Thursday, August 16, 2007

About Windows Vista and my frustration

I love my Sony Vaio laptop, I really do. The 17-inch screen is just the right size for viewing and lugging around, the graphics are great, and I'm getting used to the operating system: Windows Vista Premium Edition.
But there, I've left out the operative word: Microsoft, and all that implies. Control-alt-delete. Blue screen of death. Non-release of the captured program memory. et al.
Last night's quest: screensaver hot corners.
A real geek would not care about the screensaver, okay, so I'm not real. My ethereal self has been addicted to screensavers since Flying Toasters. And in the past I've messed up a workstation more than once with various free-ware, mal-ware and other vicious downloadables I should never have installed.
But one function that I just don't understand why Microsoft doesn't include, is screensaver hot corners. You know--so you can move your cursor to one corner, and the screensaver instantly comes on, or to another corner, and it never comes on. I've had a couple screensavers and little programs on other computers that included them--I miss them.
Back in the day, before security concerns, I just wanted to do this for convenience. But now, I want to be able to leave the machine on, and lock it fast: the screensaver will do this. IF I only had a hot corner to use.
So I did some searching last night. I though maybe there was a Vista gadget that would do it...none there. I found some shareware programs that would do it, but found myself loath to spend $12 for it. I found some freeware, and was loath to download for the malware/spyware issues.
It seems that Macs may have this feature, but it might not work well. When I Googled "screensaver hot corners," I got several returns about Mac users hot corners NOT working. Interesting. Since I work with a bunch of Mac-lovers who talk as if Macs were the perfect solution to the world's problems, I felt just a little comforted by this bit of malfunctioning.
So anyway: What are you thinkin' about what little thing you want your computer to do, that it doesn't?

1 comment:

btm said...

Between the screensaver and energy saving features, watching a movie or tv is often pretty difficult to do without interruption from these beasts. Some players have an option (like WMP) to disable the screensaver during playback, some don't. Quicktime definitely doesn't disable the power saving features like turning off the monitors during playback. I don't know about screen savers, there's no option and these days I have my screen saver and energy saving features set to 4-5 hours.

I also sleep in the same room as the computer and often find the bright white light more annoying than having to go around and turn off all them monitors by hand, and then remember to turn them back on in the morning while I'm groggy.

Two tricks for doing this. For just dealing with the brightness I set black/dark backgrounds and use Windows+D to show the desktops when I go to bed, thus producing little light until the screen saver gets around to kicking in. It's worth noting too that I've actually got an LCD monitor with burn-in now from screensavers not turning on due to WMP playing music or something.

The other that probably works for you is Windows+L, which will lock your screen. As an IT person, I'm used to "Ctrl+Alt+Delete Space" to lock a machine at work, this works too and it's all muscle memory at this point but those that don't use this usually pick up Windows+L faster.