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Uncategorized | Windows Vista @ TechnoReality

Windows Vista @ TechnoReality

Micorosft Windows Vista & Compatible Items

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Windows XP SP3


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Download the script and run it on a machine currently running Windows XP Service Pack 2. The script sets a registry key on your system. The registry key is required for Windows Update to recognize your machine as a valid target for Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC2.
Versions of Windows XP Service Pack 3 prior to Release Candidate 2 should be removed before attempting to use the registry key. Windows Update will not offer Release Candidate 2 to machines with previous versions of the Windows XP Service Pack 3 beta.
It is recommended that you apply the resulting update package to an activated, genuine copy of Windows XP, in a test environment. As with any pre-release software, it is also recommended that you back up files and settings on your machine before applying this update package.
View: Windows XP SP3 RC2 Release Notes
Download: Windows XP SP3 RC 2 Installer

via Bink.nu


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    I have installed this on my Vista Ultimate machine and it WORKS. Doesn’t work on an Xbox 360 extender - yet?? I think this is an awesome piece of work and my congratulations and thank you to the Author Anthony Park.

    via the awesome Chris Lanier’s Blog

    Fellow MVP Anthony Park has just released MyNetflix for Vista Media Center. This incredible MCML plug-in has a host of features including “Watch Now” streaming ability! That’s right, no more waiting for Netflix to get their head in the game. Other features include…

    • View Netflix queue
    • Browse movies
    • View your history/recommendations
    • Add/remove/move movies to your queue
    • Browse “Watch now” movies
    • Play “Watch now” movies

    Grab the free beta download here. Thanks for Anthony Park and Ryan Hurst (for the original work) for making this plug-in a reality.

    image

    image


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  • A Vista SP1 FAQ


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    Ed Bott at Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report has this to say about Vista SP1

    I’ve been working with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 for several months now, in beta releases and, for the last two weeks, in the final released code. I’ve put together this post to answer some questions I’m frequently asked about this long-awaited update. If you have a question that isn’t in this list, ask in the Talkback section.

    How big is SP1?

    That depends on how you get it. The standalone updater for the five-language version weighs in at 434MB (455,562,200 bytes) for the x86 version, and 726MB (761,740,600 bytes) for the x64 version. If you download the installer via Windows Update, however, the package is much smaller, typically over 50 MB but well under 100 MB. The updater uses Remote Differential Compression to compare the currently installed OS files with the SP1 files on the server, downloads the changed portions from the Windows Update server, and then combines the updates with the unchanged contents on the computer being upgraded.

    The 32–bit standalone installer is approximately 60% larger than Windows XP Service Pack 2. Delivered via Windows Update, Vista SP1 is slightly smaller than the Windows Update version of XP SP2.

    Will SP1 install on my copy of Windows Vista?

    Yes, as long as you have a retail, OEM, or Enterprise edition in English, German, French, Spanish, or Japanese. If you have any other language packs installed (in Vista Ultimate or Enterprise), you’ll have to uninstall them first. A standalone updater for all worldwide languages will be available in April.

    Read the rest at Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report


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  • My Windows Vista Experience


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    A variation of this is published at www.lockergnome.com/nexus/betagnome   which is my new home on lockergnome.com.

    You may be with Chris Prillo’s Windows Vista Experience.

    Well let me tell you mine have been no better, however it has been different. I started testing Vista at Beta 1, dual booting it with my XP install. Hardware problems were first to show up, not only from the lack of drivers standpoint, but “faulty” drivers as well.

    Lack of drivers was and regretably still is a big issue, regardless of Microsoft PR.

    PRINTER ISSUES
    My color laser printer from Konica-Minolta, a 2300DL (less than 2 yrs old) doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. They claim that the Windows XP driver will work, it might, but the Network Printer functions do NOT, and that is how it is installed. Sure, I could “work around” that and share it on the same network. But that means the machine that it is connected to must be on for it to be available.

    Read my next post which will tell the tale of the dual boot corruption issues at www.lockergnome.com/nexus/betagnome

    Let me add one conclusion upfront and early - I like Vista, even if I have issues. If we don’t let Microsoft know what we don’t like and where we are frustrated - how can they make the “Vista Experience” better.


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  • Xbox Live meets Windows Live


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    REDMOND, Wash. — March 14, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the extension of the Xbox LIVE® games and entertainment network to the Windows® platform, bringing together the most popular online console game service with the most popular games platform in the world. Debuting on May 8, 2007, with the launch of the Windows Vista™ version of the Xbox® blockbuster “Halo® 2,” Games for Windows — LIVE will connect Windows gamers to over six million gamers already in the Xbox LIVE community. Then, launching in June, “Shadowrun™” will for the first time connect Windows gamers with Xbox 360™ players in cross-platform matches using a single service. “UNO®,” releasing later in 2007, will also support cross-platform play between Windows and Xbox 360.

    The launch of Games for Windows — LIVE marks a major expansion of the Xbox LIVE service across multiple platforms, uniting gamers with a single identity, a single gamertag, a single friends list and a single list of achievements attainable on the Xbox 360 and a Windows-based PC. Games for Windows — LIVE gamers will be able to easily find and play supported titles online with their friends across a Windows computer or an Xbox 360. As a unified service with Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows — LIVE will be available in every country and region supported today by Xbox LIVE.

    “Five years ago, we began building a service that now defines the bar for online gameplay,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “The benefits of expanding Xbox LIVE to Games for Windows titles is twofold: We’re bringing together two communities that share a passion for playing online games, and we’re enhancing the online experience for PC gamers who have long desired seamless game and voice connectivity — it’s a win for everyone.”

    Members of Xbox LIVE automatically receive the functionality of Games for Windows — LIVE, using the same gamertag and friends list at no additional cost. For a single, unified service, the pricing of the LIVE services across both Xbox and Games for Windows is identical. In addition, Games for Windows — LIVE introduces the best of Xbox LIVE functionality to please PC gamers, such as in-game voice chat, integrated achievements and dedicated servers. The offering of both Silver and Gold memberships will remain in place for gamers on the Xbox 360 and Windows PC. There is no cost associated with signing up for a Silver membership. Gold memberships will deliver the premium online network experience for $49.95 (U.S.) per year. Current Xbox LIVE Gold members will automatically have access to Gold features on Games for Windows — LIVE titles.

    Silver Membership Features

    •  Single gamertag

    • Common gamer profile

    • Common gamerscore

    • Single player achievements

    • Private chat via text and voice

    • Common friends list and online presence

    • PC only multiplayer including browsing a list of active PC games

    Gold Membership Features

    • All Silver membership features

    • Multiplayer matchmaking with friends

    • TrueSkill™ matchmaking

    • Multiplayer achievements

    • Cross-platform gameplay

    These features of the LIVE services will enable gamers to communicate online and play supported games across both of Microsoft’s gaming platforms, bringing more players and their friends together to connect in new and exciting ways. The following games make up the first wave of titles to support the Games for Windows — LIVE service:

    •  “Halo 2” for Windows Vista (Microsoft® Game Studios). Release date: May 8, 2007. The highly anticipated title brings Master Chief to Windows Vista and is the first title to incorporate the new Games for Windows — LIVE service. Windows Vista gamers will be able to challenge each other in PC-to-PC multiplayer matches and earn achievements for the first time in the “Halo” franchise, as well as communicate via voice or text with other Xbox LIVE or Games for Windows — LIVE members. The visually enhanced classic includes an all-new Map Editor, which will allow for new content and greater game customization. “Halo 2” will be playable with mouse and keyboard or the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows.

    “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios). Release date: June 2007. The intense first-person shooter will let gamers rewrite the rules of engagement as they vie for supremacy in an experience that rewards cleverness, cunning and split-second improvisation through a unique combination of modern weapons, ancient magic and advanced technology. The first title to connect both Windows Vista and Xbox 360 gamers in cross-platform competition will let up to 16 players battle online. Cross-platform play will require Gold level membership. More information can be found at http://www.shadowrun.com.

    “UNO®(Carbonated Games/Mattel Inc.). Release date: 2007. The classic party card game that’s a No. 1 hit on Xbox LIVE Arcade is also coming to Windows Vista and Games for Windows — LIVE. Gamers will be able to compete against three other players on the Xbox 360 or Windows Vista platforms to match colors and symbols and be the first to play every single card in this award-winning game. For gameplay today, “UNO®” is currently available on MSN® Games, Messenger Games and Xbox LIVE Arcade.

    Source: Microsoft Press Release


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    via Microsoft Press Release

    Initial sales figures from Microsoft show its new operating system Windows Vista made a splash in its debut. In the first month of Windows Vista’s general availability, sales exceeded 20 million licenses, more than doubling the initial pace of sales for its predecessor, Windows XP. These initial figures reflect the broad interest in the security and usability enhancements in Windows Vista.

    “We are encouraged to see such a positive consumer response to Windows Vista right out of the gate,” said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Business Group at Microsoft. “While it’s very early in the product lifecycle, we are setting a foundation for Windows Vista to become the fastest-adopted version of Windows ever. Working with our partners, we are helping our customers leverage new tools and programs to accelerate the transition and provide a great user experience.”

    Windows Vista license sales after one month of availability have already exceeded the total of Windows XP license sales in the earlier product’s first two months of availability. In January 2002, the company announced sales of Windows XP licenses had exceeded 17 million after two months on the market.

    The more than 20 million copies shipped represent Windows Vista licenses sold to PC manufacturers, copies of upgrades and the full packaged product sold to retailers and upgrades ordered through the Windows Vista Express Upgrade program from January 30 to February 28.

    Microsoft’s PC-maker industry partners confirm consumer interest is strong. “Since the launch of Windows Vista, Dell consumer customers have overwhelmingly chosen premium versions of the operating system that enable them to have a richer experience with music, video, photography and other computing applications they choose,” said Neil Hand, vice president of Dell’s Consumer Product Group. “Customers’ initial experience with Windows Vista has been quite positive, and we will continue to try to deliver the best customer experience possible,” Hand added.

    “HP worked extensively with Microsoft to ensure that our Windows Vista-based PCs offer consumers our easiest, safest and most satisfying technology experience yet,” said Mark Sanchez, vice president and general manager, consumer PCs, HP. “We are pleased with the customer acceptance of our Windows Vista offerings, including our innovative new TouchSmart PC.”

    Microsoft has made several new tools and programs available to help customers get the best experience with Windows Vista. Windows Upgrade Advisor is a downloadable tool offered online at WindowsVista.com that helps consumers determine whether their Windows XP-based PCs can be upgraded to Windows Vista, and also helps choose the edition of Windows Vista that best meets their needs. The tool scans the computer and creates an easy-to-understand report of all known system, device and program-compatibility issues, and recommends ways to resolve them.

    The “Certified for Windows Vista” logo program is designed to make it easier for consumers to recognize products that deliver premium experiences with Windows Vista. Hardware devices and software bearing the logos at retail help consumers make educated choices when purchasing devices and software to use with Windows Vista. There are more than 4,500 “Certified for Windows Vista” products to date - 2,500 of which were certified just since the January 30 launch event.

    Windows Update keeps customers’ computers up-to-date and more secure by providing Windows Vista software updates from Microsoft. In Windows Vista, the update process is designed to be less disruptive than in previous versions of Windows. Users can elect to automatically receive new updates, and updating occurs in the background or may be scheduled for a time convenient to the user. If an update requires a restart to complete installation, a user may complete the restart at a more convenient time. On occasions when an update applies to a file in use, Windows Vista can save the application’s data, close the application, update the file, and then restart the application. In the initial phase after launch, Windows Update has delivered new drivers at a rate of more than 1,600 per month, bringing the total number of drivers above 27,000.


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  • Nascarfanatic Driver Sites


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    We have developed 3 new blogs for Nascar drivers.

    jimmiejohnson.nascarfanatic.net

    dalejr.nascarfanatic.net

    ryannewman.nascarfanatic.net

    All 3 are in the process of ramping up, but the Dale Jr is just about ready to go.

    We are looking for contributors to all of these sites, and the nascarfanatic.net main page as well. Are you interested - leave a comment here or on any of our sites and we will talk.

    Dell Home Systems


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  • Tips to an easier Vista Upgrade


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    We’re going to assume you already know of the new features of Windows Vista, and are considering an upgrade. Here are 10 tips to make it less painful.

  • Try before you buy. Want to see Vista in action? You don’t have to install it on your system. WindowsVistaTestDrive.com from Microsoft lets you test-drive a Windows Vista virtual machine through a web browser. It also has Office 2007 installed so you can see how they work together.
  • Decide which version. For most people reading this, that will be Vista Home Basic, Home Premium or Ultimate. Home Premium is probably the best choice. Home Basic lacks the new Aero interface, and is probably only a good choice for an older system that will not be upgraded. Ultimate adds the ability to connect to a domain, and other features that would make it a good choice for laptop that does double duty at work and home. Whatever you choose, Vista makes it much easier to upgrade with Windows Anytime Upgrade. Instead of buying a new shrink-wrap box to upgrade, you simply go to the control panel, and choose which edition you’d like. The data for all versions is contained on every DVD, so simply use your original media to perform the upgrade.
  • Buy OEM and save 50%. Many online e-tailers are offering OEM versions of Windows Home Premium, Home Basic, and Vista Business. For example, Windows Vista Home Premium has a suggested retail price of $239. The OEM version sells at NewEgg.com for $119.99. These are full-versions, not upgrades requiring a previous version of Windows to install. Upgrade version of Home Premium are selling for about $149.
    OEM licensing used to require a hardware purchase be bundled with it’s purchase. That requirement has been removed with Vista. However, OEM software lacks the fancy retail packaging and a printed manual.
  • Have a multi-PC household? The Family-Pack may be the best option for you. You must first purchase Vista Ultimate (either a full-version, or upgrade). Then between Jan 30th, and June 30th visit a special website www.windowsvista.com/familyoffer. Once you enter your Ultimate key, you will be able to purchase up to two additional keys for Vista Home Premium at the reduced price of $49.99 each. Suggested retail price for Home Premium upgrade is $159.
  • Upgrade your hardware. Is your system ready for Vista? If it’s less than 2-years old it most likely is. However, the RAM and video may need an upgrade. RAM requirements have doubled since XP. We recommend a minimum of 1GB, and many programs would benefit from 2GB.
    If your video is integrated into your motherboard, or has less than 128MB of RAM on-board, you’ll likely need to install a new video card in your system to experience the new Aero desktop interface. It’s an easy upgrade that most anyone should be able to accomplish. Look for the Certified for Windows Vista sticker when shopping.
    Vista Premium minimum specs:
      A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:
    • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor1.
    • 1 GB of system memory.
    • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)2, Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.
    • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
    • DVD-ROM Drive3.
    • Audio output capability.
    • Internet access capability.
  • Clean install or upgrade? A clean install requires reformatting your hard drive, or starting with a new one. Whenever upgrading an operating system, performing a clean install is a good recommendation. However, most people do not have adequate backups of the contents of their hard drive, or weekend to spend backing up and reinstalling all their software. It’s also easy to forget to back something up, like email or contacts. Vista’s upgrade has been changed drastically from previous versions. It installs a clean image of Vista, and then scans the system to install programs, hardware, etc. Upgrades with Vista should be much smoother.
    Some versions of Vista require a clean install, depending on which version of XP you’re upgrading, and may affect your purchase decsion.
  • If you must perform a clean install, use Windows Easy Transfer to automatically copy all your files and settings to an extra hard drive or other storage device. Then install Windows Vista. After the clean install is complete, Windows Easy Transfer will reload your files and settings to the upgraded version of Vista. You will still need to reinstall all your applications.
    If upgrading, download, install and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. The advisor will help avoid unpleasant surprises. It will warn you of any hardware of software conflicts, before Vista is installed. You should uninstall any unnecessary programs or hardware before running the upgrade advisor, and before running the actual upgrade.
  • Every copy of Vista contains both 32 and 64 bit version, and use the same key. You can install either version, or change at a later day (on the same system). Unless you have a need to run 64-bit software, or require more than 4GB of RAM, avoid the 64-bit version for now. Driver support is very weak for 64-bit, but should improve greatly after general availability. There is no upgrade path to 64-bit. Either from XP, or from 32-bit Vista. It always requires a clean install.
  • Install Vista on a new hard drive. Most everyone can use more storage. Hard drive prices have dropped greatly, and performance has increased. Perform a clean install of Vista, leaving your XP installation intact on your old drive. Then you can use the Windows Easy Transfer to copy files and settings. Leave your XP install on the old drive until you’re sure you have everything you need. Then reformat it, and use it for additional storage, or even better use it as a drive to store backups.
  • Be sure your system is clean of malware (viruses, spyware). Just before running the Vista upgrade, uninstall your antivirus program. It may cause problems with the upgrade, and will almost certainly have to be updated to work with Vista.
  • Last, but not least, backup. Backup important data before running any upgrade. When you’ve finished installing Vista, and have all your applications installed, run another backup. A one-touch backup drive is an easy option.

      Netflix, Inc.


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    4. Dish eyes deal for HTPC Cards


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      via Engadget 

      We figured they’d come around, and sure enough, it looks like Dish Network is now the one in talks with Microsoft to bring satellite programming to the media PC. After DirecTV began this same journey, finally inked a deal with Gates and Co., and actually started playing nice with Viiv-enabled PCs, Dish Network couldn’t just stand around hoping that its fabulous deals on the ViP622 HD DVR would be good enough.

      According to a brief, albeit informative, interview that DBSTalk had with Dish, the company is reportedly “working with Microsoft” to bust out HTPC TV cards, which could steal the thunder from the uber-pricey CableCARD and give DirecTV’s rendition a run for its money. Of course, there’s “no set timeline” just yet, and if you already had a hunch what the holdup was, you’d likely be correct — apparently, “DRM issues” are still lingering, and until both companies come up with a solution that “satisfy the copyright holders,” we’ll all be parking it on the bench waiting for this to move forward.

      Netflix, Inc.


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      via CNET

      The Kodak EasyShare All-In-One machines, as they are called, mark the company’s first entry into the consumer market for inkjet printers. Kodak is touting them as “revolutionary,” based on their ability to print both high-quality photographs as well as documents while chopping ink costs almost in half.

      Citing a study by market research firm InfoTrends indicating that consumers consider the cost of ink and supplies an obstacle to printing documents and photos from home, Kodak has centered its All-In-One line around cutting down on ink costs. The printers use Kodak’s own ink, which costs $9.99 for a black-and-white cartridge and $14.99 for a color cartridge.

      According to Kodak, an All-in-One printer with this ink will be able to produce twice as many documents or photos as a competitor’s printer and ink would at the same cost. The company also sells a “Kodak Value Pack,” which it claims will reduce the expense of printing a 4×6-inch photo to 10 cents.

      “You are throwing that (technology) away and buying a new one every time you buy one of their cartridges, which is pretty expensive stuff, said Cheryl Pohlman, a marketing director at Kodak. “With our system, we have put that print head right into the printer…so all you have to buy is ink.”

      She notes that the products close a loop, of sorts, for Kodak, such that customers can now use Kodak services to print in any of the three most common ways: online, at one-stop-shopping machines at retail stores, or at home.

      “What we want to do is give people who want to print at home a choice,” she said in interview with Reuters. “We believe that this is a profitable business model for Kodak and that for a consumer, it is freeing the way they can print at home.”

      Analysts, who had been told since late 2003 to look for an inkjet strategy from the Rochester, N.Y.-based company, are already skeptical about how Kodak will be able to compete with companies that have millions of printers sitting alongside personal computers owned by families and small businesses.

      “We remain concerned that the up-front costs of establishing an installed base will be high, and that the mature and competitive nature of consumer inkjet requires considerable research and development, and (operating cost) commitments,” analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research said in a client note published in anticipation of the inkjet launch.

      Kodak EasyShare All-In-One printers will be sold at Best Buy stores beginning in March and on Kodak’s Web site beginning in April.

      The All-In-One line consists of three models, all of which have printing, scanning and copying capabilities. The 5100 model ($149.99) is the most basic, with the ability to print 32 pages per minute in black and white or 22 in color, and it can connect to PictBridge-compatible digital cameras for photo printing.

      The second model, the 5300 ($199.99), adds a 3-inch color LCD display for photo viewing and cropping, as well as several memory card slots to better enable photo printing without needing to use a PC. The highest-level All-In-One, the 5300 ($299.99), is geared toward the home office “prosumer” market with a built-in fax machine, an automatic document feeder and a duplexer attachment.

      Reuters contributed to this report.

        Netflix, Inc.


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