Got this today on my laptop, trying to find out about playlists in Audiograbber. Yikes...
The link goes to here, which basically says, "We've abandoned this format, and are trying to force developers to abandon it too." ...and then gives you a link to download the Windows Help executable if you're really desperate. I see a dialog box like this and I think to myself, "You're kidding, right?" Can you imagine your mom or grandmother hunting down the WinHlp.exe file, downloading it and installing to the right place, and then setting up (if needed) the appropriate file associations? What are these people thinking?
For this and many other reasons, I decided when I got my new laptop recently, to just run as my "main machine" Windows XP in VMware, alongside my been-solid-as-a-rock "dev box," also in VMware. Frankly, Vista is "pretty," but pretty isn't my primary objective when I'm choosing an operating system.
So, I've got a dual-core Vista laptop that bascially serves as a VMware host for two virtual Windows XP computers that I do most of my work in. It's worked fine, but comes at a cost, on the graphics front in particular; hardware-accelerated graphics in VMware is sketchy at best.
Given that last caveat, I've been thinking about either moving in more fully to Vista, or downgrading to Windows XP altogether. If I knew it could be clean, it would be an absolute no-brainer: I'd punt Vista in a heartbeat, because XP just works, and that's all I really want the darned thing to do. I'm obviously not alone in this.
Here's the catch: drivers, and hardware integration. More and more of the hardware seems to be getting increasingly integrated into OS directly -- in my case, even the laptop function-buttons (display brightness, wi-fi on/off, etc etc) appear to be integrated straight in to software. If I move to XP, do all these functions go belly-up? (As an aside, it's been two or three laptops back now since the volume knob was a straight analog volume control that acted directly on sound without going through software. I miss just being to turn the volume down without the delay of, now, Vista catching up and going "Oh, you want your volume changed?..." <sigh>). Will the drivers for my built-in webcam and card reader work? No idea.
So, it's a strange crossroads, and one without a really acceptable answer, IMO. I'll probably try the XP downgrade, chew up at least a whole day doing it, and see how it goes. That sounds like a lot of work, though, and not something I'm particularly eager to do. But, it seems like every time I think to myself, "Oh, I can probably make do with Vista.." -- (make do with Vista?... is that really what we're thinking about this "upgrade"?) -- I run into yet another little glitch like this one.
I think this article does a pretty good job or summarizing the situation.
Fahrni and Caetano both will say, I'm sure, "Get a Mac!" ...and, in terms of solid hardware/software integration, I think they've got a point (see the previous article link for more on that). But frankly, I have a Mac, and I've been surprisingly underwhelmed by it's user interface. It's biggest plus is that it's consistent, but I find myself missing many attributes of how Windows handles windows-within-windows, and the software I use on Windows is largely non-disposable to me. Running XP inside OS X is a zero-gainer from what I'm doing now.
Seems like it shouldn't be this complicated....