So today Vista finally hit the shelves. And I had the first bugreport from an eager user saying that The Longest Journey didn’t run on his newly upgraded PC. Welcome to the new world.
The past days, I’ve been working on getting the old game ready for Vista, and as a result, it’s installed on my work PC. Which means that I got past the “oh, shiny” impression of it, and got to see how useful it is as a work platform. Spoiler: I’m not impressed.
Stability is poor. I have a fairly recent PC (AMD 4200 dual-core w/ Nvidia 7900), and it has locked up several times, the GUI gets confused from mode switching (the Aero GUI disappears each time I start a game in Window mode). I’ve seen it drop to text mode, that black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left, several times before recovering. I had one BSOD and two further unexplained reboots. My onboard soundcard is unsupported.
These things may go away over time or with new hardware. What doesn’t go away though, are the new “security” features. I didn’t know this, but I’m a power user. Ignore for a second that Visual Studio 2003 does not work on Vista, and I had to upgrade to 2005, and install a service pack upgrade that is still in Beta to make it work; It warns me that I need to run it as an administrator now, when it used to be running fine as a restricted user.
And apparently, editing an ini file in a program folder that I installed myself is such a highly criminal act these days that notepad won’t even tell me what it is that I’m not allowed to do.
On top of this pile the fact that I even have to do this at all. Backwards compatibility has always been a strong point for Windows. I’ve been through every version of it since 1.0 and nothing of this sort has ever been required. Support for DOS games in XP was better than support for Windows games in Vista.