Here are a few Vista features and my thoughts after a few days of use.
Instant Search (Thumbs Up)
The first thing I noticed with Vista is that stuff wasn’t where I expected it to be. This is not Windows XP, that is for sure. Immediately after I set up Vista I needed to see the Device Manager and I had no idea where to look. I have since found it by the way. But what I learned early on is that you can easily search for installed programs as well as files. You can see in the screen shot that I typed “Device” and as I typed the search started. The top item was “Device Manager” and it was highlighted so I could hit enter and it opened. That was easy. I have been using this to start most programs so far. I just finished installing IIS. I couldn’t find the admin tool so I just typed IIS in the search bar.
Lots of Windows Security Warnings and Prompts (unsure)
I heard about this but didn’t realize what it was. Every time you do certain things you get a security warning. So, for example, if I open the IIS Manager Vista prompts me with “Windows needs your permission to continue. If you started this action, continue.” I am sure there is a way to disable these messages but I have to admit, I feel more secure. We’ll see how long it takes before I get frustrated.
Lack of Control over Defragmenter (Thumbs Down)
My friend Gary from work has been showing me the ways of a sys admin. He taught me to use partitions for various files. He also likes to defragment the drives after making big changes. I’ve been following his ideas lately but found a snag with Vista. The Disk Defragmenter is pretty lame! You options seem to be (after you get past the security warning): a) Run defragmenter on a schedule or b) Deframent now. That is pretty much it. I don’t know what happens when you choose b. There are no options and no status update. Is it defragmenting all of my drives or just one? I assume it is doing all of them. I tried running it on a schedule but I don’t know if it worked. It was scheduled for 1 AM but my PC was asleep at the time so I think it skipped it. This morning I tried to run it manually. So I kicked it off and went to work. I came home to find out that the PC went to sleep and never finished defraging. This is pretty lame. I have heard that Vista manages the defragmenting for us now so I shouldn’t have to worry about it. I am not so confident in this.
No More “My Documents” (Thumbs Up)
Windows XP had a folder for each user within the folder Documents and Settings. Inside each user is a folder for My Documents and inside that My Music, My Pictures, etc. I like to re-direct my “My Documents” to a different drive and that was easy to do. But you didn’t have a lot of control over the other “My” folders. It was all or nothing. Vista introduces a Users folder. Inside that, each user has a folder, in my case it is called “Andy”. Inside that folder you will find folders named Contacts, Downloads, Documents, Music, etc. No more “My”…I like that already! Then I found out that you can easily re-direct any of these folders to a different location. So I put Documents, Downloads, etc on my D drive and I put Music, Pictures, and Video on my M (media) drive. And I can still use the shortcut on the start menu. I click “Andy” and I see all of my folders, even though they are located in different locations. This is very cool. To learn how to re-direct the files, read this post I found on Ed Bott’s blog (I don’t know him, found it with Google).