Why you should never buy a Creative sound card again…

Over the years (quite a number in my case), I have purchased a large number of Creative sound cards.  Generally, I went for the higher spec ones (AWE64 Gold with extra sugar, etc).  My last purchase was in January 2007 of an X-Fi Elite Pro.  Not a particularly cheap purchase, you’ll admit, at €360.

Shortly after that, I started testing Microsoft Windows Vista, and was pretty impressed except for the lack audio driver support.  I had to accept the statement from Creative that as Vista had not officially launched, they would not provide support it.  Fair enough, you say.  Once Vista launched though, I wanted my drivers.  I still want them.  Doesn’t look like I’ll get them from Creative though, and now it seems that Creative want to make sure that I don’t get them from anywhere else.

Daniel_K is a regular in the Creative support forums who has taken it upon himself to develop drivers which Creative can’t/won’t release.  He has helped a lot of people to get Creative hardware working on Vista, but now Creative want him to stop.

Creative have, in a thinly veiled threat, told him to cease and desist, or else…don’t-touch-my-IP-or-I’ll-break-your-legs-cuz-you’re-stopping-us-forcing-people-to-buy-new-cards type of thing.

You can read it all here (currently with 1,714 replies…and heading for a quarter of a million views), but suffice to say, I personally will never buy nor recommend that anyone else buys, Creative hardware, as they just want you to junk whatever you have and buy another piece of their unsupported kit.

Message to Daniel_K – Sound Blaster – Creative Labs


Windows Home Server RTM

Thanks to www.komplett.ie (and payment of course), I got my RTM copy of Windows Home Server yesterday and installed it last night.

I’m a happy bunny now that my RC copy won’t expire, and I can get access to all my music, photos, etc. anywhere in the world via my personal homeserver.com sub-domain.

This product is going to be HUGE, maybe not with the V1 we have now, but with the suggestions being posted to MS for future inclusion (media server with multiple TV cards feeding recorded TV to local PCs, etc), watch this space.

If only I could buy shares in Home Server…

Read all the features and FAQ

Good sites to visit on WHS are We Got Served and MSWHS

Saccharine and Subterfuge

I previously and shamelessly plugged Kidic, officially the NBT (next big thing).  I have to declare a vested interest here – I know Colin, the bass player (or Cono, as he now likes to be known).  They’ve got their first single, “Holding Doors For Strangers” coming out on May 18th, and their new album “Rhetoric” is out in July.  Anyways, they’ll be playing the following dates around Ireland:

«——The “Holding Doors” Tour——-»

April/May 2007
28/4 Kilkenny, Morriseys
4/5 Cork, An Cruiscin Lan
12/5 Dublin, Tower Records In Store (1.30pm)
12/5 Drogheda, McHugh’s
18/5 Dublin, Whelans
19/5 Mullingar, The Stables
25/5 Waterford, Electric Avenue

«——The “Rhetoric” Tour——-»

July 2007
13/7 Dublin, Crawdaddy

If you haven’t heard it anywhere else before now, you heard it here first!

Kudos to Microsoft

I love it when a plan comes together.

After a very long beta program, Vista (as I’m sure you’re aware) has gone RTM and retail offerings are imminent.  As a special “thank you” to official beta testers, Microsoft has offered a free (that’s £0.00, $0.00, or €0.00) copy of Vista Business or Ultimate to all testers who submitted at least one bug through the Microsoft bug tracker application.  I thought we’d get a mug, cap, mouse-mat, mug-warmer or the like if we were lucky, but it’s unheard of to get a full licenced OS product.  If we’d received Vista Home Basic, I would have been impressed enough.  Here’s the speil:


“We would like to take a moment to thank you for your contribution to Microsoft Windows Vista. Quite simply, it would not be the product it is today without your time, dedication and thoughtful feedback. You should be proud to have helped us develop the highest quality, most secure and most reliable Windows to date. To say “thank you” we would like to provide you with a complimentary copy of Windows Vista for your use.
Please visit >> removed << to accept your copy.
If for some reason you are unable to accept this gift you may decline by clicking “Decline Invitation” on the “My Participation” page on Connect.
We would like to offer you a copy of the software and a product key for Windows Vista Business Edition or, if you are eligible Ultimate Edition. You are eligible to choose Ultimate Edition if the machine on which you intend to install Windows Vista already has a DVD drive and is currently licensed for DVD playback, i.e., you have already licensed one or more pieces of software for playing back DVDs

  • This is a full retail copy intended for your personal use and not for resale.
  • It is being offered as a download only. No media will be mailed.
  • Only currently active, invited members of the Windows Vista technical beta program who filed at least one bug are receiving this offer.
  • Please visit >> removed << to accept this offer and indicate your preference for Business or Ultimate editions.
  • After accepting the offer terms you will be immediately be given access to download the software.
  • You may install and use the edition you chose for 30 days without a product key. Simply click ‘next’ at the product key prompt during setup, continue on and choose the appropriate edition from the list. You will be able to enter your product key at the activation prompt at a later time.
  • We will email you when your product key is available for retrieval on Connect. In general this should happen within one week of your acceptance of the terms.

Again, we thank you for all your contributions during the beta!!
Thank you,
The Windows Beta Team”


Way to go Microsoft!!!

It’s Hammer Time…

Well, Longhorn…sorry, Vista Time.  Jim Allchin finally posted the announcement ending five years of development to the Vista Blog.  Build 6000.16386 has gone gold (RTM, Released to Manufacturing).  Microsoft expects to have 18 languages at the January launch, and 32 within 100 days of English RTM.

No sign of RTM on MSDN yet, but Saturday is looking promising.  According to the MSDN Downloads page, “Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be available through MSDN Subscriber downloads within 7 days of release to manufacture”.  Still no word if/when it will appear on Connect.

Well done to Microsoft on reaching this goal.