Posts tagged vista
As a Multimedia business owner workflow and efficiency are the keys to success. I use a multitude of shareware and freeware applications to increase my efficiency at the office. There are a few that really stand out and deliver the ultimate in time saving so I decided to share them here.
Duplicate File Finder is a simple, but effective tool to locate duplicate files in one or more selected search paths. It scans the files and compares them based on Byte for Byte Comparison, which ensures 100% accuracy. You can then choose to delete the selected duplicate or original files. The program is multi threaded and performs scans quickly.
Resizing hundreds of images is now extremely fast and simple.
Just drag and drop the images you want to resize onto the dialog.
%name variable can be used to retain the original file name (without extension).
Supports saving files into the same directory, or subdirectories.
Bulk Rename Utility is a free file renaming software for Windows. Bulk Rename Utility allows you to easily rename files and entire folders based upon extremely flexible criteria.
Add date/time stamps, replace numbers, insert text, convert case, add auto-numbers, process folders and sub-folders….plus a whole lot more!
Rename multiple files quickly, according to many flexible criteria.
Rename files in many ways: add, replace, insert text into file names. Convert case, add numbers. Remove or change file extensions.
Check the detailed preview before renaming.
Rename photos using EXIF meta data (i.e. “Date Picture Taken”, “Resolution” and other information embedded in all JPG photo files) Rename your holiday pictures from a meaningless dsc1790.jpg to NewYork1.jpg in a flash.
Rename MP3 files using ID3 tags (a.k.a. MP3 ID3 tag renaming).
Change files’ creation and modification time stamps.
It’s free. Easy to Install. Download and start renaming your files now!
Download BulkRenameUtility >>
CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!
WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database. It also comes with PHPMyAdmin and SQLiteManager to easily manage your databases.
WampServer installs automatically (installer), and its usage is very intuitive. You will be able to tune your server without even touching the setting files.
WampServer is the only packaged solution that will allow you to reproduce your production server. Once WampServer is installed, you have the possibility to add as many Apache, MySQL and PHP releases as you want.
WampServer also has a trayicon to manage your server and its settings.
I have tested this software on Vista 32bit, Vista x64 and windows XP and have had no problems with any of these tools on any of the systems tested on. These utilities are FAST and efficient at what they do. A must have for anyone looking to speed up some of the mundane tasks involved in the Webdesign business, Graphic Design business and Programming.
Hope you enjoy…
I have read nothing but good things about Windows 7 and stories of people running it on 5 year old systems so when I got my BETA release Serial number I was exciting about testing it out.
My test machine of OS had Ubuntu 8 and XP Pro on seperate drives installed. There is no upgrade from XP so decided to install fresh. The machine is a Gigabyte Motherboard, 1GB DDR400, Geforce 2GTS, 2 X 80GB HDD, P4 2.6GHz CPU. I mainly use this machine to play videos and music at the office to save resources on the workstation.
First Glance (Boot to DVD and Install)
The DVD boots quicky and the first thing you notice is that the install screen has been completley redisgned and is very clean and efficient. Much better than the blue file copy screen from xp. There was a slight hang at the system check but other than the install is very quick and efficient.
Look and Feel
The first thing I noticed was the beatiful boot window for 7, the animated lights that form to make the windows logo is a welcome change from the old loader. First boot into the live OS is uneventful. I notice that the new task/start bar is VERY LARGE and is pretty much command central for the OS. For those of us that like to have loads of windows open at the same time and multitask like mad this is a great tool. There is only ever one instance of your application in the task bar. When you roll over it will list the open windows allowing you all the options to bring into focus, close etc.
I did find out the hard way though if you click a pinned application (quick launch) when you have one window open this does not open a new instance. You will have to right click to open a new instance. Not too much of a bother however considering all the power that you have from the previously launch only quicklauch that hasnt changed since its inception. The default wallpaper is very nice and clean. The overall feel is that of a cleaned up vista interface. Warning messages and alerts are present in the system try very un obtrusively which is nice.
Driver and Hardware support
The first problem arose when I had no network card driver found for the onboard network card. I kind of expected this so I installed another NIC, Still no Drivers found, I grabbed a third NIC from my pile and installed it again no drivers found. I went back to the onboard, grabbed the xp drivers from the manufacturer and tried them out. It worked I had the internet working. The next thing was to get teh Video and sound cards working, windows update found the creative driver for the sounds card. Now to tacke the video card, no drivers found. I grabbed some XP legacy drivers for the Geforce 2 from nvidia as there is no Vista driver. After installing the video card driver I was able to get access to higher resolutions and setup the video card. After a quick reboot we are up and running.
All hell breaks loose
I was all set, I thought, time to get anti virus running, Comodo won’t install as it is not certified for 7, but it is certified for Vista (I’m using it on my laptop). So I check the list of anti virus applications that microsoft suggests you buy. I noticed that AVG was in there so I figured if the purchase version will work then so will the free version. Luckily I was right and was able to get anti virus running. In the middle of trying to download the Live package everything freezes, I mean litterally freezes like it would if your CPU melted. Nothing from Keyboard, nothing on mouse no response at all.
I reboot the machine only to have it happen again and again and again at different time after loading windows. I never get in more that a few seconds after windows has loaded. Time to try safe mode, whaddaya know I am having no problems in safe mode so I reverse back to the driver install for NVIDIA. Reboot again and still freezing, I guess it must be the video card driver so back into safe mode I go and uninstall NVIDIA drivers. Reboot and its all working like normal again. After another bout of hunting for a Geforce 2 driver for Vista or 7 I give up and try to figure out how to boot back into my Linux drive. Of course no hope there Windows did not maintain the Dual Boot as always.
Well that is it for me on Windows 7, no support for older hardware, not even basic driver support for network cards. Even without aero there is no driver support for older video cards. The task bar is double height so you are forced to use the auto hide to save your desktop realestate. I am not impressed with this OS yet, maybe when it is out of Beta and tested I will upgrade the Vista 64bit machine in the office. At least there will be driver support for that hardware its all newer hardware. Microsoft has a lot of work todo before people will adopt another OS from them. Not all of the users out there have the latest in hardware for Vista and now 7. That was the major flaw of Vista, a lack of hardware drivers and suppport and it looks like the same thing is happening again in 7.
Back to XP Pro on the test machine.
Psyc3d rating of windows 7 as of writing:
I was so excited to try it out and I didn’t even get a real chance to go through it.
I don’t know about you but this smear campaign that Apple is continuing with, attacking Vista over and over again is getting on my nerves. Steve Jobs needs to accept the fact that PC has beaten the MAC over and over again. Windows is more versatile and accepted than Mac ever will be. You have to defense other than to smear Microsoft’s new OS. Yes Vista was laden with bugs and problems when it was first released and it caused a lot of people grief. Microsoft has since release SP1 and a host of other fixes that have made this OS a great addition to the windows family.
At my multimedia company I am using Vista64bit vista on the main workstation and Vista Home Premium on 2 laptops, Vista ultimate is installed on the tablet. There are two other computers that are running Windows XP and to be honest I nor others in the company even work on them. Vista has become almost everything that is was promised to be. There are features that have made my life at the office easier and more efficient.
As far as the mac goes I find it interesting that Apple cannot produce anything that is worthy of advertising so they have fallen back to trying to convince the world they are better than Microsoft. Seriously people get over yourselves you are beaten.
When people ask me what I do and I tell them I own a multimedia company, the most common question is “you must use a mac?”. While trying to refrain from falling on the floor laughing I explain to them that maybe in the past Mac was the platform of choice for media developers but our company is exclusively PC based. There are applications that I use that won’t run on a Mac. I need heavy GPU power for 3D applications and gaming neither of which are an Apple strength. When it comes to the brute processing power required for some of my applications there is nothing better than my Quadcore Extreme 2.66ghz Cores, 8GB of RAM, 8800GTX w/768MB DDR RAM. A $3000 machine capable of handling whatever I can through at it including playing the latest games.
Hm let me check can I get an Apple with those capabilities for $3000. Hell no that would cost tens of thousands to get that power in an apple machine. Even with the processing power the Mac would still not be able to handle playing modern games and many of the applications I use would still not run on it. So to everyone who thinks that Mac is so great and nothing compares to a mac for graphics, you are welcome to your opinion no matter how skewed it may be. At the end of the day all you Mac people can grab your I-Pods and shoe horn yourselves into your smart cars eating a tofu sandwich while the rest of us are going to have a LAN party laughing at your pretty little paper weights sitting on the desk that can’t join in the fun.
OK so I was a little harsh with the last paragraph but I am seriously fed up with seeing these ads on TV. Apple should get out of the computer game and stick to I-Pods and I-Phones it seems that its the only thing they do well. Leave the computer industry to the people that really deliver what we want and not what you tell us we want. PC is the force that drives the computer industry, lead by Microsoft Windows face the fact that Apple can’t compete.
That’s my 2 cents…
P.S. Those who live is glass houses should not through stones. As far a great release blunders does anyone remember the Mac Mini ? I didn’t see a huge smear campaign from Microsoft or the PC manufacturers when you morons thought that the Mini was a good idea. And what about the I-Lamp I mean I-Mac well what ever that stupid LCD on a desk lamp concept was. The PC companies just laughed and continued to build kick A$$ boxes.
Well Future Mark the premiere benchmarking for gaming systems has released yet another of their benchmark applications. The trends in these benchmarking tools has been pretty solid getting progressively more appealing as the hardware is able to handle more information and graphics. The process of installing and running the application is getting more tedious as the versions get pumped out. The latest in the franchise is a Vista DirectX 10 benchmark utility. I was excited to try this one out and could not wait to see what advancements they had made in the visuals using DirectX 10.
Download and Install
The download was extremely quick using the free download path and ran upwards of 500kbs. It took a few minutes to download the 450MB file. When running the application it installed with no problems to the x86 directory on my 64bit Vista install. When I tried to run the application it loaded the window and then displayed a page not found error. When running benchmarks I disable all firewall and anti virus to maximize free cpu and ram. After a couple more attempts to run it the page finally displayed. Much to my dismay it was a page with ordering options and no prices. The free trial is now only a one time use, the multi use if $6.95 and the rest I didn’t bother looking at. So I register the onetime use for free, open the email and copy the registration code into the text field. INVALID REGISTRATION CODE. WTF this is the code they just sent. I try it again with the same copy paste and it works. So far not a very stable application and quite annoying to get running.
Intel Quadcore QX6700 Extreme 2.66ghz
8GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 Ram
Geforce 8800GTX 768MB DDR3
Gigabyte DQ6 Mainboard.
WD 74GB 10K rpm Raptor OS Drive
Windows Vista x64 Business
After what seems an eternity the tests load up. I sit back to watch DirectX 10 at it’s finest. The first test was a pretty lame scene in a watery room with some characters running around. The models and textures are reminiscent of Lara Croft a few generations back from the current game. Poor weighting on the models and low quality textures. The water is non reflective and terrible. The bloom and anti aliasing was horrible and looked like it was way over done to hide the poor workmanship on the scene. An average frame rate of 12fps was had, On my system I was not impressed at all, I mean seriously I play Crysis on this system at a higher frame rate.
The second test was a space scene that had the same over bloomed effect. The scene felt like it was a look how many asteroids with poor textures we can fit in one scene. A cheap camera fly through in the scene and a couple of ships flying by. The planet in the background was neat however it seemed as though there was a poor texture seam on the mapping. Frame rates on this test were bouncing from 8FPS to 22FPS. Still not very impressed with the benchmark so far.
Test 3 is some airplanes doing a pylon race. OMG the graphics are horrible there seems no point in even having this test in there. It is testing the CPU capabilities using a crappy background and some lowpoly planes buzzing around dough nuts. Totally unimpressed. The final test was a similar scene to test PhysX using CPU and software rendering. Pointless looking test and brought the system to a crawl.
Well now that I won’t get those precious minutes of my life back and being permanently scared emotionally by the garbage graphics I just sat through. I anxiously await my score. Click here to view your score online, Oh yeah I forgot that FutureMark stopped showing your score unless you go on the site and compare against other testers. I click the link and nothing happens, the application hangs and then displays an error pop-up. I click the link a second time and finally the page opens after what seems like an eternity. The results where disheartening to say the least. My machine was a middle of the road setup, and to add salt to the wound the software did not even recognize my CPU as the EXTREME edition.
Two thumbs down on this waste of bandwidth. Actually I think this garbage has ruined FutureMark for me all together. I will never again use this benchmarking utility again. This is a prime example of what happens to so many great tools and applications. The more popular it gets the worse it gets as versions are released. Maybe it is bureaucracy or greed getting in the way. Whatever it is shame on you for letting a great benchmark tool degrade into such crap.
Well as I began using the Windows Vista SP1 update and putting it through its paces on my laptop. Some major concerns have come up which have now caused me to uninstall the service pack and wait till Microsoft gets it right before I install it again.
I predominantly use Firefox as my browser but after installing SP1 Firefox began hanging when loading pages, especially during tabbed browsing sessions. I tried to recreate this problem in IE7 but I could not recreate the problem. The router and modem are working fine and tested well on other computers in the network. After uninstalling add-ons and trying an upgrade to Beta 5 of firefox I still found the same problems occurring. Therefore I concluded that this is a conflict between Firefox and SP1, where does the blame lie? I would put the blame on Microsoft myself considering that Firefox was working fine before the update.
When shutting down the laptop the system would hang at “Shutting Down” at one point I left the system to see how long it would hang but after 45mins I decided it was time to hit the power button. After fixing some registry entries the main one being this:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control] On the right panel look for the “WaitToKillServiceTimeout” string and change it value to 5000 by right clicking the string and selecting Modify…
Default Value WaitToKillServiceTimeout=20000
Modified value WaitToKillServiceTimeout=5000
This sped up the shutdown time a little but it would still hang on some shutdowns. With these to issues I have had enough of SP1, a service pack is supposed to enhance the usability of a system not cripple regularly used programs. At this time I am going to wait until the update is available through windows update. [NOTE] On my x64 VIsta system in the office I have not seen these problems, all though on that machine the update came through windows update. The x64 system is also a desktop and built with newer components.
Thats it for now, I patiently await a REAL service pack from Microsoft for Vista.
Well its here and ready to install, Windows Vista SP1. I grabbed the install from the downloads because its not available for Windows Update until April18, 2008.
This install took approximately a 1/2 Hr. and was uneventful, this installation was on my Fujitsu 6025 Lifebook. Reboot worked without out fail and there it was. Some of the first things that I noticed was that the delay in file transfer estimation was gone as I transferred some large files from one partition to another. The file transfer rate on the 5400RPM laptop drive was approx. 5-6MB/Sec but the update bar is more consistent than it is in the non SP1 setup.
When using FireFox and trying to open html links from within applications like Mail there is an error that pops up saying that the page cannot be found but then FireFox loads the page anyway. It is more of a minor inconvenience than a major problem. There is a driver compatibility problem with SP1 and the Fujitsu shock sensor. A quick check on the Fujitsu site netted me an updated driver that seems to be working properly.
I am still finding that the network detection tools are still weak, often when clicking network my router is not in the list so to log-in to the router I have to go in via http. Other times the router appears and the standard Right Click>View Device Web-page is available. Network access is quicker when navigating through shared folder on the XP machine in the network.
There was supposed to be fixes in this Service Pack for display adapters running multiple displays from a notebook. I have not yet seen the fix I was looking for, when I plug my plasma T.V. into the laptop via VGA I can use it as a second monitor but when I unplug it from the laptop the task/start menu bar goes invisible with a thin outline of where it is supposed to be. In order to get it back I have to stop the dwm.exe (Desktop Window Manager) from the task manager and let it restart the service for the start menu to appear again. Still no fix for this error in the new SP1.
So far I have seen one of the fixes that I was looking for in HDD file transfer and Network access but other than that there is not much of a change to the general functionality of Vista.
Well that is my first glance, I will make updates to the post as I delve into the update a little more.
Well I have been running Windows Vista 64 bit for a week now and all the bad things that I heard from people when I decided to switch have not happened. The system runs very efficiently all of my software works well with it and even games are running smoother and with less video glitches.
Problems that I have found to date are as follows.
- SyncToy from Microsoft does not work on x64 bit vista but there is a work around that I found here.
- PCI Simple communications Device driver not found but after uninstalling the device and running diagnostics when it was found on reboot. I was directed to a link to an Intel download that corrected the problem.
Windows is recognizing all of the RAM installed in the system currently 4GB with the other 4GB en route. Overall I am very happy with how well vista 64 is running and there is no conflict with any of my applications. Install time was just shy of 15min from boot to reboot after install. Adobe Master Collection CS3 installed in a very short time compared to installing it on the XP system.
64 bit OS’s are the future and if you are building a new system then I highly recommend Vista 64. If you are worried about certain applications not running in 64 bit environment then you can just run them in compatibility mode. 16bit applications won’t run on 64bit but seriously there is not a reason to run 16bit applications in todays world.
Here is a great site for tweaking Vista and learning more about how to speed up the OS at pcstats.com.
Well thats it for now folks. If you have any questions or want me to test things feel free to drop a comment.
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