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Microsoft Vista Tips

Run Two Operating Systems
Apple's Boot Camp software lets you run the Microsoft Windows XP operating system on an Intel-based Macintosh, but it doesn't support Vista—and it's still in beta, almost a year after its release.  To run Microsoft's newest OS on your Apple, get Parallels Desktop for Mac.  This virtualization software lets you run two operating systems simultaneously by taking advantage of the Intel Core Duo's built-in virtualization technology.  To get Vista running smoothly in a window on your OS X desktop, be sure to boost the program's memory requirements to 2GB;  Vista won't run well with only 1GB of memory for the subsystem.

Resize Icons
You may have noticed that by simply holding down the Ctrl key you can use your mouse's scroll wheel to resize a folder's icon.  But you may not have noticed that this works on the desktop itself.  You can resize from standard 48-by-48-pixel icons to full 256-by-256 photo quality renditions.  Power users:  Go to Computer and click the arrow to the right of the View menu, where you'll find a slider with an endless selection of icon sizes.

Launch Apps Faster
When you place items in the Quick Launch bar  (the little icon bar next to the Start button),  Windows Vista automatically assigns shortcut key combinations to them—well, it assigns keys to the first ten, anyway.  Just hit the Windows key plus a number key corresponding to the icon's position in the bar.  For instance, to launch the third application in the Quick Launch bar, press Windows-3.  Don't see the bar?  Right-click an empty part of the Taskbar and select it under the Toolbars menu.

Restore Your Menus
Vista's own windows and many new applications lack the familiar File, Edit, and View menus.  But we've gotten used to them after all these years!  You can enable them through each application—if they're included at all.  To turn them on in Vista proper, open any window  (such as Computer, or Documents),  click Organize, and click Folder and Search Options.  Select the View tab and fill in the check box next to Always Show Menus.  Click Apply and then OK.  Alternatively, to show the menus temporarily, just hit the Alt key with any given window in the foreground.

Launch Apps Faster
Want to find that program?  Don't search through all those menus on the Start button, just type the first couple of characters into the bar at the bottom and the name will appear.

Gain Speed
Does Vista seem slower than XP to you?  A default power setting in the "Power Saver" plan limits the CPU to 50 percent.  Open the Power Options control panel and change it to "High Performance" to give it full throttle.

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