Friday, February 1, 2008

Windows Vista

I upgraded to Windows Vista about 8 months ago and have been somewhat pleased. I found that the overall UI has been changed very much, specifically the start bar. It took me a while to get used to, but the transition ran somewhat smoothly. Around Thanksgiving I found that the computer was starting to run slightly slower and decided to check out the RAM on my HP Pavilion a1250n and found that Vista Areo had taken around 300mb of my ram and dedicated it directly to video. I was more than slightly pissed at this and found that the only way to fix the problem was to disable Areo but i didn't want to because I think that it made the UI much nicer. So I decided to ask for another GB of ram for Christmas and that did the trick. My computer has been running fine since the upgrade. Here my top 5 tips that I have for new Vista customers.
  • Disable the sidebar, it's nice if you want you computer to slow down so much that it takes forever to start up. I found that there was really no use for it and that it had really pointless gadgets, I mean...come on..a cpu speed test, is it really that hard to do the regular way, it also takes up room on your desktop that can be used for better things.
  • Upgrade to at least 2GB of ram...if you can't afford that or you don't want to disable Areo and set the display theme to Vista will speed up your computer so much.
  • Customize the size of the desktop icon text. To do this right click on the desktop and go to personalize. Click the Adjust font size (DPI) at the left. Click Custom and drag the ruler to change the size. This makes reading the icon text easier.
  • Group the icons. This way you can put the most used icons in the middle of the screen or anywhere else you want them. I have my desktop organized into three sections. Two across the top and one down the right side. The first group is hard drive links, and my recycle bin, and anti-spy ware/firewall. The second group is basically all my most used programs; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, yadda, yadda, yadda. My third group is links to file folders that contain documents. There is a link for My Doucments, Pictures, and Music, and also my Website, Projects, and School Work.
  • Disable pointless start up programs. Do this by either going into the startup folder in the all programs folder or run "msconfig". This opens the System Configuration Utility. Go to the startup tab and disable anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Especially do this after installing a HP software on you computer, they typically come with a lot of bloat ware.
Have fun with you new OS. Explore, poke around, have fun with it. If you really mess anything up just roll back the computer using System Restore. Have Fun

-- Jerry Smith