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Category Archives for Gripe

Is Microsoft Giving up on Vista?

 The buzz here lately around the tech shop deals with whether in fact Microsoft is giving up on Windows Vista and all it’s problems.

No definite answer has been given, but as Reuters reports Bill Gates was touting Windows 7 which he stated is slated for release in the next year or so.

As with my earlier blogs we already know according to reports that Windows xp sp1 and sp2 out perform Windows Vista in a side by side comparison. Not to mention how users feel about all of the headaches…I mean changes such as the User Account Control.

The only thing I would like to know is how Microsoft is going to compensate the million or so users that have sunk two to four hundred dollars into an operating system that may end of life before it ever got going?

No wait! That isn’t the only question I have. What about all us admins and technicians that have sunk thousands of dollars into Microsoft’s training and MSITPRO certification for Vista? This will undoubtedly be very frustrating if we receive the typical Microsoft response.

No wonder Microsoft is losing market share to Linux and Apple…I know I’m not going to stand for being treated like that. Not only as a customer but as an admin and technician.

Hmmm! Maybe I will just get my Mac certification rather then spending thousands of my hard earned money on Microsoft products and training just to have them decide they made a mistake.

Despite all my ranting you can bet my ear will be to the ground on this one. Lets see how it plays out.

Microsoft Vista Update Causes Continual Reboot

Microsoft recently (At the end of February) released a patch to fix issues with one of the Windows Vista installation software features.

When installed the patch (ID number 937287 which is still available for download) causes some systems to continually reboot themselves in an un-ending loop.

Of course who would have ever thought that Microsoft wouldn’t get it right? Microsoft stated the problem seems to only affect “a small number” of the more than 100 million Vista users. In my opinion thats still to many (especially if you are one of the affected users).

Do not threat though! Microsoft is offering assistance with this issue. Of course the contact information isn’t posted on the front page of the main web site so I figured I would offer it here for anyone who may need it.

Please if you know anyone affected by this issue pass the following information to them. Microsoft is offering assistance at the following toll free number 866/727-2338.

Just another reason to wait on installing those wonderful Microsoft updates.

Windows Vista Sp1 Released

You may or may not have read my previous article over Vista sp1, but as a quick refresher I will outline a few entries.

The below portion is pulled from my previous post on the Sp1 subject. I just wanted to keep this information fresh in your mind if you are thinking of downloading Sp1 before other people have had a chance to feel the pinch (Beta testing). 

The word on the street (and in other articles) is the fact that Windows xp is faster at more operations than Vista sp1. According to Principled Technologies Inc. (Whom performed the testing at the request of Microsoft) Windows xp is faster than Vista sp1 at 61% of the operations grouped in a consumer test suite and in 46% of the operations in the business-oriented in a head-to-head competition on duplicate computers.

Aside from the performance factors another issue to consider is Microsofts’ service pack track record. Once again any admins will understand where I am coming from. It is not often Microsoft puts an extensive service pack out that doesn’t cuase issues with compatability.

Let it ride for a while! What I mean is you should allow others to install it first: then watch the forums for issues that have been discovered by other people after implementing Sp1. I can gurantee you feel a whole lot better knowing you weren’t effected. I’m not saying that you should never install Sp1, I am just saying you should wait a while. As with many service packs and patches provided by Microsoft they are there to plug holes that intruders may use to gain access to your computer.

If I could I would wait, unfortunately I have to endure the pain to find out if there are any compatability issues that need to be reported to clients. Thank goodness for my test bed of computers.

Windows Vista Update SP1

According to the buzz Windows Vista sp1 is soon to be released. This may be a blessing or a curse only time will tell.

I am a little apprehensive to say the least. I know what your thinking “Oh come on can it really be that bad?”. Well that really depends on Microsoft does it not? I’m sure we have all had our experiences whether good or bad with service packs. If you are an IT admin you know exactly where I am coming from.

Maybe just maybe Microsft has learned from past experience with the release of service packs how simple mistakes can effect users and they wont leave anything to chance.

The word on the street (and in other articles) is the fact that Windows xp is faster at more operations than Vista sp1. According to Principled Technologies Inc. (Whom performed the testing at the request of Microsoft) Windows xp is faster than Vista sp1 at 61% of the operations grouped in a consumer test suite and in 46% of the operations in the business-oriented in a head-to-head competition on duplicate computers.

These facts do not deliver much hope for improved performance for Vista when it comes to the sp1 update. The best bet will be to let everyone else test it first. Once most of the issues have been resolved….Well then it will be my turn.

You can learn to use Windows Vista by watching some very cool Vista training videos at MyVistaTutor.com

Quicktime Issues with Qualcomm Purvoice Codec

I recently experienced an issue with QuickTime playing sound in my self created movies. I reviewed all the data concerning my videos to see if I could identify something unique about the videos or the player. After a few hours I noticed all of the movies that did not have sound were encoded with the Qualcomm Purevoice codec.

I researched intensely on QuickTimes website with no luck. I even spent fourty minutes on the phone with a QuickTime support technician only to have him tell me I would have to go and find a copy of the codec (which is no longer supported by the company) and install it. He stated specifically that it was not an issue with QuickTime. Despite me arguing about the fact that it worked previously he would not be swayed.

I decided to search deeper. In reviewing the QuickTime application logs I noticed I had received an upgrade recently. Shazaaaam! Maybe I had a direction to go with. Now I just had to figure out what my previous version was.

I discovered that my previous version of QuickTime was 7.1.6 so of course I went on an intensive search to find an installer. Once I located and installed the older version of QuickTime and after restarting of course; I once again had sound in my videos.

After curing my issue I contacted Apple again. I used my ticket number to contact the same technician and told him I had discovered the issue. As I explained to him that apparently either the codec or the ability of QuickTime to understand this codec had been removed from the QuickTime version 7.3 that I had installed. I told him if he would like I would be more than happy to tell him a work around for it, that I was sure with all of the forum questions on this same issue he would probably make many Apple customers happy.

This part just floored me, believe it or not I was told if I would like to go post it in there forums I could. What a crock (I thought) he wasn’t willing to help out his own customers by posting the information in a TID. It took me a few seconds to calm down (which I did), I told him why would I volunteer my time for a job that he is supposed to do? So I calmly explained that I’m sure this information would generate traffic on a website so I would just put it on one of our company websites.

Of course none of this even phased him. Apple is always talking about how there market share is increasing, maybe with all that new money they can hire some courteous technicians who actually desire to do their job by helping people.

Bottom line if you have any videos that do not play sound after upgrading your version of QuickTime, you might check to see what codec was used for the audio. If the audio was encoded with the Qualcomm Pure voice codec then a simple work around is to install QuickTime version 7.1.6.

I am unsure if the new 7.4 versions have a fix for this issue, but from the response I got from Apples’ technician it wasn’t like they were going to change anything. With this in mind I have not tried the latest versions to see if the codec is played in them. I use this codec all the time for older training videos and I am unwilling to change from a version which I know works to a version that may not.

Back To Work

Does anyone else find it hard to pick up work after vacationing? Having completed a weeks worth of vacation I am back to the grind….well….sort of.

I am using this day to read up on new stories and technologies for new content on the site. Please bare with me while I compose myself and get my head out of the vacation cloud. Of course this is not easily done…

As you can see from the last post we are now taking posted questions to better serve our users. As well I would like to add if there is a new technology or concern you would like for me to address please post a comment to this blog. I would be happy to research and address topics for our users.

After all….It is you the end user for which we create the content.

Turning off Hibernation in Vista

We all know what a hassle it can be when your computer enters hibernation mode. Many times you can experience blue screens when you attempt to launch your PC from hibernation mode. This is really a pain if you had unsaved data.

 With the release of Vista they have removed the ability from the power options control panel to disable hibernation mode. No where in the control panel will you find an option to disable hibernation mode. It is so nice of Microsoft to remove the abilityto disable this feature considering all the past problems it has caused

Don’t worry though…..there is a simple way to turn off this feature.

Instructions for disabling Hibernation mode:

1. Press the WINDOWS key and type cmd into the Start Search box but DO NOT press ENTER

2. Right-click on cmd in the Programs list  when it appears and select Run As Administrator

3. Click Continue when the UAC prompt appears

4. Type powercfg -h off and press ENTER

You have now disabled Hibernation mode in Vista. You should not experience any of the annoying errors normally experienced from this mode activating. Happy computing!

Vista Defrag Details Removed

One thing I would like to gripe about is Microsoft has seen fit to remove the GUI (graphical user interface) portion of disk defrag which lists details of the defrag process.

I don’t know about you but to me this information can be useful. Not only could review defrag details but also a progress bar which showed when the process might end. Maybe I am just a control freak.

Many operations I do require peak performance. Running these operations during the defrag process can impact performance of the other applications and effect the outcome.

I guess I will just have to start the process and walk away for hours due to the lack of information on how long the process may take. This will definitely effect my efficiency. I guess I will have to purchase a third party application so I can review details of the defrag process.

Just another instance of Microsoft thinking they know what we do and do not need.