This brief guide assumes that you already have a domain controller configured with DNS, or a domain controller configured and a DNS server configured.

If required, you can install Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Active Directory (with DNS) on the same machine. Once you have your server (or servers) prepared, be sure to note down your domain name, and Administrator password.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/a3318f57 … .aspx

Step 1 – Prepare a Server for Microsoft Exchange

Install Additional Windows Components

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124295.aspx

Step 2 – Prepare the Forest for Microsoft Exchange

You will need to run the following command: setup /ForestPrep

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124110.aspx

Step 3 – Prepare the Domain for Microsoft Exchange

You will need to run the following command: setup /ForestPrep

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997526.aspx

Step 4 – Install Microsoft Exchange

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124186.aspx

My last few days looked like this:

10 Days to Go5 Days to Go4 Days to Go3 Days to Go2 Days to Go

 

Unfortunately, I was away on “1 Day to Go”, so I wasn’t able to get a screen grab, but I think you get the idea. My days of using Windows Live One Care, were over! Trust me, I celebrated!

The inclusion of Windows Live OneCare in my 90 day stint, was most certainly a disaster, and also the cause of most of my stress during my use of Windows Vista. Just like other Virus/Spyware detection combo software suites, it too was always scanning in the background. Scanning so much infact, that it would often make reading my email near impossible. I would sometimes wait up to 5 minutes for an email to load into view. The Windows Live OneCare firewall was a pain in the butt, not to mention that Windows Vista itself, did not even acknowledge that it had a firewall installed. For the entire 90 days, Windows Vista was bugging me to enable Windows Vista Firewall, because apparently I didn’t have one installed! For some unknown reason, Windows Live OneCare continued to disable Windows Defender. I found this to be a pain, because every few days Windows Defender would make it to the top of the pile saying “Hey! I am disabled! Enable me Again!”. Of course after enabling Windows Defender, I would then have to do a spyware scan, even if I didn’t want to! “Later” I would click, only to see my CPU usage go way up as it started scanning in the background instead.

One very irritating caveat of Windows Vista, is physical memory usage. During my 90 days, I was unable to get Windows Vista to really function the way I wanted it too. For example, I have 2GB of DDR Memory. So I figure “what do I need a swap file for”. So I disable the swap file, and immediately Windows Vista complains that it does not have enough memory! It even performed sluggishly! Now, if I were to do this in Windows XP, the system would be forced to push as much as possible into physical memory. Which in the case of my laptop with 2GB of DDR Memory, was perfectly fine! I never exceeded 2GB and my laptop never skipped a beat. Come Windows Vista, and I am able to perform the same feat! The best I could get was a compromise, which was still horrid. I was able to push the swap file down to a minimum size of 200MB (instead of the “Windows Managed” 3.5GB). However, if a program on my laptop should use more then 200MB of Memory (Firefox for example, as I am sure many of you have experienced), I would still get the memory warning errors. Sure, I can ignore them, but eventually, Windows Vista would crash Firefox altogether, or whatever offending programs were “taking up too much memory”. As I said above, this was never a problem in Windows XP. Hopefully there is a work around for this out there somewhere. I share my HDD with a Linux Partition, so 3.5GB wasted on a swap file is a lot for me, especially since Fedora 7 is quite capable of running smoothly with no swap partition at all!

Overall, my 90 days of Vista has been fun, and for the most part, I have had next to no troubles. I have swamp of applications installed, and they all work fine, including the ones I had to install in “Windows XP SP2 Compatibility Mode”. Heck, I was even able to install Command and Conquer Windows 95 Edition. With an extra piece of software, I was able to battle against my younger brother.

The slick new interface is funky, and easy to disable when it gets in the way (like when it is sucking up too much of my 200MB swap file for example!). Windows Aero is handy, but it’s not the be all of Windows Vista, it’s just the icing on the cake.

I also opted to include Microsoft Office 2007 in my 90 day stint. The latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite, and boy is it something! Most of the applications have been completely re-written, others updated. If you haven’t tried Microsoft Office 2007 yet, you should give it a shot!

I am sure that Windows Vista has far more to offer then what I have experienced so far, and for the moment, I am going to stick to using Windows Vista and Office 2007, to get the most out of both of them, and broaden my knowledge. I am somewhat established here now, and it would be a shame to just leave it all. I miss using linux, however I think I will continue my use of Windows Vista, at least until Fedora 8 is released.

I will even continue to post my findings and discoveries of Windows Vista, and hopefully at some point, I write a “Windows Vista – The Perfect Setup” guide. Actually, I have one in the works already… so stay tuned!

Get Better Graphics Performance

So far I have managed to do a fair amount of complaining about Windows Vista. In particular, I have referred my quality of computer gaming, gone down the drain, due to the strain and drain that Windows Vista puts on my computer. Well campers, I found a solution to my problems just hours ago.

WARNING:

BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW, YOU AGREE THAT I WILL ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE CAUSED TO ANYONES COMPUTER THROUGH MISS USE OR MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW. PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW AT YOUR OWN RISK. JUST COVERING MY ASS. FEEL FREE TO POST ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS 🙂

Step 1 – Install TweakVista

Yep, download and install this baby. Once installed, customise to your hearts content. Try disabling lots of things. TweakVista won’t let you break your computer, so go ahead, disable stuff. In particular, disable any services or programs you don’t need running. You might need to visit the services list in the Windows Vista administrative tools (not a section in TweakVista). Once there, go through the list and stop / disable any services that you do not use.

Do yourself a favour. If you haven’t already, disable User Account Access Control. Windows Vista will fuss about it, so disable the annoying pop ups too. If you don’t have a home network, there are heaps of services you can disable that would otherwise be sucking up precious memory!

Step 2 – Disable Windows Display Manager

Yep. This is the fancy smancy applet/gizmo that runs on top of windows and gives you that funky glass (or not so funky glass if you have Vista Basic) look on your desktop. You can disable the Windows Display Manager in TweakVista. Alternatively, you can tune your computer for performance instead of looks. You can do this under Advanced System Settings, in the Control Panel, under System.

Your desktop environment will be reminiscent of Windows XP Classic, but heck, does it really matter?

Step 3 – Update!

Make sure you have all available Windows Vista updates installed. Also, make sure you have the latest graphics drivers installed. If you are like me and have an ATI Radeon 9800 SE (software modded to be an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro) then make sure you have the latest modded driver.

Step 3 – Reboot and Play Games

I couldn’t believe the performance hit! Suddenly my games were fast, EVERYTHING was fast! My computer logged on to the desktop in seconds. It now also only takes seconds to shut down! Absolutely amazing stuff!

Summary

Install TweakVista – Customise your system for performance rather than features

Disable any unneeded or unnecessary services – Take your time, read the descriptions. Disabled as much as you can. If you are unsure – LEAVE IT!

Adjust your system for best performance – Disable Windows Display Manager (WDM). You won’t have your fancy looking interface, but you will be saving on that new graphics card you were considering purchasing.

I tried out the Apple Safari browser for Windows today. Yep. Even downloaded the Windows Vista version. It sucked. I was going to write this post in Safari, and include a nice happy speech about the supposed speed improvements, stability and reliability, but it crashed before I was even able to get to a website. Apparently there is too much code to execute on my default internet explorer home page (http://www.ninemsn.com.au). So what more can I say?

I downloaded Safari. I installed Safari. I opened Safari. I went to a website. Safari crashed. I went back to Firefox. The end.

So long Safari.