Vista build 5536 – revisited

I love getting a new OS.  I’m constantly screwing my machines up temporarily because I am installing Lindows, Ubunto, Beta MS OS’s, and even a couple of weeks ago re-installing an old copy of DesqviewX (because I needed to look at some old Pascal source code for a TSR I wrote years ago – and it took advantage of DesqViewX).  That’s why I have eight hard drives and 16 partitions – it let’s me feel a “little safe” playing with new OS’s.

Anyway, I love to play, because I love finding the little things that never get any limelight, but they make life easier.  Like in Vista, when you Alt-Tab to get a list of running applications there is an icon for “Desktop”.  If I select it, everything else minimizes – sure – I know there were many ways to accomplish the same thing in Windows XP – but I like having it there in the ALT-TAB window.  It’s conveniant.

I love the new “mini-guide” and the “movie guide” in the Media Center – not only do you see a list of the movies that are on (or coming on soon) but you see the movie poster/DVD cover for the movie.  That was unexpected, not really needed, but VERY cool.  It made it easy for me to find 3-4 movies I wanted to record, including The Birdcage with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman .  Without a doubt this is one of the funniest movies I have ever watched, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed it on except I recognized the cover art, so I recorded it.  If you haven’t seen it, rent it.  Good fun!

Want to read RSS feeds on your Plasma TV (Why Not!)?  You can do that. 

The SideBar still needs a little polishing to get it to where I switch to it from Yahoo Widgets (I have been a Konfabulator customer for years), but it’s close.  I need to be able to resize the SideBar width easily, and I need to be able to resize ANY widget on the sidebar – stock quotes is a good example.  I entered the five I am currently tracking but could only see two of them when the widget was docked in the sidebar – but dragging the widget out onto the desktop let me see all five stocks.  The SideBar space is my screen real estate – please let me use it however I want.

The built-in parental control are very nice – even though my kids are 16 and 18.  I’m not looking to protect my machines from them – they know what they are doing – but often I have company that wants to borrow a computer, and it’s amazing how much crap they can get on that machine in a matter of hours.  Not anymore. My “visitor” account (and the new phishing and security in IE7) pretty much solve that problem – I have set up specific things people can do on that account, and specific apps they can run. And they can’t install crap.  I really like that.  Again, I know I could have done this with add-ons under XP, but it’s just never as easy when it’s a third party tool.  The interface, help, everything is just “different”.

Tomorrow I install Vista on my main laptop – a machine that only has enough free drive space for ONE OS.  That will be the true test.  But for now, I am still pleased.  It’s not quite the leap from Windows for Workgroups to Windows 95, but it’s also every bit the leap from OS-10 to OS/X (Yes, I have a Mac as well, don’t hate it at all, thank you very much.  Will buy a Mac Tablet the day they come out, if that ever happens).

More another time – after I see what the experience is with my IBM T-42p laptop.  I know the video won’t be as stunning 🙁



  1. Heh – you knew the anwer to that before you asked the question! I might as well have got those stupid ass PJ’s you blogged about! (