after fooling around with vista basic and mac os x, i’ve finally settled on 64-bit vista. it might not seem like a big deal, but a 64-bit version of windows makes quite a bit of a difference for me. this, however, is not necessarily a good thing.
what this really boils down to is whether or not you can find drivers for your hardware. for me, it’s been a mostly mixed bag. i cannot find 64-bit drivers for the touchpad made by dell. synaptics makes a driver, but there is no support for an emulated middle click. this absolutely kills me.
vmware server does not support a 64-bit OS. their paid product vmware workstation does, but man, server doesn’t. this was almost enough for me to give up 64-bit vista. but i really wanted to make use of all of the memory that i bought. paul told me to use virtual pc which does work…for the most part. video support for X doesn’t work out of the box, but it does install an OS.
trying to find 64-bit software is pretty difficult. firewall was one of the bigger challenges for me at first. my firewall of choice, zonealarm, does not produce a 64-bit version of their software. comodo firewall pro however does work and works fine for me. it’s better than the windows firewall, so i guess it’ll have to do.
antivirus support is still handled by avast, thankfully. it looks like avast uses a hybrid approach to scan for viruses, so a big part of the engine is still run in 32-bit mode. how much of a performance impact this is, i’m not sure. i haven’t noticed anything.
the bulk of the rest of my applications are still 32-bit though. everything seems to work for the most part. video drivers were manually updated from laptopvideo2go. that definitely made things more stable on the video front, but still the drivers are a little buggy from time to time. when vista first came out, i read an article that nvidia was responsible for nearly 25% of all vista crashes. crazy, huh?