The Dallemagnes → Computers

Ubuntu Impressions

Well after installing ubuntu 7.10 on virtualbox I must say I was a neat expierience but I’m glad I had the opportunity to try it without actually having installed it on my computer. I mean it’s a good system and and has a nice interface, but underneath it all it’s still Linux. What I mean by that is you still need to learn so much to become comfortable on it. I felt very restricted on it because there were many common tasks which I’m used to on windows that I couldn’t do on ubuntu. While the concept is nice and if your a technically inclined person it shouldn’t be a major deal for you to accept and learn these things, however I can’t see someone who only wants to be able to play games and use the internet wanting to take the time to learn all they need to know to install the various applications on it required. In the end I think I’m definitely a windows person. I grew up on it and it’s what I know. I may use linux based webhosting but I believe that’s as far as I’ll ever go into learning the O/S.

edit: 9-32-09 boy have things, changed. I sure love my ubuntu these days…lol.


Checking Out Ubuntu

So I’v been hearing a lot about the Ubuntu O/S lately and wanting to check it out. However since I don’t have an extra computer laying around and I have never dualbooted Operating systems before, so I looked for a way that could check it out but not loose my current system. In my search I came across a nifty free piece of software called Virtualbox. Virtualbox allows you to virtually run Operating systems on your current computer configuration. So Following this article I found on Free Software Magazines website I walked through the process of setting up Ubuntu virtually on my windows vista install. So far so good. As I haven’t really had a chance to fully “play” with it yet I’m not going to leave you with my thoughts on it yet, however I thought virtualbox was very neat and really wanted to share it with others so I figured I would go ahead post about it. If your into computers you may want to check it out.


Vista Issue – No Network – Server Execution Failed

I suffered this error today after installing the latest Version AIM messenger that would be version 6. I discovered I was given no access to my network and sharing folder yet still sporadically had internet access. So Here’s how I managed to fix it.

  1. I uninstalled AIM
  2. I uninstalled the viewpoint media player which came with AIM
  3. I ran a registry cleaner
  4. I did the following
    1. Opened my start menu -> all programs -> Maintenance
    2. Right clicked on the command prompt and clicked Run as administrator
    3. once the command prompt opened I entered the following Hitting enter after each entry
      1. Net localgroup Administrators localservice /add
      2. Net localgroup Administrators INTERACTIVE /add
      3. Net localgroup Administrators IUSR /add
      4. Net localgroup Administrators NETWORK /add
      5. Net localgroup Administrators NETWORK SERVICE /add
      6. Net localgroup Administrators SERVICE /add
      7. Net localgroup Administrators SYSTEM /add
    4. I then rebooted my computer

Everything appears to have returned to normal now I suppose for now I’ll just use trillian for AIM and avoid the whole mess all together.


Deleting that Windows.old folder

If you reinstalled vista only to find half your files were backed up into a folder on your C drive called “windows.old” you can easily delete it using the following steps.

  1. Click Start
  2. In the search box type disk clean and hit enter to open the Disk Cleanup tool
  3. Choose “Files from all users on this computer” and choose the drive you want to clean
  4. After it lists what is available to “clean”, scroll down and select Windows.old from the list of choices. Then delete as desired!

Downgrading from Windows Vista 64 bit to 32 bit with your upgrade disk

Most users who installed 64 bit copies of vista than decided it wasn’t for them for one reason or another found that they had product key problems once they wanted to re-install vista 32 bit using thier upgrade disk. Most would have to install windows Xp then run the upgrade again, but here’s a nice work-around to that problem.

Run your vista 32 bit install and skip the part where it asks for a product key, DON’T EVEN TRY TO ENTER A KEY you’ll just get errors. Once you boot up into Vista for the first time, just insert the CD/DVD again and then choose to


Increase and Change Size of Taskbar

There is a nice feature on windows vista that allows you to see a thumbnail of the minimized windows in your taskbar. It’s one of the things I love about vista. The live window taskbar hover preview can even support playing or streaming video or movie in animated preview. However, the thumbnail preview is kind of small, hardly allow users to see anything meaning, not to mention able to view movie in


Customize Start Menu power buttons

There are two new
power buttons on the Windows Vista start menu that behave differently
than in previous versions of Windows. The main button, that looks like
a power button actually puts your computer to sleep, not really turning
it completely off. The other button locks your computer. I personally
do not like putting my computer to sleep. I would rather turn it off
completely to save some power and save some money on my electric bill
when I am sleeping.

Follow the steps below to customize these button to work how you want them to work:

  1. Click on the Start Menu and type in Power Options and hit Enter.
  2. Click on Choose what power buttons do on the side menu.
  3. Configure the buttons.
  4. Hit Save Changes.

Disable the User Account Control (UAC)

One of the most commonly asked questions about vista is “How the hell do I disable the User account control On vista?!?!” You would be surprised at how easy it is do do this. I’ll outline the process below.

1. Logon to your windows vista desktop (a given)

2. Open your start menu and select Control Panel


3. Select User Accounts and Family Safety


4. Select User Accounts


5. Click Turn User Account Control On Or Off


6. Uncheck “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer”


7. Click OK

8. You’ll now be prompted to reboot your computer so that the changes can take affect.

Thats pretty much it. Very easy to remedy in about 15 seconds. Now you’ll no longer have that annoying permissions dialogue popping up all the time. This doesn’t disable windows defender either which will still be running.

I hope this helps!


Enable DreamScene Video Wallpaper in Windows XP and non-Ultimate Vista

(Full credit for this article goes to My Digital Life Blog )

Windows DreamScene (also Motion Desktop) is a nice extra feature
that plays high definition video content or movie as desktop background
with animated wallpaper instead of static graphic. Unfortunately, Microsoft only offers the feature to Windows Vista Ultimate users for free download.
But it


The Great Vista/XP Debate

Ok I’ll be the first to say that Microsoft is greedy, I mean all one has to do is look at the way they try to rake in money with the Xbox to see that. That being said and having read article after article on people debating the good the bad and the ugly of Windows vista I must say I have a few opinions myself on it.

Angel’s Computer
Mark’s Computer
  • Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium (x64) (build 6000)
  • Processor: 2.20 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64
  • Memory Modules: 1408 Megabytes Installed Memory
  • Display: NVIDIA GeForce 6100
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
  • Bus Clock: 1600MHz system bus
  • Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium (build 6000)
  • Processor: 1.87 gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo 64 kilobyte primary memory
  • Cache 2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
  • System Model: Gateway 2000 GT5238E
  • Main Circuit Board: Intel Corporation DG965LV AAD36275-502
  • Bus Clock: 266 megahertz
  • Memory Modules: 2038 Megabytes Installed Memory
  • Slot ‘J6H1’ has 512 MB
  • Slot ‘J6H2’ has 1024 MB
  • Slot ‘J6J1’ has 512 MB
  • Display: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS

As You can see they aren’t bad systems

Common Discussions & Improvements

One of the most commonly discussed vista facts is the new User Account Control system (aka UAC). Some like it Most find it annoying We both found it annoying so I quickly did a google search and learned how to disable it. The UAC is a dialouge that pops up in vista aking for your permission to do pretty much anything even if your account in an administrator account. However as I said you can disable that annoying little pop up, by simply going into the control panel and turning the option off in User accounts.

Another “commonly” discussed fact is the system requirements of windows vista. Something That I really haven’t noticed a difference of on my 2 year old computer (which is practically ancient in computer years). I would go so far as to say my computer seems faster epsecially since I’m using the 64 bit edition as opposed to the 32 bit.


The graphics on vista are quite a treat if your into eye candy (and yes I am). Not to mention the way they use the Icons to actually tell you about a file. For instance now when I open my computer and see my hard drives I’m actually given the amount of space available graphically. There is now also a handy slider to allow me to make my icons detailed or if I want extremly large. The extremely large feature is quite nice if you have a lot of pictures to go through or wallpapers. Because now you don’t have to separately preview every one you want to look at or try to guess what it is from some tiny little thumbnail.


Another handy feature is the Favorites sidebar You can easily drag and drop folders you frequently use onto this bar and it creates nice little shortcuts to them for you. If your like me and spend alot of time working with folders this nice little feature is something I wont be giving up any time soon. One click folder links are indeed a god-send.

Another thing about vista that I like is how updates can be handled. Now I can run the windows updater program and then instead of being annoyed every 5 minutes once the updates are installed I can opt to wait up to 4 hours before being reminded that I need to reboot to finish the update.

Built in Speech recognition is another neat addition to vista, after just a few mouse clicks I found myself ordering my computer around with a microphone. Something I never thought I would be able to do. I actually wrote a whole forum post by talking to my computer. (A somewhat strange albeit kewl feeling).

Biggest Complaints

Actually I would have to say that my biggest complaint about vista is not actually a vista problem at but a 3rd party problem. It’s the lack of support for 64 bit systems in software. The fact that Mark and I love to be able to customize our interfaces has never really been a problem since we discovered Object Desktop. However now That I’m using a 64 bit system there are some components of object desktop which don’t work with it, such as Icon Packager a program to change all the icons on your system, while it works perfectly fine on Marks 32 bit system. My Most importent software the ones which really concerned me however, were my web server, mysql database server, ftp server and mail server, All which run without a hitch.

In this household we play alot of computer games, one of the major games is Battlefield 2. Right after upgrading I launched my game and began to logon to a server to play only find that I was getting kicked for having insuffecient OS privleges. This however was easily remedied by updating the games punkbuster version, one simple small download. The rest of my games however (Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Zoo Tycoon 2 SIMS 2, Age of mythology..etc…etc..etc..) all work fine I’v had no crashes of any kind. The black and blue screens of death have officially become obsolete. I can also run my classic games without a problem, such as an old typing tutor that was designed for windows 95.

The only other problem that occurred and I really wouldn’t call this a problem was that I had to download updated audio and video drivers for my computer. But they were easy enough to find and install.

Final Words

Windows Vista is different, it’s not XP nor is it meant to be. As with any new operating system there are bound to be bugs and things which need to be changed or even re-evaluated during the initial release period. Most of the people complaining about Vista were probably complaining about XP when it was first released as well. Change can be scary especially in a tech environment. But I think that once the first service pack comes out and more people delve into actually giving it a fair chance it will come to be appreciated in the same manner which XP has. After using Vista for the past 3 months I really don’t think there is anyway in which I could return to XP and still have the same feelings about it. Things that were a pain in XP have become easier to do in Vista Such as resizing a partition (something you need 3rd party software for in XP) or Assigning a drive letter to a network folder which takes two clicks on a one dialog box. If you give it half a chance you might find you actually like Vista. So before you began casting judgments based on other peoples opinions just remember what they say about opinions, they are like assholes everybody has one