Groovy Vista Shortcuts

Now that I’ve been using Windows Vista RC2 for some time now, I can definitely say that I’m impressed with the latest offering from Microsoft. The slowdowns are virtually non-existant on a 1GB system, and the window rendering is superb.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some good Windows Shortcut Keys that are new to Vista:

WINDOWS + 1-9: Holding the windows key and pressing a number will launch an application in the Quick Launch bar on the Taskbar. This is very useful. I have the flip windows shortcut as WIN+1 and the Snipping Tool as WIN+2.

WIN+TAB: As most already know, this activates the Flip 3D view when you have a 3D graphics card onboard. Letting go of the WIN key will ‘flip’ the windows back to normal.

CTRL+WIN+TAB: A nuisance with RC1 was that just tapping CTRL+TAB would leave the flip view on screen. Instead, you now have to hold CTRL to keep the flip view on screen without holding the WIN key. Press the HOME key to scroll back to your original window, or press ESC to cancel.

WIN+T: Cycle through windows in the taskbar, shows live preview if available.

ALT+UP: In Explorer, ALT + UP will move to your parent folder. Very nifty when navigating around folders with the keyboard.

WIN+SPACE: Bring all Gadgets to the front

WIN+G: Move focus from one gadget to another on the desktop.


There are loads more, but I think that these ones deserve special mention.

Just a note that both WIN+TAB and ALT+TAB allow mouse interactivity now. Flip 3D allows the wheel to be used as well as the back and forwards buttons used for web browsers.

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.