Stupid Vista Tricks

Or, how to turn on or find things in Vista that Microsoft decided did not need to be available by default.

Ever since I started using Windows Vista, it has bothered me that the representation in the system tray of two computers, one for upload and one for download, did not light up to show activity like they had since Windows 95.  Low and behold, last night I right-clicked the stupid icon and saw the option in the menu “turn on activity animation.”  I proceeded to turn on activity animation and there were my missing lights.  Now why would this not be the default selection?

Since the clock appeared in the lower right corner of the system tray in Windows 95, you’ve always double-clicked the clock to bring up the window that allows you to change the time & date.  Double-clicking the clock in Vista does nothing; single-clicking brings up a window where you can make an additional click on “Change date and time settings…” which brings up another windows where you can click a button that says “Change date and time…” which brings up another window where you can actually change the date and time!  Does it somehow make it easier in Vista to make people go through three steps to change the date and time instead of one step like previous versions of Windows allowed?

I was just reading a Windows Tips & Tricks email that talked about page file size.  John Savill points out that, though the old rule of thumb was the page file should be one and a half times your system memory, a better way now is to go by your  page file size – commit charge (peak) reading in Task Manager.  Unfortunately, Microsoft removed this reading in Windows Vista.  I had to download Sysinternals Process Explorer to learn this information.  But why was this information removed to begin with?

And finally, one of the best (read: worst) decisions by Microsoft in Vista – making the Run item unavailable by default on the Start Menu.  The Run item is one of the most useful features in Windows for novices and pros alike.  It makes it simple to run a program by just typing its name in a box.  But now you have to customize the Start Menu in Vista just to add it back in.  Do they think only a few super-nerds use this or something?

In an attempt to make Windows  as easy to use as the Mac (yeah, right), all Microsoft has done is waste everyone’s time by making them search for things and relearn the way they’ve done things for the past 12 years in Windows.  I mean, what was wrong with Add/Remove Programs?  Why when I right-click on the desktop does it say Personalize instead of Properties?  It’s no wonder why some people refuse to use Vista and stick with Windows XP.

Leave a Reply