Weekend, Vista Ultimate and my laptop

Probably everyone having a love/hate relationship with Microsoft is talking about Windows Vista these days.

Not to say some of my Anti-Microsoft friends are taking pride saying they have Vista installed on laptops/desktops. Reason could be the eye candy UI, features, watching TV or just about anything that the old Windows OS did not provide according to them.


I have Microsoft Vista Ultimate on my desktop for quite some time. The upgrade from Beta version to the final version was quite a journey. As of now I am impressed by the end product.


My oldie laptop Toshiba A35-S159 (with memory upgraded from 512MB to 1GB) is running on Windows XP Pro which absolutely isn't problem. Until recently that I started suffering from the Upgrade to Vista syndrome.


I am a bit reluctant to use the Upgrade feature for installing the new OS. A clean installation is always my preference. Taking backup of all important files -> installing new OS -> install all required software to the new OS are the steps I normally take assuming that I have lots of patience!


This time though I tried upgrading Windows XP pro to Windows Vista Ultimate after making sure that the Windows Vista Upgrade advisor gave me a green signal. There was a straight face on the Graphics card and couple of things that may/may not work after the Vista installation. Not serious enough to change decision of upgrade.


I started my installation and got the unhappy Windows Vista compatibility Report on my desktop with message about uninstalling the Toshiba Configfree and DVD-RAM Driver Software/BD Driver Software.


As far as Toshiba ConfigFree Error:

I rectified this error by uninstalling Toshiba Configfree (Toshiba Configfree wasn't installed at all on my System. As the error persisted every time I tried installing Vista, so all I did was download Toshiba ConfigFree from the Toshiba site, install it and uninstall. Well this worked!)


Regarding DVD-RAM Driver Software/BD Driver Software Error:

This was something I thought was related to Nero/Roxio software that was installed on my system. I sincerely uninstalled it.

Error persisted. I gave search for keywords like DVD/CD/BD. I managed to uninstall anything and everything that showed me the traces of these culprit words. This wasn't really of any help.


The whole upgrade experience wasn’t smooth so I thought of doing a clean install.

The clean installation gave me a good looking blue screen saying that the ACPI BIOS isn’t compatible.

Well Toshiba's site did have some BIOS upgrade which wasn't of any help. The error still persists and I think only some update on the BIOS compatibility from Toshiba will help.


Digging and searching more about this I found John’s Blog about Problems upgrading to Windows Vista which also talks about same issue.


Below is relevant extract from Toshiba Windows Vista Express Upgrade Promotion site

Toshiba offers Windows Vista drivers and Windows Vista-compatible BIOS upgrades for computer models that have a valid Windows Vista Capable sticker. It may be possible to upgrade to Windows Vista on some Toshiba computer models that do not have a Windows Vista Capable sticker, but Toshiba cannot guarantee that all features of the computer will function correctly after the upgrade. Microsoft’s Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor may be able to indicate whether or not your computer has the minimum hardware requirements for Windows Vista, but a positive report from the Upgrade Advisor is not a clear indication that the specific features of the computer will function correctly after an upgrade to Windows Vista.

My laptop does not have any Vista capable sticker. So will wait and watch if Toshiba can figure out a way to satisfy disappointed old customers!


On brighter note spending few hours of Sunday with Vista installation was worthwhile as going outdoors was practically not possible with East coast rain and flooding.

Well today is Boston Marathon. Boston Marathon has seen extreme weather conditions with too high/ low temperatures; today is no different with the cloudy weather and few showers. The enthusiasm of the ones participating in marathon and the spectators is commendable, no matter if it’s rain or shine. Cheers for the spirit! 



Somasegar: Listening to your feedback – Expression and MSDN

Microsoft has its own ways to amuse people with there new products. Almost every year Microsoft invites MVP's (Microsoft Valuable Professional) for Microsoft Global Summit in Seattle. This year was no different and I was glad to be a part of it! 

With keynote address from Bill Gates and Microsoft Product Managers sharing their vision of what's next, Product feedback all was informative, most of it under NDA.

Meeting Somasegar, Scott Guthrie whose blogs are survival kit for me was a pleasure. Nonetheless the exciting stuff that they mentioned about Microsoft coming up with was amazing.

I had been hearing about Microsoft Expression, Global Summit was no different. I did not work on it extensively, but a little bit of reading was done over the time. Though I got a chance to visit the Microsoft eCompanyStore at Seattle I am not sure what held me back from grabbing Microsoft Expression.

Well I always wished and still wish, such goodies should be a part of MSDN and to my surprise, below mail from my lead Steve Dybing about Announcement from Somasegar was a succor:

"…Based on this feedback, I am pleased to say that we will be making Expression Blend and Expression Web available to all MSDN Premium subscribers shortly after the release of Expression Studio (Q2 2007).  Expression Blend and Expression Web are intended to help creative professionals collaborate with developers to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond, which means we need to make sure both tools are readily available to our developer community."

More about this announcement on Somasegar's blog: Listening to your feedback – Expression and MSDN

Very glad and can't wait to try it out!


Google, Yahoo and Microsoft team up

The SiteMap protocol created by Google has been used for year and a half, will now be embraced by Yahoo and Microsoft.

While Yahoo plans to adopt this effective Thursday, with the continuous support for its current protocol, Microsoft plans to terminate using its current protocol after it implements Sitemap Protocol in its search engine in early next year.

For more details check "Google, Yahoo and Microsoft partner to help webmasters"