Guy Recommends: A Free Trial of the Network Performance Monitor (NPM) v11.5
SolarWinds’ Orion performance monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems. Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.
The first production edition of Vista, the Business edition, was launched on November 30th 2006. On January 30th 2007 Microsoft released the other 5 versions including the Home Premium and Ultimate editions.
My impression from testing Vista, is that the evolution from XP to Vista is more like the upgrade from Windows 2000 Professional to XP, than the revolutionary changes from WfW to Windows 95. The big difference is that while XP and Vista clearly look related, Vista has been completely rebuilt with security at the forefront of each design stage.
True to the principles of my website, my mission is to get you ready for the Windows Vista operating system. For example, I have a page on how to install Vista using Virtual PC 2004 (or 2005). By all means admire the impressive AERO graphics, icons and desktop; however, I advise you that the most important practical task is to get acquainted with the new Vista version of Windows Explorer. Next step –> Windows New Features
Microsoft Windows Vista Security
Security is rarely a glamorous topic, yet it may be the killer reason to persuade the financial director to loosen the purse strings so that you can upgrade from XP to Vista. The wide ranging and detailed measures that Microsoft has take to make the operating system secure, underpin every aspect of Vista. From controlling actions with UAC (User Account Control), through ‘service hardening’ to registry restriction, Windows Vista offers top to bottom security. Not only has each component been created from scratch, but also Microsoft has redesigned each component with security in mind. More on Windows Vista Security
Windows AERO Graphics
Aero Graphics is hard to define, but fortunately it’s easy to use. From one perspective, AERO is Vista’s replacement of XP’s Luna desktop. Others define AERO as Windows Graphics Foundation 2.0 and the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) combining to deliver stunning visual displays. Microsoft would like to emphasis that AERO is the most efficient and intuitive front end to date. For me, I would cast aside the hype and ignore the jargon and say, ‘Vista is fun to learn and gives me more information than any other Version of Windows Explorer’. See more on Vista’s Aero Graphics
Vista Control Panel
The Vista Control Panel shows its XP roots, in fact, the Control Panel is a good barometer for comparing the new features of Vista with the old features of XP. One new element is ‘Solutions to Problems’, which you find under Performance and Maintenance. Solutions to Problems evolved from XP’s troubleshooters and they illustrate how advances in Vista’s artificial intelligence provide a more productive and less frustrating computing experience.
Some of the old Control Panel items have been re-arranged, for example, I found the Add or Remove Programs under Additional Options. One Control Panel section that has mushroomed is networking, in particular, the Network Center caught my eye. See detail of the Vista Control Panel
Although they now have the same look and feel, Vista’s Windows Explorer and IE7 are distinct programs launched by different executables. Indeed, it is this similarity which helps to make the Vista interfaces more consistent than those in XP. Perhaps the most interesting new feature is the ‘Searches Folders’, otherwise known as Virtual Folders. These folders, which are color coded blue, literally open up a new dimension for Explorer. What the blue Searches folders do is enable you to display data from different physical areas in one virtual folder. Vista Explorer also Virtual Folders (Searches)
Thus utility makes it easy to check the health of a router or firewall. Check the real-time performance, and availability statistics, for any device on your network. Get started with an extensive collection of "out-of-the-box" monitors for popular network devices. Give Network Monitor a whirl – it’s free. Download your free Network Device Monitor
Vista general release of all editions January 30th 2007
Vista Business edition released to manufacturers December 2006
Vista 5728 October 2006
Vista RC2 Build 5600 September 2006
Beta 2 5536 August 2006
Beta 2 5384 June 2006
Beta 2 5384 June 2006
Beta 2 5308 March 2006
Beta 2 5270 January 2006
Beta 2 5231 Winter 2005
Beta 2 5219 Autumn 2005
Beta 1 5112 Summer 2005 (Longhorn 5112)
Installing Windows Vista in a Virtual PC
I got my copy of Vista through the MSDN program. From January 30th 2007 you can by your copy of Microsoft Vista on DVD. Launch the Virtual Machine console to create a new Virtual disk / image / machine. Capture the image from the CD menu. The actual installation takes about half an hour, but the menus are straightforward, even easy if you have experience from installing XP. Get started with Virtual PC
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