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Vista knows when you should reboot

This is nothing new, and there are literally thousands of posts and articles on this subject, but I want to add more fuel to the fire.

Last night I had several large Photoshop mockups open. I was working late and figured I might as well leave them open and continue in the morning. I do this a lot at home, although I do save before leaving. I know leaving your computer on can pose a security risk, but I like living on the edge.

Anyway, I walk in this morning and of course I have a login screen. Log in and nothing is open. Windows Vista has performed an update. Although you are prompted with a countdown to cancel, which in itself can become annoying as it keeps popping up even after you have postponed it, I think this is a crazy default. What if I was crunching some numbers over night, running network connections, or took a bathroom break with unsaved work on the screen. Well Vista would think that it’s time to force reboot and I would lose whatever important things I was doing.

Here is how you can disable this silly default.

  1. In your start menu search field type gpedit.msc
  2. Click your way to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update.
  3. Double click “No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations.
  4. Click Enable .

There are some other interesting settings in here and you can read their descriptions on the left hand side when you click on them. You will need to reboot in order for this to take effect of course.

Vista and Office woes

So I have been using Microsoft’s Vista for a few months now. After using a Mac for over two years at work, I figured the switch would be a nice change and of course the change was not completely my choice anyway. I am not a fan boy of any OS and my favourite OS doesn’t exist yet. Anyway, the transition has not been fun, Vista is not ready for prime time, although it is finally pretty looking. Not only is Vista not ready, but neither is MS Office, and this is where my rant begins.

How much does Office cost? I guess that depends on which of the nine hundred versions you have, let’s just say it’s a lot. I think I have the ultimate enterprise business bloat edition. I guess one would expect at least all of the previous functions to work almost flawlessly would they not? Well, you would be wrong if you did. The new office does look new though, in fact so new that anyone using if for the first time probably won’t know how to open or save a document. Don’t look for file or any kind of obvious standard menu, look for the big bubble with the office icon on it. I’m sure the new interface will catch on eventually though, and I guess Microsoft has to change something.

Anyway, yesterday was the day that I had to install Open Office so that I could cut and paste text. Yes that’s right, I had a tight deadline, and I needed to cut and paste text from a work document for a mock-up I was building. Every-time I did this the entire application would crash. Eventually a message popped up telling me that Office was crashing a lot and that I should run a diagnosis wizard that would take approximately 15 minutes. Okay, so maybe this would fix it.

I ran the wizard, and it found nothing, although it wasn‘t able to check one file since it did not have permission and told me I should change the security settings on that file. If I had done this I’m sure the next thing it would have warned me of are the dangers of changing my security settings. This is when I realized that in the past 30 minutes of farting around I could have downloaded Open Office. I did that, installed Writer, loaded the document and began copying and pasting my text with no problems. This is a day in the life of Vista and Office, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.