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Managing Microsoft Windows Vista UAC in restricted environments

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jun-2006 19:10

The following tip is only to be applied in restricted environments, where the user knows exactly what's installed on a machine and knows exactly what has to be done.

Anyone else using this will feel the Wrath of Khan.

If you are running Microsoft Windows Vista and you keep seeing those dialogs requesting for privilege elevation or authentication, run SECPOL.MSC, and under security options change both User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for Administrators in Admin Approval Mode and User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users to "No Prompt":

Again, this is very important to note: there is a reason why these settings are like they are and request your confirmation. I understand that after a while the default settings (with prompts) will not prevent people installing malware, simply because people will start clicking [OK] for any prompt to get their work done.

But I also understand these prompts are annoying, when you are trying to empty the Recycle Bin, or simply start Windows Vista with an antivirus (Avast anti-virus is an example of program that cause Windows Vista to prompt for elevation on every boot).

If you want to know exactly what each option is, how an why they are set the way they are by default, check these two MSDN blog entries:

- Reducing Elevation Prompts in RC1
- User Account Control Windows Vista Policies

Windows Vista: order the DVD

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jun-2006 21:12

From The Hive, a Microsoft-sponsored forum for website owner and community leaders:

Due the HUGE number of people who are trying to download the Vista beta, Microsoft is now highly recommending that you order the DVD. 

It looks like Vista has generated the most download requests for one file in history.  This is a limited beta, so if that limit is reached before you get the download and key, you might not get it.

1) We are hitting a legitimate threshold as to how fast we can serve up the bits without affecting the rest of the Net.
2)  People should consider ordering the DVD. While we are excited to see the huge demand, this is more about being good citizens and helping users who are waiting know they can order the DVD.

You can register, order the DVD or download Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 here.

Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 Public Availability Servers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Jun-2006 11:41

Ok, this is just in: you can watch a video (or download it) with Chris Jones, a corporate Vice President for Windows, with the announcement of the official Windows Vista Beta 2 for the public eyes!

Just check this link for the video (links to Windows Vista Beta after the logo below):

An important step before you download the Windows Vista is to check compatibility and other stuff. Please read this page before downloading:

This Beta 2 release is now available in three languages (English, German, and Japanese) and in 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

When you register for the Customer Preview Program you will receive the Beta 2 release plus Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) — the next major pre-release of Windows Vista — when it is available later this year. The information on this page pertains to both Beta 2 and RC1.

The Customer Preview Program is available in a limited quantity both through download and DVD kit ordering. Once the allotted quantity has been reached the program will be closed and no new orders will be accepted.

There are two ways to get Windows Vista Beta 2:

- Order the DVD kit and have it shipped to your home or office.
- Download the ISO file to your PC (An ISO file is an exact representation of a CD or DVD, including the content and the logical format. Once you download the ISO file, you’ll need to burn it to a DVD before you can install the software.)

Again, this is the link you need:

Adobe being Evil (TM), or no Save As PDF on Office 2007 anymore

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Jun-2006 10:46

The Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format was supposed to be open. There are lots of companies around offering free PDF converters, or even the "Save As PDF" functionality.

But when Microsoft decided to implement the "Save As PDF" format on Microsoft Office 2007, then Adobe decided to make it a "closed" format, by asking Microsoft to remove this feature from the package!

Now, that's evil, isn't it?

If small companies use the format, it's ok. But when a larger (ok, the big guy) decides to use the same format then it's not ok. Obviously certain companies have anti-[anything bigger than you] zealots around, right?

Microsoft plans to offer this feature as a separate download.

Not nice of you Adobe. And we do have Adobe software installed in the Apple iMac here at home. What a shame.

Get the Beta from Microsoft New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Jun-2006 11:42

Just brought to my attention... If you want to find out more, register, or download the beta versions of Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, then try the new Microsoft New Zealand's "Get The Beta" website.

In this site you can opt to download the beta for these products (some available now, some coming soon), or choose to have a DVD posted to you.

You need a Live account (formerly known as "Passport"). The postage is not included and costs NZ$7.50 for standard mail or NZ$17.50 for courier servce.

See Windows Vista

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Jun-2006 09:57

You probably know Microsoft Windows Vista is the next iteration of Microsoft's operating system for personal computers. What you probably don't know is how it can be used by partners and customers to develop applications and services using Windows Vista as a platform, not an OS.

On you will have a guided tour of the OS with more information. Really cool production, with sound, captions and other stuff.

The visual is based on Windows Vista UI and it looks good. I guess the site is under heavy load at the moment, because it can be choppy at times - but keep trying later.

Windows Vista Beta 2 Problems

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-May-2006 23:25

As you may remember I decided not to install Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 on my Tablet PC (a Toshiba M205) last week because I was heading to the Microsoft Window Vista Lab, in Singapore, and I needed my tablet PC working.

Oh, that was a great decision. I am now back home in New Zealand and tried installing Windows Vista Beta 2. Confirming what I read in some other blogs, it looks like this beta build is not as good/reliable as previous ones.

The last Windows Vista Beta 1 (build 5381) installed without a hitch on this tablet PC, but Windows Vista Beta 2 refuses to install. It shows "No device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, and then click OK".

What device? Who knows. The only button available is [OK] and clicking it doesn't do anything, except show the same message again.

Bummer, it looks like I have to reinstall Windows XP Tablet PC Edition on this hardware now.

UPDATE: Found the culprit. The M205 has only an external DVD drive, and I noticed upon reboot and start of the old Windows Vista that it complained "This device can perform faster", typical of USB 2.0 devices connected to a USB 1.0 port. Since I am sure both the device and port are USB 2.0, I thought of replacing the USB cable - and it actually worked: the install copied the files and found the corresponding drive drivers after the cable change.

Antivirus for Windows Vista Beta

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-May-2006 16:13

I am currently using the free Avast antivirus, which is free for home use and works with Windows Vista.

It just came to my attention though that you can download a one year free subscription of CA eTrust EZ Antivirus for Windows Vista.

You should not need an antyspyware since Windows Vista already comes with Windows Defender.

Go on, download either Avast or CA, but make sure your Windows Vista beta is protected...

UPDATE: Trend Micro has announced a beta version of its AV software, but no URL for download available. The press information says it will be available from Microsoft.

Downloading Vista Beta 2 and Office Beta 2

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-May-2006 11:34

After the Windows Vista Beta 2 announcement, I am downloading the Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 from MSDN. I have already finished downloading the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta 2, but it looks like the Windows Vista download is still going to take another 5 hours to complete (downloaded 1GB so far).

At this pace it is going to be fully downloaded by 4pm (NZ time), and I could possibly burn the ISO image to a DVD and do a fresh install on my Tablet PC as I did with previous builds.

Or not, seeing that tomorrow morning I have to show up early in the airport for my flight to Singapore, where I am attending the Microsoft Windows Vista Lab 2. I don't want to arrive there with a dead Tablet PC, if anything goes wrong...

I will wait... Work first, then when I am back I will have time to install both beta.

Microsoft Office User Group (Wellington): meeting 24 May

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-May-2006 14:51

Steve Schappel has just e-mailed us with the meeting announcement for the local Microsoft Office User Group. Pizza and drinks will be provided, along with some great information.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 24 May 2006, 6:00-7:30pm, at the Microsoft New Zealand offices (Level 12, 157 Lambton Quay, Wellington).

The first speaker is Ryan Duguid, Microsoft Technical Specialist, who will talk about Microsoft Office InfoPath. The software is a Windows-based application for creating rich, dynamic forms that teams and organisations can use to gather, share, and reuse XML based information. This session will cover the basics of InfoPath forms and look at advances in InfoPath 2007 that support the gathering data from email forms and browser forms.

Steve will drive the next topic. He is a Microsoft Access MVP, and will tell us where does Microsoft Access fit in? A brief discussion from the point of view of the user/developer, with some real-world example scenarios of where Access has found a niche.

Check for more infomation on

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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