Vista Ultimate and Office 2007 Installed and Running on my Notebook

  • Comments: 2
  • Written on: February 8th, 2007

It was an weekend to remember… It took 2.5 hours to UPGRADE to Windows Vista Ultimate and another half an hour to install Office 2007 on my dual-core Turion system equipped with 1 GB of memory. Many things in both pieces of software have changed and/or moved from their locations in XP and Office 2003, and configuring the system the way I want it took a couple days of experimenting.

Some of the new features in Vista include stepped up security. The latest PC / Mac Commercial summs up the security pretty accurately.

One of the nice things I can point out right off is that I had NO driver problems after installing Windows Vista. I expected to at least have to go to the ATI website for some new video drivers, but Windows Update had that base covered already.

The biggest hassle to installing Vista was that the installer required me to remove a bunch of applications from my notebook (Like Nero Burning ROM) that are not Vista compatible. The installer would work for 10 minutes or so and then bail because incompatible software was found. I then had to remove the one program that Vista found and try again. The process repeated for each program that was found to be incompatible. The moral to the story is that if the Vista Upgrade Advisor says it won’t work, it won’t work. I also had to uninstall my Norton Internet Security and download a new, Vista compatible version from Symantec at no charge.

With all of that said, I am pretty impressed with Windows Vista. The Aero graphics that come with most higher end versions of Vista add a nice touch. The translucent window bars and windows that ebb in and out rather than popping up and disappearing look impressive.

Since I was short on memory (only 1 GB), I thought I would give the new ReadyBoost technology a try. ReadyBoost allows you to use digital camera memory cards or USB flash drives to give your PC a temporary memory boost. In some cases finding a flash device that is “Enhanced for ReadyBoost” can be problematic, but once you find one, the technology works well. My start menu opened faster, folder windows opened and closed without hesitation, and my hard drive got a much deserved virtual memory break.

While there are differences in Vista from XP, an experienced XP user should be able to find their way around with a little patience. Office 2007, however is a different story. Just about everything that could be changed in Office has been changed. The familiar File, Edit, View menus across the top of the screen have been removed and replaced with a number of toolbars and buttons. The buttons that used to be shortcuts for doing things in Office 2003 are now the main interface in Office 2007.

While most Office users will find this interface slightly confusing at first, it really is faster and easier to use once you know where you are going within it. Just about any option you could want in any office application is a mere one or two mouse clicks away.

Sometimes my customers ask me why I upgraded when I recommend that they wait until March. Part of what we do at Schrock is get into the thick of things and figure out the quirks with larger software releases like Office or Vista before our customers find themselves at a loss. ReadyBoost was a great example of this. With all of the hype about ReadyBoost, someone forgot to mention it only works on flash drives that are 256 MB or faster. In addition, it only works on certain brands of flash drives, and drives with a certain speed.

By discovering this first, as technicians we were able to investigate the problem, write a tutorial on how to use the technology, and come up with a list of about 200 drives that are not labeled “Enhanced for ReadyBoost” but are in fact ReadyBoost capable.

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