Saturday, May 2, 2009

Windows Vista x64 and other software don't mix

Last September our apartment was burglarized. Among the items stolen was my wife's Toshiba Satellite PC. Since we had been quite satisfied with the Toshiba (It was good -- for a PC. I'm a Mac user myself) we bought another Toshiba. But this one had a 64 bit processor and came preloaded with Windows Vista x64.

We have a Canon printer/scanner/fax that we love. So naturally it was one of the first devices I wanted to get working with the new computer. On Canon's web site I found a driver for the printer, but the scanner toolbox wasn't available for Vista x64. I contacted Canon and they had no idea when or if one would be available. After sending them a somewhat sharply worded email I got a promise to bounce my request up to a higher level, but so far nothing has come of this.

Other software that doesn't work with x64 includes Palm Desktop and the driver for Belkin's USB Bluetooth adapter. This is particularly annoying because Palm states on their website that Palm Desktop isn't available for Windows X64, "but some users may be able to synchronize using Bluetooth"

I wouldn't be so steamed about this if the Canon was old, but we bought it in 2007. If I wanted to play the blame game, I'm sure Microsoft, Toshiba and Canon/Palm/Belkin would all point the finger at one another. But my vote goes for Canon, Palm and Belkin. Vista x64 has been on the market for some time now. Canon, Palm and Belkin have had ample time to write drivers.

I have been a Macintosh user for 20 years, and never have I had problems like this with new architectures. I started out with the Motorola 68xxx version, moved to the PowerPC version and finally to the Intel version (which can run Windows, and seems to run Windows with fewer glitches than a PC) and never had these kinds of problems.

My advice: stick to 32 bit versions of Windows, or, better yet: Get a Mac.

No comments: