So, after reading through all this Vista stuff, I decided that I should blow the virtual dust off of my virtual Vista computer (thanks Parallels!), and make sure I had Service Pack 1 installed. Here are my experiences. Keeping in mind that most of you think of me as a dyed-in-the-wool "mac guy," I have quite a bit of experience running Windows (even had a Windows laptop from 1997-2001--when the TiBook was released). Now, I didn't say that I enjoyed it, but I even wrote some software for it, including a CD ripping program and an MP3 playback package that could decode 4 streams simultaneously (with a graphical and machine-interfaced controller). However, once Steve came back and the Mac started heading for its renaissance, I dumped my Thinkpads and Sony Vaios and went back to the Mac.
Enough background, what happened?
OK, first about the whole issue of getting SP1 installed. When I booted Vista for the first time in months, there was a not-surprising number of updates waiting for me. The only surprise was that SP1 wasn't among them. So, I dutifully installed the updates (63 of them, to be precise) and it told me I was "up-to-date". Now, I don't trust windows, so I asked it again, and it found 2 more... lather rinse repeat... 1 more... lather rinse repeat.. 2 more... lather rinse repeat...3 more... lather rinse repeat... 1 more. Hey! There's SP1. Basically, an uneventful install after that.
Revenge of the killer screensaver
As I was sitting here waiting for things to happen, I noticed the screensaver kick in (eating virtual CPU and generally being a nuisance). So, I set out to disable it. Now, I'm a pretty savvy user, and I've used Windows quite a bit, so I head straight for the Control Panel, looking for the Display panel... to no avail. Having watched the "Mojave Experiment", I'd heard about how great the new search was, so I went to it and typed "display" and hit return-- nothing. (For those Mac users in the audience, if you do that in Leopard, you get 2 control panels that show up, Energy Saver and Universal Access). I then figured I was just being too smart, surely I should have typed "screen saver" as that's what I'm really looking for--0 items (Spotlight on the Mac yields the "Desktop & Screen Saver" and Security panels). Enough of search, let's just look for the icon in the Control panels. There are a total of eight control panels with a screen visible on them (Color Management, Network and Sharing Center, Performance Information, Personalization, System, Windows Sidebar, and Windows SideShow). At this point, I punted and went to Google, but if I'd looked, I would have found that the Personalization control panel contains the Screen Saver. Once I got there, the window looked very much like the old Display panel and I was able to turn it off.
My point with this story is that it is still not as easy to find your way around in Windows (Vista in particular) as it should be. Perhaps I should have gone to Help and typed "screen saver" (the first item that shows up is how to turn it on or off). Perhaps I should have guessed that Personalization was the location I was looking for. However, users of previous versions of Windows certainly wouldn't expect it, and I'm guessing that most new users don't think of screen savers as a personalization issue, at least not any more so than SideShow or Sidebar (the gadget thingie). In the end, my system is updated and I'm ready to let it sit again while I figure out if there's anything I need Vista for...