Sunday, August 31, 2008

Windows Vista: Program Files x86... wtf mate?

Ok, so everyone "knows" Vista is the next version of Windows ME... which was just plain awful. Gates is tying to put a positive spin on it using the Mojave Experiment ads, which I found a hilarious outtake version.

The Basement recently made some upgrades and switched over to Vista 64 bit. Initially, I was a bit frustrated trying to find where things were. Enough was changed that it is going to take awhile to relocate everything. Its not a huge deal tho... whether or not its for the better I am not sure, only time will tell.

My only real beef so far is the multiple program file folders. The second one being called "Program Files (x86)". At glance I had no clue. I was like WTF mate? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

It only takes a second to search around to find out that the x86 is for 32bit programs and the regular folder is for 64bit programs. And then with a little digging you can figure out their reasoning behind this here. I was somewhat relieved to find out there was a reason behind this, but seriously, how many people are going to take the time to understand this?

1. Why does there need to be two folders in the first place? (Possibly so you can install 2 versions of one program, but still I think you could do that within that software's folder instead).
2. Most people don't know the different between 32 and 64, they just use the computer that is given to them. How are they supposed to know where to install or find programs? It definitely is not intuitive.
3. The people that do have some understanding of the two different systems seem to mainly refer to them as 32 and 64, why not use those numbers instead of the more obscure x86?

So far I am one for one. One Day of using Vista... One Blog Rant. We'll see if that becomes a trend of if they will finally win me over.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm confused by this and I consider myself an intermediate user. My CPU is 64-bit, but an IT friend said to use 32-bit, less problems. I did a clean install of Vista and suddenly I have 3 program file folders: program files, program files x86 and program files x86 (x86). Why three? Which one should I "keep?"

Ickydime said...

3? That seems odd. Have not run into that before. Sorry mate.

Anonymous said...

clean out your drive and try again (format it)
i was soo pissed off when i installed vista ultimate x64 and saw the x86 program files

Ickydime said...

You mean you were pissed when you saw the 3rd Program files folder? Because you are supposed to have 2 w/ 64bit...

july7nyc said...

I realize you wrote this blog entry like a year ago, but when I searched for the x86, this is what came up and so I will continue the ranting. I HATE Vista so far. (This after one day.) HATE, HATE, HATE! I KNEW I would hate it, but you can't get XP on new computers and I was assured Vista is not as glitchy and problematic as rumored to be... Yeah, right. First of all, I like to know where my folders are and what is in them. Trying to set the folder view settings, rearranging things, getting rid of the "Favorite Links" panel, trying to figure out how to restore useful tasks like "Move to/Copy to", and organizing my goddamn program files is what I have spent the past 2 days doing instead of enjoying the computer! That and I STILL can't figure out the logic behind Vista. I want my XP back. I want the logic and order that came with it. I want to be able to go "up" and not just "back" and I want my delete, copy, paste, cut, and red check for properties icons back in the folder views. I want my status bar all the time. I DON'T want my initials as "My Documents" folder. I want "My Documents" folder back. I want to be able to open C:/ and know what the hell I'm looking at. I don't like this, not at all. I want all my program files in ONE PLACE!!

Ickydime said...

I think it just takes time and customization. There is definitely a learning curve, which is a put off. But on the flip side, you can turn most features on/off and make it your own. Plenty of ways to make shortcuts.

Now that I have been using Vista for awhile and I have XP at home, I am more used to Vista, at least for daily tasks. When on XP I find myself missing some of the Vista features and shortcuts.

However, I still find myself running across things in Vista that are foreign. I definitely agree that they seemed to have scrambled and changed a lot more of the interface and folder structure than they needed to.

SpottedLop said...

I have been unable to successfully complete installs in the (x86) folder, so I just install everything to the Program Files folder. Nothing more frustrating than having a huge game disk installed only to have it say at the end it can't complete. The problem is it creates a folder with a temporary name during the install then renames it when the install is complete. It fails on the rename in (x86).

Vista is terrible. I am really saavy at new OS's and programs and I'm having a lot of difficulty. It is not intuitive or user friendly. I can't imagine an average user getting this to work, but then those are the people that aren't trying to tweak settings so much.

Anonymous said...

Funny my Vista x64 never does that,
first thing first, why are you installing games on the windows partition. They should reside on a seperate partition or somwhere not intermied with windows itself.

Program Folders are for programes not games they are linked in with the core Windows itself.

onto having 2 folders i agree it's dumb having both a 32bit and 64bit install when if you try to isntall a 32bit software on a 64bit OS it won't let you cause it's not 64bit, yet when you install programmes that are 64bit they 9/10 times default to the into programes x86 folder. Yes that makes sense

anyway its a mute point soon, casue XP has run it's course and is slowly on it's way out. Vista will hang around til WIndows 7 fails miserably or succeds from where XP left off. and as for 32 bit vs 64bit. Time for developers to stop stuffing around and start making compatible drivers etc.

32bit aint around for long and only reason it's more stable is most developers haven't written software/drivers that actually work yet.

64bit supports heaps more memory, better security, faster CPU transmission under the right circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Sure, developers can play .. but what about the senior home users, the secretaries, the housewives, and all those who learn by rote and don't understand what's going on?

I don't think MS cares about their users ... they have such a monopoly they don't have to!

No user should have to go thru a 2 or three day learning curve just because they bought a newer, faster computer! And now we don't even get printed manuals we can read ... or not read ... which I guess is why we don't get them any more.

New capabilites can be a good thing, but why should all the things that use to work, not work now? Computers don't have to be intuitive (but that would be nice), but how about providing some migration "hints" where stuff use to be - so I can quickly find where it is now? duh! ... most software engineers don't know everyday users, so they don't think of the obvious.

Unfortunately, this kind of attitude could possibly lead to Government intervention, and then eveyone will be screwed!

hairboy said...

I'm hating the "background" windows that wants to re-confirm everything I do...imagine this going on in some other field other than software:

Consumer: Hello Mr chicken-wire manufacturer. I have a problem. The holes in your wire are too large and they let my chickens through.
Chicken-wire Manufacturer: Thanks for your feedback. We'll look into it.
-----months pass-----
Chicken-wire manufacturer: We've been working on solutions for your issue with the escaping chickens.
Consumer: Excellent....cos this is getting ridiculous. I have security problems everywhere. So what's the solution?
Chicken-wire manufacturer: OK, so what we've come up with is this. We're not going to change the holes in the wire at all.
Consumer: What?
Chicken-wire manufacturer: No. And here's the brilliant part. What we're gonna do is keep the same old wire and holes, and everytime people buy chickenwire we're going to insist that they buy twice as much, and twice as many fenceposts, and then simply have two fences one behind the other which are independent and slightly offset from each other. Chickens will have a much harder time trying to get out that way cos they'll have to figure how to step sideways once they pass the first fence.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure what the Beef here is.

You have two program files folders by design. This is not a Vista Mechanism. This is a Windows x64Mechanism.

Also, I have no idea what people have against vista. I have been using it on all my PC's since 2007. It isnt bad if you have the hardware to run it.

Anonymous said...

Well i too have a third folder (thanks to lexmark's online driver downloads) program files (x86) (x86) and wouldn't you know its protected so i cant get rid of the damn thing any way to bypass that and get rid of the thing?

Real4xor said...

I have absolutely no idea why it has 2 folders, but then again, I also have absolutely no idea what program actually supports 64 bit.
I haven`t seen anything go to the 64-bit program files so far...

-.- so ummm... what can I actually run on 64 bit? nothing? everything still simulating 32 bits? well, then all that`s improved is the windows desktop I guess...

And whatever happend to a simple option called "compatability mode"? I mean, isn`t that easier to switch on or off than making 2 diffrent program file folders?