Another Vista Refresh???

March 18, 2006


I’ve been using the February Vista CTP for a couple of weeks. And I’m loving it. But I’ve stumbled through a numberr of minor annoyances caused by my tablet. In particular, I’ve had to cobble together beta and legacy drivers to get the device to its full utilty. And that has been a challenge – mostly because of the configuration I’m running.

I am currently using a dual-boot configuration. Why? That’s simple. I have to give presentations to clients. And so I need a system that can demonstrate our current product suite. At the same time, I need to demo Vista and the new Office 2007 system to other customers. So the solution was to build a dual-boot configuration. But that poses one key problem: the Toshiba M4 tablet I use requires different firmware for XP and Vista.

Does the system work with only one firmware load? Yes, and no. Apparently, if I use the Vista firmware with XP, I lose the ability to display my monitor to an external source (like an LCD projector). And if I use the XP firmware for Vista, I cannot enable Aero Glass. So I’ve had to cobble together a process whereby I boot to a CD that selects the right firmware to flash before I boot to the OS I want to run. Yuck!

But I heard rumors that more recent Vista builds would ease some of my hardware-related challenges. So I started to shop around for which build to exploit. Then I learned that build 5342 would meet my needs – and it might well be a publicly-available build (see Paul Thurrott’s recent article). So I grabbed 5342 from the nightly build servers. I just finished loading it up on my tablet – and I like what I’m seeing. 🙂

First, the install process is even easier than before. I’m still having driver challenges. But it seems easier to resolve them this time around. [Of course, that’s because I know what I’m doing this time.] Second, I’m seeing a lot of fit and finish improvements. And while I do have Aero Glass running, I haven’t gotten around to turning on transparent/transluscent effects. Everything else looks great. Now I just have to re-install my apps in the fresh partition. I’ll post some more info about the refresh for Office 2007 System sometime later this weekend. But for now, I’m trimming the sails and heading out!




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