Category Archives: Microsoft

Windows Experience Index assessment details in XML format

Since coming from Windows XP to Windows 7 (skipping Vista), I’ve come to love all of its new features, including the Windows Experience Index.  For those who are not aware, the Windows Experience Index is a score based on the performance of the CPU, RAM, graphics, gaming graphics, and the hard drive.  Microsoft touts it as a way to see how floor computer models match up against one another, specifically to be used when buying a new computer.  In addition, the Windows Experience Index can be used to do more than just calculate a score.  In fact, detailed results are constructed in XML format, and saved within a directory on your computer.

Control Panel: Windows Experience Index

Control Panel: Windows Experience Index

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Windows 7 Cheat Sheet (Shortcuts/Hotkeys, Reference, etc.)

Just moments ago, I finished creating a Windows 7 reference card or cheat sheet (whichever you prefer), which includes various hotkeys/shortcuts, as well as general information on Windows Flip 3D, Windows Aero, Windows Snap, and Windows Peek.  See below for the download link (4-page PDF).

Windows 7 Shortcuts and Cheat Sheet (2-page preview)

Windows 7 Shortcuts and Cheat Sheet (2-page preview)

Download the Windows 7 Cheat Sheet (PDF)

Rebuttals… Because Windows 7 rocks my socks off

“The Start Menu in Windows 7 will be an area of much consternation for veteran Windows XP users.” —James Perlow at ZDNet [link]

Yes, the Start Menu is different in Windows 7, but the core functionality is the same.  Windows XP users are still able to view programs by clicking a menu item, and the Control Panel, Printers, Documents, etc., are still easily accessible from the same place.  Perlow, the author, also mentions that the Run menu is no longer directly accessible from the Start menu, and complains that power users will have to turn it on.  Wow… is this laziness or what?  In just a few clicks, this functionality can be restored… BUT, and this is a huge BUT, I am willing to bet that power users aren’t going to want to use the Run dialog that much in Windows 7.  The beauty of this setup is that you can type your command directly into the “Search programs and files” box in the Start menu.  I think it’s also worth mentioning that users can open up the command prompt very easily by holding SHIFT and right-clicking on a folder in Windows Explorer, then clicking Open command window here.  This was available in Windows XP, but only via a PowerToys installation. Continue reading

From Windows XP to Windows 7: A Bittersweet End

I never thought I’d see the day where I would willingly leave Windows XP and move on to something else, but in walks Windows 7, which changed my mind for good.  I was severely disappointed with Windows Vista, and never made the switch.  I viewed Vista as a downgrade with all of its bugs and performance problems.  XP was a simple, unadulterated love affair.  It was the dignified lady of the PC world.  She was simple, stable, and dependable.  Lady XP welcomed PCs as low as 300 MHz, and life was good.  The rich, the poor, the middle class−we all loved her!  Yet, the time comes where every dignified lady must retire, and hang up the hat.

I won’t go into detail about each new feature Windows 7 has to offer, but I will list a few things that stood out to me. Continue reading

IE6 is still not dead, and why we are to blame

While Internet Explorer 6 is still alive and breathing, it is dying a slow death, too slow for our liking as web developers.  The process has been long and arduous.  With the advent of CSS3 and HTML5, browsers like IE6 are like the cars with carburetors and low MPG ratings.  They harm the environment, create an unpleasant atmosphere for development, and we need a virtual Cash for Clunkers to fix it. Continue reading

Turning off Instant Search enable dialog in Outlook 2007

About two months ago, I began using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, which I absolutely love. Microsoft has really done great things with this program over the years, although I must admit there are a few things I would change if I could. I also use Google Desktop, which enables me to index and search my entire computer, including e-mails, PDF files, and many other previously search-obscure file types. This is not unlike Microsoft’s solution which is called Instant Search. Microsoft Instant Search indexes files in a similar way, but I find that it hogs more resources and is generally not as good as Google Desktop.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 - Instant Search

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 - Instant Search

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Setting up GoDaddy Hosted Microsoft Exchange e-mail on the MyTouch 3G

This weekend, I was lucky enough to take advantage of the deal T-Mobile has for the MyTouch 3G.  (Thank you Oprah!)  With T-Mobile’s full discount, the phone was $199, minus $100 from Oprah, which brought me down to just $99 for this beautiful piece of technology.  For this tutorial, I’m going to use GoDaddy’s information, but it should be similar for many other Exchange servers. Continue reading