3 Good Things About Vista, 1 Bad

First, the bad news: Internet Explorer 7 in Vista resets toolbar settings everytime its reopened. Any changes you made, such as adding “Links” to the toolbar, will be undone after closing the program and reopening it.

Now, for the good news: First, when copying your old files onto your new Vista machine, simply dump your entire “My Documents” directory into the “Documents” directory and Vista will prompt you to put the “My Pictures” and “My Videos” folders into their respective “Pictures” and “Videos” directory. Second, the sound control has a mixer to change volume levels for individual programs; a great feature for listening to music while chatting on AIM. Third, many more printer drivers are built into the operating system, allowing for easy installation. It’s almost like using a Mac.

More Vista Problems, Fixes

StartupCPL has been a staple for administrators using previous versions of Windows, but Vista both has a startup program monitor built in (Windows Defender; also available for XP) and Mike Linn’s Startup Control Panel is not compatible with it. So one would think that you could disable or enable programs loading at startup using Windows Defender, but I have not found a way. If anyone knows, please post a comment. So far, the only way I have found is to use MSCONFIG. And to run that, you’ll have to hold down the Windows Key+R on the keyboard then type “msconfig”. Once in MSCONFIG, click on the Startup tab at the top and disable or enable programs from loading. Roxio Creator 9 is designed to run in XP and Vista, but Sonic DLA causes a driver conflict on my computer and I had to disable it using MSCONFIG (its called CommonSDK in MSCONFIG for some reason).

WORKGROUP is the default workgroup in Vista Home Premium and so far I’ve found that one can only see other computers on that same workgroup. I suppose this is for security reasons as Vista is supposed to be more secure, but its kind of annoying since XP defaulted to using MSHOME as its workgroup name so at first, it seems that your old XP machines are not available. Either change your XP computers workgroup name to WORKGROUP or change your Vista workgroup name to MSHOME. I did the latter and this fixed it. Also make sure your network discovery is set to on (it will prompt you if it is not). You’ll see a green bar at the top of your file explorer as it searches for computers on the network, something XP never had. This feature is very nice as XP just seemed to lock up as it searched. I’ve noticed that this ‘real-time reporting’ is a basic feature of Vista as it also acts in the same way when Add/Remove Programs is loaded and it fills in the programs installed as it finds them, like in Windows Search. Nice feature.

External SATA (eSATA) Enclosures and MHT in Firefox

Adaptec has been slow to release a 2.5″ external SATA enclosure compared to the major manufacturers relatively fast switch to almost exclusive use of SATA drives in laptops. My second choice would be Vantec’s version found at Newegg for $30.

The MHT plugin for Firefox only works in version 1.5. Its called MAF which stands for Mozilla Archive Format. Although Firefox is forcing users to upgrade, the programmers have been slow to keep MAF up to date so I am forced to use Internet Explorer for MHT.