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Logitech Orbit Camera, AOL Instant Messenger, Outlook 2007 Vista Quirks

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-02-2007

I started using Vista during my work day now since I recently got a new laptop from work.  There are a few quirks that I’ve ran into.  Only one major road block and that is because of hardware driver support.  More on that in a bit.

The first application  up is Outlook 2007.  Before I go on, let me say that not everyone will have a quirk with Outlook 2007 because my quirk is caused by a vendor not supplying Outlook 2007 updates.  For those of us at work running Outlook 2007 there is a work around, however, this blows my mind that a vendor has known about Outlook 2007 coming for years.  There have been multiple beta releases, CTPs, and other announcements.  Heck, we saw the first glimpse of Outlook 2007 at PDC in 2005!  Why a vendor can’t be “ready” for a new product with 2 years of notice is beyond me.  It isn’t like Microsoft treats their ISVs and employees like Apple does by withholding information.  Microsoft communicates what is coming, the migration paths that need to be taken and so on.  By the way, this vendor’s plugin still relies on old ASP so I can’t say that I’m surprised they aren’t ready for 2007. 

QuickCam OrbitMy biggest stumbling block to this date running Vista has been my Logitech Orbit camera not having Vista drivers.  This camera is expensive ($129) and I use it for work purposes all the time to video conference.  This is yet another case of a vendor that needs to get off their rockers and step up.  The weird thing is they have drivers for the Logitech Orbit MP model which I don’t have.  I called tech support to complain and the tech guy said it was “on the way” but didn’t know when.  Reading their documentation it *really* seems they aren’t even going to support the model I have.  I understand they want to sell more cameras but this is the wrong way to go about it.  Release the driver Logitech or I’m not buying another product of yours for the rest of my life. 

Other than these quirks I’m chugging right along using Vista on a day to day basis.  I find myself staring at the weather sidebar gadget throughout the day.  It saves me from turning around and looking out my window.  Now that is a productivity increase! 🙂  But the main application that doesn’t “feel” like it belongs on my machine is AOL Instant Messenger on Vista (AIM). 

I have a plethora of people on my buddy list.  Tons of co-workers and friends.  Mainly I chat with co-workers during the day that aren’t running our internal company chat for whatever reason (although this is slowing changing).  My first quirk with AIM is the application will not stay in the task tray so I can easily open it when I need to chat with someone.  Just to prove I’m not crazy here’s a shot of my current task tray:

I’ve gone through every possible menu in the application and don’t see an option to minimize to system tray.  I know it was there on previous versions, but I don’t see it.  Hopefully someone will write in and say, it’s over here dummy!

The application is running though.  Look at task manager and see that it is in fact running:

The other thing that drives me nuts is the slowness and response of AIM on Vista.  Here are some weird quirky issues with AIM that I’ve noticed:

  • The colors they use don’t give you a clear idea where the menu is or the top bar of a window is.  If you want to drag the window around, I find that I have to click multiple times to drag it.  This makes overall response seem slow.
  • I highlight text to copy and it feels like I’m running a 486 PC.  Literally the application will eat up 25% of both processors just to highly text.  Other apps don’t do this and actually respond really fast.  Why this one appears to be so slow I don’t know. 
  • Of course I already mentioned the task tray issue but I’m keeping this on the list.
  • Closing windows takes two clicks it seems.  It is weird to explain but when I go to close a window with X in the corner, I have to click it twice.
  • Lastly, why does AIM feel compelled to launch Internet explorer every time it launches?  I hate this.  This reason alone will force me to uninstall it and abandon AIM for ever.

Just an FYI, I would have installed Trillian as my AIM client but reading some discussions things are not working yet with that product in Vista.  To be honest, I’m not that big of a fan of Trillian either.  I don’t like their interface and trillian seems slow to me.  The video, voice, etc isn’t compatible with the other clients.  Even though they do offer secure chat it only works with other Trillian users.  I’ve found the best way to run a chat client is to run the one they built for it.  Otherwise, you are going to miss a lot of features.   Which of course leaves you running three seperate apps.  In the end, I may just stick with Yahoo! and MSN since those two allow you to share contacts.

Comments (1)

Oh thanks, i appriciate that

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