Windows

Vista Manager: The Right Tool for the Job?

Vista Manager is an application that provides a front-end interface to many different OS and application settings within Vista. In addition to giving access to many, sometimes hidden settings, Vista Manager also integrates many freeware utilities used for general maintenance on your PC. Is it the Right Tool for the Job?

The Job

Windows Vista boasts a slew of new features, altered keyboard shortcuts, and a new security model that, upon first glance, may make even the most experienced Windows security guru squeal. But not all OS settings, out of the box, are tweaked to your specific usage and needs.

The Tool

Vista Manager

Vista Manager is an application that provides a front-end interface to many different OS and application settings within Vista. In addition to giving access to many, sometimes hidden settings, Vista Manager also integrates many freeware utilities used for general maintenance on your PC. Is it the Right Tool for the Job? I took a stab at tweaking my Vista laptop so I could bring you my take on Vista Manager. Here's what I learned.

Vista Manager's strengths

o Provides central location for many "buried" Vista tweaks.

o Provides a TON of tweaks. Very informative tool tips helps guide the intermediate user.

o Creates system restore point after every change, making it difficult for users to get themselves in trouble.

Vista Manager weaknesses

o Misspellings littered throughout application

o Doesn't consider 3rd party browsers (Firefox, etc.) in its adjustments.

 

Vista Manager

The Right Tool for the Job?

Tweak Manager is definitely the Right Tool for the Job. Users of all calibers will find the software extremely useful. The descriptions and tool tips offer enough guidance for inexperienced users to judge whether they should be messing with that tweak in the first place, whereas experienced users will find the tool invaluable as a central front-end for dozens of useful tweaks, system utilities, and freeware apps.

Read my comprehensive screenshot review of Vista Manager.

25 comments
tundawenna2
tundawenna2

Thanks for the Comments Scott, 2 Observations; 1) You dont say what the outcome of those "tweaks" were in terms of 'Results' - thus the comments don't really provide much insight, 2) What happens when the 30-day 'Trial' is finished [yep, they're all found guilty! - I know], does the system "Restore" to original settings or are there any adverse results if one chooses Not to purchase at the end of the trial?? Kind Regards, Sid [tundawenna2@hotmail.com]

blarman
blarman

Where's the CONTENT? What makes Vista Manager a good tool? What does it let you tweak? How about a few screenshots that let you see the product in action? I can take 5 seconds and write a review better than this on just about any tool I use. TechRepublic's editors need to take more time making sure that the articles that get posted have some real content!

diginin
diginin

I find the best performance is always an non-Tweaked machine. Less Point-of-Failure as already from M$ built-in. IMHO.

jjstccean
jjstccean

The last time I checked this application out, (ver1.0) it had hidden the "Administrative Tools" icon from the Control Panel. I battled to restore the "Administrative Tools" icon, but to no avail. I wondered if this was corrected in the latest version? Or was this a bug in the initial program?

HBE
HBE

Indeed it isn't freeware - so the tagging could use an update.

jhsweet2
jhsweet2

Excellent article, but you don't tell me how to get to the Vista Manager! I did a serch on microsoft.com for Vista Manager and had no luck...I got the same result when I searched in Vista help. Thanks, John

nathancl2k
nathancl2k

Not to be overly paranoid, but it should probably be noted that the developer is a Chinese company. Maybe we can install some Russian freeware next! I'm going to try this on a lab PC and watch what our IDP device catches.

Tig2
Tig2

The author has a link to an in-depth piece about Vista Manager with screen shots. Any article in the "Right Tool for the Job" series is simply an overview at a fairly high level. If the author has done an in-depth piece as well, you will generally find a link for it. I find that I can skim the "Right Tool" article to see if I have any interest and then go directly to the more granular article if I do.

r_p_roberts
r_p_roberts

Read my comprehensive screenshot review of Vista Manager.

joe.krisanda
joe.krisanda

If you are a casual home user, then an untweaked machine is probably better since the average user will probably botch it up anyways. If you use a computer for anything business related, it almost always needs to be tweaked to gear your computer for what you need to do. Also, does anybody find it stupid (however, not suprising...) that Micro$oft puts out a terrible OS, and then offers a software package to better manage it, but makes you pay for it? I will never downgrade my computer to Vista, but if I were going to spend a couple hundred bucks on an OS that is supposedly the greatest thing since sliced bread, I would want it to WORK w/o having to pay extra for management software. And don't even get me started on those Vista updates... Edit: I stand corrected regarding the maker of the Vista Manager software...however, my dislike of Micro$oft continues... :-)

evilkillerwhale
evilkillerwhale

I have an Hp a730n that's been upgraded to 2.5 Gb RAM and upgraded with a GeForce 7900 GS. It hauls. It's MUCH faster than it was with XP on it, and I have all of the visual settings set to their highest. Including a 22" widescreen HD monitor with 1680x1050 res. I have had very few problems with software issues, and at this point, all of my software works, except for my copy of Nicci, which is supposed to be Vista compatible. I've followed all the suggestions on their site and no dice. Not a big deal though, because how often do you need to rip pictures? You think MS made Vista Manager? Are you serious? I got my copy of Vista Home Premium, a copy of Norton Internet Security 2007 (the 3 license one), TaxCut, a printer (I actually returned that, because it sucked), and a copy of OneCare for 80 dollars. Circuit City has deals on Vista all the time. You're obviously on XP, and therefore don't need a full version of Vista. Even if you plan on doing a clean install. The Vista upgrade has the full version of Vista, but is just cheaper as a way to reward those who already use Windows. Although I've never tried it, apparently you can install Vista on a fresh HDD so long as you have an old windows disk. Vista works perfectly fine for most users. Power users need tweaks, as has already been stated. I wish I could tweak my now aging processor, but no dice due to BIOS. MS puts out a terrible OS? *AHEM* Leopard? Barely runs... but Vista is the problem. The first system on a completely new kernel, with entirely different software, an entirely new set up, and some revolutionary ways to do things is a terrible OS? Yeah right. If/When WinFS is placed with Vista (they upgraded Fat32 and NTFS with Windows 98, they can do it with Vista), then Vista will outperform Macs once again. And Linux isn't even a viable option. It's free... but virtually useless without WINE and too many configuration options.

bfpower
bfpower

I think you have a valid point that Vista is overhyped (and I am not a fanboy). However, as pointed out, Vista Manager is a third-party tool. These are more than common in the OS world, regardless of the developer.

cmnetworx
cmnetworx

You make a very good point, it has somehow became OK, to put out a terrible os and charge for software to better manage it, Its almost a wonder they aren't charging for their service packs at this rate.. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that or they might start to.. I look at Vista like buying a car, If you bought a car with 2X the horsepower and it was chipped, but all in all it went slower than your old car, because of its poor design, would you buy the car? Not to mention that any feature (Like turning on a radio) required 6 steps and it was mandatory that you prove that your car was genuine? and if the stereo couldn't determine that the car wasn't running genuine drivers it would decrease the quality of your audio. So, maybe im not using the best comparisons here, but I don't feel vista was made based on what users want, I think it was based on what Microsoft and the Media industry want. DRM. They could have done so much better. I consider Vista a downgrade. In rights of usage on your own pc and mostly in performance..

bnemec
bnemec

Vista Manager is not put out by M$. It is put out by a company called Yamicsoft. You can get it here: http://www.yamicsoft.com I've been using it for some time now and it does provide a good way to tweak your machine. Granted it is not necessary since most users will not care to notice a difference.

thomas.kingster
thomas.kingster

First, I would like to point out that Vista Manager is not a Microsoft product. They did not release Vista Manager to help manager their "terrible OS". As they have proven time and time again, if they release something that doesn't work well, they will release patches or even special tools to help manage, fix, or even improve the product (ie. Windows XP Power Toys). Secondly, this post is not a forum to post your extreme dislike for Microsoft and its products. There are many, many forums and outlets for doing just that. This is for the product Vista Manager, found at http://www.yamicsoft.com/vistamanager/. Please keep your bashing to a minimum on the OS and comment on the software discussed in the article only if you have used it.

kathy.fenner
kathy.fenner

I've looked for the freeware version. I can't see where the listing is to be found. A Google search comes up with a software listing: http://www.yamicsoft.com/. This is a trialware offer only. Any leads?

hearthfire
hearthfire

I have been using a free Tweak program. It is by totalidea.com. It has two versions, one free and one paid. I have been using the free for several weeks and it has done a good job. Lots of tweaks.

tnahas
tnahas

Thanks, I'll give it a whirl!

ian.Macdonaldmunro
ian.Macdonaldmunro

My MESH PC spec - quad-core Intel CPU, 4 GB RAM, 8800GTX,SB Fatal1ty Platinum 7.1 surround sound, 2 x 500 GB HDs, 2 x external HDs (40 GB & 80 GB), 22" flat screen. This spec will run FSX with all sliders maxed out while FSX my former XP PC was a "slide show" BUT . . . . loading quite ordinary business and utility sw, starting almost any sw, entering online game servers, loading maps or running scans etc are all FAR slower than using XP on a much lower spec PC, which is precisely why I am reading this thread to try and improve the OS speed. I own the PC, the SW, am the system administrator and the sole user BUT with almost everything I attempt to run VISTA Ultimate Edition, the OS obstructs access claiming that I "lack sufficient permissions" and plenty of key software refuses to run at all, even though some people can get the same sw to (just) run on lighter flavors of VISTA. Many business users see gaming as "trivial application " for a modern PC, but I would stress that it is cutting-edge multi-player online simulations like FSX and COD4 (FAR more than mere "games") and the requirements of militay and civilian simulations on PC, that drives and finances the whole engine of system development and enhancement regarding every aspect of the PC except the OS. Indeed the budgets and personnel involved now exceed Hollywood and the movie industry in the West. As the co-founders of a global industry MS should by now have managed a super fast slick OS that does "exactly what it says on the tin" out of the box without needing third party "managers". VISTA should do what we consumers want, rather than what MS wants.

Tig2
Tig2

My Mac running Leopard runs just fine on my MacBook Pro. The whole point is to use the tool that meets your needs. For some, that will be XP, others it will be Vista, others will find Mac to be the right tool and still others will continue to use Open Source. The good thing is that we all have options.

ian.Macdonaldmunro
ian.Macdonaldmunro

This is an article about a third party pay ware product only required because the over-hyped "out of the box" OS is effectively still a beta and has so very many limitations, inaccessible complexities and needlessly obstructive design features. Personally I hope the crescendo of complaint regarding VISTA from experienced users and IT techies will permeate every forum and software discussion until MS listen to their consumer base instead of their accountants and marketeers. IMO this OS will lose them millions of customers to Apple and Linux both of which have long had slicker OS that actually work. Or rather HAVE to work as their user bases are far smaller and their customers are not forced to buy MS due to a legacy environment in their business or user-realm. I comment here as a former IT manager, life-long online gamer, prospective buyer of VISTA Manager (which is why I am reading & adding to this thread)on my 8th PC and on the internet since it began. I was one of many who eagerly anticipated VISTA/Longhorn from its inception, yet like many others am about to reconfigure my (state-of-the-art brand new top of the range) PC to run dual boot as XP is so much better & faster for the majority of what I use my PC for. Remember the troubles of the first MS "active desktop" OS? VISTA and the need for the software we are discussing here is Deja Vu! By the time MS finally produce "Windows 7" I may be running it in emulation on a Mac, if at all. We should not NEED to be reviewing a VISTA Manager as ALL this functionality should have been built into the extremely expensive product from the outset. I think that is "the point" that many on this thread are rightly IMO making.

bnemec
bnemec

so what does this have to do with vista manager?

bfpower
bfpower

It's not a pro-Microsoft forum either. If their products are worth the money that will be self-evident. And yes, they didn't make Vista Manager. That's a good point.

andre.mosley
andre.mosley

Gary, There is no free version of Vista Manager, majority if not all of YamicSoft's applications are Trialware and not FREE. You'll have to purchase this one, but it's worth the purchase, works good, same goes for WinXP Manager, excellent tool for Windows XP as well. Thanks