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Wilcox: Living With, Loving and Dealing With Windows Vista

Last week, Vista and I started living together again, and Tiger moved into an apartment across the hall. I like Vista, but she's sometimes a tough companion.

Tiger and Vista are both attractive, but my new roomie is just so much more pleasing to look at — and she likes to do fun stuff that's quite different from the cat woman. Over the weekend we did the Vongo together and hung out at the Yahoo Music club. Tiger wouldn't do either.

Vista also is much more social. She loves to nudge her friends and hang out at social clubs MySpace and Live Spaces. She's quite particular about her social calendar, too.

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Tiger is staying close, just across the hall, because she's hoping I'll kick out Vista again. But my relationship with Tiger was going to end again anyway. Leopard is coming to town in October, and we had been talking about hooking up.

But relationships can be messy, and I'm no longer certain Leopard will be moving in. Vista's sometimes erratic and cantankerous behavior is quite charming.

Vista is more complicated than Tiger or my older roomie, WinXP.

For example, when I want to change the time on the clock or bring something new into the apartment, Vista will stand in front of me, arm outstretched and palm put forward. Vista expects me to get her approval. She has to be the one in control.

Vista and Tiger travel in different social circles, and Vista is quite fussy about my older friends.

I mainly kicked her out a few months ago because she and VPN would get into these huge arguments. They were incompatible. But VPN and Vista are much friendlier now.

Tiger and I used to go out regularly with our buddy iTunes to play scrobble with Last.fm. But Vista and Zune refuse to scrobble, which hasn't been good for my relationship with Last.fm.

Vista doesn't like some of my new friends, either. Last night I invited Lightroom over to share some photos. But Vista refused to give the pics to Lightroom. I'm baffled why they're so incompatible.

When Vista hangs with her friend IE 7, both refuse to go to some places I want to.

IE 7 will throw a fit and crash on the floor. Vista says that IE 7 is somewhat self conscious about his DEP tattoo, which some clubs and restaurants refuse to accept.

Sometimes Vista's behavior is so devoid of logic, I plunk down on the sofa and emotionally withdraw from her.

For example, Vista has this pesky habit of buying new clothes on the second Tuesday of every month, and only then.

Last week, she put on her new second-Tuesday wares without telling me and then proceeded to bust all the locks on the door. It was total non sequitur. I had to replace all the AVG 7.5 branded locks with those from OneCare.

Tiger is a free spirit and she insisted we have no locks on the door whatsoever. But Vista is much more popular, and she attracts some seedy followers.

Vista and I are both friends with WinXP, who would go to biker bars and, when she lived with me, would sometimes open nasty grifter sweepstakes mail.

Some of WinXP's nastier friends have their eyes on Vista, so those locks are necessary.

At least Vista has better habits than WinXP. Vista may be outgoing, but she's cautious, too. She won't just talk to anybody, and she's pretty good about sizing up trouble.

Vista may be sometimes unpredictable, but I have good confidence that the apartment won't be burglarized because Vista let just any so-and-so walk inside.

Vista expects me to occasionally profess my love for her, and she says it's the only way to validate our relationship. If I don't, she just emotionally shuts down.

Vista has her character defects, but she is just so lovely and charming in other ways. I did have to move to a bigger flat to accommodate her needs. But I'm enjoying the extra room, too.

When Vista first moved back in, she was all business, but now she's the ultimate.

Vista is on her best behavior when I do things her way, and she's quite fun then, too. She is more observant of when I do things and she goes out of her way to work with and around my schedule.

Vista also has this amazing knack for finding almost anything anywhere in the flat. Her networking skills are extending our social circle, in a way that makes me feel surprisingly safe.

This time, we're going to stay together, methinks. Vista is putting lots of energy into making the relationship work, as am I.

But Ubuntu has been asking to sleep over, and I really wish Vista would be more willing. I repeatedly ask her, "Why can't we be friends?"

Sadly, Vista is the jealous type.

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