I have had a beneficial break from Windows lately.
Over the past few weeks, our development efforts have shifted toward a new platform, and I have to admit that I have been enjoying the relatively Vista-free existence. Being less accustomed to the new tools and libraries, there is more for me to learn. Ironically, though, it feels like I am being more productive, due to actually writing original code that is not (and cannot be) copied from other projects. Of course, there is plenty of porting, too, but the system independent stuff actually works with minimal modification.
During the month or so prior to this change, my days were spent doing lots of quality assurance on pieces of code for Windows Vista and then applying the tested alterations to each of our shipping products. The one new product was a replacement for a piece of software (from another company) that broke under Vista and was not expected to be updated. It was fulfilling to get each of those products completed and out the door, but I had also gotten my fill of dealing with Vista idiosyncrasies.
All of my primary communication software (and most of my development tools) are on Windows, but when programming for [the new platform], I do not need to use Windows at all. Last week, I only modified three (!) files on my main development hard drive (making backup almost pointless). On the other hand, I am also physically separated from my email, newsgroups (including the ASP and AISIP), and preferred browser. This means that I can be more productive in terms of programming, but at the cost of being more disconnected. This is why the frequency of blog posts here has fallen (and will stay depressed for a while).
As I started writing this, I realized that my two primary associations with the word “vista” are “horizon” and “sunset“. I guess that what Microsoft is subtly indicating is that Vista heralds the sunset of Windows dominance and we should now be looking for new horizons. I am there.