Dov,

It never seems that "thank you" is sufficient for what you contribute.

Shalom, 
Rene L. Stephenson



----- Original Message ----
From: Dov Isaacs <isa...@adobe.com>
To: Framers E-mail List <framers at frameusers.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 8:36:51 PM
Subject: FrameMaker on Windows - Issues Discussed Today

A number of issues associated with Windows have been discussed on this forum
today with relationship to FrameMaker on Windows, Windows itself, running
Windows on MacTel systems with either Bootcamp or Parallels, Vista, and Vista 
64.

I was somewhat otherwise occupied when those messages came in and couldn't reply
at the time, but now that I have a few minutes, I thought I would try to kill a
few stones with one bird, so to speak:

(1)     WRT/ running FrameMaker 8 (with all current updates) on Vista 64 ...
the system requirements for FrameMaker 8 are mute with regards to support
for 64-bit versions of Windows. It does not say we don't support Vista 64
or for that matter, XP 64. My main desktop system in my office is currently
a Dell Precision Workstation T5400 with dual Xeon 3 ghz quad core processors,
8 GB of main memory, 600 GB of 15000rpm SAS (serially attached SCSI) disk
storage, and a 30" Dell 3007 monitor (2560 x 1600 pixels). It is running
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with Service Pack 1. I have encountered no
problems running FrameMaker 8.0.4 in that environment that I would not have
encountered under Windows XP 32-bit. This is true with BOTH Acrobat Pro 8 and
Acrobat Pro Extended 9 (available soon to the public). In other words, not
only does "save as PDF" work under Vista 64-bit and Acrobat 8, but there are
no further compatibility problems with Acrobat 9!

Note that under Vista 64, FrameMaker runs as a 32-bit application. There is
absolutely no performance penalty for this (contrary to popular belief).
Although FrameMaker does not take advantage of any 64-bit optimizations
running in this mode, it does gain by (a) a full address space to run under
and (b) the system's ability to use much more real memory which results in
less paging operations to disk. This is especially important if when running
FrameMaker, you also have an e-mail window and few browser windows open and
perhaps are running Photoshop and/or Illustrator in parallel with FrameMaker.

(2)     WRT/ Vista itself, I neither own stock in Microsoft nor do I have any
love for their products, but I personally think that Vista has gotten a
bummer rap than it deserves. In having used Vista on two desktop systems
(one 32-bit and the other 64-bit) and one notebook system, I have generally
found it to be quite robust and if you know how to make appropriate system
adjustments (both to the user interface and the infamous UAC - turn it off),
it is really no more quirky than Windows XP, just different quirks! Many of
the complaints are coming from enterprise users:

        (a)     Too many promises of OS improvements were promised by Microsoft
        with Vista, but relatively few, except for security features, were 
actually
        delivered. Enterprise users were looking for sustentative improvements,
        not fluff. Features such as "Aero windows styles" and XPS have zilch 
value
        in terms of enterprise productivity.

        (b)     Enterprise users felt HAD by Microsoft's software maintenance
        program introduced at the time of Windows XP that required enterprise
        users to pay expensive maintenance fees every year for the right to
        upgrade to the next version of Windows and Office that were delayed
        several years beyond the point when expected.

        (c)     Many of the fixes in Service Pack 1, especially those related to
        performance and file copying performance, should have been made 
available
        at least six months earlier than they were. For that matter, those
        problems should not have made it out the door.

        (d)     The Vista Ultimate versions never delivered on Microsoft's 
promise
        of "extra goodies" available on a regular basis.

        (e)     Microsoft spent too much time pressuring peripheral makers on 
issues
        such as forcing XPS, Microsoft's "new" color management system, the new
        Microsoft image format, and Microsoft job tickets (none of which turned 
out
        to be relevant to the vast majority of Windows or Vista users) down 
their
        throats as opposed to simply providing Vista-compatible drivers. Thus, 
in
        many cases, new drivers, especially for non-PostScript printers and 
older
        scanners (and similar peripherals) were slow in coming if at all!

        (f)     Large enterprises are notoriously slow in changing their 
standard
        software configurations. Many such enterprises have only begun to no 
longer
        automatically load Windows 2000 on their computers, much less Vista. At 
Adobe
        we continually have to deal with large customers who are only beginning 
to
        migrate their corporate fleets from Acrobat 6.

Note that the popular press likes to "ride issues" that come up and without
anything else to either drool over or kick, Vista was indeed a convenient 
target.

(3)     Last Autumn, I had a nearly four year old IBM ThinkPad R50p (yup, it was
still IBM at that point) blow out that could no longer be repaired. Lenovo no 
longer
carried a 15" 1600x1200 dpi notebook so I had to look elsewhere. I did consider 
using
a MacBook Pro configured with both MacOS and Windows, but there were two major
problems - (a) I was used to IBM style keyboards and as much as I tried, I 
could not
get comfortable with the MacBook Pro's keyboard and (b) I would have needed a 
much
larger internal drive (7200 rpm of course) than was available at the time or 
even now
to support two distinct operating systems. I ended up evaluating and then 
buying an
HP Compaq 8710w notebook system. It is similarly configured to the high-end 
MacBook
Pro (17" screen, high speed / high capacity 7200 rpm drive) and 3 GB of memory 
as
well as sporting a BlueRay/DVD/CD player/burner (an exceptionally useful 
feature if
you have a 1920 x 1200 17" wide screen and want to watch hi-def movies on the 
road).
It also has a full numeric keypad which I always missed tremendously on my 
notebooks.
The system came with choice of XP or Vista. I took Vista (decided to live 
dangerously
as see what type of problems Adobe's users might encounter). Once I configured 
the
system to my liking (especially fixing the menus and Explorer to work more like
Windows 2000 than Vista although keeping the "Aero" theme as well as turning 
off the
UAC feature - the thing that keeps prompting you to approve certain allegedly 
dangerous
operations), I've been quite happy with that system. Very stable and high 
productivity
and those of you who may know something about me, I am exceptionally fussy 
about such
stuff. (Sarah, sorry to hear of your Vista problems. My experience in helping 
others
with Vista problems has been that their systems were underconfigured in terms of
hardware for proper Vista operation, software/OS misconfigured by the computer
vendor, and/or plagued by shovelware. Except for underconfigured hardware, I've
always been able to clean up such systems so that they run at least as well as
they would run under XP!)

(4)     What struck me, though, was the amount of "shovelware" that came with 
that HP
system and similarly with my Dell Workstation. It took me hours to uninstall 
and/or
delete many hundreds of megabytes of such crap. And this stuff appears whether 
you
choose XP or Vista for these systems? Why is it there? Certainly not to help 
you the
customer, but rather because PC vendors are PAID by the unit for including these
trial versions. They also get a "cut" of the proceeds if you ultimately 
activate or
buy the full versions of these programs. This is an exceptionally lucrative 
business
that can be almost if not more profitable than selling the computer without 
that stuff!

(5)     I'm not going to endorse any particular notebooks other to note that I 
have been
happy with my high end HP Compaq notebook and that from our experience, Lenovo 
has NOT
kept up the sterling reputation that IBM had with the ThinkPads. Dell notebook 
system
users that I know of have had mixed results - some great, some not as good.

(6)     In terms of going to a MacBook and supporting Windows via Boot Camp or 
parallels,
all is not perfect in that world either. We have had Macbook Pro users who have 
encountered
as many as three complete hard disk failures within a one year period. And if 
you think that
MacOS is perfection, take a gander at the Adobe User-to-User Macinstosh 
Creative Suite and
InDesign forums for issues associated with MacOS X 10.5.x operating system 
interface
compatibility with existing applications such as the Adobe Creative Suite 3. 
Apple diverted
quite significant resource from MacOS 10.5 development to iPhone development 
resulting in a
late and very buggy OS release. Careful what you lust after! BTW, 
comparably-configured
Macs and Windows-based systems have very similar performance profiles. Of 
course doing
such measurements require that you know how to run such tests and don't compare 
Apples
and asparagus.

Bottom line - FrameMaker 8 is fine with Vista 64, Acrobat 9, or both combined 
(and
yes, it works with the Vista 64 and Acrobat 8 combination as well! If you know 
what
you are doing in system setup and configuration, Vista isn't the bogeyman that 
many
think it is - but you'd better have a good robust system and know how to remove
shovelware and tightly reconfigure your system. And finally, Macs are nice, but 
they
have their issues as well! Careful what you drool over.

        - Dov
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