Vista rocks! TechReady rules!! Where the *(@#& are my Bluetooth drivers?

First a big thank you to all the great people who made TR3 an enormous success. As we say in Tejas, “Y'all rock!” The presenters, the staff, the convention center, the city of Seattle... all of it. I'm only sad because I have to fly home tomorrow to Houston and leave this beautiful, cool weather. [Only one person liked my TR3 MDX statement. Qué será, será.] I have some entertaining observations about the beautiful and bizarre cultural mashups that occurs when Microsofties from many countries get together, but I’ll blog those later... I’m too pumped up on Vista right now. (Sounds like a recreational drug now that I think about it, eh?)

I am totally Vista-powered now. There are so many cool new things that I'm going to feel like I'm on an easter egg hunt (on my own Tablet PC!) for a couple weeks. The Microsoft IT folks who put together the image and delivered it via WDS deserve a huge round of applause. All of Vista Ultimate Edition (isn’t that a wick name?!) and Office 12 installed on an empty partition in < 60 minutes. I was nervous because I'd heard horror stories about Vista on the Toshiba Tecra M4, but (thankfully!) I haven't suffered any of the rumored nightmares. Our internal IT people rule! Aero even works like it’s supposed to! (Although I’m not sure that I like the effect. It’s hard to tell when a window is active – the only visual clue that a window is active when Aero is turned on seems to be the background color of the X in the corner system icons.)

Outlook 2007 is da' bomb. It's stable. It's cool. It's sexy. RPC over HTTP works much, much better than it did with 2003. Rock on!! Now I just need to take some time to plug in all my RSS feeds and I won't need Newsgator anymore! Word starts up faster (that’s right FASTER than 2003!), and the ribbon bar is sweet. I’d like to thank whoever we stole the ribbon bar idea from (or whoever dreamed it up here); it puts most everything I can imagine wanting to do right there. I can’t wait to nab the Data Mining Add-In and the Data Mining Client for Excel! [I’ll be a little sad if the rumors are true that there will be no Office 13.]

Next stop, Money 2007 when I can load the ISO. I will be bummed if Daemon Tools won’t run on Vista and if Vista doesn’t have native support for mounting ISOs. But being an over-organized bear, I put the current version local copy of Daemon Tools that I have inside an ISO of all my various miscellany of software bits... where I can’t get it without Daemon Tools. Whoops! One more thing to download. Ditto for Power ISO. (Note to self: don't put ISO manipulation software inside an ISO.)

ALT+TAB always has a “switch to Desktop” option at the end of the list? Wow. That’s a V8 moment. It’s like they knew what I wanted before I did! The gallery, the clock and the news gadgets are nice; I haven’t even looked at bonus gadgets yet (although I know there’s already at least one that I want). Big kudos to the Microsoft usability geeks! (I know you’re working really closely with the SQL Server crew for Katmai and SP2 will have no major UI changes, but could you please get them to put the edit script button on the first tab of the SSIS Script Task and Script Component UIs in SP2? You’d save me an extra million clicks a month...)

I’m also very happy that my tabbed browsing keyboard reflexes from Firefox work just fine in IE7. Bang on, baby. IE7 tabs faster and renders quicker than Firefox did on XP. I guess I’ll find out someday if Firefox runs on Vista – if I ever have to do any cross-platform web development work again (against my will) – but it will just have to remain a mystery to me for now. All the mandatory websites seem to work as well as they did in IE6. Shiny!

It is going to take a little while to retrain some of my keyboard reflexes that don’t seem to work as intended in Vista and Office 2k7, but I’ll get over that in short order. I’ve already seen that there are some most excellent new Windows Key shortcuts (maybe I just never noticed before). Windows+N for a SideNote. Windows+SHIFT+N to open OneNote. Windows+S for a screen clipping to OneNote. Although I have to say that I much prefer the Snipping Tool. It was sweet in the Tablet PC Experience Pack for XP, but the Vista crew has made it MUCH MO’ BETTAH with a cleaner UI and better capture performance! Save as PNG is nice. Woohoo! Vista has all the Tablet-ready widgets already there!

I only have one question. Where the *(@#& are my Bluetooth drivers for the M4? I tried installing the Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for XP, but that (obviously) failed. I can’t use my Microsoft Bluetooth mouse. I want my mouse wheel back! Help?! (It’d be nice if the wheel tracks on the touchpad worked, but I’ll live without those if I can get Bluetooth.) How am I supposed to productively surf the web without my wheel and forward/back buttons?! The hotel WAP blocks the VPN. Doh! So as soon as I install the Verizon Access Manager and get my EV-DO connection joy, I’ll dig into the Vista dogfood portal and see if I can color in that one little spot.

What're we waiting for? Ship it!

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