I hate dialogs

As I’m getting accustomed to the BETA2 release of Vista, I can only think of one thing.

I hate dialogs.

I especially hate the big, black, screen-blanking, in-your-face annoyance of a security system that Microsoft felt compelled to put in place.

I can see where they are coming from (Unix!), but it just doesn’t work. The idea of least administrative access is that admins can use lower accounts and bolt up to more access when required.

It seems Microsoft think everyone should still be an administrator, and that whenever people want to do a somple task like delete a desktop shortcut, all hell should break loose!

Oh, don’t get me started on the shortcuts. I think I counted about 8 (yes, eight!) confirmation shortcuts:

1) This is a file. Are you sure to want to do this?
2) Oh, hang on – this is a shortcut. It bears no problem on a program, but I’d better ask again.
3) You do know that you are only deleting a shortcut, don’t you?
4) Hmm, you’ll need to be an administrator – you are sure, right?
5) Because even though it’s just a shortcut on your desktop, I’ve assimilated it into the SYSTEM account. That alright?
6) Big black screen! ALLOW or DENY! Stop if you’re scarred!
7) Okay, now you’ve let me. You okay with this, big guy?
8) Right, I’ll do it!

OK – maybe I’m exaggerating by one or two.

Internet Explorer falls foul to this when activeX kicks in for the installer. A big black screen appears BEFORE you know what program wants to be installed:

1) BIG BLACK SCREEN: Whoa! Something’s installing – it could be ANYTHING. Allow or deny?
2) (Assuming you’ve allowed) Would you like to install flash?

I can see where this is coming from – but users don’t read popups like this. The bods at MS know this, yet they’ve strung a series of dialog boxes for the simple jobs! I’d say that too much security isn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, this isn’t security – it’s a menace.

Webcam fun once again

Well, it’s been a little while – so I thought that with this Job’s Bus thing I’m doing at Claire’s school today I had better get ready.

One of the things that seemed to impress the kids last year was using a webcam to post them onto the internet. This was done on Claire’s laptop with CoffeeCup Webcam or something like that.

Needless to say – my trial has expired since then, so I thought I’d try the XP Powertoy Timershot. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perception), it will not install on Vista – even in compatibility mode. I remember it didn’t work properly when I tried it before so I thought that I’d get hold of an alternative.

After a very brief search, I found at32 Comedy Webcam a free webcam publisher that will even upload a (naff) html page.

I had to put a little bit of javascript into the page to make it autoupdate – but it works nicely. It connects to ftp – lets you set the time you wish to update the image, and will preview it if you like. It can supposedly web publish itself as well, but I’ll leave that alone for the time being.

Now all I have to do is dig out that old motherboard again…

Vista Thoughts with IE7

I’ve installed Windows Vista on my system under a second drive to try and get to groups with it before it comes out. The last thing you need is trying to learn something when people are asking you questions about an operating system.

One thing I found annoying with IE7+ (yes, it work in Vista!), is that Microsoft’s selection of search engines for the opensearch bar is quite poor.

Thankfully, I found this website that has a good array of opensearch plug-ins including international sites.

Hoorah! Now I can happily search UK web pages from the corner with Google, rather than MSN.