Thursday, March 1, 2007

Vista

I have been using vista at home for about a month now. I just installed it yesterday at work. I have to say that my overall analysis of it so far is that it is very nice. There are a lot of things that I really like about it, and I really like the advanced security. Sure, there are programs that are not completely Vista-Compliant, but can we blame that on Microsoft? Yes, it is their OS, but 3rd party companies should have had plenty of time to adjust their code for it. With the amount of software that is out there that IS Vista compatible, it makes me wonder what happened to the companies that haven’t made the change. Why are they so much slower? One of those applications that doesn’t work is the U3 software that comes on my SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drive. I wish they would fix that. However, I predict that it won’t be too long before Vista really takes off. By the way, if you are interested in purchasing Vista, DO NOT buy the full product. There is a trick that you can use to install Vista on a clean hard drive using only the upgrade version. You can find the entire article here, but if you don’t want to go there, here are the steps:

 

Step 1. Boot the PC from the Vista DVD.

Step 2. Select "Install Now," but do not enter the Product Key from the Vista packaging. Leave the input box blank. Also, turn off the option Automatically activate Windows when I'm online. In the next dialog box that appears, confirm that you really do want to install Vista without entering a Product Key.

Step 3. Correctly indicate the version of Vista that you're installing: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate.

Step 4. Select the "Custom (Advanced)" install, not the "Upgrade" install.

Step 5. Vista copies files at length and reboots itself one or more times. Wait for the install to complete. At this point, you might think that you could "activate" Vista, but you can't. That's because you haven't installed the Vista upgrade yet. To do that, run the DVD's setup.exe program again, but this time from the Vista desktop. The easiest way to start setup again is to eject and then reinsert the DVD.

Step 6. Click "Install Now." Select Do not get the latest updates for installation. (You can check for these updates later.)

Step 7. This time, do enter the Product Key from the Vista packaging. Once again, turn off the option Automatically activate Windows when I'm online.

Step 8. On this second install, make sure to select "Upgrade," not "Custom (Advanced)." You're not doing a clean install now, you're upgrading to Vista.

Step 9. Wait while Vista copies files and reboots itself. No user interaction is required. Do not boot from the DVD when asked if you'd like to do so. Instead, wait a few seconds and the setup process will continue on its way. Some DOS-like, character-mode menus will appear, but don't interact with them. After a few seconds, the correct choice will run for you automatically.

Step 10. After you click a button labeled Start in the Thank You dialog box, Vista's login screen will eventually appear. Enter the username and password that you selected during the first install. You're done upgrading to Vista.

Step 11. Within 30 days, you must "activate" your copy of Vista or it'll lose functionality. To activate Vista, click Show more details in the Welcome Center that automatically displays upon each boot-up, then click Activate Windows now. If you've dismissed the Welcome Center, access the correct dialog box by clicking Start, Control Panel, System & Maintenance, System. If you purchased a legitimate copy of Vista, it should quickly activate over the Internet.

 

 

Pretty cool if you ask me. However, technically, this shouldn’t be done unless you have purchased a previous copy of Windows 2000 or XP, but most people have done that. Of course, this whole process would’ve been null if they had just allowed an upgrade be installed and at a certain point, ask for the Windows XP CD, like they have done in past versions of Windows. I guess they decided that it was much too easy to get your hands on just a CD of Windows XP, that they better make it a bit more difficult.

 

Like previous versions of Windows, Vista comes with some games by default. One that my kids really like is called Purble Place. It includes 3 different games, definitely targeting children, but they are definitely entertaining for them. It comes with a pretty decent chess game for the geeks like me who like to keep up their chess skills.

 

If you are brave enough to try out Vista, good luck and have fun!

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