Following the less then stellar Microsoft ads with Seinfeld, Microsoft finally goes on the offensive.
I’m beginning to really respect their ad campaign that felt misguided with the Sienfeld ads. Here is some more courtesy of Paul Thurrot…
My MCE computer is used completely for home theater purposes, and so it is very rarely used outside of the MCE environment. It also does not have a keyboard and mouse hooked up to it. This makes it very hard to accomplish any maintenance tasks without using remote desktop.
Unfortunately, by default Vista does not allow concurrent users logging in at the same time. So, until recently, if I wanted to rearrange some files on the computer, I would have to log in using remote desktop (which logs out the MCE user), rearrange the files, log out, connect a keyboard to the MCE computer so I can enter the password, and re-login with the MCE user.
Fortunately, the relentless folks at The Green Button have put in a lot of effort to find a work around. After some clever hacking you can log on with multiple users to the same Vista machine. Here is a link to the discussion so you can see the progress they have made.
And finally a how to taken from Missing Remote…
- Download Sunmorgus’ hacked Termsrv.dll file HERE (If you’re using Vista HOME PREMIUM, use this link and follow the reg instructions below.)
- Now, Vista’s security needs a little massaging to allow you to modify the original termsrv.dll file, found in C:\Windows\System32, so….
- Click Start, then type “cmd” in the search box & hit enter. This will launch the Command prompt
- Type the following & hit enter: takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll
- Then type this & hit enter (NOTE: Replace USERNAME with YOUR USERNAME!! If your name has a space in it, enclose it with quotes, like “Mike Garcen”): cacls C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll /G USERNAME:F
- Then go to your Windows Explorer, and go to C:\Windows\System32
- Rename the original termsrv.dll to something else, like “termsrv.dll.ORIGINAL”, just in case
- *NOTE* If you are unable to do the above, try rebooting into SAFE MODE
- Then copy & paste the Hacked DLL you downloaded in Step 1 into the C:\Windows\System32 folder
- And voila!
Till recently you could only use your Xbox 360 wired controller with a PC, but with the release of the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows, you can now use any of the Xbox 360 accessories with your PC.
DreamScene (Preview) was available for Vista Ultimate users yesterday. For those who don’t know, its a Windows Vista Ultimate Extra that allows users to use a video as their desktp background.
I have been playing with it a bit, and I’m glad its still a preview, not a full release. It still needs some work; The one video that is included with it crashes for me.
Other video’s however do work, and my CPU utilization hovers at about 35% with most of them. This isn’t bad considering my computer is only a Dell Inspiron 6000, 1.6Ghz with 1GB of RAM. I could see it being worth it on a faster computer, however I’m still not convinced I want my wallpaper moving, seems like it would be too distracting; Maybe on a secondary computer.
If you have had the chance to install it, here are some additional scenes to download. Unfortunately they are all on Rapidshare.
Here’s the DreamScene demo that’s been going around…
Here’s is an interesting app that gives you OSX’s Exposé functionality, in Windows Vista. If you press F9, or swipe your mouse to the top left corner of the screen, you get to see all your windows side by side. You can then click which window you want and that will be the selected one. You can also customize what button or which corner is used.
A nice alternative to Flip3d and Alt + Tab. It is also open source in case you wanted to learn how its done or improve on it.
Note: I had to download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package to get it working.
Since Vista has only been out for only a couple of weeks, its Sidebar gallery is fairly limited. However using Amnesty Generator you can now add Google Widgets to your desktop. Although not all of Google’s Widgets work well, you now have access to most web widgets created in its library. Besides its really easy…
1. Download and install the Amnesty Generator.
2. Open your favorite web browser and goto http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open.
3. After picking a widget and configuring it. Click “Add to Webpage”.
4. Then click “Get the Code”
5. Copy and Paste the code into the Amnesty Generator window like below.
6. Click “Generate…” and it will add the Widget/Gadget to your Sidebar Gadgets List.
Below is an example of the Google Maps Gadget used on my desktop
This is the main computer I use, a Dell Inspiron 6000, 1.6Ghz with 1GB of RAM. Not a powerhouse by any means but its proof that Vista doesn’t need a high end computer to run smoothly. Aero is turned on and it runs very similarly to XP, although I don’t game on it at all.
- The background image is from Mandolux – The left half is another laptop (more on this later)
- The top two gadgets are clocks that come with Vista for India and Chicago since I have to keep track of both time zones
- The third is the custom gadget I wrote to control winamp
- I also use Microsoft OneNote a lot, whose file is store on the server so that all computers are automatically up-to-date. It works better than I anticipated. I can press the windows key + N, write a note and its immediately updated on all computers. More on how to do this here…
The other computers in the network I get to by using a program called Synergy. It allows me to control them using the same keyboard and mouse over WiFi (without a KVM).
So if I move my mouse passed the edge of the screen left, it moves on the desktop of my Windows XP computer. It is a work computer so I can’t post any screenshots; however I use that for all my work related tasks.
If I move the mouse up passed the edge of the screen I end up on my server/HTPC computer across the room. This also uses Windows Vista but is always in Media Center mode. It is an older custom built Athlon 3000+ 64bit with 1.5GB RAM (although it runs Vistas 32bit version). It can also be accessed using the windows media center remote or keyboard.
There is also an XBox 360 in the network that gathers media from the HTPC. Here is a full network diagram (note the XP computer doesn’t show up on it for some reason)