During my career in both teaching computers and also owning my own computer repair business, I have steered cleared from most computer user groups for several reasons. In my opinion, most people join computer user groups not only to sharpen their computer skills, but to try and lure someone to fix their system for free. Which is OK, unless you fix computers for a living and you like to eat. 🙂

But I was curious when I saw an announcement for a local computer users group meeting, which according to their web site has some 300 or so members. So I thought I would go just for a look-see. The folks in attendance numbered about 40 souls and most were friendly enough welcoming me to the meeting. I passed myself off as a novice computer user who had recently moved into the area.

The meeting started and after some preliminary discussions about about dues, a treasurers report and so forth, two guest speakers were presented to the group. The speakers were going to present their views on Vista, each taking either a pro or con stance on the new operating system. I thought to myself that this should be interesting not only to see how this would be presented to the group, but also why each speaker chose their position. For simplicity sake I’ll address each speaker as Mr. PRO who favored Vista and Mr. COM who did not.
Mr. PRO spoke first and used a visual aid which was the Vista desktop itself shown on a screen by a overhead projector. This was Mr. PRO’s own computer system which he was using for illustration purposes. The Vista program was Home Premium on a newer laptop system which I later determine was a dual-core with 1G of RAM. Mr. Pro had forgotten one thing. The system was not connected to the Internet so the sidebar with the gadgets wasn’t present and the system was struggling looking for a connection,which forced Mr. PRO to constantly be closing pop up alerts while he was speaking. Which prompted several questions on why it was doing what it was doing to which Mr. PRO wasn’t providing the correct answer. Poor Mr. PRO than suffered a lockup, which required a hard boot. Boot up took forever, again because the system was struggling to find a Internet connection, and with the hour glass spinning away, Mr. PRO was having trouble opening up anything from the Start menu.

To the casual observer this looked like Vista was a slow performer and to the delight of Mr. CON, was already proving his point. I over heard several people in front of me mention that they already didn’t like Vista and that this was the reason why.

Mr. CON spoke of the high hardware requirements, how slow Vista was, and basically the cons that most of us are familiar with. His last remark is that he suggested staying with XP. At the conclusion of his speech they had a Q&A session and I asked Mr. CON if he had used Vista before and what he was basing his expert experience on. He stated he based it on what he had read, had not used Vista, and didn’t need to use something to know how bad it was. OK. That seems like a intelligent way to address something.

What was interesting about the discussion concerning Vista was how adamant some people were in their opinion. I thought one lady was going to bust a blood vessel when she stated she wouldn’t use Vista no matter what. Calm down people. What would you rather have. Being forced to use Vista or being diagnosised with a terminal illness?

As I was driving home I thought about how the CON folks were spreading the anti-Vista word without even having tried the OS. It made me wonder how many others are doing the same thing.

Comments welcome.

[tags]vista, computer, users, group, pro,con, [/tags]