Monthly Archives: April 2007

Vista Made Easy: 50 Tips And Tricks

From PC Magazine


"Like driving a new car, adjusting to a new operating system takes time. Discovering new features and functions (so that’s how you adjust the steering wheel!) helps to shorten the acclimatization period, letting you turn a mass-market product into one customized for you. Do you prefer bigger, better-looking icons? Is increased security worth a few extra clicks, in your eyes? Would you like to link all your gadgets to the new system the right way—the first time? Then we’ve got the guide for you. We’ll walk you through Vista’s many neat features and more than 50 tips on installing Vista optimally, configuring it for you and your family, improving system speed, and turning up its coolness. When we’re through, you’ll have made the new OS uniquely yours. "

Check them out here


Teching It Easy: Windows Vista Quick Start Guide/FAQ


Filed under Vista Tips & Tricks

Hi-Res pics of Microsoft Expression Studio Commemorative Edition Box Art

Long Zheng gives us a close up look at the just released Microsoft Expression Studio Commemorative Edition box featuring unique art work. The software was handed out to attendees at the MIX07 conference which took place in Las Vegas.


"Each copy of the commemorative edition is unique and features different pencil sketches on the cover. But these are not just any sketches, they are carefully scribbled by professional designers and even the members of the Expression team. You can’t deny a lot of work went into each one of these, especially when thousands of attendees will each receive a visibly different design."

Check out the pictures here


Microsoft Expression Studio Overview



Filed under Computers and Internet

Windows Vista Tip: Installing And Running Adobe Reader

From Information Week


"When you want to put a document online, or distribute it via e-mail, and you need it to look exactly the way it looks on paper, then PDF is the way to go — and the standard application used to view PDF files is, of course, Adobe Reader.

Unfortunately, according to Adobe, Vista doesn’t support older versions of Reader, and the current version, Adobe Reader 8 (released in November, 2006), will be updated for Vista sometime "in the first half" of 2007. So what’s the story in the meantime?

Well, if you’re a Vista user and you decide to install Reader 8, the first hint of any problem may come when you get an error message like "The temp folder on a drive was full . . . " or "The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. . . ."

Generally, says Adobe, the problem is that you’ve turned off Vista’s massively annoying User Account Control (and who could blame you?). There are two possible solutions, according to a tech note on Adobe’s Web site:

Click here to read the entire tip

I personally have not experienced any problems installing or running Adobe Reader 8 on Windows Vista. The application installs and operates just fine under both Vista x86 and x64 without any modification to the system. But there have been many reports of users having problems with Adobe Reader on Vista so this work around should come in handy.



Filed under Vista Tips & Tricks

Correct Disk Cleanup shortcut for Windows Vista 64-bit



"If you are using a 64-bit (x64) version of Windows Vista, then this is something you should know. By default, the shortcut in the Start menu points to the 32-bit (x86) executable for Disk Cleanup. While Disk Cleanup will work fine from this shortcut for most things, there is one function that does not work correctly – the cleaning of System Restore points and Shadow Copies / Previous Versions."

Read the entire tip here

Thanks Kris!



Filed under Windows x64

What I want to see in Internet Explorer version 8.

Its no secret that Microsoft is working on the next version of the Company’s web browser. The expected release date is not until 2008, but I’m sure the IE Team is taking feedback in some form, internally or through select feedback externally. So in accordance with this weeks MIX Conference, here is a list of improvements I wouldn’t mind seeing in a future version of the web browser.

  • Download Manager – trust me, it needs it, I find it very handy in FireFox and Safari – Pause/Resume, Manage.
  • Improved UI, for example, make the Search dialog an integrated one that appears as a contextual bar when the CTRL + F command is used, just remove some Dialogs in general, whether its adding Favorites or Feeds.
  • Non-adjacent Selection of text on web pages.
  • Phishing Filter with better performance please and less service not available errors.
  • Speaking of performance, I honestly have to say, FireFox 2.0 is faster than IE 7 and I got the Internet connection to prove it, loads 10x faster in FF than IE 7. This was tested on a Cell Phone modem connection at 0.6 KBs per second.
  • Customizable toolbar, I personally wouldn’t mind if buttons such as Home, Feeds, Print, Page, Tools and Help were on a another toolbar group such as the Address bar group, I need more real estate for Tab’s that’s much cleaner.
  • Hide Tabs I don’t need, but don’t want to close.
  • Ability to right click a link with the option on the context menu to make it the foreground tab (a feature of Windows Live Toolbar).
  • Ability to select a URL from the Address Bar list and click delete, and have contextual menu options.
  • Built in list of popular search engines, I don’t want to go to a web page and do the selection, just have it ready out of the box.
  • Zoom Slider on the Status Bar – I just want to reduce clicking.
  • List View layout for Options, similar to Office 2007 Options dialog. Also make the Advance settings a part of the list view Options, this includes: Accessibility, Browsing, International, Multimedia.
  • Better roaming capabilities that are dynamic and browser agnostic where possible.
  • Thumbnail preview of Tab without clicking it, I’m still not sure about this one, but could be an optional feature or an extension. But, a thumbnail preview in Tab list would be nice.  
  • Make Print Preview utilize a Tab instead of opening a separate window.
  • Drag a tab window into separate IE 8 window.
  • Number list view in History, I can’t tell currently which page from which web page was opened first or last.

This is only some of the features I could come up with off the top of my head. If you have any ideas, just post them in the comments, I would like to hear them. 🙂


Filed under Computers and Internet

New Windows Dreamscene – SilverLight now available

From Windows Experience Blog

Brandon informs us about the new Windows Dreamscene – SilverLight brought to you by the folks of the same name.

Check out a preview of it on the Windows Experience Blog here



Filed under Windows Vista

Windows Vista In The Know Links – No. 3

From Microsoft

Do more with Windows Vista

From setting up your PC to playing games to getting serious work done, find out how to do your favorite things with Windows Vista. It’s all in our growing Windows Help and How-to website.

New and notable

Get great deals on PCs and software

See today’s special offers on Windows Vista and related products from our partners.

30% off select Microsoft Press books at Barnes & Noble

Visit any Barnes & Noble store or shop online at from April 5 to May 2 to save 30 percent on select Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office system books from Microsoft Press.

Windows Vista Beta 2, RC1, and RC2 set to expire

On May 31, 2007, the pre-release versions of Windows Vista (Beta 2, RC1, and RC2) will expire. If you are running one of these versions, learn how to update your PC to prevent work disruption and loss of data.

Visit the Windows Vista Innovation Café

Drop in and experience cool, interactive applications developed just for Windows Vista. Check out applications from The North Face, the British Museum, Roxio, The New York Times, and many others.

Tips and tricks for Windows Vista

Featured tip for Windows Vista

Print picture-perfect web content
Most websites are simply not formatted to fit cleanly on a standard piece of paper. With the new shrink-to-fit printing feature in Windows Internet Explorer 7, the edges of website pages no longer get cut off when sent to the printer.

Visit our Help and How-to website to learn more about using Windows Vista.

More tips for Windows Vista

Get organized with Windows Vista folders

Searching for misplaced files is easier with Windows Vista. Discover how to use Search Folders and other new tools to find files faster.

Set up your PC so it’s safe for kids

Use the new Parental Controls in Windows Vista to help keep your kids safe online and when playing games.

Technical troubleshooter

Problem: When you try to use Windows Media Player 11, the program doesn’t start or some user interface elements are blank.

Solution: This article outlines why you may be experiencing this problem and suggests a simple way to resolve it.



Filed under Vista Tips & Tricks