Archive for May, 2007

Vista Casualties – Software

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Software – Just like hardware manufacturers, software houses love a new OS because it’s a good opportunity to introduce a whole new version of their software.  And unlike more minor upgrades it’s also a good excuse to take a fresh look at their products.  This often means that functions will be altered or moved around and some features may even be removed completely (an increasingly familiar trend).  This isn’t always a good thing, because it puts the existing user’s nose out of joint especially if it’s software that you use regularly and are familiar with.  Never is this felt so deeply as when you’re upgrading because of a new OS.  Ordinarily, if you don’t like a new version of a program  you just don’t bother and stick with the old one, but a new OS means you’re forced to accept change and let’s face it, that can be hard to do. 

Here’s my main list of software changes (so far) from the upgrade. 


Vista Casualties – Hardware

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Hardware is a big issue for me.  I like my hardware to last and I don’t like to let it go when I’m used to it, so throwing out good kit just because I’ve moved to Vista really goes against the grain! It’s environmentally unfriendly and expensive.  Of course the manufacturers love nothing better than a new OS for just this reason. They want everyone to go out and get all new kit, so they’re not too keen to produce drivers for [tag]hardware[/tag] over a certain age and let’s face it they have the advantage.  They know you’ll probably get a new PC in the next couple of years and it will most likely have Vista on it. 

Still, brand loyalty counts for a lot, so asking about drivers for older products is always a good idea because it lets them know you like their products … and it’s hard to guage the demand for a driver if they haven’t heard from the consumers who want it.


Vista Yo-yo Part 2

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Well I think I’m finally done yo-yoing between Vista and XP.  I’ve finally upgraded permanently after three (or was it four?) previous attempts.  It has been incredibly frustrating and not without its casualties (eg software and hardware that will have to be replaced because there are never likely to be any drivers/upgrades that work on Vista).

As an aside I feel compelled to add that at several points in the overall upgrade process I felt so frustrated with Vista that I got dangerously close to switching to Linux, that is at least before I read some of the comments, blogs and emails after Adrian’s comments on ZDNet about the Linux community’s lack of understanding about what Joe (and Jane) Public want from their computer.  They’re a scary bunch and although I have a Ubuntu setup I won’t be switching to Linux for my main rig anytime soon largely because every time I look for a little support, I don’t want to have to deal with such angry zealots.

So I am back on Vista and the balance of the love/hate relationship is gradually turning to love.  I’m still waiting for the Wow though …

Audible in Vista

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Question: I have a question. I’m using Audible in Windows Vista and I’m tryig to get the icon out of my system tray but it just won’t go.  I get a message telling me to use administrator rights but it doesn’t work.  Am I stuck with this program running all the time when I don’t need it?  Thanks

No you’re not stuck with it.  In Vista you’ll find that you need to elevate your rights to do certain things, one of which is stopping many programs from running at startup.  The Audible Manager gives this message. 

audible - run as administrator

AudibleBefore you can run the program as an administrator however you need to close it first.  To do that right click on the icon in the system tray and choose Exit.

Then locate the Audible shortcut in your Start Menu and right click on it and choose Run as Administrator.  That will enable you to set the option not to launch Audible at startup.






Question: Task Manager buttons are gone!

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Question:  “All my buttons and tabs have disappeared in Task Manager! I can’t change tabs and there is no red X to close it. Is there any way I can fix this without reinstalling Windows?”

Vexentricity - Windows Task Manager in Tiny Footprint Mode

Vexentricity - Task Manager Tiny Performance monitor“First off don’t panic! You’re just in Tiny Footprint Mode! “ There is nothing wrong with your install of Windows to cause this – you have just accidentally put Task Manager into ‘Tiny Footprint Mode’ which hides all the buttons and tabs.

This one foxes a lot of people who think they’ve done something disastrous to their computer!    It’s actually a handy built-in monitor put there for anyone who wants to be able to track their computer’s performance eg. while playing a game, without the buttons and tabs.  However, for anyone who does this accidentally it can be very disturbing and because it’s Task Manager they automatically think something must be wrong with [tag]Windows[/tag]!

The way to switch to Tiny Footprint Mode is to double click anywhere below the Menu bar eg. on the plain background.  This is  probably what you did to accidentally get into this mode!

Vexentricity - put Windows Task Manager into Tiny Footprint Mode
 (click for larger image)

To get out of Tiny Footprint Mode double-click anywhere on the plain background and your buttons and tabs will reappear.

Vexentricity Task Manager getting buttons back in tiny footprint mode

(FYI – Tiny Footprint Mode is the same in Vista too.)

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