Article, July 2008
Moving on to Vista – Part 7
by Neil Stahfest, Librarian, Tacoma Area PC User Group, Washington
Obtained from APCUG with the author's permission for publication by APCUG member groups.
Does your computer go to sleep? By default, Windows Vista was designed to go to sleep after an hour of inactivity. This feature is primarily designed to conserve laptop battery power. Microsoft estimates that allowing a PC to go to sleep during off hours, as compared to leaving it on all the time, saves anywhere from $55 to $70 a year so this feature has some value for desktop users. Of course the amount you save will vary depending on the type of monitor that you use and your local electric utility rates. Here in the Pacific Northwest, with our relatively low electric rates, I suspect that the savings will be something less than $55 a year but multiply that amount by the number of computer monitors that you have and you can probably fill your gas tank once or twice. ;-)
With Windows XP, application programs can veto a user's request for the PC to go to enter sleep mode. Consequently, laptop owners who thought they had put their computer to sleep, might discover a few hours later that the machine had remained on and the battery had been drained. Vista features a ?group policy tool? that can enforce power management settings over the ?wishes? of application programs. Vista's new sleep option, allows you to wake up your computer to install security updates, while letting it remain in the power-saving mode the rest of the time.
So how can you control this energy/battery saving feature?
1. Go to your Control Panel and select the ?Classic View?.
2. Double-click on ?Power Options?.
3. The right pane of the Power Option Window shows the main power plans which are currently available or in use. In the top left pane of the Power Option Window you'll see the following options:
·Require a password on wakeup is self explanatory.
·Chose what power buttons to use opens a new window where you can select implementing the sleep mode by pressing a ?sleep? button, the power button or closing a laptop's lid. Actually there are a number of options available here including Hibernate and shut down.
·Choose what closing the lid does is similar to the above option (it even uses the same window). Create a power plan offers three basic plans plus an option to create customized plans.
·Choose when to turn off the display offers sixteen different time intervals to activate this feature. ·Change when the computer sleeps works the same as the turn off the display feature.
·Adjust the display brightness obviously controls the screen's brightness and the amount of power consumed by the screen.
So make your choice(s). Save power, your battery and the environment.
On another topic, when I first tested the pre-release version of Windows Vista I noted that file transfers seemed to be much slower than with Windows XP. This problem was not corrected when Vista was released to the general public. The problem becomes very noticeable when you try to transfer very large files from one partition to another. Maybe it will be corrected when Vista Service Pack 1 is released but, in case it isn't, here's how you can fix it.
The cause for slow file transfers is apparently something called Remote Differential Compression which is used when files are transferred from one partition to another. The ?fix? is to disable Remote Differential Compression. How do you do that?
1. From the Start button, open the Control Panel.
2. Go to the Programs and Features section.
3. In the left pane select ?Turn on or off Windows features?.
4. Uncheck the option for Remote Differential Compression.
That's all there is to it! Enjoy your faster file transfers.
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