Settled in with Windows Vista yet? By now, having had several months to put the new operating system through its paces, you've gone beyond the novice user's infatuation with the glitzy new Aero interface. And you're probably inured to the annoying User Account Controls.
Now, it's time to kick it up a notch and add some slightly more sophisticated options to your Vista palette. Accordingly, here are some tips to tune your Vista installation. We've got hints on using video wallpaper, making Vista's Flip 3-D function work more like the Mac's, tuning Firefox's user interface so that it more closely resembles Internet Explorer, and where to get a hold of nifty Sidebar Gadgets. Plus, how to turn off the UACs (and why you should think twice about that).
Enhance Your Background With Windows DreamScene
Windows DreamScene, the video-enabled wallpaper that's the über-eye-candy of the Vista ecosystem, is finally out of its prolonged preview phase. Was it worth the wait? Kind of.
DreamScenes are full-motion video wallpapers, which can replace the plain, fixed backgrounds used traditionally.
My experience with DreamScene proved that some work well, while others can be decidedly funky. Even on a dual-core system -- I'm running a 3.2-GHz, Intel Pentium D 940 -- DreamScene sucks up a lot of processing power. One other caveat: my sense is that DreamScene doesn't appear to work and play all that well with any security programs you're likely to have on your machine.