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How to enable “Glass” effects in Vista w/o using LDDM Drivers – Part 1

September 21st, 2005 by Patrick Elliott

While surfing around on my seemingly endless quest to find LDDM drivers that actually load correctly on my Geforce FX Go5200 card in my Inspiron 5150, I stumbled upon this article , and a link called “Enable new Avalon engine”.

Hmm.. I thought, surely they couldn’t mean I could set a simple, stupid, everyday reg key to see the beautiful effects that Glass (Aero) has to offer. My gut instinct couldn’t have been further from the truth. Apparently this regkey has its roots at least as far back at build 5048, allowing you to “peek” at the Glass effects, anyway, now that build 5219 is out to testers, I’ll offer the information here so that those of you in my situation can at least play w/ the Glass effects while running your XP Drivers!!

**NOTE** — In build 5219 (at least on my system) this WILL BREAK D3D/DirectX dependent apps like all the games distributed with this build, to set your system BACK to the way it was prior to this mod, simply change the DWORD value mentioned below from 0 to 1, log off, and you will be using the XP style UI in which D3D/DirectX will still work *****

To enable the Glass effects:

Open Regedit
Change to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft key
Create a new key called DWM
In the new DWM key you created, create a DWORD called EnableMachineCheck.
Set this DWORD to 0
Log off of Vista
When you log back in… beautiful Glass effects, all through XP drivers.

More coming once I figure out how to NOT make this break DirectX…

😛 Patrick Elliott / MSBLOG

Posted in Products, Windows Vista | 11 Comments »

Indepth look at Vista Interface

September 20th, 2005 by Patrick S

Channel9 has posted a great video featuring Kam Vedbrat, lead program manager on the Aero interface being developed for Windows Vista. Well worth the download for those that can spare the bandwidth ( :(). Vista will include a re-designed user interface, code-named Aero. The new interface is intended to be cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing than previous Windows, including new transparencies, animations and eye candy.

  • Download: Vista Interface Demo (460MB)
  • View: Vista Interface Demo (Streaming)
  • View: Channel9 Article
  • Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

    Sidebar on 5219… Who wants it???

    September 19th, 2005 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    News from everywhere is reporting that Jack Pearce or JC from JCXP.NET has found a way to add sidebar in build 5219! But no, this isn’t a reg hack or modifying the INF to ‘unhide’ it. I have no clue where they got the files from, but here is the source!

    Note: Adding a sidebar might get your *bugs* invalidated, so why not not using it if you are an official tester?

    Official Source: Jack Pearce
    Alternative Source: JCXP Forum

    Posted in Windows Vista | 6 Comments »

    Office 12 Preview

    September 18th, 2005 by Zack Whittaker

    After Windows Vista, I think Office 12 is the next thing on people’s minds for techies across the globe. Windows Vista is nearly at Beta2 stage which will be a public beta, so that anyone can download it and try it out and leave feedback to the product teams, however Office 12 (the next version of the popular Microsoft Office) also seems to be highly anticipated as the best version of Office there has ever been.

    Watched this video of Julie Larson Green on MSDN Channel9 and it shows that Office 12 (still in codename, not sure what it’ll be called yet) has a whole new interface. She was using a Windows XP machine yet Word 12 as well as the rest of them have a Vista feel to it. Not sure whether this was meant to be, or just to co-inside with Vista but with the graphics and all, I can only presume that it uses “Avalon” (Windows Presentation Foundation) with it. With the new features (over a thousand new ones) they’ve made everything much easier to access and instead of having drop down menu’s such as File, Insert and View etc. they now have different categories along the top and depending on which componant of Office you are using, they change and have all the options relevant to that option there in a new dashboard style thing.

    With some excellend features and the beta version coming out either late this year or early next, this looks like a real breakthrough for Microsoft Office.

    Really sorry these picture links look screwed up, I did my best, honest!

    ▪     Download the video from Channel 9 of Office 12 (618MB)


    ▪     Visual Studio 12


    ▪     Office FrontPage 12 (SharePoint)


    ▪     New message in Outlook 12


    ▪     Calendar in Outlook 12


    ▪     Save dialog in Office 12


    ▪     Save dialog in Office 12 in Windows Vista


    ▪     Office Word 12


    ▪     Signature insertion in Word 12


    ▪     Document inspector in Word 12


    ▪     Comparison of old Windows graphics against Office 12 graphics

    Posted in Products, Windows Vista | 14 Comments »

    WinFS examples (But its not getting included with vista =( )

    September 17th, 2005 by Patrick S

    Although WinFS won’t ship until after Windows Vista hits store shelves, the new file system is garnering the attention of PDC 2005 attendees who want to see the capabilities that a relational file system will bring. Microsoft on Wednesday showed off a few examples of WinFS in action.

    WinFS isn’t a new concept at Microsoft; the company has long made what it calls “integrated storage” a top priority. The new file system was first unveiled at PDC 2003, but many assumed the effort was dead once Microsoft announced WinFS would not be included in Vista.

    Not so, says Shishir Mehrotra, head of the WinFS product planning team. “I promise WinFS didn’t get cut; I still have a job. If it does get cut, I hope somebody will tell me,” he joked.

    Instead, as previously reported by BetaNews, WinFS will be delivered out-of-band as part of the WinFX Runtime Components. The technology has also aligned with the Microsoft data stack, so it uses the same APIs as other data types thanks to ADO.NET.

    WinFS takes a SQL engine and marries it with NTFS, storing metadata for all files on a system, as well as structured data such as contacts, calendars and more. Asked whether WinFS is an individual file system or simply an extension of NTFS, Mehrotra simply explained: “It’s both. It’s built on NTFS and it is a file system.”

    Because databases usually require full-time administrators, Microsoft has built what it calls the “Guardian” to monitor the WinFS store and handle page failures, tuning indices, and “things you would have needed a DBA for,” Mehrotra said.

    WinFS does away with file and folder hierarchy and replaces it with items and associations. Items can be standard file-backed objects such as images and documents, or objects not backed by tangle files including contacts and e-mail.

    For file-backed items, WinFS leverages NTFS to store the data and ensure compatibility with current Win32 applications. When a file is changed, the system re-syncs the necessary metadata with WinFS.

    Associations play an important role in establishing relationships between different types of data and allow users to organize information based how it’s used. “Tagging and searching isn’t enough,” said Mehrotra, explaining that data needs to modeled naturally not manually.

    Providing an example of how this change could be useful in the real world, Mehrotra described a situation in which a contact’s information has changed. WinFS could remove the need to update numerous disparate data stores — from a local address book to company-wise CRM application — which can all instead utilize the storage technology.

    Beyond that, WinFS also allows items to be grouped into a single, accessible product. For example, people with digital cameras often dump multiple shots of the same subject onto a PC, Mehrotra noted. WinFS would enable those users to choose one item to be representative of all the items.

    Beta 1 of WinFS is available now and was distributed at the PDC. The test release works on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003, in addition to Windows Vista builds.

    Posted in MS News | 1 Comment »

    The 360 is coming…

    September 17th, 2005 by Patrick S

    Microsoft has confirmed a launch date for the Xbox 360, announcing the system would hit store shelves on November 22 across North America, December 2 in Europe, and December 10 in Japan.

    The company said that this would be the first time a game console would be launched in three territories within a similar time frame.

    Details of the launch date were announced on the eve of the Tokyo Game Show 2005, Japan’s yearly gaming expo.

    Manufacturing for the system has already begun, and units have begun to be produced in three production facilities in Osaka, Japan; Oxford, England; and Orlando, Florida.

    More than 40 game publishers in Japan have already pledged support for the platform, as well as more across the globe. Microsoft says the Xbox 360 will provide a gaming experience unmatched by its competitors.

    “This holiday season, gamers in Japan, Europe and North America pining to experience jaw-dropping high-definition graphics, unmatched online play and compelling digital entertainment features of Xbox 360 will finally have the chance,” said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer for Microsoft.

    Japanese pricing for the new console was also announced. The base system will cost games 37,900 yen, or about $343 USD, compared to the $299 USD price tag within the United States. The Japanese package will include the unit, a wireless controller, a remote control, a headset, and component and Ethernet cables.

    I will be deffinantly in the cue to get my hands on one of these!! They look awesome!

    Posted in Xbox and Gaming | 5 Comments »

    Server Gets Modular

    September 17th, 2005 by Patrick S

    Now that I am a sucker for windows server:P-I thought i would post this…
    It may not have a name yet, but Longhorn Server features were detailed Thursday at PDC 2005 and the watchword was “modular.” Microsoft has broken down its server OS into components, and the system installs only the services required to fill a specific role.

    At its core, Longhorn Server will contain no graphical user interface and boot directly to a command prompt. The Server Core simply contains networking, security and management services, along with Active Directory.

    With just a 500MB footprint, the server can perform four roles: DNS, DHCP, Active Directory and static Web server for files. Even in this basic install, terminal services are supported, as is remote scripting.

    A Microsoft spokesperson acknowledged the similarity to Linux and senior product manager Ward Ralston said the change was made in response to customer feedback.

    If users didn’t ask for it, we wouldn’t do it,” he said, adding that Windows Server 2003 can operate in a headless mode, but the feature is not obvious to users.

    A regular install adds on the graphical shell, MMC tools and the .NET Framework. But even with the full bits installed, Longhorn Server remains componentized and services are installed as needed. On first boot, a new Role Management Tool is the first thing users see, Ralston explained.

    Roles are installed directly from the Longhorn Server DVD when activated and instantly patched using a feature called “secure-at-install.” The idea is that going modular will keep the system locked down and reduce potential vulnerabilities caused by extraneous services running in the background.

    Patches to Longhorn Server will also take advantage of new transactional capabilities added to NTFS that enable any file operation to be rolled back in case of an error. The feature, known as TxF, uses “very low overhead” and is “very, very efficient,” said Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia.

    Microsoft’s new Web server, IIS 7.0, has also been redesigned around a modular architecture. Features have been broken down into individual modules that administrators can choose from when setting up Longhorn Server.

    Ralston said that because Longhorn Server isn’t due until 2007, it’s not clear how Microsoft will package the modular components. However, the company is likely to retain its current SKUs for enterprise, Web and small business environments, which offer different sets of services to choose from.

    Posted in MS News | 2 Comments »

    NTFS Changes in Vista. Any changes?

    September 16th, 2005 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    Vista has Beta 1 and now there’s PDC build of 5219 available! Normal users will enjoy the new sleek UI (personal preference actually), with the Aero Glass Theme (the transparancy effect??).

    For the developers, probably they are excited on how Vista is built and the under laying changes in Vista. Today let me talk about the changes of NTFS in Vista.

    There are many changes to NTFS in Vista. For the “features” changes, here are a few:

    1. The biggest change of all is the addition of complete transactional capabilities to NTFS. Transactional NTFS (TxF) allows all file operations on an NTFS file system volume to be performed transactionally. Read all about it on MSDN – http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/transact/fs/portal.asp

    2. NTFS now has Symbolic Links. You can play with them using the mklink command in cmd. Read the CreateSymbolicLink documentation on MSDN – http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/fileio/fs/createsymboliclink.asp

    3. NTFS has now “self-healing” capabilities”. In the past when you encountered a file-system corruption NTFS marked the volume dirty and CHKDSK was required to be run. In Vista NTFS will attempt to correct the corruption on-line without requiring a CHKDSK to be run. (Note- Not all corruptions will be fixed in the Vista timeframe and so in some cases CHKDSK will still be required)

    4. The NLS casing table has been updated so that partitions formatted with Vista and Longhorn Server will both be able to see the proper behavior for the 100+ mappings that have been added to Unicode
    but were not added to Windows.

    A minor feature, unless your native language uses one of the characters that was not being mapped, an awful situation on a case insensitive file system!

    Beta 2 will probably bring more changes to the NTFS foundation.

    Posted in MS News, Products | 5 Comments »

    PDC Build 5219 is up on Connect!

    September 16th, 2005 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    PDC Build 5219 of Vista is up on Connect! I’m sure everybody has it downloaded (maybe already installed), but I’m left with 8 hours left to download (probably a total of 17 hours of download of 2.8GB).

    I’ll post some screenshots of the PDC build once I get an official word from Paul [MS].

    Read my newer post about changes in NTFS in Vista!

    What do you think of the PDC build? What about the games that can be found in 5219 build, Patrick? 😛

    Posted in MS News | 13 Comments »

    Vista’s site looks as smooth as the OS now!

    September 15th, 2005 by Patrick S

    The Windows vista site has been updated and now looks very sleek!
    A whole lot of new features has been added to it including RSS to keep up to date with the latest vista developments.
    Its also simpler but with a lot more information than before…

    I give it the Patrick-thumbs up!
    Check Our Window’s Vista’s new site Here

    Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Vista’s site looks as smooth as the OS now!

    Microsoft Codename: Max released to public

    September 14th, 2005 by Zack Whittaker

    Well as Jabez posted earlier on about the software and hardware specifications of “Max”, I’ve got a little bit more to say about the product. I’m split down the middle on this one (not literally, otherwise I’d be in hospital and not writing this) but I can see good things in this and then I can see entirely pointless things in this software.

    With the new beta 2 of the WinFX components (including the Windows Presentation Foundation, previously codenamed Avalon) with the download which gives the application much more presentation features such as better graphics, and give it that “Vista feel” to it. The graphics I have to say are absolutely excellent and really imitate the graphics present in Windows Vista, and although the transparency effects aren’t present in the application it still has great functionality.

    However, what I cannot understand is what the application is actually for. OK, so you can collate all your wallpapers together to make a list of content of which can be then made into a list to send to all your friends but even with that, they have to have the Microsoft Max software. I just don’t see the point of it as yet.

    It’s still in beta stage and still codenamed, so whether it will be updated later on in time and as soon as we see an actual name for it (I can’t think for the life of me what they could call it) but hopefully we’ll be seeing much more features that should appeal to those who want to share their media.

    Download Microsoft Max now

    See Microsoft Max screenshots HERE

    Posted in Beta News, Products, Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

    Microsoft Max: No not a new software from MS… It’s a new UI!

    September 14th, 2005 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    What is MAX?

    MicrosoftÂŽ Codename Max is not like any other product. That’s because it’s not a product—it’s your opportunity to try an exciting new user experience from Microsoft. Today Max lets you make lists of your photos and turn them into beautiful slide shows to share with your family and friends. Tomorrow…who knows?

    Here are the system requirements for using MS Max:

    Minimum
    Microsoft WindowsÂŽ XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Microsoft Windows XP Professional with SP2. (Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition not supported.)
    1.0 gigahertz (GHz) processor.
    256 megabytes (MB) of RAM.
    200 MB of available hard disk space.
    Super VGA (800 x 600) resolution monitor.

    Recommended
    Microsoft WindowsÂŽ XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Microsoft Windows XP Professional with SP2. (Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition not supported.)
    2.4 GHz processor.
    512 MB of RAM.
    200 MB of available hard disk space.
    Windows Presentation Foundation™–capable 3D Video Card.
    Broadband internet connection.

    Source: http://www.microsoft.com/max/

    Posted in MS News, Products | 1 Comment »

    Microsoft Gadgets at PDC!

    September 14th, 2005 by Patrick S

    (Another big’ish post…)
    I have been waiting for something like this for ages!,

    “Microsoft announced at PDC today that it is getting into the “gadget” business putting it in direct competition from a feature stand point with Apple’s Dashboard and Yahoo’s Widgets (Konfabulator).”

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in MS News | 2 Comments »

    RC0

    September 13th, 2005 by Patrick S

    rc0

    OHHHHH YEA!thumbs
    P.S over 2000 visits (not including me :P)

    Posted in MS News | 5 Comments »

    PDC’s build of Windows Vista! It’s here it’s here!

    September 12th, 2005 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

    Although none of us MSBlog’s writers are going to/have attended the Microsoft PDC (Professional Developer’s Conference), I have found a few links to some screenshots of Windows Vista which is given out on PDC! Check it out!

    Site 1
    Site 2

    In fact a whole list of PDC Bloggers can be found Here

    You can also find the webcast of Bill Gates on PDC Here

    Posted in MS News | 3 Comments »

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