too busy
enjoying the software to be posting.... maybe!!! There's really no way for
me to know.
One way to check it is to go to the community of users
who aren't posting individually, but collectively in a
When XP came out, wikis weren't around. Today
it may be the best way to gauge what software works on
I like wikis. I just started reading the book
'Wikinomics', and am getting involved in more and more wiki-type
things, TripAdvisor being one of them. Hopefully I'll have a wiki-like page
or segment on my website someday.
Here's a snapshot to the top of a
wiki page... the picture is also a link to the page itself. It's a long
and growing list from the community of users, sorting software
ones that work (42 in the video
those with problems, but they can be
solved or are minor and unsolved (one in the video editing section)
those currently with heavy problems
(5 in the video section)
42 of 48 video related apps
with a positive note gives Vista a rating of 88%
... here's the snapshot, and the link to the video
section in it... the section that lists the 42 apps that work
From the comment after it, Pinnacle seems to be out of place....
and up high in an alphabetical list??? Wiki's aren't perfect.
I've tried about 42 apps of my own so far... with 69% of them
working. The rest of the newsletter will be about them.
for a few notes...
I notched the stories
with animation up a bit more... to the level of playing the animated
segment at 10 pictures per second. Click the picture of the jellyfish
to see the 2 minute story.
Compare what you see to the
graph of the bitrate needed to play it smoothly. The average bitrate for the
video stream is only 150 Kbps (attribute at lower left), but the bitrate
for the jellyfish animation portion is up at the 4.4 Mbps level, the bitrate of
a video DVD... the file is about 20 MB, pretty big for a Photo Story of 2
I'm glad the limit for
pictures in a story is 300... this is pushing things to where it's more
efficient to use a movie codec than it is to use a story one. But it
makes for a great conversation piece when talking to anyone who
understands what you're talking about.
Vista has some
new tools to help you assess things. Here's one that fits with this
week's subject. Get to the Reliability Monitor by using Start
> Right click on Computer > Manage > System Tools >
Reliability and Performance > Monitoring Tools > Reliability
I'd been creeping up to a
reliability index of 9.45 (of a perfect 10) when I jogged
things pretty hard this week by throwing a bunch of apps at Vista to see
how they work. Here's the picture when I select my low point day
of Feb 13th.
It seems to bounce back pretty
good from anything I throw at it.
.... back to the main
the Software I
To be totally unfair about this wave of
testing, I went into my software library and used
whatever version I had last downloaded. I didn't go to
the websites to see if there was a newer version that works
Most of the things that I tried from my software
toolbox work as is. Here's my first rundown, 42 apps in alphabetical order. The
13 names in red didn't work
3gpToRawAvi - convert phone 3gp files to .avi -
- v0.9 doesn't work
Audacity - works
AviSynth - works
- convert Dolby AC-3 files to WAV... I don't need the tool in
Vista because Movie Maker handles Dolby AC-3 files without
- fails to start because MSVBVM50.DLL isn't found... as I don't
need Be Sweet, I don't need the wizard.
Check Codecs - works
Credit Maker -
v1.0a doesn't work
Dazzle80 - driver
installed successfully - it didn't show up in Movie Maker as a capture option,
but an S-Video connection let me capture the video track
using VirtualDub... but an attempt to capture both video and
audio resulted in my second total Windows crash (both having to
do with capturing audio).
DLL Explorer -
v3.0 gave an error message when registering the DLL... resulting in the
message 'class not registered'
Drum Roll - opens
but don't see or hear it
DVPlayer - doesn't
work... it's a utility to check that a computer can handle Pixel Shader
2.0... it also crashes when I open it on my XP system.
Find Text... a DOS based tool from the early days of Norton
Utilities - works
Font Viewer - works
GSpot - v2.60 RC01
opens but doesn't interact with codecs... this one I use a lot, so I
downloaded the latest version... same problem.
IconSaver - works
Illusionae - works
IfanView - works
LAME - audio MP3 encoder - works... tested with
LSMaker - works
Movie Maker 1 -
MP4Cam2AVI - works
MPEG Streamclip - needs QuickTime installed first, not
included in Vista.
Office Ultimate 2007 - works
Panasonic DV Codec - works
Paint.net - works
Painter X - works
Personal database - works
Photo Story 3 - doesn't work
Process Explorer - works
RadVideoTools - works
Render Soft VRLM Editor - works
Salamander - works
TMPGEnc - works
Total Commander - works
Transition Maker 2
- doesn't work. Currently we (Patrick Leabo and I) don't have plans
to make a Vista version
Tree Size - works in a very limited way, as access
restrictions prevent it getting info from protected folders
TweakPS - doesn't
VDubMod - works but crashes at times... but it does the same
Virtual Dub - works
WinDV - copy DV-AVI files from and to a DV camcorder via
firewire - works
WMMUtil - 0.4.3
Some apps didn't seem to install or work the first time... but
on a second attempt and forever afterwards they worked fine. I like it when
they go in that direction.
I had a funny experience with RadVideo
Tools. It installed, opened, and seemed to be working. But when I
pressed the 'Convert' button of the first test, the mouse cursor froze and the
conversion didn't start. I went as far as rebooting the computer... but the
cursor was still frozen. It's a cordless mouse and it turned out
the battery had died the instant I pressed the 'Convert' button.
In addition to some software not working, I've
had compatibility issues with discs.... a DVD made with MyDVD in XP can't
be read on my Vista system... in it's disc drive. But I reach across my
network to the disc drive on my XP laptop with no problems playing or using the
My home networking with Vista has been working great... I
use a Linksys router/switch with some computers hard-wired to it
and others connected wireless. Moving files to and from Vista is
Closing... and What's Next?
This is just the beginning for
Vista... too early for any conclusion... just reading posts and
other info, and testing my own system.
One of things coming up is the
MVP Summit at Microsoft in March. It'll be a good time to pickup on the
buzz about Vista at Microsoft. After Seattle, we'll stop in
Carmel, California on the way home for a little vacationing.
Have a great week!!