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Hi all, Win7100 64 installed and occasionally enjoying it so far.

My Problem:
I inserted a typical client-provided Data CD with 1,025 CAD files spread over 203 nested folders (a manufacturer's product library). Typical file/product name something like REQY250-BC1E where REYQ is one of dozens of similar product families and 250 is one of several available sizes. I might need 12 or so of these files for a typical project.

On XP,2000, NT4, ME, '98, , I would browse to a folder, right click, select Search, type in a string, click OK, job done. Change folder, change string, search again. Lovely.

On Windows 7 The super-enhanced-Explorer opens up. I browse down through the list of folders. File Searching for anything in Explorer yields NO results. (because the drive is not indexed?)

So, Plan B: Windows-F,
2.type a search string in the top right.
3.wait until Windows scans my whole (indexed) system for matches
4.scroll down the long results list to the bottom of the page. 'custom'
6.browse your way to the DVD drive
7.Results appear!
8.Slightly different search string? No Problem! simply go back to Step#2 (no need to repeat step#1!)

Search will ignore spaces
Search will provide partial matches mixed up with the full matches.
Search will provide matches to folder paths AND filenames. Try finding just the PDFs in a folder structure with a folder called "PDFS and DWGS" at the top!
Search is not configurable in any way that I have found.*
Search sucks!

Can someone please explain how this is a "release candidate" feature and not some sort of sick frakking joke?

I've had such a problem with this that I've had to try out a 3rd-party app. called Super Finder. Fortunately, it works a treat and I'll soon be sending them some money for their product. But WTF?

Again I ask, am I getting this wrong? How is this 'progress'?

And if anyone can tell me how I can get Microsoft themselves aware of my feelings, I would be very grateful. Obviously they don't see their Search utility as a fetid pile of dung, but I do.

Right now, if Autocad could run properly on Macs or Linux, I'd jump ship tommorrow.

* Ok I found some options in Folder Options/Search Tab. Sorts out partial matches but still, what a PITA!

Hi guys, Tolerance here, new to the forums as some of you may notice. Anyways I'm trying to install Windows 7 ultimate package on a PC that previously had Windows Vista. I've already ran the Windows Adviser program, and my PC seems fine so i went ahead and tried to install. First i tried using a burned ISO file to a DVD, with this i made my primary boot device the DVD drive, and my setup started normally. But after i selected the language, then a custom installation, and was directed to select the driver in which Windows 7 would be installed on i would get an error that reads,

"No device drivers were found. Make sure the installation media contains the correct drivers then click OK."

I've browsed these forums looking for someone with similar problems, and i did find them, and a lot of the threads were really annoying seeing as how so many people decided to reply with long irrelevant comments. Based on the answers from those threads I've tried burning the ISO file with a different burner (which was suggested often), but still with no prevail. So i was wondering if there was a problem with my system, or maybe my C: drive. If any additional information about my CPU is needed please tell me and i'll do what i can to help.

How easy is it for you to use Windows 7, versus say, whatever you are normally used to? This is a question that has decided the fate of not just entire households, but entire businesses when it comes to a proposed Windows 7 migration. I have noticed that one of the biggest preconceptions about Windows 7 is that it must be extremely difficult to use and understand, despite its rave reviews. This must be due to the fact, as some would contend that so much time has gone by since the release of Windows XP. Another preconception I have found is that driver support must be a problem, especially if you use the 64-bit version. Are these quickly becoming stereotypes? How fair are these statements?

I look at these statements with interest from a different lens. For an IT department, writing off Windows 7 as too difficult for employees to use and impossible to upgrade to may be statements that are easier to make to senior management, than, say, actually upgrading an entire business. For home users, it may be a good way to rationalize hanging on to that old computer for just one more year.

Through my use of Windows 7, I have found that the ease of use is roughly the same as Windows XP. I have not had any issues with drivers, as most of my hardware is new, and I haven’t used Windows XP, except at work, since the RTM (release to manufacturing) of Windows Vista. Many of us in the technology fields share a commonality – whether we have certifications, awards, experience, or not – we have a skillset that less experienced computer users don’t have. Therefore, it may be hard to judge what exactly constitutes ease of use.

Who are these people, who consider themselves skilled in other areas, but not in computers? According to some studies, it’s a large chunk of the workforce and a majority of consumers in the industrialized world. This group is complimented by the baby boomer demographic: People born from the 1940s to the 1960s view computers as difficult to work with. This is quickly becoming the oldest generation living today. Outside of that, a majority of people born in developing nations, where the tools necessary for widespread home computer use has been lacking, share a lack of confidence about ease of use. In some cases, due to trade imbalances and a variety of complex political and social issues, it could be argued that people in the developing world have been deprived of this technology and innovation. How can it be possible, though, that so many people around the world have a lack of confidence in their own abilities in general, especially with computers?

It is safe to say that many, if not most, jobs in the United States and Western Europe must require at least a basic to intermediate level of understanding on how to use computers – and more specifically, word processor software, basic file and database retrieval, and in many cases data entry.

It has amazed me, personally, to see the CEO of a business, which has made millions – if not billions - of dollars due to savvy business skills and entrepreneurial spirit, know absolutely nothing about computers except how to navigate Windows Explorer and write e-mails in Outlook. This strange dichotomy, to a computer person, almost seems like something from outer space. Then again, one could argue a business owner in such a position can, quite literally, afford to pay someone else for their ignorance. When we realize that many business moguls alive today lived without powerful desktop computers capable of inconceivable floating-point operations and immersive graphic user interfaces, the idea is not so far-fetched. In fact, many business owners such in my example are uniquely aware of their own limitations, keen on the capability these computers have when placed in the right hands, and have a vision for their business where computers play a central role. They can also recognize, as pragmatists, that they better serve their business by focusing on what they know and delegating computer, MIS, and IT responsibilities to others.

In a younger world, the new workforce is expected to have intermediate to advanced level of computer skills. College entrants are expected to be computer proficient, to know how to use online tools to their advantage, and the idea of not having a laptop to conduct research or write reports has become alien in academia. It is noted that the Internet itself was nurtured by large universities before it became generally available, and ultimately accepted, by consumers around the world.

The older segment of the workforce may need similar skills, but this requires that a company with older employees engage in skills training. If the boards of directors of a company, or their own CEO, do not know much about computers, they could receive poor advice from an understaffed IT department. “We need to come to an understanding that the majority of our employees will never be able to learn Windows [insert whatever version here]”. This could be considered an easy out for many IT departments, unless the marketplace and nature of the business demands fundamental change. One area where accountability and free market economics takes a back seat pass, at least as we can confirm it, is in the United States government. Many government computers in large urban areas continue to run Windows 2000 or Windows XP – unpatched. Viruses continue to be a daily occurrence and threat. Many of these departments are inundated with bureaucratic wrangling, are also understaffed, due to the competitive nature of the private sector and the mindset of information technology experts – who may not want to find themselves locked into a public service position at a low base salary for several decades. Ironically, it may be the federal government, which many perceive to be as inept, which comes out with the policies necessary to keep public computer systems around the country up to date. Local municipalities, state, and city governments may be less likely to have implemented end of life cycle practices.

So when we consider all of these possibilities, how is it possible that some people still fear Windows 7, and is that fear justified? From an objective standpoint, it is not difficult to see how budget restrictions can prevent large organizations, or even individual people, from upgrading to Windows 7. When market forces begin to demand faster computers, people will gradually latch on to the new operating system. While the base system is markedly improved from Windows XP, with advanced security features and enhanced stability, Windows 7 could be considered just as easy – if not easier to use – than Windows XP. The area where people may be getting confused the most is in driver and software support.

For one thing, Windows XP uses an older graphical display driver model for video graphics cards. Older computers with integrated video graphics cards or video cards that just don’t cut the mustard may have trouble under Windows 7. While the base operating system and the majority of its functions will still work under Windows 7 – in some cases even outperforming Windows XP – extremely old systems will have difficulty rendering the transparency effects known as Aero which have, by now, become well known to enthusiasts. Therefore, Windows XP users with old school games and graphics cards, may not be too pleased when it comes to their Windows 7 experience. To placate this group of people, “XP Mode” was created, which allows a virtual instance of Windows XP to run side-by-side with Windows 7 using Microsoft Virtual PC technology. This prevents any lazy IT department from saying “our software won’t run on Windows 7”. However, on older systems, graphics issues will still create a gap, often requiring upgrade.

The mindset under which people approach device drivers is confusing to computer technicians, consultants, and IT gurus who have worked in the field. As it seems, most people believe that Microsoft itself is 100% responsible for driver support. This is not the case at all. When your old Epson (or insert any brand name here) printer or scanner doesn’t work in Windows 7, it is very well due to the fact that the manufacturer, in our example, Epson, has not designated development time to create the proper device drivers for the next version of Windows. While Microsoft has written and co-authored tens of thousands of compatibility drivers, not every device will work with these, and even if they did they would not be performing very well. It is almost always up to the manufacturer to support their hardware. Such is a problem with old Windows XP peripherals being brought up to par with Windows 7. Since Windows XP was released in 2001, Windows 7 is nearly, but not quite, a decade older than Windows XP. Hardware manufacturers had plenty of time to see where development was going, and most Windows Vista drivers will work under Windows 7. Therefore, if your printer, scanner, or USB turntable doesn’t work under Windows 7, this is a very rare instance, and is usually due to the fact that the manufacturer of these peripherals probably wants you to buy a new one. It may seem lowdown, dirty, and rotten, but these companies make most of their money by consumers buying new products. They do in fact spend (and lose money) by supporting discontinued models.

What about software? Many people in the workplace and at home approach Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications with a sense of fear and loathing. It is as if this one program has become the bane of the workplace – the new abacus; the confirmation that, at the start of the day, a mountain of paperwork must be created – but this time with dreaded formulas. How then, could one ever learn to use Excel 2010 when Excel 2003 is still being learned? Much development time is spent on making programs easier to use. In Excel 2010, for example, it is far easier to actually print out and display reports in an easier way than it could ever be in 2003. The ribbon menu, which was so harshly criticized in Office 2007, is now seen as a welcome upgrade in Office 2010, after feedback and Q&A testing showed how to make it right. Still, I have gotten the sense that many people approach their programs emotionally, and not logically. The ones that provide entertainment are innately good, and the ones that are used for productivity are just terrible. This sort of stigmatism can prevent entire offices from upgrading their software for years on end, especially when senior management adopts the same mentality.

Readers who know me would not be surprised to see me advocating the latest and the greatest as far as software and hardware. It has always been my opinion that more can get done and be enjoyed on a computer when it’s being used to its fullest resources. While my vision of future offices running the latest version of every operating system and processor may be a bit far-fetched, it becomes clear to me that the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I emphasize that the middle I am talking about does not lie somewhere between 2010 and 2001, but in finding middle ground with people who are truly intimidated by their computer – worried they may damage it at any time or that they do not have the skillset to properly use it.

People can have confidence in their ability to use computers, and Windows 7, once they realize that their skills are not limited to what they have learned in grade school, high school, or college. New skills can be developed at any time, so long as a person is willing to pursue it. That motivation must come from within. This is particularly important for older readers. One needs only to understand the basis, and importance of logic, in order to draw a parallel between how a computer works and how the human mind can also function. What interests me, and perhaps others, is that we, as a group of collective individuals, may soon find that an operating system, or computer system itself, is limited in only what we put into it. Accessible from a computer today is the sum of all human knowledge on the Internet – as well as movie rentals and all of Vanilla Ice’s music videos. Truly, the opportunities are endless.

So do I believe Windows 7 is easier to use than Windows XP? Absolutely. Conventional wisdom and the facts tell us so. It is up to the end-user to challenge themselves to something new – and not to fear the unknown. It appears that many people are doing just that. This year, Windows 7 became the fastest selling operating system of all time.

On another forum someone posted a method for disabling the UAC warning during instillation of the software or after running it for the 1st time. But I'm confused on the whole UAC thing.

Someone please help me understand better

With UAC on I will get a warning the 1st time I go into a program or I can choose to never get that warning using the method posted there correct ?

With the number of programs we all have and that are still out there, that are not Vista certified Heres my question.

I install a program on my system because I'm obviously trying to use the software.

Not knowing how the program will react with vista, the 1st time I will choose to ignore the warning.

So if running this software is going to give me a BSOD or some other bad result am I not going to get it this 1st time I run it ?

If not the 1st time and it's a cumulative problem I can not obviously see won't I disable the UAC warning using the method here thinking there is no reason for it ?

If I can see it doing harm to my system won't un-install have the same results ?

UAC is not a protection from harm just a warning.

Any damage done to my system has already been done the 1st time I tried the software or after disabling UAC (using this method) because I think the program is safe.

So the only thing I can see UAC doing is telling me that a program is not Vista certified, which is something I would already know.

This is where I'm lost on the function and need of UAC.

This is why I disabled UAC.

Please set me straight if I missed something here - I'm the 1st to admit I am wrong when my errors are pointed out to me.

Please do not think I'm questioning anything but my line of reasoning here.


I am trying to share my internet connection to allow a connection to my xbox
and xbox live. I have got a USB speedtouch connection. I have been on many
websites seeking information on how to accomplish this however they all tell
me to right click my connection and click on a box saying something like
'allow internet connection to be shared with other computers'. As i try to do
this when i click on the advance tag there is a firewall option but no
connection sharing option. Please can someone tell me what i need to do to
get this option or how to connection a xbox to a USB modem. Thank you, Sam

I wish to uninstall a program I downloaded, but I am
unable to do so, cause I get a message saying that it is
currently running and I need to exit from it before I can
continue uninstalling it. I've tried both the Uninstall
for it in the "All Programs" section and the "Add/Remove"
section of my Control Panel.....I get the same message
both places. This is the clincher....I don't know how to
turn it off, for it doesn't show up on my task bar, nor
does it show up when I pull up "Task Manager".

I really don't need this program and it's just a waste of
space, so could someone please give me any suggestions as
to how I can either Remove this program completely
(without having to download another program to do it) OR
tell me what I can do to at least TURN IT OFF.

I appreciate any time and effort made to helping me
resolve this issue. And Thank You Very Much!

Does anyone know how to enumerate the reports from an external A2K database into a listbox on a form in the Currentdb?
I can't seem to get it to work for an external database. It works great for the Currentdb(). The line:
Set docs = NewAccessApp.Containers!Reports.Documents
Is not allowed. Please see below.

Dim docs As Documents, DB as Database
Dim AccessApp As New Access.Application
Dim strDb As String, i as Integer

strDb = "c:Testdb.mdb"

If strDb CurrentDb().Name Then
NewAccessApp.OpenCurrentDatabase strDb
Set docs = NewAccessApp.Containers!Reports.Documents
Else: Set DB = CurrentDb()
Set docs = DB.Containers!Reports.Documents

iRptCount = dox.Count
For i = 0 To iRptCount - 1
sRptName(i) = dox(i).Name

I may be approching this all wrong. I'm sure someone will
tell me if I'm barking up the wrong tree. I thought about
setting DB to the External Database but I don't know how
to do that or if it will work. Please advise.

Thanks in advance.

Can someone tell me how you record a macro so it actually records the keystrokes performed, not just the results of the keystrokes? I don't mean relative vs absolute recording, I know about that but it doesn't change this problem for me!

Some of my users have a big spreadsheet where one column consists of hyperlinks, where the cell contains the name of the company and is hyperlinked to the document concerned. These currently start, eg "FALSEDATA..." and need to be changed to, eg "CORRECT01DATA..." but since the links are not in the cells in the normal way Ctrl-H can't see them.

I therefore need to record the keystrokes, ie Insert, Hyperlink, go to left end of field (home), press delete 7 times, type "CORRECT01", click OK. When I do it, however, it just records "Selection.Hyperlinks(1).content = "CORRECT01DATAFOLDERFOLDERFOLDERDOCNAME.XLS" or whatever the name of the current link is.

Since I don't want all the links pointing to the same document, this is no good!

Is there a way to records keystrokes, please?

Any help gratefully appreciated!

In Outlook 2003, in the Favorite Folders in the Navigation Pane in Inbox, Calendar just appeared, and I don't see how to remove it from Favorite Folders (which normally is only e-mail folders anyway...). How can I remove Calendar from Favorite Folders?

I googled this issue before I remembered that I'd likely get a better answer here, and found someone who said to open Outlook using the /resetnavpane switch, but didn't say how to do that, and the person who did do it got some side effects which I didn't understand.

So if you know how to remove Calendar from Favorite Folders, please tell me the steps, and also, if you know, the repercussions from doing so, so that I can recover appropriately.

In Word 2007, I have specific settings for my Home>Styles>Figure Caption, specifically Verdana font, bold, and green color. I pasted a figure table from a different document (Report B), one that uses a different Figure Caption styles setting. Actually, I've been pasting a few different figure tables from Report B into Report A. So far, none of the pasted tables have changed my Styles>Figure Caption settings to that of Report B (in this case, arial blue 8pt bold font). The final table I pasted did however change the Styles>Figure Caption settings in Report A to that of Report B, from verdana green to arial blue. I don't want this stylistic change, and wonder why it occurred. Can someone please explain how I can revert my Figure Caption settings back to how I had them before? I know I can manually do so within Modify, but I am more interested in knowing if there's a simple setting that will allow me to tell Word not to enforce the Figure Caption settings from Report B onto the Home>Styles>Figure Caption settings in Report A.

Plus, it seems inconsistent of Word to allow several tables to be pasted without making this style change, only to do so within the final table I pasted.


Can someone who has moved this folder off of C: to another drive tell me how they did it please?

I've read a few articles on how to supposedly do it; and, when I change the registry as outlined, and reboot,
I lose the favicon image on my task bar. I stop right there, merge the original key back, and reboot again.
Who knows what else I might have done if I pressed on with the changed key.

This tired ol' brain will need step-by-step instructions if you care to give them.

Thanks in advance,

I am sending out emails via an Email merge from an Excel table. This Excel table has numbers and most of the time, when I import the amounts into the mail merge setup in Word, the numbers are carried out to mulitple decimals. I have the ROUND formulas in Excel in use and have tried multiple Excel-based formatting options. But it doesn't seem to work consistently. The weird things is that out of 151 emails, I will pull 2 that are formatted correctly. Yes, I have tried copying the formats in Excel etc--to no avail. I don't see how to apply a format in Word that holds up.

The second weird part is that I have done something in the past that made ALL the emails come through with the nice 2 decimal format but can't figure out what I did. I am wondering if it is the way I open the Excel file--sometimes I already have this password-protected file open and sometimes I don't. Or if there is a settting that impacts this in the Word Setup. It was an older Word Mail Merge template and every time I open it, I get a message box telling me that it is about to run an SQL query. Don't know how to kill that either.

Can someone please, please help on this formatting issue or give me guidanc on what I might be doing wrong?

Hope someone can help/direct me in this.
In so many of the posts in The Lounge, I have seen reference to System.ini or win.ini..all located in the System section, along with Startup,etcetc.
My question is: is there something that tells you how to use any and all of these things? The 'Help' section doesn't go into detail-i.e. what should be listed, how to add things or correct data, otherwords a tutorial of some kind on the usage of this stuff.
Any and all help is appreciated. I need to know how to do things like this if something has to be fixed...but I never see anything on 'how-to-do' it...primers aren't included...MS should have something at least...I tried the KB..but THAT doesn't go into detail either.
If this isn't correct forum...please direct me to the correct one...thank you.

Thanks Dave and Andrew for the help on previous post. Please let me know if THIS should be in another area.
I guess I don't understand file ext. When the box shows up that basically says "can't open in the current program, please select another..." I hope you know what I mean...anyway, someone once told me NOT to use that to try and find the right program for the extension.
That's it, how do you know where (and how) to find the program that WILL open a particular extension? For example, a friend sent an e-mail with an attachment. When I downloaded it, the file extension was '.htm' am I supposed to know what that is and what opens it?
You can't imagine how much I would appreciate help with this. Please feel free to tell me where I can go to get "educated" on file extensions!

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong please? I'm trying to restore a system image to a Dell Studio laptop with a slot CD/DVD drive. This computer did not come with a reinstallation disk so a full system image was created when the laptop was new. The system image produced 16 CDs of data, and we also made a two disk set of System restore files, plus a repair disk. We want to go back to when the computer was new to fix recent issues.

When I put in the repair disk as instructed to begin to restore the system image, and restart the computer, after bootup it tells me to put in the last disk of the system image set. Since I have no way to manually eject the system repair disk drive at that point from the slot drive (Windows 7 hasn't loaded at this point) , I am unable to put in the system image disk requested. Been going round robin and failing the restore. Am I missing something? How to remove the repair disk so I can begin the restore? Please help.

If this whole process fails, is there a way that I can copy the 16 disks of system image to the hard drive first and try to restore from the hard drive? The laptop is operable. If so, how would I go about this? It seems that restoring from the hard drive would be simpler that trying to eject CDs. Thanks so much. Judy

How do you set up exchange to deal with subscriptions ?
I have a user who sends out email to '' and this is annoying the staff who dont want it.
I want to place a page on our intranet that will allow people to subscribe to the mail outs. then when there is a mailing the user can send it to '' everyone is happy. We will need an unsubscribe link at the foot of the document that then gets people out of the distribution list too.

I know its possible as i want the same function as we all use with Woody's Watches .

Can anyone talk me through it please ?

Extremely large picture cropped to 640x480 pixels by HansV. Please don't post such large images (or zip them).

Please can someone tell me how it is possible to do this.

I have a jpeg of a green marble effect which is attached. I wish to change he green to a yellow, is this possible?


Originally Posted by ruirib What was the thread about? Maybe I can help you find it. Very kind of you to ask, and if you decide my reply belongs elsewhere, please feel free to move it. Maybe there someone here that can help confirm I'm on the right track with my idea.

Background: After using the Active Desktop for years (to put a live foreign-exchange graph in the corner of my Desktop) I moved to Windows 7, and lost the ability to do that. I recently discovered how to get it back, using Eduardo Macero's MiniBrowser Gadget. The MiniBrowser works so well (more stable than Active Desktop) that I now have a 24-hour news channel running in a second instance of the MiniBrowser, just above the graph.

After telling users how great it is to have Internet connectivity built-into the Desktop since Windows 95, in July Microsoft discovered it's a grave security risk that can only be remedied by 'breaking' the feature in Windows 7, and then moving to their next OS, Windows 8. I never expected the financial site (Dukascopy Bank) was going to send malware into my system, but now that I'm considering feeds from other sources, I thought more security would be a good idea, and no, I'm not ready to 'ditch' Windows 7 for the yet-unknown advantages of Windows 8.

What I'm looking for help with, on the other thread: I've found it's possible to make all Windows 7 gadgets run (fully) sandboxed. If the sandbox rules are correctly written, I suspect that this may make Microsoft's statement about the problem, and their solution, null and void. But before I assume that, I'm looking for a forum where I can run what I'm doing by other 'pairs of eyes' to make sure I haven't opened the sandbox too much, or in the wrong places.

Even on Wilder's forum, there are threads repeating Microsoft's words as to the problem and the solution of crippling the OS, with no mention of how to work-around the problem for those finding a use for desktop Gadgets. Is there anyone, in any section of the Windows Secrets Lounge, who could help settle this question?

More details here. Although this link is to the forum for the protective software I'm using, as of this writing, please note the thread ends with my question, asking for someone to tell me if there are any 'holes' in the solution I propose ... anyone here able to tell me if my system is really safe, even with the Gadgets going 'full blast'?

I have reserved a great deal of time not passing judgement on Windows 8, but so far I am not as enthused as, perhaps, I should be. This is not to say that I have given up on Windows 8, but for me, the Consumer Preview just isn't doing it. The main problem, of course, for me, and I suspect many others, is not so much the lack of Start Orb, but the Metro UI itself. Please allow me to explain:

Is Windows 8 a service, a product, or both?

I have discussed this quite entangling issue to some length with others in confidence, and have found myself to be disappointed with Metro UI. Some concerns that I see myself and others having is the Metro UI as a service platform for Windows Live. It is clear to me that this is likely the reason that Metro UI has been embedded into the operating system. While its usability is no doubt optimized for touch screens and next generation human interface devices, I find myself frustrated with the pre-installed applications in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In fact, I find myself quite annoyed, and in some cases, startled by what happens when you link your Windows Live ID to Microsoft Windows 8.

In Microsoft Windows 98 SE, upon launching Internet Explorer 5, one of the first screens a user saw was:

"Welcome to MSN Internet Access"
"Get fast, reliable Internet access and e-mail from Microsoft."

During that time, it was uncommon for someone to be on a LAN (local area network) using a router. A LAN would actually have to be manually set up, and so Microsoft attempted to use MSN as an Internet Service Provider to give you dial-up access to the Internet using a dial-up modem.

However, this terminology is telling to me. The issues with Active Desktop from the Windows 9x series of operating systems have not been lost on me. In this context, I am mindful of the fact that Microsoft has attempted to control the desktop, and did make an early bid to control and monetize on the Internet, from its early ages. This is not so much condemnation of Microsoft as it is a realization that Microsoft is a business: just like Google and Facebook.

But what was once seen as a massive attempt to take over the Internet by a corporation that controls the majority of the operating system market, now seems to be getting a welcome reception with bells and whistles from a new generation, corporations, media, and people planning on selling books off their review sites. Indeed, even Paul Thurrott threw me for a loop in one of his more recent reviews, when he concluded something like (paraphrase) "More soon... I have a book to write! (Windows 8 Secrets)".

I have always admired Paul, and his contributions with reviews and early access to Microsoft software. In fact, I have nothing against the guy. But it is true. He has a book to write. About all of the secrets of Windows 8. Much of that review was spent explaining what certain features do. And why they actually may be relevant. To me, this was a sharp departure from highlighting some of the improvements that could be found in the OS or talking about faster benchmarks and better ease of use. What I saw was a middle-of-the-road exploration of features that are so difficult to interpret or understand, even though they are deeply embedded into the operating system, that he has to go around telling you what they are for.

Most of the benchmarks performed on the CP show that there is a small performance blow in comparison to Windows 7, thus far. The system does not run any faster, but boot times have been expedited by code optimization. We have seen this before, with other Windows releases besides Windows 7. One major drag on the operating system seems to be battery usage. The results seem to be inconclusive in this realm, with one site showing better returns, and another site showing massive battery consumption compared to Windows 7. Even though memory deduplication is supposed to improve battery life, benchmarks show either less battery utilization, or much more.

Better Battery Life:
Hands on with Windows 8 CP: Battery life test | ITworld

Less Battery Life:
Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Quick Look at Battery Life (Updated) | Your source for downloading popular benchmarks

Then there is the whole idea of interest in this OS:

windows 8 cp vs 7 vs xpsp3 benchmarks? - Neowin Forums

Huh? What is going on here? Where is the main interest in the system that we saw with the likes of Windows 7 and even Windows Vista? Windows Vista was a major flop for Microsoft, and it was released years after Windows XP. Still, it offered robust security, and was a step in the right direction for many of us. This is because Windows XP was released in October 2001, and something had to go in the right direction after so much time. Now, with Windows 7 only a couple years old, one is left to ask whether they even need a new operating system. With five years of time between Windows XP and Windows Vista, we still saw big manufacturers like Dell and HP offering downgrades to Windows XP - which many businesses took to save money, at their own peril. But Windows 7 offered something its predecessor, Windows Vista, could not offer. And that was performance on par with Windows XP, a much more slick look, and virtualization technology that would allow anyone with a fairly decent computer system to run, not just a legacy Windows XP application, but the entire Windows XP operating system, in a virtual machine inside Windows 7.

My first point was about Windows 8 as a service, and that is where I also run into some difficulty swallowing the results. Windows 8, when connected with a Windows Live account, seems to want to download your life from Facebook. The "People" Metro application runs a Facebook-based application that, with your consent, downloads all of your information from Facebook and syndicates it to your Windows Live page and Windows Live Messenger. It then uses that information to help you find your "people", by literally just taking all of the data off of your Facebook account. Then, your Windows Live status page becomes something of a Facebook clone. You can find even more people by performing the same task on LinkedIn, and presumably, in the future, all other services, perhaps maybe Google. But what if they let you link Google as well? Then, you can just access everything from "People", which is your Windows Live Messenger status page. What incentive do those other sites have to continue to develop their own social networking sites?

Next up was the product placement in Metro UI applications. When going to video, I found advertisements for popular television shows like The Walking Dead on AMC. It appears that you will eventually be able to purchase video content from this store, and watch videos on your computer. Where will this content come from? Microsoft, of course. This would not be a problem for me, if other services did not exist, like Netflix, for this very purpose. Then, going to Music doesn't show any advertisements just yet - but it does show a blank user library, where you can't add any music to it unless you go into the Desktop any way. Chances are this will be changed, but that doesn't discount the fact that over a decade of software development went into Windows Media Player, which has taken almost a dozen versions for any serious audiophile to even remotely take into consideration. Most will still jump over to iTunes, Winamp, and foobar. Does the Music app interact in some way with Windows Media Player? Is Windows Media Player being phased out? Is Microsoft going to offer its own music service now? We are left to try to figure this out.

You may be wondering where this is going. For me, any way, controlling the presentation means controlling the content. I am very pleased that services have been created like Steam for games and Spotify for music. With these programs, you are able to purchase music as a service. You are also able to purchase and download the full version of games. This software is fantastic, has its own interface, and offers remarkable service when you create an account. You are free to buy stuff, or never do that at all. You can take advantage of social networking within these services. But the great thing about these programs, in my opinion, has always been that you can install and uninstall them at your leisure. Thus, I ask the question, why can't Metro UI itself, just be an icon on the desktop, and a component of Windows that can be removed at any time? After testing the Windows Live features in the built-in Microsoft apps, I am left to make a conclusion I don't really want to make. That conclusion is that because Microsoft could not market social networking to the masses on par with Facebook or Google+, and because the company could not market their operating system to phones and tablets, they have decided to use forced obsolescence to make sure that everyone on the entire planet that buys a PC desktop or laptop computer, besides Linux users, will be forced to interact with their online services like Windows Live and Bing.

When I use the term forced obsolescence, I specifically state that Windows 8 is being designed to make Windows 7 obsolete - eventually. While the touch screen features are great, they seem to be an excuse for giving us a brand new version of Active Desktop. However, this time, everyone actually uses the Internet, and bandwidth/connection speed/throughput is no longer a major concern.

I am left to imagine an Internet where everyone who used a Microsoft Windows computer signed up for MSN Internet Access in Windows 98 and never bought a router. What if everyone in the world was OK with Microsoft placing advertisements for their own or preferred online services in all of their applications years ago? Well, you'd never have Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or a number of other companies. Everyone would be using MSN Search (Bing), Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Live Mail (Hotmail). I am reminded of America Online.

I have never really minded that Microsoft sells their online services to the world. Windows Live has always been something I considered a decent alternative to Google. However, I do have a problem with the operating system that I use also being designed directly to connect to a slew of services I do not use, and likely never will. This includes everything I listed above about Windows Live. This integration of applications that are dependent on Windows Live is a sharp contrast from Windows 7, and I, at least right now, would have major privacy issues divulging all of my Facebook information, online information, and handing it over to Windows Live. I like the fact that I can use multiple social networks, and that I have options. I use Windows Live for a variety of reasons, but I would never want it to be the only option on my phone. much less my desktop. I would want to be able to uninstall software applications associated with Live.

Because Microsoft controls the operating system market, they have decided to expand their business and compete in other areas. This includes gaming consoles, phones, and tablets. I have never taken issue with this, but I do take issue when these services are being bundled and forced down my throat in an OS release. I am reminded of how, on nearly every operating system installation I performed for years, I would have to be sure to remove the "Online Services" section from Microsoft Windows. These "Online Services" included America Online, AT&T WorldNet, CompuServe, and Prodigy.

Today, the desktop is being phased out. Many Windows 8 Consumer Preview users have found this to be a difficult issue to deal with. They claim they prefer the traditional desktop and Start Menu. I find that to be true, but for different reasons. At the click of a few buttons, in order to use the People app in Windows, Microsoft downloaded nearly the entire contents of my online Facebook account. They downloaded my data from LinkedIn. And they turned it into a Windows Live service. When I go to the Videos app, they're trying to sell me movies and TV shows when I already have Netflix. When I go to the desktop, I'm led to believe that the entire concept is a legacy feature. When I want to access a web browser, I don't want it to take up my entire screen and use 20% of my entire monitor to show me what my browser URL is. What happens when I actually need to do some real work? What happens when I need to bypass all of this junk?

For me, it will probably be easy. I have worked in IT and trained myself on how to get around almost anything. I have learned, over the years, what services are not essential on a Windows desktop, and how to install, manage, and maintain all kinds of different services. But for a person who is basic to intermediary with computers, they will never get passed Metro. They will have their content presented to them in a way Microsoft can control. And instead of the Internet being divided up into different areas operated by different corporations and public interest groups, it becomes very clear to me that Microsoft will showcase a heavy hand in controlling all online content, including multimedia, browsing, search, and social networking. Whereas before people didn't use their services because Google or Facebook may have had an edge, tomorrow people will be led to believe that this is much easier. With no off switch, Metro UI becomes a platform for delivering "online services" as part of the computing experience itself. And in so far that Microsoft could not put a dent in the multi-billion dollar online advertising network run by Google, or take advantage of the benefits of data mining that Facebook has had with their one billion users, they will now use their operating system platform to scoop up hundreds of millions, if not billions of new Windows Live members. To me, this matters.

While I have never had an issue with Google managing my e-mails and search, they also don't control the presentation of all the apps on my desktop. And while I may rely on their online services, I would never purchase an operating system released by them for just that reason. And that brings me back to Metro UI, and the reason why, at least right now, I can't tolerate it.

Here will be my test: If Windows 8 is even significantly slower or more resource intensive than Microsoft Windows 7, I will likely have no reason to upgrade. With a big magnifying glass being placed on my online presence through the integration of Windows Live into my operating system, I won't want to. If my computer boots a few seconds faster with Windows 8, I'll still breathe a sigh of relief that someone isn't trying to sell me zombie flicks directly on my desktop with no off switch.

I won't have as many privacy concerns as others will. If people were upset that Microsoft was going overboard with including Internet Explorer with their operating system, they will be infuriated by the massive takeover of the desktop with intrusive data-collecting applications that make up the Windows 8 Metro UI interface on install. While Microsoft was once a software development company that released products, they have now concerned themselves with maintaining a strong and marketable online presence on the web. They want people using their services on every phone, every gaming console, every desktop, every laptop, and every type of device in existence that uses a micro-processor. For me, this is overboard, and not what I'm interested in spending my money on.

I would have liked if Microsoft came out with an option for consumers: Pay a $100 annual subscription for feature improvements to the operating system. That is a service I would have been willing to buy. And under those circumstances, I'm willing to bet I'd be promptly allowed to uninstall Metro UI and delete the shortcut to it off my desktop; something that will never happen once you examine the changes that have been made between the Windows 8 Developer Preview and the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

When discussing the new OS with even some of the most technically minded individuals, a guy who designed a Skype app for Windows Phone before the official one was even announced, I found these types of comments:

"Im going to place a shortcut to shutdown.exe -s on my desktop. Although I have my power button assigned to turn it off too."

If that's not being "Vista'd" I don't know what is. But perhaps here are some other considerations:

If this is the most advanced operating system in the world, is it going to even detect whether or not you have a touch screen monitor, and adjust the situation to compensate?

As one other expert put it, why do you have to do "double-backflips" to shut it down?

If the Windows 8 installation asked if you wanted to install Metro UI, would the majority of desktop users currently say no?

Does the operating system showcase more opportunities to market Microsoft online services than it does actual improvements to productivity, usability, and computing power?

How come the only way to close an app is to hit ALT-F4 or CTRl-ALT-DEL, but the option to download TV shows seems to be fully developed? Is this thing like a hotel room menu or something?

Is this OS release inspired by a spur of new innovation or a desire to compete more directly with iOS, Android, Google, Facebook, and Apple?

Does Windows 8 outperform Windows 7?

I'd love to read your comments.

(These are my opinions and they do not reflect on anyone else here at They are subject to change, of course. Here's hoping Microsoft gets it right.)

PCPartner RS485MKM-A94S -- Will not install Vista! HELP!!!

Hi Guys, This is my first post on this forum and I am really hoping someone can help me,
I am having problems installing any version of Vista on my system and I am totally stuck as to the solution!

I have been on the motherboard manufacturer website as I suspect this is the problem area, but there is no information at all, and no help files to say the least!

I will try to be as informative as I can and I hope you can bear with my while I explain my problem and also give you as much info as I can relating to my system..

Here are my system details as best as I can establish from CPU-Z..

Motherboard: PCPartner RS485MKM-A94S
CPU: AMD Athlon64 3500+ (AM2 chip)
RAM: DDR2 Single Channel 512MB x2
Onboard Graphics Chipset: ATI Xpress 200 (RS480)
Bios Version: Phoenix Technologies V6.00PG (07/Mar/2006)
Hard Drive: Sata2 320GB + Sata2 250GB
DiskDrive: IDE Asus DVD/RW DL
Monitor: Hanns.G 19" Widescreen running 1440x900 Res

Right, Firstly the system installs windows XP 32/64Bit perfectly and runs fine, No problems or complications at all.
I want to upgrade to Vista Ultimate and have carried out the test using the microsoft application to establish if my system is compatable, It is and had no hardware issues what so ever. I have tried to upgrade from within windows and I simply get a box saying installation faulure before i get the chance to go through the installation process. ( i get the vista installation wallpaper in the background and thats as far as it goes )

I then decided to try and install from boot up, I make sure the disk is in the drive, turn the system on, and tell the pc to boot from cd, I get a black screen and a bar in the middle of the screen which is loading the installation files, the ones you get before your given your choice of installation options..

Aprox half way through this bar loading I get a blue screen and some random numbers and letters in one corner, there is no error message displayed, and nothing to tell me where the problem is aside from the blue screen and these random letters and numbers.

I have tried several variations on install and nothing has any effect on the installation itself. I first tried to remove one stick of ram and install that way, i tried this swapping between the two sticks of ram i have and it had no effect what so ever.

I have tried to increase the onboard graphics card memory from bios, I have set this from 64MB up to 256MB, this change is detectable at boot up as it tells me the memory available for graphics, however this didnt get rid of the blue screen either.

I have been on the manufacturer website and had a look for bios updates to see if this will cure anything but there appears to be no bios files available at all!

I have emailed the motherboard manufacturer and had zero responce!

I have heard that there may be a conflict with the onboard graphics chipset and windows vista on various other forums, although other than being a suggestion there seems nothing concrete to back this up!

I have also read that it may be an issue with sata hard drives, but again no one has been able to say one way or the other and I find it hard to beleive also that vista would have trouble detecting something that XP picks up very clearly.

I am totally out of ideas as to what i can do to get vista to install on my system, microsoft tells me my hardware will support and run vista however it just does not seem to want to work no matter how many different copies of vista i try to use!

please please please, can someone help as i dont want to have to resort to buying a new motherboard unless i am absolutly forced to!

ps, here is a direct link to the mobo manufacturer website with all the details of my particular board..
PC Partner

pps, here is an image of my boot up and also of the error that i get displayed, not sure if this helps but it cant hurt to show it i guess!

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