This is actually more about how I set up my system than about Vista/Thinkpad configuration in particular…
- “Fix” the file manager (as it’s been ‘broken’ in every version I’ve ever used):
- In Windows Explorer, Organize -> Folder and Search Options, then click on View
- I selected “Show hidden files and folders,” because it hides things I need to get into sometimes.
- Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file type.” I never saw any benefit to having this on, but there is a big downside: “virus.jpg.exe” has a .exe file type, so it’ll “hide” the .exe. Huh, virus.jpg? Well, good thing it’s a picture file and not a program, so let’s open it!
- Download and install Firefox 3 beta
- Download and install Pidgin, a multi-protocol IM client
- Let WIndows pull down its myriad updates…
- Get the Thinkpad drivers as needed; I recommend at least getting the BIOS update (no apparent benefit, but it’s the latest), ThinkVantage Active Protection System (“TPShocks”), and the UltraNav drivers (for the scrollwheel functions). There are others, but I didn’t feel like downloading everything under the sun. The catch here: you have to actually read the directions. You can run the file you download, and it’ll seem to “install” without errors, but nothing happens. The directions explain that you need to run some additional steps, which it’ll walk you through. Oh, video and monitor drivers can’t hurt, either.
- I created shortcuts (find them in the Start Menu and right-click, “Send to… Desktop (create shortcut)” on my desktop for various programs that I use often but are a pain to find, including Command Prompt (I’m a geek) and “Computer” (the shortened “My Computer” of yesteryear).
- I’m planning on using something from Eset for anti-virus; the question is whether I want NOD32 (just anti-virus), or Smart Security
- I disabled User Account Controls
and font smoothing, which is apparently ‘controversial’–it smooths text out, but makes it look blurry. At least to some people. Like me.(I re-enabled Font Smoothing, since it looks even worse turned off.)
- I set the system clock (click on it, “Change Date and Time Settings,” then click Internet Time) to sync to pool.ntp.org. (Unfortunately, you can’t give it a series of servers for optimized performance.)