Vista Headaches

My notebook is well overdue for a reformat -> reinstall operation, as Windows PCs typically are after a year or so.  Right around the time I decided to get cracking, we received our Microsoft Action Pack subscription with Office 2007 and Vista, so the planets seemed to align just fine. My approach this time around was to buy two new hard drives for my notebook, such that I could copy all my data from my WinXP drives over to my home FreeNAS server, install the new drives, install applications and then copy everything over.  This would allow me to go back if necessary and avoid having to commit to Vista if there were significant problems.

For the past couple weekends, I've been copying data and taking an inventory of applications that I need on my machine.  All my data is fine, but I've been having trouble finding the time to install applications and troubleshoot problems.

For instance, I can't get Vista to cooperate with my BlackBerry, and I've resigned myself to not having calendar-synching capabilities until someone gets around to making the BlackBerry desktop compatible with Vista and Office 2007.  I've also had problems getting Office 2007 under Vista to import my e-mail from Office 2007 Beta under WinXP Pro.  I'm very nervous about whether or not Vista will cooperate with iTunes and my iPod as well.

Meanwhile, there are a number of helper applications that are tough for me to live without.  I haven't tried installing Cloudmark on the new install of Outlook 2007 yet, which is something I absolutely have to have if I want to keep spam from dominating my inbox.  Photoshop seems to run fine.  The Swiff Point Player, which I've used for a while to embed Flash content in PowerPoint presentations seems to not be compatible with PowerPoint 2007.  Firefox runs fine.  I've got my fingers crossed on Norton.

I thought that after I spent some time yesterday, I could leave my XP drives at home and bring Vista to the office.  Unfortunately, I've still got e-mail problems and I'm not yet 100% comfortable with Vista yet.  So I'm here with my old, slow installation of XP Pro until I can get things working the way I want.

Here's another annoying thing.  Vista has a great gadget that scrolls RSS feeds on the desktop, which is something I'd want to give me the latest marketing news.  Can I import feeds directly from my Sage plugin for Firefox?  No. It seems the only way to get feeds displaying within this gadget is to mosey on over to whatever website publishes the feed I like with IE and add the feed to my favorites.  From there, I can select the feeds to display within the gadget.  That's highly annoying, considering I use Firefox for just about everything.  Notable exceptions to that rule include accessing the Atlas suite (which doesn't work with Firefox) and getting to certain FTP sites (because I'm too lazy to download a real FTP client).  It would be nice if Microsoft gave us an easy way to import feeds from other applications, even if it was as simple as copying and pasting the feed addresses into a web interface or something like that.

One thing's for certain, when I have the Vista drives installed and I'm downloading/installing applications, things are lightning quick.  I can't wait to get everything set up the way I like it, if for no other reason than I'd like to get some speed back.