MS Vista, a marine PC train wreck?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. javierdc says:

    I have been running vista for a few months. My PC is from a “small” vendor and most of the hardware (web cam, etc.) are also from “unknown” manufacturers. Every device works, the trick is, as you said” to accept to install “un trusted” drivers and will work.
    We also manufacture Marine PC’s and our touch screen drivers are custom made. We tested them with Vista without issues. We also tested few GPS systems but because they connect via the serial port we didn’t have install any special drivers. We also found more than 5 different USB to RS232 converters and worked fine.
    I think that the main concern is for the software (chart plotting, etc.) that may not run properly due to the security sand box, but this issue is easier to solve (by the software maker).
    Will see what happens …

  2. GPSNavX says:

    I am advising my customers not to install Vista šŸ™‚

  3. neverending says:

    Seems like the perfect time to mention that a group of 1500 Linux Developers are offering free device driver development for any manufacturer that will send a specification of their hardware. Any and every device gets Linux Certification and a free device driver that will be included with all of the Linux configurations, including the enterprise versions.
    The ultimate out-sourcing opportunity for hardware manufacturers and integrators.

  4. TECOPT says:

    As far as I know, you are only forced to use signed drivers when running the 64bit version of vista. The 32bit you should be able to install unsigned drivers if one click _proceed anyway_ as explained above.

  5. David says:

    Hey GPSNavX, good pun!
    We are steering all of our clients clear of Vista for at least six months or more. All of the PCs we source can be spec’ed with XPPro with a Vista upgrade certificate and I’m sure this will continue. I think things will iron themselves out in relatively short order since the tiny marine market takes a lot of technology from the behemoth industrial automation market and they will have more market clout with MS and Vista certification.

  6. Andy Campbell says:

    I can confirm what TECOPT says:
    If you are running the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, you are allowed to install unsigned drivers.
    However, if you have chosen to run the far higher “security concious” 64-bit version, then unfortunately, unsigned drivers cannot be used.
    Ben, I agree with your first thoughts that this will have a real detrimental effect on the number of products available for use on Vista and small companies will be unable to fort out that sort of money on a product they may only sell a small number of a year.
    If the person you mentioned has the retail version of Vista, then he will have access to the 32-bit version on the same DVD – if he’s willing to settle for ‘standard’ security (still better than Windows XP by all accounts), then by installing the 32-bit version instead he’ll be able to use unsigned drivers.

  7. GPSNavX says:

    What about drivers for serial to USB converters (common for connecting sat phones, GPS, HF modems) such as Keyspan, Prolific, IOGear, FTDI? None of their support/download sites list Vista versions of the drivers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree with what TECOPT said. Since I’m using 32-bit version of Vista for quite sometime and using unsigned drivers n all are working fine.

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