General Melchett goes Vista Ultimate SP1


Whilst General Melchett has been Vista x64 from birth, we Microsoft people were recently given early access to the final Vista Service Pack 1.

Last night, I downloaded the updater. Backed up General Melchett. Double clicked. And watched.

So, firstly a note to all. When the installer says 1. Several Reboots and 2. About an hour – both are highly correct. Please be patient.

After an hour. A restart to the login screen. Service Pack 1 is installed.

Everything is working. Networking, Remote Desktop. It is difficult to quantify any gains quickly: however the formal list of changes is worth a read.

CPU Temperatures and Overlocking


In my research in the continuing overclocking research for GeneralMelchett, I’ve found that 55degC is a little warm for a processor.

The 8800GT is now installed and working well. Just waiting for the two 22″ Dell LCD monitors, external speakers and new GeekDesk for the home GeekSpace and we are go!

Admittedly, GeneralMelchett has been burnt in over the last 5 days (turned on constantly) to ensure stability. The Vista Reliability and Performance Monitor is excellent at viewing the stability of your setup over long periods of time.

So, time for some extra CPU fan (Zallman) and a controllable external 120mm fan.

It seems that the memory is the current weakest link my the chain:


Weekend Project: Windows Media Center

Yes, I know that the correct english spelling of Center is Centre.

Windows Media Centre

Thanks to the generosity of Jeffa, I scored an old Mini-ATX case with power supply. Yeah, being the junior on the team – I get all the hand-me-downs.

Some hundreds of dollars later from AUSPCMarket, and I have my first ever:

  1. AMD based PC (AMD Athlan64 x2 6000+)
  2. Gigabyte Motherboard PC (GA-MA69GM-S2H)
  3. Self-constructed PC (only a screwdriver required)
  4. Media Center PC (Vista Ultimate)
  5. Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 8000

Not being a hardware type, the moving of cables, CPUs, fans, more cables and stuff made the physical construction a little longer than an expert. There are still some internal wiring bits to complete: hard disk light at the front and CD audio. Also missed that the our Acer LCD TV has VGA and PC Audio. The cables I purchased were not correct.

The toughest part was installing the power to the SATA DVD/CD drive, and ensuring the CD eject button had enough clearance to work.

The first PATA (this was a surprise!) hard disk was stuffed, so off to plan B with a 500Gb PATA and we’re away. The motherboard would not boot up with this hard disk attached; so the old disk is a throw away.

Using the onboard graphics and USB based TV tuner is probably sub-optimal. Need to fix these.

To add/change

  1. Dual channel PCI DVB-T card
  2. DivX support (complete at 9:40pm)
  3. TV Guide so I can record TV successfully.

Oh, and the cats love the extra space. The case and CPU are quiet and relatively cool. The cave aspect of the case make it a perfect hunting spot:


PC with 512Mb of RAM? Install Vista Home Basic

Ed Bott, from ZDNet in the US recently tested Windows Vista Home Basic on a 2002-vintage PC with 512Mb of RAM – and found the operating system responsive and usable.

Surprisingly, even the visuals on this system were a treat. With a three-year-old video card, this system was capable of running Vista’s Aero graphics. But because Aero doesn’t run on Home Basic, I was stuck with the Vista Standard display. It lacks the transparent window borders and whizzy live previews on taskbar buttons, but otherwise the look is indistinguishable from a system running Windows Vista Ultimate.

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Microsoft Windows Vista support with Adobe Applications

(Link thanks to John Dowdell) Bridging my old world to my new world, this document details the support for current Adobe applications with Microsoft Windows Vista. It is well worth a read, especially as Adobe products: Flash Player and the Adobe Reader are very common installs.

Summary: no Acrobat 7 support for Vista, only Acrobat 8: with an update expected first half 2007 for full support. There are known issues with Acrobat 8 on Vista. Similarly with Office 2007; the update will have support. You can make PDFs directly from Office 2007 using the Save as PDF and XPS plugin.

For Adobe Creative Suite 2.3: (note that Creative Suite Premium 2.0 with Acrobat Professional 7.0 is not a good combination). For Macromedia Studio 8, the following seems to also apply.

we are not currently aware of major issues that would adversely affect customer use of
Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 on Windows Vista

In the document, it is worth noting the paragraphs in regards to the forthcoming, pre-announce status Adobe Creative Suite 3.0:

…Adobe Creative Suite 3 is being designed for and thoroughly tested on 32-bit versions of four editions of Windows Vista—Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

Adobe Production Studio (video products) seem to install OK, but Vista is not recommended as an OS. EncoreDVD is reported to not work on Vista. Shame, as I was just about to purchase a Production Studio for some Microsoft video projects. 

Altsys/Aldus/Adobe/Altsys/Macromedia/Adobe Freehand? Oooh. Maybe not so good:

Adobe does not plan to update Macromedia FreeHand to install or run on Windows Vista

Do go have a read, and look at the support forums: Vista in Adobe Support Forums.

As a Microsoft Vista and an Intel-based MacBook Pro user, this year is a key year for Adobe products.