Strange happenings in Vista land

I haven’t really talked about my computer set-up on this blog, but I did ramble a lot on my personal weblog (Fading Whispers). I own an HP dv9700t customized laptop and I’ve put it through its paces by installing & uninstalling a bunch of software on it. The past two days, I noticed something weird: my User profile folder has suddenly become a “protected system file.
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Right now, I can only see my User folder under C:Users if I uncheck “hide protected system files” under “Folder Options” menu in Vista. Also, when I hide system files (which now includes my user profile!), any searches I make on my computer exclude all files in my User profile!! I’m really upset about this and having to view ugly system files everytime I use my computer. Searching the web hasn’t really helped much so I’m doing as much backtracking as I can i.e. uninstalling nonessential programs which may have triggered some weird protective mechanisms in Vista. Of these programs, I’ve uninstalled MikTex which was a monster (a whopping 1.33GB on my system). I expected that kind of consumption from a program like Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.0. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a feeling that the solution to my problem will be ugly. Wish me luck. *sigh* Talk about annoying.

In better news, I’ve begun playing with SnagIt more and I can’t believe that all I’ve used it for is simply excellent screen captures and short video. I’m having so much fun with the callouts, accents etc and I have a feeling I’ll be putting up a lot more screenshots of things that go wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ In yet other news, there’s a $500 Kmart giftcard up for grabs. I love the freebies so go ahead and enter to your heart’s content. Thus far, I’ve entered ShoeMoney‘s and Julia Roy’s.

Tools of the trade

So, I’m really just getting into the spirit of using add-ins with Outlook. An interesting feature of my life is the fact that my email contacts and my real-life contacts don’t have a huge overlap. I’m somewhat introverted so plugins that tout a huge bunch of social networking features don’t go over too well with me. Nevertheless, I’m currently giving two add-ins I’ve heard much about: Plaxo and Xobni.

1) Plaxo: I’m primarily using this to back-up my Outlook contacts (copied from my Windows Mobile Treo 750 smartphone). One of my nightmares is to have all my phone contacts magically disappear and I’ll have to start adding them from scratch. As of now, I’ve got over 270 contacts and about 10% are really people I talk with. The rest are numbers to services I use like my Bank, et cetera. I’m a little leery of Plaxo because they’ve got a reputation for being a little too trigger-happy with your contact list. However, I made sure to uncheck/check the relevant check-boxes i.e. “do you want to search your Yahoo/MSN/Aol/Lycos/whatever email address book for Plaxo contacts?”, et cetera.

2) Xobni: this one, I’m really interested in because it indexes my Yahoo mail! It also brings some interesting analytics to my usage of Outlook & emails sent and received. I’m rather uninformed about these two tools to talk about them, but I intend on using them for at least 1 month and give a more detailed answer about whether or not they are here to stay (on my PC, that is). ๐Ÿ™‚