4 Tips to make Vista Work for You

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Posted 05 May 2008 in Geek Girl

Geek GirlI upgraded my computer system in January – and initially, I was upset because the laptop I wanted only came with Vista. I heard the horror stories and was not looking forward to using Vista, but I did it, anyway!

After playing around with it for a couple of months, I have found some tweaks that make it a lot better operating system, even if it means I lose some of those pretty visualizations Vista is known for.

First things first, disable the sidebar. The sidebar slows down my system’s startup by almost 8 seconds. This feels like a lifetime when I just want to quickly get on my laptop and get back off. Most of the functions in the sidebar are in many of our preexisting programs or online services – including weather, a clock and a notepad.

Disable startup programs that you don’t absolutely need. This will speed up your computer’s bootup time as well as free up RAM. For example, do you really need to start your chat program when you turn your system on? If not, just disable it and run it when you need it. Same goes for automatically starting your browser, printer software or Microsoft Office.

One of the major gripes with Vista is how “slow” it is – Vista is a memory intensive program, so if you do not have a good amount of RAM (2GB or more), you will feel some sluggishness when you try to run Vista. So, buy more RAM! If you can’t afford more RAM or your system cannot upgrade, try disabling the Vista Aero theme, which is RAM intensive and can slow you down quite a bit.

Also use slimmer, more efficient programs, such as Open Office instead of Microsoft Office; Firefox instead of Internet Explorer or Pidgin (download) instead of 3 or 4 individual chat programs. Also try Foxit Reader instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Using Vista does not have to be a pain, and if you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to a lean, mean, Vista running machine!

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  1. Good tips, we may as well face it, one day we will have to lose XP… sob….
    I’m getting disoriented with you moving your stuff all over the place. It’s like I walk into your house and you’ve redecorated again…!! Nice fresh look though…

  2. Yeah Vista is not as bad as I thought it would be – once I realized that I could tweak it to make it look like XP 😆

    I hope to get finished with the renovations soon – excuse the mess while I try to figure it all out :)

  3. While I’ve found that the problems with Vista are generally exaggerated, I’ve also found that it doesn’t really provide enough of a reason to upgrade outside of the fact that XP is about to be EOLed.

    Also, as much as I hate to say it (I was one of the original Mozilla/Gecko zealots), Firefox is way more of a dog on my system memory-wise than IE. Mozillacorp has been in denial about this for a while but I’ve had Firefox burn up 2 GB of RAM by itself more times than I can count. This is supposed to be fixed in FF 3.0 though.

    I’ll keep hope alive.

    Rashid Z. Muhammads last blog post..TV Roundup 5.8.2008 (Entertainment) – 2 comments

    • Yeah Firefox definitely is a RAM hog. I am not sure if it is the extensions, because it uses up a lot of RAM without the extensions, too. :( I hope *crossing fingers* that Fx 3 fixes this…. I just can’t stand IE 😆