David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Another Vista UI tweak - change the size of the thumbnail (preview) picture in Vista Aero when you hover over an icon in the taskbar

    The final one from Ave, another amazing UI tweak. Thumbnail Sizer Thumbnail Sizer allows the user to change the size of Vista's Window thumbnails that show when one hovers over the taskbar button for the window. download from Ave's Vista Apps ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista Tweaks , Vista
  • 3D Rotating (swaying gently back and forth) User Pictures in Windows Vista Start Menu

    Another User interface trick that I am now using from Vishal's blog - it just adds minor touches to Vistas UI. 3D Rotating User Pic in Windows Vista Start Menu Ave’s 3D UserPic In the old longhorn 4xxx days, the startmenu user picture was more animated as it was today. Today, we get a cheap alpha-fading effect when you hover over an item: the user picture simply blends with the icon for a while. Back in the days, the user picture was actually rotating when you had the start menu opened. This application tries to achieve that effect. Screenshot ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Photos, photography, JPEG XR, Photosynth, the future of photography and Seadragons - why all the excitement?

    It's funny working in an industry where if you are not going at 50,000 miles an hour you are considered to be standing still. One area where Microsoft is speeding along is photography. In this post I will explore the announcements, the demos, short and long term products and then the future that lots of people are beginning to see. For me, the fact that people are already seeing such a future and its possibilities is very exciting (both the visions and the fact they are having them without drugs!! (humour)) Look at the recent events: Raw photo support in 2005 - Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Photo HD (which some people thought was a JPEG killer.. tut tut) - HD Photo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JPEG XR - JPEG committee supports Photo HD as next gen JPEG TrustedReviews - Official Jpeg Successor Is Microsoft's HD Photo Now this is all very nice, but so what - a better format for bigger pictures, that could be a bit like FAT disks getting FAT32 format, but it is not...
  • Microsoft Watch - Vista - I Shacked Up with Windows Vista - what happens when a journalist tries Vista and likes it - he makes his Mac Tiger move out for a while :-)

    I saw this and the whole article is well worth a read - a good Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday read to smile. I Shacked Up with Windows Vista Joe Wilcox Last week, Vista and I started living together again , and Tiger moved into an apartment across the hall. I like Vista, but she's sometimes a tough companion. Tiger and Vista are both attractive, but my new roomie is just so much more pleasing to look at—and she likes to do fun stuff that's quite different from the cat woman. Over the weekend we did the Vongo together and hung out at the Yahoo Music club. Tiger wouldn't do either. Vista also is much more social. She loves to nudge her friends and hang out at social clubs MySpace and Live Spaces . She's quite particular about her social calendar , too. Source: Microsoft Watch - Vista - I Shacked Up with Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista business value , MAC
  • View and Search the Windows Vista Registry from the Windows Shell (Explorer) through this Namespace Extensions

    I came across this due to someone pointing it out internally - talk about awesome. The Windows Registry Shell Namespace Extension allows Windows Explorer to view and interact with the Windows Registry data via Explorer windows. It demonstrates existing Shell extensibility points like IShellFolder2 and SHCreateShellFolderView and also demonstrates new concepts in Vista including the property system, property schema extensibility, and content indexing via Protocol Handlers. This project is implemented using C++ and ATL. This release includes all of the latest deltas and addresses the installation issues for systems without VS2005. This is a temporary fix until James finishes the WIX setup. Installation notes: - Download/open the zip file. - If you have VS2005 installed, just double-click RegNamespace.msi. - If you don't have VS2005, run Setup.exe. This will install the necessary VC Redistrubutable. Source: Windows Vista Registry Shell Namespace Extensions ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Search...
  • Dreamscapes 3D spinning earth background where lighting changes depending on the time of day - for Vista, amazing!

    I just have to share some of the pictures my PC created while running Dreamscapes (free from StarDock at http://dream.wincustomize.com/ ) - this one is of the planet Earth spinning, but the view of the earth changes depending on the time of day, so you get to see the light polution if it is night etc. It also works well, as you might expect with Flip 3D: See the tools to produce this and much more at: http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-enhancements-and-utilities-changing-the-screen-savers-adding-extra-search-functionality-to-the-start-menu-objectdock-logon-screen-changer-windows-blinds-and-wim-image-modifier.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-has-flip-3d-for-changing-applications-well-here-are-some-more-3d-cube-based-virtual-desktop-window-switcher-rotation-based-flip-3d.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/changing-vista-boot-screens-and-opening-yourself-up-to-rootkits-or-not.aspx
  • Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality to the start menu, Objectdock, logon screen changer, Windows Blinds and WIM Image modifier)

    Changing the screen saver settings: http://tweakvista.com/Article39129.aspx (make ribbons fatter, increase the number of them and so on) Start++ - search tools from WDS in Vista: http://brandonlive.com/2007/02/22/new-tool-i-made-for-vista-start/ “clear” aero theme for Winblinds for Vista: http://www.skinbase.org/rate.php?skins=32542 Logon Screen changer (free from StarDock when released, part of Object Dock during beta): See http://www.stardock.com/newsitem.asp?id=942 and skins at http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?libid=65 DreamScenes, Dream Maker and Dynamic Dreams – some free, some charged for, for Ultimate Users: http://dream.wincustomize.com/ and http://www.stardock.com/products/deskscapes/ - these include triggers in the “dreams” vLite – image tweaking tool: http://www.vlite.net/about.html ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Dreamscene , Logon Screen Changer , Dynamic Dreams , vLite
  • Changing Vista boot screens and opening yourself up to rootkits (or not)

    I love people who want to customise WIndows Vista and some of my previous posts have covered this, however you can go too far - you can hack the OS. While I understand the desire to "hack" the OS to get customisations, there are better ways. This particular example is where people want to change the boot screen in Vista. The ability to do this will be coming from StarDock soon, but until then people have taken to modifying the existing OS files. THERE IS ALWAYS a change that by downloading someones customised file to your PC and it being loaded so early on in the boot process that it could do nasty things, especially since these files are in now way certified by Microsoft. A classic example of this can be found here when people want to change the boot logo - this could easily be a social engineering attack. The instructions tell someone to remove the access and security permissions from a core system file, overwrite it with one that might make the system look prettier during boot, but who knows what else will...
  • Vista has Flip 3D for changing applications, well here are some more (3d cube based virtual desktop, Window Switcher, Rotation based flip 3d

    3d cube based virtual desktop: http://chsalmon.club.fr/index.php?en/Download Rotation based Flip 3D: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=529816 Alternative to flip-3d (switcher): http://insentient.net/
  • UK Vista Community Group - First Meeting - March 28th

    Vista Squad The place to discuss Windows Vista and the .NET Framework 3.0. We're excited to announce the inaugural meeting of the Vista Squad! The event will be held between 18:15 and 21:15 on Wednesday 28th March 2007 at Microsoft's HQ, Thames Valley Park, Reading. This will be a great opportunity to meet other members, discuss Vista and see two cracking presentations. If you'd like to come pop your name in a comment and we'll add you to the list. The line-up is as follows: 18:15-18:30: Refreshments 18:30-18:45: Introduction session to introduce the group, the key people involved and finally our aims and goals – (Ray Booysen, Scott Belton, Robert Knapp) 18:45-19:45: Presentation 1 - Are you ready for Vista - Windows hardware assessment tools (Scott Belton) 19:45-20:15: Break - Food, refreshments and networking 20:15-21:15: Presentation 2 - WCF Introduction– (tbc) 21:15: Roundup and close Source: Announcements : First Meeting
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for Microsoft (UK) Partners' Friends and Family

    [updated 18th March 08:44am] - The links are working now - hurray Now before someone goes and shoots this down, we have managed a small discount for Microsoft UK Partners' friends and family. It is not a half price discount or anything close, but if you know someone who was going to buy our software or wanted too, it is now a more attractive price :-) Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for your Friends and Family Are you experiencing the 'WOW' of the new Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista yet? If you are you'll probably want your friends and family to feel it too! To help you spread the WOW factor Microsoft Partner DABS is offering a special price to Microsoft Partners' friends and family on the home-use versions of these exciting new releases*. Product Special Friends and Family Price** Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student £85.00 Vista Home Premium £185.00 Vista Home Premium Upgrade £123.50 *Please note: These products are not discounted. The products on offer are legitimate software applications...
  • The Windows Vista and Office Consumer and Small Business Launch - 30th Jan, The British Library, London, UK.... and some demos you MUST run to understand what ISVs will do with Windows Vista.. and a couple of case studies

    Finally the day has come and the rest of us (well, you - but I felt that excited anyway) without a Volume License (or if you work at Microsoft) could get and use Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System (known as Office from here on in). The British Library was chosen as two Leonardo De Vinci codices were being brought together for the 1st time in over 500 years. One was owned by the British Library and the other by Bill Gates, who appeared in person to launch the event. These books, plus other treasures from the British Library can be accessed and downloaded from http://www.bl.uk - I've put some info on how to demo it at British Library Demo of Vista and the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Windows Vista Magazine have put their copy in the same format http://wpf.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/ttpdownload/browserapp.xbap . As always I would like to thanks everyone involved - the partners and their customers who helped to shape and deliver Windows Vista and Office and the Windows and Office teams who put up...
  • Vista related Wow or Launch Sites

    http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/01/10/the-wow-starts-now.aspx talks about a number of Vista related web sites, so I thought I would start to find them all for you to look at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/default.mspx - the official Windows Vista site - make sure you look at the 100 reasons to get Vista ;-) Geesh, only 100!! http://showUsYourWow.com - great site to showcase your "WoW" http://www.vanishingpointgame.com/ - like puzzles, you'll love this - with the final prize being anything from PC & XBox goodies to a trip into almost space :-) http://www.microsoft.co.uk/evosupremo/ - test your knowledge and get some great some more great prizes http://www.clearification.com/ - strange and wacky site, but could be just right for your mind

(c)David Overton 2006-18