Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Vista Shuffle

Anyone who knows me knows that I detest Windows Vista. Yet I use it on my laptop because that's what it came with, and I need a Vista machine for testing compatibility.

Here's my latest gripe; I call it the Vista Shuffle.

We use a Windows VPN at NormSoft. Windows Vista has a new method of connecting to a network. When I'm traveling, I use WiFi or a Sprint mobile broadband card, so I have to go to the "Connect to a network" screen. I enable the Internet connection, and then I open the same screen to connect to the VPN.

Here's where the fun starts. About 50% of the time, next to the NormSoft VPN entry, Vista says, "This connection requires an active Internet connection", and the Connect button is grayed out. Well, I do have an active Internet connection (I'm posting to this blog, aren't I?). Typically if I disconnect my main connection and reconnect once or twice, the NormSoft VPN entry will eventually be enabled, and I can connect. But sometimes, like this morning, I can never get it to show up.

Even worse, sometimes the VPN entry becomes enabled for about 2 seconds. If you don't click on the Connect button in that short time window, you're SOL. Hence why I call this the Vista shuffle. (Imagine a heavily-drugged psychiatric ward patient shuffling down the street. That's how I feel.)