CyberNotes
Microsoft Monday




Recently Stardock launched TweakVista version 1.01. We’ve written about it before (here and here), but just as a refresher, it’s described as “an enhancement application that helps users configure Windows Vista to meet their personal needs. The program has been designed to allow both casual, non-technical users to safely use it as well as contain a host of advanced features for power users to dig into the internals of Windows Vista.”

Here’s the thing about TweakVista — it doesn’t allow you to do anything that you can’t already do with Vista out of the box. What’s nice though is that everything is in one central location so that it’s easier to access  the settings you’d ever want to change. It also makes it easier to manage certain things versus doing it on your own, and does a great job of explaining them for those who aren’t familiar.

welcome

Today we’re going to give you a visual guide of what it’s all about. Take a look at the screenshots (click to enlarge them) to see what all TweakVista has to offer… it’s a lot! Please note that we used the full-featured version which costs $19.95. There is an awesome free version available that just lacks a few of the features for those of you who’d like to try before you buy, or who don’t need a full-featured version. At the end of this article, look for the instructions on entering our giveaway to receive one of two TweakVista licenses.

Start Up

From the Start Up menu you’ll be able to control just about everything to do with the start up process. You’ll be able to see which programs are set to run upon startup, and you’ll also  be able to disable some of those programs. TweakVista will monitor your computer’s startup, shutdown, and sleep performance which could help you identify if there are any problems.

start up 1   start up 2   start up 3  start up 4    start up 5

Resources

Under this section you can identify the programs that are using the most amount of memory. No one likes a program that’s a memory-hog, so this will be helpful. It’ll also show you your process list. Certainly you can easily get this information without TweakVista, but it’s nice to have it all in one centralized location.

resources 1   resources 2   resources 3   resources 4

Services

This part of TweakVista will help you manage all of the services that come with Vista that you may or may not use. From here you can turn off the services that you don’t use like web folders, diagnostics, error reporting, and more.

services 1   services 2

Security

Security is an important part of any operating system. From here you can customize your security settings like enable UAC, or switch to the secure desktop to display elevation requests.

security 1   security 2

Display

Stardock describes this portion of TweakVista as: “Unleash the power of the Desktop Windows Manager, underlying Vista’s user interface.” From here you can do things like enable or disable the Flip 3D window switching.

display 1   display 2

Power

One of the best options here is the power cost analysis which estimates how much your annual cost is per year to run the computer as well as your carbon footprint.

power 1   power 2   power 3

Assessment

If you’re currently running Vista, you’re probably aware of the assessment feature which rates your computer. You get an overview of how your computer performs, but TweakVista breaks it down further and provides you with detailed information on what the assessments are based on.

assessment 1   assessment 2   assessment 3   assessment 4   assessment 5

Internet

Allows you to easily enable certain network features that aren’t enabled by default.

internet 1   internet 2   internet 3

SMARTGuard

Information presented in the SMARTGuard section was provided by your hard drive.

smart guard 1   smart guard 2

Misc. Tweaks

Includes context menu handlers, environment variables, and the system restore feature to create a restore point.

misc tweaks 1   misc tweaks 2   misc tweaks 3

–Giveaway–

We have two licenses of TweakVista to giveaway thanks to Stardock! If you are using Windows Vista or have plans of getting it in the future, go ahead and enter. All you have to do is leave a comment below, and we’ll choose two winners.  One winner will be randomly chosen from the first ten comments, and a second winner will be chosen from all entries(it can be someone from the first 10 as well). The sooner you enter, the better!

As always, only one entry per person and this giveaway is void where prohibited. Each winner will receive a license for TweakVista which is valued at $19.95. Please note that if you are selected as a winner, you’ll need to create an account (if you don’t already have one) over at Stardock, and then they’ll go ahead and add the copy of Tweak Vista to your account.

The contest will end tomorrow on Tuesday, November 20th at 12 PM central time and the winners will be announced shortly after. Please be sure to include your email address in the email field of the comment box because this is how we’ll contact you, should you be chosen as a winner.

Thanks to Stardock for sponsoring this giveaway!