Thomas Sampson


Windows Aero InterfaceAfter experiencing a very slow response time from my laptop today I checked out the task manager to see if anythign obvious was stalling my system. After ordering my memory usage the process “dwm.exe” was close to the top, consuming about 40mb of memory. At first I was worried that this was some mallicious program running in the background, especially after my attempts to kill the process, resulted in it re-creating it’s self straight back into task manager. However during the kill / re-creation of the process I noticed that the whole windows explorer interface moved around and looked very strange, then returned to normal after a few seconds. After some research I found that this process is simply responsible for the Aero Glass interface within Windows Vista and keeps all the transparency and interface running smoothly (in theory).

This file is NOT a security threat!!

It does however seem to use a lot of memory, and I assume (although I haven’t tried) that the process is non existent when running Vista in classic mode.

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Small dissapointment in Vista

After making the leap into the world of Windows Vista (via purchase of a new tablet pc) I have been very impressed as a whole and especially its vast improvement on networking! However I was let down by the apparent removal of some advanced tools which myself and other power users are used to. While developing an application I wanted to configure filetypes of a certain extention to open specifically in my program but with extra parameters (command line) and to configure how they were presented in in the context menu when right clicked in windows explorer.

This was a simple enough proceedure in XP and was found in the “file types” tab of the “folder options” area. However after research and much wasted time I discovered that this functionality to edit the advanced properties of file types does not exist within Vista, or atleast does not appear to exist with any managable UI.

It is therefore dissapointing that the only way to achieve this advanced manipulation over file types is to download non-Microsoft software named

Creative Element Power Tools.

This software re-enables full control over file types and their properties in addition to a wealth of file / UI enhancements. And NO SPYWARE WHATSOEVER! I expected some of the features to be restricted or require registration but all worked out of the box, such as

  • file comparison
  • deleting of “in-use” files
  • file date changing
  • file contents to clipboard etc

Did Microsoft suddenly decide that the end user did not require this functionality?? Or perhaps im completely wrong and this functionality is hidden somewhere deep inside the over simplified menus of the control panel?? In conclusion, should it really be up to third parties to provide features which appear to have been dropped with a new “more advanced” operating system?