Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Vista Service Pack, Microsoft news, “Super” Tuesday

Today is “Super Tuesday”, and a lot of things will get voted on. The talking heads are saying that California (where Tech–for Everyone HQ is located) will play a decisive role in shaping the future. Yippee.
For me, (and I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t apply to lots and lots and lots of other folks as well) the best thing about “Super” Tuesday is — it is really Ahhh Wednesday Eve. For those of you who have never heard of “Ahhh Wednesday”, Ahhh Wednesday is the national celebration of no more dang-blasted political commercials. Very soon there’ll be no more “Vote ‘Yes’ on Prop 12883!”, followed immediately by an equally (non)compelling “Vote ‘No’ on Prop 12883!” ad. (I have an idea: stop throwing money away on advertising we ignore.. and fix the roads?)
Yes, Ahhh Wednesday is almost here (YAY!) and there will be blessed relief from political activism…for a while; then the real fun begins as we approach November. Yippee.

In the Long-Awaited News Department: Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Vista. This is good news for you folks who have been holding off upgrading to a Vista machine until “Vista 2.0” is out. (For more on “Service Packs”, click here.)
This is also good news for people in general, and I highly recommend that anyone using Vista should apply the release… but there’s a few caveats:
1) Microsoft has only released Vista SP1 to manufactures (like HP, Dell, etc.), and is going to make the general public wait a while yet (BOO!). I have read conflicting reports, all quite authentic and citing ‘insider sources’, stating the Public Release as happening “Feb. 4th”, “sometime in March”, and “early April”. Hmmm. I will certainly inform you, Dear Reader, when you can get it.
2) Service Pack 1 will not fix every bug and quirk in Vista. It will not make Vista run on 4 yr-old+ machines with 512MBs of RAM (as so many folks tried to make it do). And, it does not add any new “I-gotta-have-that!” features.
3) Microsoft apparently is not going to make SP1 part of the Windows Update feature, and so it will not be “automatically” downloaded and installed for you. You will have to browse to the download URL and Install it yourself. Why? You got me.

Having said those things, you may wonder why a person would want to go to the trouble… as I recommended that you do. Vista SP1 will fix quite a few of Vista’s bugs and quirks, and installing the SP will greatly “stabilize” Vista and improve its “reliability” (for those of you whose geek speak is a little weak, that translates to “longer periods between blue screens of death”). There’s security improvements too.
Also, SP1 will make some things faster. SP1 will improve Vista’s disk-write times, which will speed up file copying and transferring. Windows seem to open and close faster. And SP1 fixes the zipped folder tool, and makes it usable again.
And while these things might not “wow” you, I remind you that all the benefits aren’t fully known yet, and won’t become clear until more people have used it for longer periods of time.

In other news: You may have seen or read that Microsoft has made a bid to purchase Yahoo.
This bid, is just that– a bid.. a proposal. However, when one tech giant purchases another (or tries to) it makes for much talk in the industry. There is much hand-wringing and speculation going on in the tech blogs. However, if you don’t own stock in Microsoft, Yahoo, or (the other giant) Google, you probably won’t be affected much by such a merger.

Yes; Microsoft — already accused of being (or trying to be) a monopoly — will get “bigger”. On the other hand, this is sort of an admission that MSN Search, and MS adCenter, just isn’t competing with Google as things stand.

Lots goin’ on…for a Tuesday.

Today’s free link: For those of you who have been reading my website, and have picked up on my emphasis on securing your computer, you may have taken note of my advice to download and install a 3rd-party firewall (this is particularly apt for XP users). If you haven’t done so yet, the free ZoneAlarm Firewall is still one of (if not the) the top-rated firewalls…and it’s free.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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February 5, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, PC, tech, Vista, Windows | , ,

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