Friday, January 2, 2009

Windows Vista .. Finally

It's been about two weeks since I installed Windows Vista for the first time. There haven't really been any issues and overall I'm pretty happy. However, I haven't so far found many things that cause me to be more productive and therefore think anyone who is still using Windows XP and doesn't really have any issues, to stick with what works for them. There are little nuances in Vista that will be annoying for seasoned XP users at least initially.

One of the features of Windows Vista is the Aero user interface which causes the windows to have a glassy texture allowing you to see through them somewhat. Along the same lines are the themes. In Windows XP you were able to download third-party themes which changed everything about the user experience. In Vista, themes have to be digitally signed by Microsoft and therefore require a few extra steps in getting third-party themes to work. For detailed instructions you can see this blog post from How-To Geek.

I will say that Windows Vista does a pretty good job of protecting itself from users. Even in a user is technically and Administrator on the machine, in most cases he is running at a lower level and any tasks that require elevated privileges will be met with pop ups asking for permission to elevate the user for that task. More information on that here. By default if you wanted to rename or replace a system file (from \windows\system32) you would be met with errors. The solution would be to "take ownership" of a folder of specific files. Instructions can be found here.

I will hopefully have more to say about Vista and issues that I have resolved in the coming weeks.
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