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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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Microsoft OS Vista, XP, Windows Server, even Virtual Server and Virtual PC
TweakVista Beta from Stardock
Stardock, the people that brought you ObjectDesktop and WindowsBlinds now have released TweakVista (as part of the ObjectDesktop suite). From their page: Microsoft has increased both the power and complexity of its popular Windows operating system with the release of Windows Vista. Stardock’s TweakVista™ enhancement application helps you configure Windows Vista to meet your personal needs by improving performance. Unlike other power tools for Windows, TweakVista™ automatically prompts enhancement ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:23 AM

Feb. 27, 2008 is Big Day For Microsoft
Windows Server® 2008, Visual Studio® 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server™ 2008 will launch together at an event in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2008, kicking off hundreds of launch events around the world. As the next wave of innovation from Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, these three products will provide a reliable and security-enhanced enterprise platform, serve as the foundation for the next generation of Web-based service applications, and broadly support virtualization and business intelligence. ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 11, 2007 1:16 AM

Don't Run as an Admin, yada, yada, yada
Jeff Atwood has a good piece on why you shouldn't run as an Admin. He even links to another good piece on the subject by Aaron Margosis. Jeff makes his point by visiting a malware website with an unprotected system running an unpatched IE 6.0. The site installed the following spyware on his machine (not that he didn't click on anything or download anything) (Quote from Adam McNeil of Webroot Software): Webroot SpySweeper detected the following spies after allowing the installer to run over night. ......

Posted On Monday, July 9, 2007 12:39 PM

My Vista Windows Experience Base Score
3 Component Details Subscore Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T7400 @ 2.16GHz 5.0 Memory (RAM) 2.00 GB 4.7 Graphics NVIDIA Quadro NVS 110M 3.5 Gaming graphics 399 MB Total available graphics memory 3.0 Primary hard disk 44GB Free (93GB Total) 5.0 Not all that impressive for a Dell Latitude D820, IMO. I do like that the disk is a 5. I expected the disk to be lower, since typically disk performance on laptop computers is, in a word, abysmal ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:39 PM

PC World - ReadyBoost Flash Drives Lack Significant Boost
PC World is reporting that your wonderful ReadyBoost drive doesn't boost your performance all that much in Vista. Sadly, that is my experience also. Yes, I finally got my new laptop and it's running 64-bit Vista Business. I haven't prepared a report on it yet, but that will be coming in the (relatively) near future. They sum up perfectly how ReadyBoost is supposed to work here: The premise is this: Although writing data to and reading it from a flash drive is in most cases slower than writing and ......

Posted On Friday, May 18, 2007 8:10 AM

Microsoft Watch - Server - Microsoft Looks to 64-Bit Future
According to Microsoft Watch, Windows Server 2008 will be Microsoft's last 32-bit OS. After that, future Microsoft OSes will be 64-bit only. Microsoft Watch - Server - Microsoft Looks to 64-Bit Future UPDATE: engadget is reporting that the 64-bit move applies only to server products and not desktop products ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 16, 2007 2:11 PM

The "Truth" About Vista SP1 and XP SP3
Paul Thurrott claims to have the inside scoop on both Vista SP1 and XP SP3. Microsoft will ship Windows Vista SP1 concurrently with Longhorn Server in Q3 2007 and SP1 will include a major kernel update for Vista that will bring the client OS up to speed with the version of the Windows kernel in Longhorn Server Certainly that has been my impression for quite some time. If you spend any time trying to read between the lines with MS, that's the only reasonable conclusion. He's not happy at all about ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 10, 2007 7:24 AM

"slmgr -rearm" -- Or, Extending the Windows Vista Grace Period to 120 days
Jeff Atwood over at Coding Horror tells you how to legally evaluate Vista for 120 days (instead of the standard 30) before entering a product key. When you install without a product key, you get an automatic 30 day evaluation period.* This probably isn't news to anyone. What may be news to you, however, is that you can easily extend the 30-day Windows Vista grace period to 120 days. No hacks required. This is an official, supported operation directly from Microsoft. To extend the grace period another ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 2:10 PM

Take Deepfish for a Swim - Or Not
Posted yesterday on the Microsoft Live Labs blog: We are excited to announce public availability of the Deepfish technology preview from Microsoft Live Labs. Deepfish is a new type of mobile information browsing experience, aimed at preserving the rich layout and full form of documents on mobile devices while providing novel ways of effectively navigating that content on small screens. This looks pretty cool. Basically, it enables you to see the whole page on your mobile device, and then zoom in ......

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 9:08 AM

Two New Vista Compatible Products From Microsoft (and some Virtual Machine musings)
Yesterday, MS released SQL Server 2005 SP2, and Virtual PC 2007. I'm downloading both right now, but I doubt that I'll end up using Virtual PC 2007, which is somewhat odd since I play around with virtual machines all the time. On my disk, I have virtual images of just about every OS Microsoft has released, a virtual image of my old TRS-80 Model I Level II, and I even played around with Mac OS X 10.3 (pre-Intel--thank you PearPC). I first started playing with virtual machines way back before MS had ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 20, 2007 7:13 AM

Fifteen Ways to Shut Down Vista
There's a good article on Tyner Blain about over-engineering your application. Sometimes you go so far out of your way to please everybody, that you end up pleasing nobody. I've been on this type of project myself (quite recently, actually), and the results you end up with are never pretty. The example used there are the Fifteen Ways to Shut Down Vista. Don't try to please everybody. Remember that you're the software developer and that the people paying you for your work are paying you for your software ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:25 AM

Vista Goes RTM
From the Vista blog: Great news! Today we’re announcing the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Vista. Yes, you read it right -- development of Windows Vista is complete. Want proof? Watch this video and hear it from Jim Allchin himself. Yippee. Call me underwhelmed. I've beta-tested every Microsoft OS (client and server) since Windows 95. Most of them I've been very excited about the release and eager to put the RTM version on my computer. I will wait patiently for Vista. I'm supposed to be ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 8, 2006 8:07 PM

Happy Birthday Windows XP
neowin is reporting that 5 years ago today Windows XP launched worldwide. Typical time between new OS releases has been about 2 years, but we're still waiting on Vista. Some people say that we'd be better off waiting for another year for Vista, and that it's still being rushed out the door. I haven't played with it all that much, so I'll hold off on statements like that, but I constantly worry about how well it will run on my existing hardware. XP seems slow enough to me already. I don't really want ......

Posted On Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:56 AM

Add-ons for IE7

A friend of mine has only one major gripe with IE7.  "I love my Firefox add-ons.  IE doesn't have anything like that."  Apparently he's never been to www.ieaddons.com, or read this blog: Must Have Add-Ons for IE7.

Posted On Wednesday, October 25, 2006 7:46 AM

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Beta 1
Microsoft has released Beta 1 of Virtual PC 2007. You can apply for participation in the program here. New Features (emphasis mine): Support for hardware virtualization (Intel and AMD) Support for Windows Vista as a host operating system Support for Windows Vista as a guest operating system Note: No support for Aero Glass though - just Aero Basic Support for 64-bit host operating systems Note: Virtual machines are 32-bit only Improved performance There's much more information on the Virtual PC Guy's ......

Posted On Saturday, October 14, 2006 2:37 PM

NY Times Reader Public BETA

You can now read the NYT from Vista with the Times Reader BETA. It's built using WinFX to make the most enjoyable reading experience, and uses the same font styles as the print edition.  This is one of the few "Designed for Vista" apps I've seen, so is worth a look for that reason, I guess, but it'd be more worthwhile if It was a Drudge Reader, I think.  ;-)

Posted On Thursday, September 28, 2006 5:22 AM

Vista's Approach to Memory Management
Jeff Atwood has an interesting post on Vista's memory management and how it differs from Windows XP. Vista treats your system memory as a cache and uses it aggressively. In other words, don't be surprised or upset if Vista consumes all your available memory. It's not a bug, it's a feature! In summary, here's how much faster each cache memory type in your computer is than the hard drive: System memory37x faster CPU Level 2 cache82x faster CPU Level 1 cache283x faster Those figures explain why I only ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 9:26 AM

Battery Drain on Windows XP SP2 portable computer
Useful KB Article: SYMPTOMS When you unplug the AC power from a Microsoft Windows XP-based portable computer, the battery may drain more quickly than you expect. Therefore, the operating system may shut down prematurely. CAUSE This problem may occur if one of the following conditions is true: • The portable computer cannot enter the deeper Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) processor idle sleep states.This occurs when the USB 2.0 driver leaves the asynchronous scheduler component running ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 7:48 AM

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