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Author Topic: Question for Windows Users  (Read 7780 times)
H@t Trick
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« on: February 05, 2008, 10:47:27 pm »

Hi everyone, especially Windows users and Vista users specifically,

My uncle who is a VP with Fujitsu Canada bought his parents, my grandparents, a new Fujitsu laptop. Being that they are in their late 70's they are doing quite well with their old Dell Celeron 566MHz system running XP SP2, Norton AV/FW, Firefox, Thunderbirth, and some games (nothing 3D intensive). Thats all they need the PC for, plus some basic word processing and such. While it was coming time to look for a new desktop or laptop, my grandparents had decided they didn't really need one yet. And I wasn't going to let them get a system with Vista (since I am the one who helps them mostly with their PC for the last few years, and got them to switch to Mozilla products over MS ones against the advice of my uncle, typical corporate mentality). Anyways the new laptop is already purchased and arrived before I even knew about it. It's running Vista Home Premium and Fujitsu only allows a upgrade (or as the manufacturers say a "downgrade") if your system is running Vista Business or Ultimate and a qualifying system. So if the system that was purchased was upgraded to Business/Ultimate and was an eligible model then I could get XP for free and maintain the warranty, but the model is nto eligible and my unlce is insisting we stick with Vista. Umm I don't even think he has really worked with Vista seeing as I didnt even have to ask to know he is running XP in his office. I do internet tech support and I can tell you Vista is a pain in the royal a**, especially when it comes to networking. Plus being in their 70's my grandparents would have a hard enough transition, it took them long enought o get used to Windows9x let alone XP, and XP is idiot proof (my coworkers and I love working with XP (it's so simple) and hate 9x, hate Mac OS and we dont touch anything with *nix, save for OSX.
So now that I have dispensed with my long winded introduction, I got a few questions that a google searches did not answer. I have temporarily put Vista into Classic theme which is fine, but not exactly XP, more Win2K. And the stupid Vista Start Menu is the only choice other than the Classic one. So do any of you know if there are XP themes for Vista (free ofcourse) and also an XP start menu for Vista, as these two things would make things much easier for me and my grandparents. I wish I could get the traditional window look and feel in explorer windows too (you know with the title bar on top, menu bar below that, then the tool bars and address bar, etc, having the menu bar below the address bar is moronic and counter-intuitive, especially after what 20 years of Windows?). So any ideas to help with these 3 things would be great. Google pretty much comes up with ways to make XP look and feel like Vista, what about the other way?

Thanks for any and all ideas!
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 06:49:23 pm »

Hey H@t Trick! Your reluctance to accept Vista with open arms is entirely understandable, however, I'd venture the opinion it's not as bad as all that.

re. The Vista Start Menu:
This is my single favourite part of Vista, especially when it comes to helping less experienced family members. Whereas in XP and before you either needed a really good memory or could be bothered to keep the Start-Menu tidy, otherwise it would become steadily more difficult to locate anything. In Vista, if you want Notepad (for instance) you simply press the Windows key, type 'Notepad' (although on mine I only need get as far as 'Notep') and hit Enter, and up it comes. I think this is much easier than hunting through the menu for something.

re. Explorer:
It is a little weird, having the address bar so high up the window, but it's easily gotten used to. I assume you've switched to 'Use Windows Classic Folders' to keep the Menu bar visible? The new address bar style can be changed under Folder Options too.
I haven't seen much in the way of free Vista -> XP Themes; I think this one looks quite good http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/wb55/index.14.jpg but it's for WindowBlinds, which costs US$19.99. Not a fortune, but not free, and even then it doesn't resolve the explorer window layout you dislike. It's a bit tricky, since most Vista themes are designed to take advantage of Aero, and most people seem to be trying to turn XP into Vista, rather than vice-versa.

I do honestly think that, while it's difficult to emulate XP's look in Vista, Vista can be tweaked in many ways to make it at least as easy to use as XP. And some changes, like the Start-menu search box, I genuinely think are useful improvements.
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