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Author Topic: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?  (Read 29080 times)
Darwin
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« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2007, 05:49:52 PM »

fodder - in my (limited) experience, disabling the Aero GUI and the themes service and running Vista in classic mode does little to help the resource issue that you are referring to. Granted I gave up before tweaking the GUI beyond that (ie hadn't gone into the relevant diaologue to turn off the rest of the non-essential eye candy like animated wnidows and fading tooltips in and out, etc. but still... Found it to be unbearably slow given the notebook that it was running on (Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM and 128 MB dedicated video memory).
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2007, 05:50:57 PM »

Carol, I've brought this point up time and time again. WHAT DRM CRAP? The only DRM I've seen is for HD Content and playback over a video card which requires HDCP support. Other than that, I've not seen any DRM problems in vista.

I believe the term "DRM crap" covers the entire Vista infrastructure that's constantly prowling for violations.  Even if you never stick a copyrighted work in your DVD drive, it's got to run the gauntlet of checks and verifications imposed by the o/s.

THAT sucks.  THAT's crap.  It's a drag on resources, and assumes that all Vista customers are crooks even if you don't own any DVD movies.  It's a penalty all must bear because Microsoft wanted to make the entertainment industry happy.

So even if Vista works for you and works well, you're paying a price in wasted cpu cycles and bloated code for a "feature" you may never have used.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2007, 06:27:45 PM »

Yes but its all built into the Kernel along with all the other stuff that has been overlaid and is so annoying and resource hungry - OK perhaps its bad example and a cheap shot but I'll bet Windows 7 is even heavier on resources and more restrictive to end users. What about the restriction that if you change your memory or CPU you will probably have to buy a new copy 'cos they won't let you activate Vista on a second hardware system!
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2007, 06:30:13 PM »

Ah Carol, ever the optimist.  :-)

Actually 5 years late is probably optimistic if Vista is anything to go by. Who can remember all the whizzo stuff promised for Longhorn? How much of it has actually appeared in Vista?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 06:31:45 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2007, 06:44:49 PM »

Ah Carol, ever the optimist.  :-)

Actually 5 years late is probably optimistic if Vista is anything to go by. Who can remember all the whizzo stuff promised for Longhorn? How much of it has actually appeared in Vista?

It's ironic, but despite the smiley I never meant that to be ironic.  I think 5+ years is about right for the next version of Windows, assuming they attack the project with the same Army of Programmers methodology they used for Vista.

On the other hand, maybe they've had a wee bit of fear struck into their scaley, cold hearts.  Maybe there have been some "oh, shit!" meetings in Redmond and now they realize they have to do something, anything, to regain the fear of their customers... and not just the loathing.

So mmmmaybe (Ralf rummages around in his colon, *pop*) Windows 7 comes out in late 2009.
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f0dder
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« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2007, 06:47:31 PM »

Well, MS probably will fsck up Windows7, but the current design plans and status sounds good... stripping the kernel and having a very small one running already, etc. If only powerusers (and not just system builders / OEMs with a shitload of cash) were allowed to build really custom version, something like nlite on steroids. Would own.

www.tinykrnl.org / www.reactos.org aren't functional enough, and if they ever approach that, they'll be shut down. Bother.
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Darwin
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« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2007, 06:51:56 PM »

Quote
So mmmmaybe (Ralf rummages around in his colon, *pop*) Windows 7 comes out in late 2009.

Now there's an image to take with me to the dinner table!

 Grin
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2007, 07:26:01 AM »

Yes but its all built into the Kernel along with all the other stuff that has been overlaid and is so annoying and resource hungry - OK perhaps its bad example and a cheap shot but I'll bet Windows 7 is even heavier on resources and more restrictive to end users. What about the restriction that if you change your memory or CPU you will probably have to buy a new copy 'cos they won't let you activate Vista on a second hardware system!

Actually, I've changed out both on my current system WITH vista installed and have had no problems re-activating. I upgraded from 2 to 4GB of ram and my pentium D was upgraded as well due to a deal I saw online which made it worthwhile. And, from what I've seen, the DRM services only activate when Media player tries to play a protected disc. I can use Zoom player or VLC and play the same files without those services.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2007, 07:44:40 AM »

That's interesting because what you have done with hardware specifically contradicts what MS actually published when all the VISTA activation hoo-haa blew up. Maybe they have had second thoughts.

Did you actually have to reactivate or did it just not bother to ask when you restarted your system? Under XP swapping the CPU or memory didn't seem to force a reactivation - but they originally said this would promt VISTA.

Strange.

As for the DRM nonsense - as far as I understand it (and I'm probably wrong) I was under the impression it was running all the time checking all media/AV files for DRM before allowing you to play them - even when DRM was not involved, such as your own home movies recorded on a camcorder.
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Josh
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« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2007, 08:51:11 AM »

I have seen no drm related services running. The only ones that start occur when I startup WMP. VLC uses its own codecs and filters when playing back media. ZP uses custom third party codecs (ffdshow, xvid, etc). So no, there are no drm related services. Anyways, the DRM people complain about in Vista is related to HDCP and HD video playback. Not individual files (mp3, avi, etc).

I also did not have to reactivate after swapping my CPU. Perhaps its because I am running Vista Ult, I dont know. But I was never prompted to do so.
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« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2007, 09:02:36 AM »

Quote
Unnecessary CPU Resource Consumption
“Since [encryption] uses CPU cycles, an OEM may have to bump the speed grade on the CPU to maintain equivalent multimedia performance. This cost is passed on to purchasers of multimedia PCs” — ATI.

In order to prevent tampering with in-system communications, all communication flows have to be encrypted and/or authenticated. For example content sent to video devices has to be encrypted with AES-128. This requirement for cryptography extends beyond basic content encryption to encompass not just data flowing over various buses but also command and control data flowing between software components. For example communications between user-mode and kernel-mode components are authenticated with OMAC message authentication-code tags, at considerable cost to both ends of the connection
Quote
In order to prevent active attacks, device drivers are required to poll the underlying hardware every 30ms for digital outputs and every 150 ms for analog ones to ensure that everything appears kosher. This means that even with nothing else happening in the system, a mass of assorted drivers has to wake up thirty times a second just to ensure that… nothing continues to happen (commenting on this mechanism, Leo Laporte in his Security Now podcast with Steve Gibson calls Vista “an operating system that is insanely paranoid”)
Quote
An indication of the level of complexity added to the software can be seen by looking at a block diagram of Vista's Media Interoperability Gateway (MIG). Of the eleven components that make up the MIG, only two (the audio and video decoders) are actually used to render content. The remaining nine are used to apply content-protection measures.

http://www.cs.auckland.ac...t001/pubs/vista_cost.html

DRM is not a service, it is a fundamental rearchitecture of interprocess communication in a PC, from the drivers that have had to be recoded to be Vista-compatible to the motherboard and peripheral hardware.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 09:49:11 AM by nontroppo » Logged

justice
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« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2007, 09:09:53 AM »

It can be useful to remember that HDCP drm restrictions are not Microsoft fault but the standard behind HDCP who require such measures if one wants to play the appropriate hi-def movie. For example there has been / is still a hot debate going in the Linux  community because it was suggested the kernel needed DRM measures for this very same functionality. Unless I've been mistaken.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2007, 09:42:53 AM »

As Gutmann says:

Quote
“We were only following orders” has historically worked rather poorly as an excuse, and it doesn't work too well here either. This is just an example of the Dank defence. The Dank defence, as reported by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Grosso, was used by someone who was picked up carrying a shotgun in a park at night. With six previous violent crime convictions on his record, he explained his presence in the park by saying that a man called “Dank” had held a gun to his head and forced him to carry the shotgun. When the police turned up, “Dank ” ran away, leaving him holding the bag (or at least the shotgun). As the Assistant U.S. Attorney put it, “the jurors chose not to believe the defendant's story”. In Vista's case, we're being asked to believe that Hollywood is holding a gun to Microsoft's head and forcing them to cripple their flagship product and inflict all manner of pain on their business partners and customers, and Microsoft has no choice but to comply.

I choose not to believe the defendant's story.

If no software vendor implemented HDCP, another standard that didn't impose such radical changes would take its place.

Edit: And now the burden to comply for *nix and OSX is much higher as they will be forced into the feature parity game.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 09:51:36 AM by nontroppo » Logged

nontroppo
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« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2007, 10:31:36 AM »

Actually, by looking through Gutmann's slides (80 pages worth!), which are an update of his early report:

http://www.cypherpunks.to/~peter/vista.pdf

It looks as if Vista's DRM is slowly unravelling in several aspects, as well as an ever increasing list of HDCP workarounds. There are some fascinating tidbits there on the new set of security backdoors to the Vista kernel due to the signed driver model in x64 too.

Did anyone read about tilt bits? Just amazing. Gutmann shows how hardware vendors are basically faking their way around them to keep Vista happy.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 10:42:35 AM by nontroppo » Logged

justice
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« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2007, 10:41:31 AM »

Good point regarding HDCP.
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2007, 12:51:55 PM »

Everytime I read this stuff I just get angry all over again.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #66 on: November 27, 2007, 07:33:50 AM »

CNet's gadget arm have included, rightly or wrongly, Vista in its Top10 worst tech products of all time:

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/g...029552,49293700-10,00.htm
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« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2007, 07:46:15 PM »

For example there has been / is still a hot debate going in the Linux  community because it was suggested the kernel needed DRM measures for this very same functionality. Unless I've been mistaken.

It will not happen -- or if it does someone will fork the kernel and produce a version without all that DRM crap. Servers don't need it and many workstation/desktop/laptop users don't watch DVDs (let alone HD-DVDs) on their computer. (They have a TV for that. Bigger screen. More comfortable seating. Etc.) If there were a HD-DVD ready DRM-ed to the gills Linux kernel today, I doubt many would use it.  That's the beauty of open source, stuff like this can't be forced on those who have no use for it and do not want to pay the price in CPU cycles and RAM just to have it there.
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f0dder
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« Reply #68 on: November 30, 2007, 07:49:35 PM »

You can't do (the kind of) DRM (the media wants) in an open kernel, realistically, anyway. It needs all the obfuscation to be effective.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2007, 04:45:00 AM »

CNet's gadget arm have included, rightly or wrongly, Vista in its Top10 worst tech products of all time:

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/g...029552,49293700-10,00.htm

I really liked that page - I always wanted a Sinclair C5!
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« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2007, 10:34:17 AM »

Carol: me too!  Cool In the year 2048 we will all drive around in Sinclair C5's with HUD mount ZX-80s...

Quote
It will not happen -- or if it does someone will fork the kernel and produce a version without all that DRM crap.

Ah, I'd not thought this through. My big fear for OS X has been the eventual "upgrade" to DRMed OS X, but as the kernel is open-source I think hackers will simply build a fork we can use instead of the official kernel.

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« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2007, 02:53:25 PM »

There is a slim possibility that the whole DRM fracas will die down soon and the media companies will drop the whole thing in favor of some new approach.  Perhaps they will discover a sane way to license music and movies without treating the customers as crooks.

It happened with cassette audio tapes, and again with VHS in the 1970s.  For years they struggled to embed lockouts in tape machines to prevent users from illegally copying tapes, or recording from source.  That eventually stopped when the numbers came in and they paid attention: consumer recording actually ENHANCED interest in the licensed materials.

Maybe the wrinkly old bastards in charge will take a lesson from history and back off on DRM.
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Darwin
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« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2007, 05:29:12 PM »

It's funny - I often think about the advent of the audio cassette in the late '60s and the video tape in the mid to late 70's and wonder if there was this level of paranoia about piracy. I recorded songs off FM radio, entire albums off friends without a care in the world and didn't hear or read a peep about piracy when "I were a lad" in the 80's... Now you can't swing a dead chicken without worrying about DRM (well, CRM in that case...). I guess it's the perceived scale of the "problem" today?
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2007, 06:00:48 PM »

Quote
I often think about the advent of the audio cassette in the late '60s and the video tape in the mid to late 70's and wonder if there was this level of paranoia about piracy.

You betcha.
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Darwin
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« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2007, 06:15:08 PM »

Well, that settles that (scratches an old itch, so to speak). I suppose today's teens are just as blissfully unaware of/unmoved by the legality of swapping music. Some interesting reading, Ralf. Thanks. I liked the anecdote about the Dead Kennedy's tape that was released blank on one side, labelled: "Home taping is killing big business profits. We left this side blank so you can help" (even if most people didn't have the equipment to actually record anything on it).

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