If you know me at all, you should have an idea of how this post will go. Let me also say that if are a Windows fanatic without a open mind you need not read any further. Let me give you a little history about myself and my history. Today I’m not as directly involved with IT as I was in the past, and I have been exclusively Mac for about 2 years. Before that I had been a network administrator and a software developer in the Windows world mainly and some Linux. In fact Linux and open source software lead me to OS X. In my new position, I had a need to get a Windows tablet to run some of the software we use in production. Don’t tell my Mac friends, but it was a little exciting to check out Windows Vista.

Not much has seemed to change in the PC world. I called a friend of mine to ask what the cool tablet PC was and he recommended an ASUS, so I ordered it. It arrived last Friday and have been using it this week. The pen interface on the tablet is nice and Vista graphics have improved, but I find myself nagged by the same issues I had before I switched to OS X or Linux. Over the years, I have had around five or six notebooks running Windows and none of them have been able to suspend and resume correctly. All I want to do is be able to close the notebook and resume it later. I didn’t think that it would be that hard, but it seems to only work about 50% of the time. All I’m going to say is DRIVERS are a nightmare. Some knock Apple for its control over the hardware, but I know that it adds to stability and tighter integration between the hardware and software.

Vista has had some visual improvement, but under the covers it seems to be much the same. I have not had much trouble finding my way around and the newness went away very soon. Now it is just another tool in the production arsenal.

Vista Training

Vista TrainingIn case people didn’t know I am a man. I state this fact only to tell you that I don’t read manuals.  In previous posts I mention that we upgraded our lighting console to Jands Vista consoles.  One of the reasons that I picked the Vista T2 was that the on site training was included.  Well, this week Steve Irwin came out and did some training for the volunteers and myself.

As stated before, we chose the Vista because it was easy to use and much more familiar to computer users. That being said, it is also a very powerful and expandable lighting platform.  While I was doing pretty well handling the programming needs of regular services, I was glad to get some expert training.

The best part of the training was seeing the volunteers finally get why I was so excited about the Vista.  Both JT and Greg each had their moments when they saw things that excited them.  At first I thought that I would get the training and then teach the volunteers. I t was much better to have JT and Greg learn from Steve because they asked questions that I would not have due to their different experiences programming.  JT for instance does more concert style programming for student events; where I do more cue to cue style programming.  With Steve’s vast experience in lighting and programming, he was able to show us how we could use the Vista in both scenarios.

Just this week, I have already applied things from training that are making me a faster and better programmer.  Steve was able to train on the console, but also extended the training by giving many general programming tips along the way.  At the beginning of this week, I was wishing that training was not going to take two days out of my crazy week but at the end of the week, I’m glad that it did.