Windows Vista 101
A look at Microsoft’s latest operating system
WINDOWS VISTA, Microsoft’s latest operating
system (OS) will be available soon. What’s the big
deal, you ask? You’re perfectly happy with your
Windows XP or, dare we say it, Windows 98.
After spending considerable time using Vista I
can confidently say it’s well worth the upgrade. It’s
more reliable and stable than past versions of the
OS; it offers many new and intuitive ways to view,
organize and retrieve your stuff; and it makes it easy
to enjoy all your media, be it music, photos, TV
shows, movies or camcorder footage.
Here’s a look at some of Vista’s features.
You can back up important files, such as photos, Finally, Vista is designed to be the hub for all
with ease, thanks to an automated scheduling your entertainment needs. The bundled Windows
option within the File Backup and Restore feature. Media Player 11 offers easier and faster ripping
Getting a new PC? Windows Easy Transfer makes it (copying a disc to the hard drive), burning (copying Marc Saltzman, a lead-
a cinch to set up a new computer by transferring to a recordable CD or DVD), searching and playing ing high -tech reporter,
data from an older one. of music. Connect a supported portable media contributes to more than
Secure, speedy and safe Windows Media Player 11 for Windows Vista
One of Microsoft’s top priorities for Windows gives you an easier way to enjoy and manage
Vista was creating a faster, smoother OS that would your digital music, video and pictures.
be less prone to attacks from malicious types in
cyberspace. Vista’s built-in firewall, anti-spyware tool to photos such as “Hawaii,” “2006,” “vacation,”
and anti-virus reminders and recommendations, and “Maui” and “lei.” Type in any of those words and
a new “protected mode” in the Internet Explorer 7 that photo will pop up.
browser help protect cyber-surfers from programs
that attempt to modify system files or settings. Entertainment enhancements
New parental controls let moms and dads keep player to the PC and you can also have seamless three dozen prominent
their children safe by blocking inappropriate on-line synching between the two, so you’ll never be without publications, appears on
content and mature-rated computer games. your favourite tunes. radio and TV, and is the
Vista also delivers super-quick start-up times,so When it comes to your photos and home author of 13 books.
you can begin to use your PC immediately after movies, Vista lets you easily edit, add special effects
turning it on. and share your memories, whether it’s creating slide shows for television, posting to your blog site, burn- Ask Organizing, searching and multitasking ing a DVD or ordering high-quality photos through Marc The moment Windows Vista is up and run- a number of on-line services. ning, you’ll immediately notice a few “gadgets” on Depending on the version of Windows Vista, Saltzman
the right-hand side. These features, called the Windows Media Centre is included, which lets you Question for Marc?
Windows Sidebar, enable you to customize what watch and record live television, burn discs to watch Send your technology and
you’d like to see (or use) at a glance, be it a clock, the content elsewhere and even log in from halfway computer questions to:
calculator, photo slide show, news headlines or around the world to record your favourite shows.
“sticky notes.” After a few days, you’ll wonder how And Vista is for gamers, with products designed for Q&A with Marc Saltzman
you lived without it. Surfing the Web is also easier the OS’s speed and power, smart networking fea- The Costco Connection
thanks to “tabbed” browsing, which means you tures for head-to-head games and on-line content 415 West Hunt Club Road
can have multiple pages open at the same time and such as free downloads, forums and magazines. Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5
simply click the tab to bring one full-screen. Windows Vista comes in four flavours: Windows Or fax to (613) 221-2283
One of my beefs with Windows XP has been Vista Home Basic; Windows Vista Home Premium; or e-mail to
its slow and inaccurate searching when trying to Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate.
find files. Vista includes a search box on top of To read more about Windows Vista, including
many programs, enabling you to quickly scan your which version is right for you and the minimum
hard drive to find what you’re after. You can also system requirements necessary to run it, visit
take advantage of the “tagging” feature, which
means adding keywords to a file to easily find it in
the future. For example, finding a photo from a
recent family trip to Hawaii might be hard. Your The Costco Connection
camera probably calls the file something like Windows Vista will be available soon at your
“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
in the subject line.
Marc will answer selected
questions in his column.
He regrets that unpublished
questions cannot be