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Zugg Software :: View Entry - First experiences with Vista
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Seb
Wizard


Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 1241

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:58 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
Quote:
I don't know where the option might be on Vista, but on XP, it is "Control Panel (classic view of course!), Power Options, Advanced, and un-tick Prompt for passsword when computer resumes from standby."

That doesn't help. It doesn't prompt for a password, but it still shows the splash screen and requires the user to click their portrait icon to get back into windows. In XP it works fine, but Vista seems to have this extra step required to resume from sleep mode.

Whether it prompts you for a password or not is irrelevant - the option is mis-named - the name is a hangover from W2K/Me. That option on XP shows that splash / welcome screen with portrait icons (if you have "Use the Welcome screen" switched on in the "Users" control panel applet) even if you have no password. (Simarly for password protected screensavers.)

Zugg wrote:
And this impacts me as a developer because it's pretty clear to me that people are going to keep using WinXP for a long time and we won't see as much conversion to Vista as we have seen with 98->Vista. I think Vista is going to be more like Windows ME (which also didn't add much value for the money).

You mean 98->XP?

WMe didn't add any value! It's mostly considered as a regression from 98SE.
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:02 pm   
 
Quote:
I just turned off the screensaver.

That was a good suggestion, but it still doesn't work. What seems to be happening is that Vista is displaying the "Lock" screen when it resumes from sleep mode. The user icon says "username Locked", and it's the same screen you get if you select the Lock Computer option. So, even though it's not prompting for any password, it's still "locking". Turning off the screensaver didn't help with this. So far I haven't found anything via Google about how to prevent this Lock screen from coming up after resuming from Sleep.

I did find a useful site on general Vista tips and how to deal with some of the changes: http://www.windowsvistasecrets.info/

That has helped with some issues, but still not with this locking issue.
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:13 pm   
 
Oh, and just another random comment. If MS wanted to see how to improve the Windows File Explorer, they could have looked at Directory Opus from GPSoftware. One of it's best features is to allow multiple tabs in the file explorer, just like in a web browser, so you can go between different directories easily, drag/drop files between them, etc. Much better than just having a "Favorites" list. I also wonder why there is so much white space between lines in the Favorites list on the left side of the Vista file explorer. The folders and main view properly display items nice and close together, but the Favorites list is spread out, taking up yet more precious vertical space.

Seb: I don't get the user welcome screen when booting. And that's not the screen I get when resuming from sleep. It's the lock screen that I seem to be getting.

And regarding the comment about using the status bar in the file explorer: that's fine if you are used to having it on. But so far I don't see any option to turn the status bar *off* in Vista and to move the file info back to the left side. IMO you don't need the entire horizontal width of the width just to display the selected filename, date, size, etc. It worked fine in the side panel in XP and that's where I'd like to move it back to. I don't want it taking up vertical space that could be used to display more filenames.
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:23 pm   
 
Figured it out. In the "Organize" menu, there is a Layout submenu and then there is a "Details Pane" that can be enabled/disabled. Don't see a way to put it back on the left though...just hide or show the bottom panel.

Also, while in the Layout submenu, I found the "Menu" option that will enable the traditional menu, although it still shows up below the navigation pane instead of being at the top.

I finally got the Favorites part minimized. There is a *very narrow* resize area between the Folders and the Favorites. It's about one pixel high that you can click and drag to resize the Favorites area to make it smaller. To change the size of the left navigation pane, the splitter is also very narrow and hard to select. I found it easier to select when there was blank space in the main files list. Anyway, while it seems much more difficult to resize the panels, it does seem to be possible.
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:33 pm   
 
Hey, I found one thing that I *really* like! (Yes, it's a miracle).

When displaying a file listing of a very large directory (like my CMUD development directory), Vista actually displays the entire file listing very quickly and then goes back to fill in the icons in a separate background thread! This is great and was one of my big annoyances in past Windows versions. I hated the long delay just so it could fetch the icons. I even did this across a network connection to look at a large server directory, and it was quite fast. So kudos for this at least!

Now I'm annoyed that they've enabled the default security setting so that it warns the user about publisher's that can't be verified. When you run CMUD on Vista, it complains because the publisher is unknown.

Last time I checked, it cost a lot of money to get a verified publisher certificate from Microsoft. Has this changed? If anyone has some links on how I can get Zugg Software verified in Windows without paying a fee to Microsoft, please post and let me know.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:40 pm   
 
OK, nevermind...it only seems to display the error about unverified publisher when I try to run CMUD.EXE across a network drive. Works fine when the app is properly installed locally. So that's not so bad.

It's interesting that the "Normal" theme setting in CMUD doesn't set the default Vista glass window theme. I thought this was allowing all of the theme calls to pass through directly to the OS, but there is obviously a problem with that. Should be something I can fix to make CMUD look more native in Vista.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:49 pm   
 
Got an updated driver for the touch pad at support.dell.com. Not sure why they didn't have the driver on their Dell Vista disk with all their other stuff, but oh well. After installing the new driver, Vista complains at startup time about it and goes into "Basic" mode...but I don't see any difference...everything still seems to work fine and look normal. The option for the scrolling on the touch pad was disabled by default, but once I enabled that, then touch scrolling was working again.

And yes, it seems to work like the mouse wheel properly. When I hold the Ctrl key and use the touch pad scrolling, it scales all of the icons on the desktop. I thought it might just scale the selected icon, but it scales all of them. That's fine...at least it can do the scaling now. I've got a PNG icon for CMUD so I'll eventually try sticking it into the resource file to see what happens. I'll have to do some research to see exactly how this is done.

(Yes: the conference sessions have been boring so far this morning, so I've been playing with Chiara's laptop ;)
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:56 pm   Re: First experiences with Vista
 
Zugg wrote:

I personally think they just keep changing stuff for the sake of changing it so that people will be fooled into thinking they are spending tons of money (and don't even get me started on their new licensing) for something new.

Very very very poor first impression. Probably worse than my first impression of Windows XP (which was pretty bad because of all the hardware incompatibilities that I had at the time). I can't believe I'm going to be forced to support this stuff.

OK, rant over (for now).

I think every new version of Windows has had problems in the start. Also it is funny that companies try to sell basicully the same product disguised over and over again. Look at Microsoft Office for example. There are very good free alternatives like Open Office. That they sell Microsoft Office for around $200 here is like a joke when the functionality most people need is avaible for free.

If you look at Chiara's computer she could probably use Linux with firefox, thunderbird, and open office. Maybe ClamAV as antivirus? I haven't tested that one myself. The basic idea though is that you can save a lot of money on software by using free alternatives.
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Fang Xianfu
GURU


Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 5155
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:39 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
I have to go into the Windows Explorer, find the file I downloaded, right-click and select "Run as Admin".

There's a quick solution to this for Firefox at least. If you rclick on the file's row in the downloads window and choose Open Containing Directory, it'll open explorer pointed at the file for you.

Seb wrote:
That option on XP shows that splash / welcome screen with portrait icons (if you have "Use the Welcome screen" switched on in the "Users" control panel applet) even if you have no password.

THIS IS VERY ANNOYING. When you first install XP, if you have only one user without a password, it doesn't display the welcome screen under any circumstances. While I'm at uni, I have a password set and the Use Welcome Screen option off so that I can Ctrl+Alt+Del and lock the computer when I'm not at it. When I go home, I remove the password and turn on Use Welcome Screen again and even though the options are exactly the same as they were when I first installed windows, it starts displaying the welcome screen when I boot up. Luckily I only reboot every couple of weeks so it doesn't drive me totally insane, but it's still annoying.
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Seb
Wizard


Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 1241

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:13 pm   
 
Hmm, I was talking about after resuming from Standby. For switching on the computer (from completely off) there are ways to make it automatically logon a given user (even if you have several users and passwords) - do some Googling.
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Tornhelm
Beginner


Joined: 24 Nov 2002
Posts: 20
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:58 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
I originally picked AVG Free over anything else because it seems to be the last free (high quality) virus checker that doesn't charge for updates. I *hate* the fact that Norton and McAfee charge for yearly updates. I know they have to run a business, but charging for updates just makes people not keep their anti-virus software up-to-date. They should be able to make plenty of money from corporate accounts to give free updates to personal home users.


You might want to take a look at Avira's AntiVir then. If they have a vista capable version, their virus scanner is free for personal use and is of a lot better quality than AVG's offerings. For your firewall, if you are looking anywhere other than Comodo then you need help (they provide an enterprise level one for free of charge).

Oh and for the record - Firefox isn't quality. It is actually slower than the plain Mozilla suite now (especially the Seamonkey variant) and is light years behind Opera in terms of speed. The only thing that Firefox has going for it is the huge amount of plugins available.
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Tornhelm
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Joined: 24 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:59 am   
 
It works, possibly not for Dell and the like though as they like to fiddle with things unnecessarily.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:47 pm   
 
Quote:
Oh and for the record - Firefox isn't quality

I haven't used Opera, so I was talking about Firefox in comparison to IE. I know everyone has their own opinions, but I personally think Firefox *is* quality because it does exactly what it is supposed to, has a robust extension system, doesn't crash, has nice new features like the textarea spellchecking, etc. Sure, it could always be faster, but it's fast enough for what I'm doing and I typically have 3 rows of tabs all the time. And I couldn't live without the plugins. So, Speed <> Quality. Quality is a more subjective property based upon lots of things.

I'd need to know more about Avira and why you think it's "a lot better quality". I've never even heard of Avira before, and as I said when I was discussing AVG, it wasn't just the software but also the information available on their site about technical virus issues that was very good and timely. AVG *is* Vista compatible. It was just an issue with the Dell Upgrade not uninstalling AVG before the upgrade (or reminding me to do that). But since Dell ships with McAfee, I'm sure that it probably would have gone more smoothly if I hadn't replaced McAfee with AVG.

Yes, Dell does fiddle with a lot of stuff, but all vendors do that. My own Toshiba laptop came with all sorts of stuff and it took me many weeks to clean it up the way I wanted it. Most hardware vendors have various deals to preinstall software from various places. It's one of the reasons I prefer building my own desktop systems. But it's harder to build your own laptop, and with Chiara's, she just needed something inexpensive and already set up, and Dell fit that need well.

But this is a typical example of what a normal person would encounter. Dell is popular and if Dell can't make Vista a smooth upgrade, then no other vendor is probably going to do any better. Although I'm sure it will get better over time. But like with Windows XP when it first came out, the best way to get Vista right now is probably to get it preinstalled on a computer.
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Tech
GURU


Joined: 18 Oct 2000
Posts: 2733
Location: Atlanta, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:46 pm   
 
I'm curious Zugg what FireFox plugins do you use? Maybe I'm not as demanding a web browser but for the most part of I've little utility or needs in the FireFox themes and extensions. I've tried a few but nothing ever made me go OMG I need that feature. Now that IE 7 has tabs I more or less use them interchangeably at home. The spell-checker in Firefox is a nice touch but I consider it more a sign of polish, and I don't use it that often (perhaps because this is the only place I post consistently online.) If it were removed, it probably wouldn't bother me that much if at all.

Then again I'm not really a convert to the whole "skinning" phenomenon. I can see how someone could want it but for me I've never done to much with them. I'll check a few like with Winamp or Windows theme and then more or less go back to the out of the box look and feel. I can really only using a theme consistently on one product (SQuirreL - a java SQL interface) and that's because the I found the standard one to be very clunky and near unusable. As I have said before I am one of those who placed functionality well before form.

At any rate, sorry for the hijack. Back to your Vista experience.

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Zugg
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:48 pm   
 
I use the following:
  • Adblock
  • All-in-One Sidebar (nice, but not essential)
  • del.icio.us Bookmarks (not critical)
  • Fasterfox (definitely helps)
  • Forecastfox (I'm a weather junkie)
  • IE View (a must to easily view pages in IE tabs)
  • Tab Mix Plus (adds many features for tabbed viewing, especially multiline tabs...I couldn't live without this one)

Those are the main ones. I also use some Developer plugins when I'm working on web pages. This list is smaller for Firefox 2.0 than it was in v1.5. I'm hoping that they will continue to improve Firefox so that plugins like Tab Mix Plus are not needed. The multiline tabs is critical for me since I tend to have a *lot* of tabs open (I tend to use tabs instead of bookmarks or history in a lot of ways)

But the entire extension system is very nicely done. I really like how easy it is to enable/disable extensions, get updates, etc. It makes it very easy to try a bunch of stuff and only keep the good stuff that you use.

The as-you-type spellchecking v2.0 has become a critical feature for me. Because not only does it help with forum posting, blogging, etc, but our main email support is done via a web-based application (HelpSpot), which tracks issues and sends email to customers. We use this instead of Outlook for the majority of our support, and having spellchecking in that app is very critical for us.
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Tech
GURU


Joined: 18 Oct 2000
Posts: 2733
Location: Atlanta, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:12 pm   
 
Yeah.. multi lines tabs would be very useful to me.. I have lots of tabs too.. I've gotten in the habit of opening multiple windows when the tabs become too much for one window. I'll check out the others you reccomend.

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Fang Xianfu
GURU


Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 5155
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:40 pm   
 
As an addendum, there's an automatic updater for filterset.g for adblock that I recommend getting. It's a rules set with almost every ad site already done. Saves you having to configure it yourself and updates itself in the background.

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Seb
Wizard


Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 1241

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:35 am   
 
I use Adblock Plus (which is pre-configured), NoScript, Save Session, Copy URL + and have lots more installed that I'm not currently using much (but some aren't compatible). Having a French dictionary is really cool too (in addition to an English one), especially when you don't have a French keyboard. Firefox does slow down a lot if you keep it open for days with tons of tabs open like I do. Hmm, time for a restart I guess.

[Edit: Testing "Session Manager" now, as it claims to be compatible with Tab Mix Plus and that looks quite nice, but doesn't have such good session saving, I hear.
Tons faster after the Firefox restart!]
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