Posted tagged ‘Vista’

Vista SP2 is available

May 26, 2009

Vista Service Pack 2 is now available for download for those who want it.  It will later be pushed through Automatic Updates.

There is a Service Pack blocker tool in case you want to have greater control over which updates you receive.

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F6 hack on XP installation

May 13, 2009

Those of you who have installed XP onto a hardware RAID drive know it’s a pain.  You have to make the floppy and use it to install a third-party RAID driver.  This also means you need an internal (not USB) floppy drive.  As these drives go more and more out of the mainstream, it becomes more and more of a pain to install XP on a RAID drive.  

I am having a particularly difficult time with this – not because of lacking a floppy drive.  I have a floppy/card reader combo.  The problem is, I don’t have POWER for a floppy.  I think I have a cable for it somewhere in the studio, but that’s the beauty of a modular supply – I don’t have it when I need it.  But I need XP, because 1) I don’t really want to use Vista anymore, and 2) Vista has issues and won’t even install  Gigastudio LE, and 3) Vista isn’t really compatible with my recording equipment for the home studio (do you see a trend developing?).  Virtually all the cool features (like motorized faders, jog wheel, recording buttons, EQ) don’t work.  So today I’m taking the plunge and going back to XP.

Back to the problem at hand.  I don’t have power for the floppy drive in Computer 1 (though I’m sure there’s an adapter out there somewhere).  But I do have Computer 2 (which does have the correct power).  And this brings me to the hack.  I powered up the Computer 2, and ran its floppy power cable into the floppy drive in Computer 1.  Bingo!  It works.  It probably shouldn’t, but it does work and my RAID drivers are installed.  Don’t have a camera handy, or I’d post some pictures of how crazy this looks.

10 things that make Win7 better than Vista

February 25, 2009

Here’s a great synopsis of some of the improvements in Windows 7.

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=536

Cubase LE 3 compatibility with Vista

January 15, 2009

I recently bought a Tascam FW-1082 FireWire interface for my home recording studio.  I won’t get into my issues with that just now, but I will mention this – it came bundled with a copy of Cubase LE and a copy of Gigastudio 3.

Gigastudio wouldn’t run.  Period.  It’s a Vista thing – it crashes the PC every time the app is opened.  So much for that.  But Cubase is mostly functional.  I wanted to mention this because it’s a classic case of “almost compatible.”  Really, most issues work fine.  It used to crash when I attempted to close it (or was that Finale 03?  Can’t remember – if it did, it doesn’t anymore.).  But it’s a lesson – if you can, get v4 if you use Vista.  If not, try to use v3.  Although it’s not supported, it does work to a large extent.

Though, I should mention that version 4 is supposed to be significantly better, especially for synth lovers.

Cool Vista sidebar gadget

November 26, 2008

I was surfing my TechRepublic daily emails today and I found this “top 10 Vista sidebar gadgets” article.  It’s been a while since I did a Vista post, so here’s one.

According to the download website, this widget uses the Google translation back end to perform a “gisted” translation of:

* English to/from Arabictranslator
* English to/from Chinese (Simplified)
* English to/from Chinese (Traditional)
* English to/from French
* English to/from German
* English to/from Italian
* English to/from Korean
* English to/from Japanese
* English to/from Russian
* English to/from Spanish
* English to and from Portuguese
* Chinese (Simplified) to/from Chinese (Traditional)
* German to and from French

Although I love the performance-related gadgets, I thought this one was cool.  I have found myself running over to FreeTranslation.com more than I would like to, so this widget would be great to have if you are a multilingual IMer or emailer.  I know my wife IMs with her friends in Brasil, and could probably use a translator that will do Portuguese to English and vice versa (this one does).  Here’s a download link:

http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=5d9942d0-6fa3-4359-8b19-b42c4f4d2185&bt=1&pl=1

Maybe a good Python project for me would be to integrate this technology into an automatic translator – grab the text of an IM and put it directly into a translator.  Maybe even start with an open source IM client and make a new version of it that provides an automatic translation in a separate window.

Is Microsoft arrogant or is Vista really more secure?

November 3, 2008

So Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report is on the streets.  And out comes their newest interesting claim – third party applications are killing Vista’s security.  My first thought is that this should make the list of the top 10 (or maybe 100) most arrogant thing I have ever heard MS say.  Then I thought more about it, and realized that it may carry some weight.

Ninety-six percent of the attacks compromising Vista machines come through non-MS plugins and browser mods such as toolbars (why anyone would want a commercial toolbar, I don’t know – it’s one of the great computing mysteries to me).  Only 6% come directly to the OS or other MS software (such as IE).  This is a serious change from XP, on which some 42% of attacks target Microsoft products.

I personally think that the Vista security revamp was a good thing.  And I can’t pretend to understand all the factors that go into why attackers aren’t attacking MS software.  But it’s food for thought.

Just a reminder – watch what you download.  Learn how to properly uninstall software if you don’t know how.  If you only use that Super Web Search toolbar once each year, uninstall it.  Take any trial software off the computer after you’re done using it.  And make sure you’re running good antivirus software (Kaspersky is the one I would recommend at this point). 

Thanks to ZDNet for bringing this interesting information to attention.

Vista UAC “designed to annoy users” per Microsoft manager

April 15, 2008

This is ridiculous.  We all knew that Vista had problems.  I made the mistake of buying it for my latest build and have regretted it numerous times.  And one of the most – well, annoying – features of Vista is UAC (User Account Control).  And now we know why they did it.

According to News.com, Microsoft group program manager David Cross admitted at a recent conference that “the reason we put UAC into the [Vista] platform was to annoy users – I’m serious.”  Somehow they felt that annoying users would cause independent software vendors to write more “secure” code so that it would not trip the UAC prompts.

The second annoyance is that he states some rather slanted statistical information.  He states that:

  • users don’t blindly accept prompts, according to their information
  • only 12% of users actually disable UAC

OK, here’s my rant about this.  MS only bases this on OPT-IN information.  That means that if you’re smart enough to not opt in (I NEVER opt in – if they want post-production beta testers, they should give them the software free!) then you aren’t telling them that you turned all their garbage off.  And to be honest, it’s probably the folks who know better than to opt in that also know to turn UAC off.  Not to mention that his statistics don’t tell us anything, because we don’t know how many people opted out!  I’m one of the ‘didn’t opt in’ users, and I will tell you this: I blindly accept prompts, and as soon as I figured otu how to turn off UAC, I did.  Take that, Mr. Biased Statistics.  I bet there’s fifty thousand more just like me.

OK, rant is over.  Really, I don’t think it’s just UAC that annoys us – it’s Microsoft.  This was in keeping with their track record.  But then again, if we all used Ubuntu, I wouldn’t have a job.  So thanks for being annoying, and thanks for finally admitting it.  But really – don’t use partial stats to try to prove something.  That’s worse than just annoying.

I got the tip on to this article from TechRepublic.