My First MS Vista Experience

I develop software for a living. That means that I’ve to ensure that said software work with Windows Vista, so when it got accessible I secured a copy, got it installed and started to move my development environment over to Vista. At first I was rather nervous, because the only report I could find about Borland Delphi 7 (no, the newer versions wasn’t supposed to be any better), was that it didn’t run in Vista.

So I install delphi anyway. Ignore the warnings and go through the process.

And it seems to work. Load a demo project and compile, and run and no problems. Well, actually not – Delphi installs the demo projects below the “program files” directory and by default no program has right to create new files down there, so when you compile, delphi can’t write the exe file. Go to c:\program files\borland\delphi\projects right client find security in the property panel and allow “users” to write and modify.

Install our development tools:

  • CygWin
  • Cmake
  • TortoiseSVN

No problems.

Run the automated building system.

Arg. It uses a file that’s unknown by Vista, so Vista asks if it should be allowed to run every time it’s run. Which is about 12 times. No, there isn’t a “allow this program to run in the future” checkbox. I can probably set it somewhere, but haven’t fund it yet. For now our build process is broken under Vista.

Installing components in Delphi went without any really issues.

Our programs does have a few issues. We try to write a file to the root of current drive, which isn’t allowed. I’ve to figure where/how to do this instead. We use a function called ideSN to get the serial number of the current hard drive – this function throws a “access denied” exception and returns a blank. Need to find a new way of getting the serial number.

Vista haven’t really given me anything new yet. Nothing has made me go “hey, cool, that’s worth several hundred $$$ to upgrade to”, but I have find some annoyances. Namely that Vista asks me about things all the time. It asks when you copy a file, when you run a program, whenever. Every time you do something that can in some way be the smallest of a security risk it asks “Are you sure?”. “Really?”

This is stupid. MS needs to find a more intelligent way to do this. This is a solution dreamed up by the legal department – it doesn’t solve the problem, but it absolves MS from all harm, as it places all the responsibility on the user to read all dialogue-boxes – and understand them. And we all know that it doesn’t work that way. The more dialogues you pop-up with questions, the less the user will read them. And a couple of questions every time the user tries to due the tiniest of tasks, and you’ll soon have them trained to ask “Yes”, “No” and “Ok” at the right times, with out them reading a single message.

Which pretty much ensure that they will miss that crucially important message, about selling their first born to Bill for working in the Code Mines of Redmond.

I’ve written a follow-up blog: More Vista Experiences

2 thoughts on “My First MS Vista Experience

  1. Till Eulenspiegel

    TortoiseSVN worked for you? Maybe I’ll give Vista another shot.

    I share your frustration with UAC, but it’s fairly easy to disable:

    I think (it was a while ago, so I’m not sure) that also made CrossCrypt drives work properly. If you have UAC turned on, trying to mount an image with filedisk.exe will result in an access denied error — no prompt. So it’s not only pointless and frustrating, it’s also broken. That might be the same problem as your serial number program; it needs to run as (the real) Administrator.

    I’d keep an eye on vLite (, which should eventually allow you to make Vista semi-usable by default.

    Personally, I have an NDIS driver and god knows what else to port to Vista. Fun stuff.

  2. Pingback: TC's blog » More Vista Experiences

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