New Versions of Everything

So, there now seems to be a new version of everything under the sun coming out.

First of all, WordPress 2.1 is immediately available as of yesterday. I already updated. Though I can’t really notice much different, it does seem a lot faster when going to write a new post. It does have some new features (see full changelog here), but not really anything that will affect me (like spell check… Firefox 2.0 did that a while ago). It also lets you post things without a category, and let’s you set any page to the home page of the blog (so it will not necessarily show the latest posts). This is important for me, especially, since I use WordPress as the homepage of my overall site. I don’t know if I’ll ever use the feature, but it represents a powerful step forward… WordPress can now be considered a pretty decent content management system, aside from just a blogging engine.

They also changed how you make posts… now you view it in HTML (minus the BR and P tags). I don’t really mind this, except the new interface for adding links doesn’t give you any options (other than the URL). Previous versions let you “open link in new window” and put in a description of the link, features that I used. I am disappointed to see this, and hope they change it back. One other new feature that is pretty nice is the auto-saving of the post as you type. Now no more killing people when your 1500 word post is lost!

The next big update came today for PS3. Although still not listed on Sony’s official site for such things, Ars Technica has written about the new fixes. The largest thing is the alleged fix to backwards compatibility. Sony haters have taken every chance to point out that PS2 games look poor on PS3, and some even have bigger problems (such as audio glitches). The blog post states that the graphical problems have been almost completely fixed. They also note faster Playstation Store speeds, which is very good considering it was almost unusable. The Store is still rather lacking in the content department though (the same demos have been on there since day one, with few exceptions). I’m still hoping for a huge update to add the covetted Dashboard feature from 360. I don’t care if the haters call it copying… it is a feature that any console aiming to be a media center should have.

Finally, the largest of the three updates that I am bringing up in this post, is coming out January 30, 2007, which is less than a week away. It is the much anticipated and also much delayed update to Microsoft’s flagship product, the Windows operating system. The update of which I speak is Windows Vista, which will come out with myriad versions and likely require most users to upgrade their computers to fully enjoy it. I happen to be running Vista Ultimate already (and eventually plan to shift to Vista Enterprise when my 30-day trial runs out), and I’m enjoying it. The biggest set-backs are compatibility with my iPod and the fact that games don’t run too well. I am pretty sure the game issue is due to the beta, and thus not optimized, video card driver.

I’m excited about the launch because I know that Apple will soon roll out a Vista-compatible iTunes/iPod driver, and that ATI will hopefully upgrade their driver. When Vista goes mainstream, big developers (both hardware and software) are going to have to address it, which means all the shortcomings that I experience now will be gone. Though Vista isn’t revolutionary or necessary, it has some much-needed features that you shouldn’t be left without. While I still prefer Mac OSX (and look forward to Leopard on my future MacBook Pro), I’m a PC gamer and thus need Vista in order to experience the next-gen (Direct X 10… Crysis, anyone?).

That’s it for now. Once Vista is launched, I plan on updating everyone on whether or not the iPod issues are addressed. Also, I will make a brief write-up about Vista Enterprise once it comes to that. It is in some ways even better than Ultimate, minus the Media Center. Without a TV tuner, though, I won’t be missing the Media Center too much. As for PS3, I’m still waiting for the dashboard (and rumor has it that February will bring with it the location-free-esque Remote Play for PSP).