NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2008
Hewie's Views and Reviews for May 2008
By Hewie Poplock, Vice President, Operations, Central Florida Computer Society
Info(at)hewie.net (click to email author)

Obtained from APCUG with the author's permission for publication by APCUG member groups.

Welcome to this issue of Hewie's Views & Reviews. Be sure to visit Hewie's Favorites at http://www.hewie.net/ .

++++ My upgrade to Microsoft Vista SP1
++++ New additions to Hewie's Favorites

++++ My upgrade to Microsoft Vista SP1
I have been anticipating the first service pack for my two Vista computers. It was recently released, but quickly retracted due to some installation problems. Itís now available through the standard Windows Update Service. A couple of weeks ago I spent the several hours backing up my main system to prepare to upgrade to Service Pack 1.

I installed all of the current updates, which should be done prior to upgrading. Once I did that, I checked Windows Update and SP1 was not listed. After searching Microsoftís Knowledgebase, I discovered that Vista checks your system and if there are potential problems with drivers, it will not be available. There were so many warnings to check all of your hardware and software for SP1 compatibility before downloading a generic version, that I decided not to try updating.

Then The Windows Update Service had 11 updates. The day after installing all of them, I had the notice that Service Pack 1 was ready to download and install. Once again I backed up the entire system. I then activated the update. A message stated that this could take an hour or more. It downloaded about a 65 Megabyte file and started the install. Then it had to reboot to complete the installation. While shutting down, the screen said it was completing Part 1 of three parts, then came the second. It then shut down and rebooted to a black screen. I could see the hard drive light pounding away on the drive.

The black screen never became a screen, but after a while, I noticed a Vista Logo and a graphic that I recognized as part of the screen saver that came up when Vista was waiting for a user to sign in. When I moved the mouse, it went back to just a plain black screen for several minutes, and then the logo showed. I was convinced it was at the log-in screen and waiting for my input. However, I only saw the dark screen.

Since I added an ATI graphics card to the system to support 2 screens, I figured that perhaps the video driver was confused. When I unscrewed one of the monitors and plugged it back in, I saw the sign-in screen, then it faded to black. I decided that it was either safe to reboot or time to restore from my backup.

I shut off the computer and turned it back on. It came up with the log-in screen. When I logged it, I got a scrambled screen, with items where I did not expect them to be, but workable enough for me to get to the ATI Control Center. Once there, I made some changes and I was good to go.

While my update to Vista SP1 worked, the problems that I had could have been unfixable for the novice or a person with little patience. So much for an idiot-proof operating system. Next I have to try the update on my laptop. I wonder what problems await me there. Oh, and I donít know what I gained by updating. I will check on that and get back to you with that information.

++++ New additions to Hewie's Favorites.

There are more new sites this issue, because we skipped a month.

Search multiple travel sites, compare airline prices, search our travel deals, and receive free fare predictions

Evolution of Security
TSA has opened their own blog

Free directory of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit

Speed Trap
Mashup (Web application hybrid) that combines Microsoft Live Maps and the ability to pinpoint and review speed traps located anywhere on the planet

Topper Search
Uses your unique preferences and builds a model that represents your tastes or intent.

Online PDF Reader, Editor, Form Filler, Form Designer, Solution

Free service that provides a single point for deploying uploads to the top video sharing sites, and powerful analytics on who, what, and how videos are being viewed

Real Estate Listing Broadcast Syndication Via Video Podcasting and Video Sharing Sites

Find the right product for you! Read the most credible product reviews from Verified Buyers about Digital Cameras, Sporting Goods, Appliances, Mens and Womens Shoes, Toys and Video Games, and more.

Fark has news about anything and everything posted by users

Fast downloads of the latest free software

OVGuide Online Video Guide
OVGuide is the ultimate free online video portal and search engine to the best movies, tv shows and all other video content on the web. Free Movies, Videos, TV Shows, Video Games.

Free virus and malware online scan service

Hub for the latest tech, science, and gaming news. Articles are found and sorted electronically by real-time global popularity

Comprehensive nutrition analysis

Spy technology instantly detects lies your subjects voice.

Global Incident Map
Displays Terrorist Acts, Suspicious Activity, and General Terrorism News

Online search service & insight for news and current events

Music videos for your images and pictures

Free No-Install FTP, FTPS, SFTP and WebDAV Client

PictureTrail is an online photo sharing and image hosting website.

Who do you want to be today? Select a scenario - upload and adjust a photo or use your webcam

Adobe Photoshop CS3 A - Z
Website dedicated to the book Adobe Photoshop CS3 A - Z Tools and features. Illustrated ready-to-use reference.

In Pictures Tutorials
Free online tutorials based on pictures, not words. They're the easiest way to learn computer subjects

Unix Toolbox
Collection of Unix/Linux/BSD commands and tasks which are useful for IT work or for advanced users

Convert webpages directly from your browser. All you need to do is drag the link to your bookmarks toolbar and save page as PDF

Related local groups and meet-ups

CommonCraft Show
Explanations In Plain English

Free Online Meetings, Training, Desktop Sharing

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This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).

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