[AI] Tweak tricks for Windows Vista

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 21 04:44:59 EDT 2007

Tweak tricks for Windows Vista


WASHINGTON: It’s difficult to call a new operating
system your own until you’ve customised it to your
liking. Making small changes in how an operating
looks and works is commonly referred to as “tweaking”,
and tweaking Windows Vista can be a bit more
challenging than with previous versions of Windows.

In part, that’s because the way you customise Vista
has changed a lot — and some of the tools that you
might have used to tweak Vista’s predecessors aren’t
supported under the new operating system. But never
fear. With the right know-how, you can still make
Vista look and work the way you need it to.

Tweak UI for Vista
Microsoft’s popular Tweak UI — which allowed users to
customise the XP interface in ways that otherwise were
not possible without delving deeply into the
intimidating registry editor — is not designed to run
under Windows Vista. What’s worse is that Microsoft
has not released an updated version that works
under Vista — and so far has not announced plans to do

The good news is that TotalIdea has come to the rescue
with the Vista-ready Tweak VI (
), an advanced customisation tool that does everything
Tweak UI did and more. 

While there are paid versions of Tweak VI, the
slimmed-down free version does everything that most
people want - including getting rid of the annoying
pop-up reminders in the taskbar, relocating the
default document folder, controlling animation effects
of the interface, bringing back the underlines in
menus, and much more. Spend some time with Tweak VI,
and you’ll have a head start on making Vista work the
way you want it to.

WinKey under Vista
XP users who wanted to increase their productivity by
making keyboard shortcuts using the Windows Logo key
probably grew to rely upon the free WinKey utility
). WinKey is no longer being developed, unfortunately,
which means that a Vista-enabled version is not in the

You can still use WinKey under Vista, but you’ll have
to run the installation program in “compatibility
mode.” To do so, right-click the WinKey installation
file from within Vista and select Properties from the
pop-up menu. In the resulting Properties dialog box,
click the Compatibility tab, and select the
check box labelled “Run this program in compatibility
mode for,” and make sure Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
is selected in the Compatibility mode drop-down
list box. 

Click Apply, and then OK.Now double-click the WinKey
installation file, and proceed to install the program
as under Windows XP. Once installed, the program
will largely work as it did under XP, with some
exceptions. Notably, you will not be able to use
Windows Key plus a number for a keyboard shortcut.

Change your desktop
Your Vista desktop isn’t really yours until you change
the background, the colour of window elements,
transparency, and the screen saver. Vista gives you
more ways to customise your desktop than any other
Windows operating system before it - and generally
customisations are easier than ever before. Start
by right-clicking the Vista desktop and selecting
Personalise from the resulting pop-up menu.

Get more gadgets
Gadgets are a prominent new feature of Windows Vista.
These small, task-oriented applets that line the right
side of the Vista screen are designed to keep
frequently updated news and information within easy
reach at all times. Consequently, you’ll find gadgets
such as news tickers, Internet-linked weather
updates, a clock, and a notepad on your Vista screen
by default.

But personalising Vista is all about choosing the
gadgets that best suit your needs and your style of
working. That might mean looking beyond the limited
number of gadgets supplied with the version of Vista
you received. Microsoft maintains a constantly growing
repository of gadgets for Vista at the site(
). There you’ll find gadgets that are both fun and
useful, including an eBay ticker, several media
players, weather bugs, search tools, and games. 

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