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Windows Vista notes

Some notes we've made about using Vista in production
  1. More drivers than XP-64
  2. Vista no longer allows heterogenous graphic card support for WDDM drivers. Thus, if you want multiple-monitors driven by multiple graphics cards, you must pick cards that use the same driver, or go back to XPDM drivers w/o Aero. (read the comment)

  1. I’d suggest using Vista Enterprise or Ultimate edition. Both give you support for BitLocker, should you decide you want to encrypt your drives. Enterprise can use KMS for activation, Ultimate requires a separate MAK for each and every installation. However, Ultimate includes nice Media Center features (if you do lots of AV in the labs, or want to convert them to DVRs). Use the Bitlocker Drive Prep tool, don't try to format partitions on your own (else you'll end up with an extra 1.5GB partition when the Drive Prep Tool kicks off Bitlocker drive encryption and ignores the parition you made manually)

  1. If you use DYMO LabelWriters, make sure you get the exact model that is supported by Vista.

  1. Office 2007 + Vista search features are very, very nice.
  2. Network management utilities are more graphical, and I think, slightly easier to use (once you get used to the new locations for setting networks up)
  3. 4GB of usable memory (not divided between 2GB kernel and 2GB userspace) is nice.
  4. If you’re going to run Visual Studio 2005 on Vista, run it in admin mode
  5. Be sure you install the .NET 2.0 SDK before installing VS2005, otherwise it will bork your .NET configuration control panel (which prevents you from setting code access security if you’re developing applications with signed assemblies, or adding items to the GAC, or lots of other stuff specific to .NET development) (Hint: to get to this applet, just type fram in the Start Orb search)
  6. Sidebar has lots of nice gadgets – I’m starting to prefer it over Google’s deskbar
  7. Oh, and you can write your own sidebar gadgets in C# using .NET InterOp assemblies, making them more powerful than simple Javascript gadgets

  1. Be sure to get the beefiest graphics card you can (128MB+) and at least 1GB of RAM, though I’d recommend 2-4 for usability. Also note some graphics cards that say they have 256MB actually use 128MB of system memory and only have 128MB onboard, check the specs carefully.