Tips on windows Vista from Brent Williams

Brent Williams

I didn't get here early to ask permission to ustream. I'm sorry b/c this is a great one, however, ethically I don't advocate ustreaming w/out permission.

This is a session about the tips and tricks for getting the most out of Windows Vista.

Cool Folder Options
That is under Folder Options in the control Panel.
Folder Options views — tell it to show the hidden stuff.

If on the same list, you can go down on the advanced settings and check “Use check boxes to select items” so you don't have to use Ctrl — it is a cool feature.

How to turn off User Account Control

  1. For those who are technical.
  2. User Account Control Panel
  3. Look at the Last prompt “turn User Account Control Off”
  4. Uncheck the box the box “use user account control (UAC) to help protect your computer. and click OK.

Improve Vista Performance

  1. Add memory – 1 GB RAm to run comfortably, 2-3 GB as a power user
  2. (But you don't need a new PC — it just needs a 1GB processor or better. If you turn off the glitzy stuff it will run as fast as XP.) If you have a PC w/ onboard video, it doesn't work with Vista. If you are buying a PC get a separate video card with 128MB of RAM or more.
  3. System control Panel –> Advanced System Settings –> Performance and turn off glitz to make it faster on an old computer.

Use Ready Boost
Lets you take any flash memory and plug it into your laptop or desktop to use the flash memory as a disk cache — Max 4GB — if it can go to the flash memory, it is 100 times faster to do that.

To do that -> Right click on Flash Drive, properties, ready boost tab, set space to reserve. A dialog bo pops up — there is a new choice called speed up my system. It comes up with a seconary dialog (which you can also get by right clicking on the flash drive and go to properties.) Vista will use any amount as storage device. He has a 8GB flash key — sets up 4GB for ready boost and the rest is for files and documents. It takes a moment, anything he commonly does Vista will copy on to the flash key and it will get it quickly.

If you go to a computer store and you buy a flash key and you get one for $10, you're getting a slow flash key. You want to buy a name brand — Lexar Jump Drive,etc. they are must faster flash keys and benefit Vista quite a bit.

What happens if you yank the flash key while running — it doesn't hurt Vista a bit.

Interestingly, Brent is running Vista on a Mac using BootCamp.

Built in Applications
Snipping tool — Clip any part of the screen
Windows Photo Gallery application

  • Organize, tag, rate
  • Start–> All programs.

Photo Editing – good enough for most people

Snipping Tool

Start –> All programs –> accessories –> Snipping Tool
It grays out the screen take your pointer and let go and it clips it into a window. (Really really cool. Wow!) Save and copy it to another app. You can write on it — HTML PNG GIF or JPG are the format options.

Windows Photo Gallery

Start–> All Programs –> Windows Photo Gallery (at the end of the list.) (Looks like Picasa) —

  • Automatically organizes by date. You can also tag w/ any category that you want. You have to manually tag the images w/ what category that they fit (that is really really cool.) It makes your own photos searchable.
  • You can also title any image.
  • Double click any image and it takes it into a photo previewer. You can zoom, go full screen, you can start a slideshow. You can rotate, etc. Up at the top there is a Fix button, you are now in the photo editor which lets you do autoadjust, exposure, color, crop the picture, rotate the picture and fix red eye. It has a lot of things in there.

Vista automatically backsup everything in my documents once a day. You can go back to previous backups of that image and get it back. So you have restore points for all of the documents saved in my documents (again why you should save in My Documents.)

Recover files
Shadow copy
Vista backsup up once a day. It takes 20% of your harddrive space for system restore and to backup your MyDocuments. Once a day.
You may have many days in there, but when it hits all of your space, it deletes the oldest copies. So, you may have days or weeks in there.
Right click and restore previous version. Properties. It is a new option in there and you should teach your users.

Right click on it –> in the middle restore previous version — it opens properties it searches it — there is no backup if there is not an image to get (the image has never been changed.) If it IS changed, it is there. That is really cool. Get it yourself.

You also have a choice to copy the backup w/ a different name so you don't loose it.

Voice Recognition
Powerful. Dictate and correct documents, competition for dragon. It take s a brief setup, it has an excellent correction mode.
Control–> Windows

He has switched from Dragon to the voice recognition in vista. You can literally unplug your keyboard and use your computer by voice. (So cool.) Very powerful voice recognition program. Dictation and correction is very easy. You can use a headset mike to dictate.

He did a very technical paper and it got all of them right, it had learned the words he uses. It supports a lot of languages. He used it to dictate a paper w/ many different big terms in it. He finishes his paper in 20% of the time as others. (Note — If he could type 128 words per minute like I do I wonder how much faster?)

Burning CDs and DVDs
This has changed radically and there is a new default format. The way XP burned is that it Mastered it. You collect the files and then write to disk.

In Vista, there is a Live File system. The burn shows in folders. Still no ISO support. no Copy support.
It allows using CD/DVD like flash — copy single fils at will
Use with XP and Vista only.
Double click the new disc for format options.

Microsoft wants you to think of the CD/DVD as a flash drive.
Can't take live file system cd and put it in your CD player. You'll still want to use mastered when you want to take a cd or dvd to .

OK, I just left my pocketbook in the other session. I'm running to go get it. Sorry I'm missing stuff!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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J. Blake November 16, 2007 - 10:22 pm

My mom has Vista Home version on a new Acer PC desktop. If she calls me one more time complaining about her printer not being supported by Vista, I am going to reinstall XP. Some one should be ashamed of themselves for not including all HP Inkjet printers in Vista. I do not plan to buy HP printer with my money to the school’s money after this mess. This is why I am installing Ubuntu on my PC.

Paul Hamilton November 16, 2007 - 10:42 pm

Thanks Vicki. This helps at least a little with my Vistaphobia. –Paul

Mary Wallace November 19, 2007 - 2:07 am

Thanks, Vicki, for the great tips on using Vista. I’ve been using it for about a year now and think I have most of the bugs worked out. The snipping tool was one I was unaware of. I am always working between documents to cut and paste. Now this is unnecessary. I’ll snip what I need save it in a file and open it as I’m working on another. Great idea. The file recovery was also helpful. I’ve had a few issues with this before and never could find my documents. I really find your site useful and will continue to follow. Thanks again.

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