Here's my bit on Windows, XP vs Vista vs Win7, and USB stuff:I use XP. I have never used Vista, but people I know who have say they've had nothing but trouble. I have not yet used Win7 but hear good reports about it. Well, better, anyway.
kay'lon noted a problem with USB ports shutting down "after a time." This is a known issue with XP and appears to continue with Win7. The problem is that Windows, always assuming it knows more than the user, controls the power to all USB hubs by default. You need to override the default if you are counting on a USB port that has been idle for a while being instantly available when you need it. This is how you do that in XP:
* START > Control Panel - Double-click the "System" Control Panel * Select "Hardware" tab, click the "Device Manager" button* Scroll down to the "Universal Serial Bus controllers" item and click the '+' sign at the left to expand it * You will see a number of items labeled "USB Root Hub" at the bottom of the expanded list - for each one do the following:
* Right-click the item line text or icon and select Properties; * Select the Power Management tab;* Uncheck the box that says "Allow the computer to turn this device off to save power." * If you only want to disable Windows power control for USB ports in use, the Power tab will list the device(s) using that USB hub.
If you are using an Ethernet connection in XP to transport audio into or out of the computer, this same default power control is being done on network cards, and can be overridden in a similar manner.
I hope someone finds this information useful. dick webb