Monday, December 31, 2007

Fixing yet another problem in Vista on the iMac

I know I said I wasn't wasting any more of my precious time fixing crap in Vista... but about once a day, Vista blue screens on me while playing my game, requiring a complete reboot. It's annoying.

Googling led me to the problem and the solution.

Note: This applies to the 2.4GHz 20" iMac with the 256MB video card, and Vista 32-bit.

Vista incorrectly detects the installed video card as the ATI Radeon Mobility HD 2600 XT. It should be the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro.

Fixing the problem involves downloading the correct driver from ATI's web site and manually forcing Vista to use it (despite it's freak-out warnings that it can't verify it's the correct driver for your hardware). Relax, Vista. It's the correct driver.

Problem solved. No more crashes.

I found full instructions in an Apple support forum discussion on the topic. Be sure to get the latest ATI drivers. (The one I used wasn't the same as the one mentioned in that conversation - the current version as of this writing is 7.12. The process described, however, worked perfectly substituting the latest drivers).

Another reason why Vista sucks vs Leopard

I've come across another reason why I'm the happiest clam alive to be using Macs with Leopard instead of PC's with Vista (or any other Windows operating system).

A few weeks ago, I upgraded my 20" iMac to 4GB of RAM (see my "taste the kool-aid" joy).

My iMac dual-boots Vista so that I can play some games that are not compatible with OS X (the only thing left in my life that requires me to touch a Windows box).

Today, I just happened to notice when I booted into Windows to play my game that Vista is only seeing 3GB of my 4GB of RAM. Wha???? I know that OS X Leopard is seeing all of my RAM and splashing around blissfully in it. What's up with Vista?

Googling revealed much discussion - and confusion - on the topic. Like everything else, it seems that Microsoft's claims of Vista's RAM capabilities come with small print disclaimers attached.

Microsoft's official claim is that 32-bit versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate support 4GB of RAM. I've got the 32-bit version of Vista Business. Why does my System panel say: Memory (RAM): 3054 MB

3054? What kind of number IS that, even? My Computer shows it abbreviated as 2.98 GB. I know there's some integrated video memory going on here, but come on! The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT video card in this iMac is 256MB. Where's the rest of my 4th gig of RAM?

Shared video RAM aside, where has the rest gone? I found a snippet on the topic at Vista Clues:

...a high performance x86-based computer may allocate 512 MB to more than 1 GB for the PCI memory address range before any RAM (physical user memory) addresses are allocated.

I found all sorts of things about a 3GB switch in Windows to allow applications to access more than the default 2GB of RAM, yada yada yada.

As I read through tweaking guides, I stopped and thought to myself, What am I doing? I don't want to have to fiddle with my machines to get them to work properly with the hardware installed in them! THAT'S WHY I SWITCHED TO MAC!!!

A big ol' Up Yours to Windows. I'm not going to try and figure out how to get you to see my full 4GB of RAM. I'm not wasting my time with you. You only exist in my life for entertainment purposes anyway, and I'll live with the 3GB of RAM that your dumb OS is able to see. My time is too valuable to spend trying to make you work the way you SHOULD work out of the box!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Best 12 Days of Christmas I've Ever Seen!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Giggity Goo!

Feel the power.... Taste the Kool Aid....

My iMac