doesn't work in Vista

I've switched computer and thisone is VIsta. The IDE starts but I can't compile and upload. I quick search through the forums show I'm not the only one, but I didn't find a definitive answer.

Is it an IDE issue or a compiler issue ?

I'm comfortable using the command line if this was going work.

What are the steps for usingan alternate editor and manually uploading to an Arduino ?

Thanks

...or if it's useful, I have a ssh access to a nearby (under my desk) linux box with spare usb.