Possible HAL combinations in x86 versions of Windows 2000 and later

  ACPI Non-ACPI
APIC ACPI Uni/Multiprocessor PC (pre-Vista)
ACPI x86-based PC (Vista and later)
MPS Uni/Multiprocessor PC
Non-APIC ACPI PC Standard PC

On NT 4.0 and earlier, the ACPI column does not apply as NT 4 and earlier does not support ACPI.

On Vista and later, the non-ACPI column does not apply as Vista and later only support systems that have ACPI.

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Virtualization Sprawl

Another cause of virtualization sprawl that is not much talked about is average users trying to run Windows on a Mac. Thanks to Parallels, using virtualization to do this is very common.
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Important thing about EFI

I talked with Linus on the EFI issue, and the most important things are that it is more complex than the BIOS. In fact I think it is more of an DOS-like OS than a BIOS.
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OS Security

In terms of theoretical security, Windows NT = Mac OS X = Linux = Unix, but in terms of practical security, it is a different matter.
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.NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 SP1 for Vista

You can use the following links to get .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 SP1 for Vista:
.NET Framework 2.0 SP1
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93412 (x86)
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93411 (x64)
.NET Framework 3.0 SP1
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93414 (x86)
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93413 (x64)
Update: Or you can install Vista SP1, which includes this.

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More on the “the admin is an idiot”

Finally I figured out that the average user don’t care about computers just because they own or use one. When they use or buy a computer, they buying or using it because are trying to do a task, and once they are finished using their computer, they want to get on with their lives. The average user don’t want to dedicate time to maintain or administrate a computer, because they have better things to do. Keep in mind this if you are trying to notify the user. Fortunately, if there is no data on a computer that is not already somewhere else (for example, it is only used as a Internet appliance), the computer don’t have to be backed up.

In other words, when the average user buys or sets up or uses a computer, the user engagement level for the computer themselves is quite low. The user just want to use the computer to do a task, often have better things to do, and they don’t particularly care about computers. In fact, I think that when the average user buys a computer, often someone else recommends which computer to buy because the user don’t want to read technical details.

Which means that the idiot "admin" have better things to do.

More on user engagement levels here:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/features.html

BTW, the cost of maintaining and administrating a computer or anything else to someone just because someone owns it is called in business talk as the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). 

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How an illusion leads to a myth about UAC

From http://www.useit.com/alertbox/dialog-box.html:
"One of the modern GUI’s greatest advances is the user illusion that the mouse pointer is an extension of your hand: you own the pointer, which has a certain physicality to it as you use it to manipulate objects on the screen. Of course, all of this is only an illusion, because the mouse pointer is really under software control. Clicking the physical mouse while the on-screen pointer rests on a picture of something isn’t really the same as clicking an object."

Unfortunately, sometimes user illusions like this leads to the myth that, for example, the OS can tell whether you or an application is trying to do something. This myth came up in debates about Vista’s UAC, like <http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windows.vista.general/browse_frm/thread/e105d5a3211c108d/d6114f3be741d1e5>.
Jimmy Brush <jb@mvps.org> in a posting in this thread described what is wrong about this myth excellently:
"Now obviously, the OS knows where the user’s mouse is and where they
click on the screen. However, the OS *does not* know what the user
intends to do with that mouse click.

From the perspective of the OS, every application that is running on
the user’s system is a block box. The OS has no idea what that
application is going to do with a mouse or keyboard input;

It doesn’t know if a mouse-click on that application’s window is meant
to format a hard drive or close the application, because the entire
purpose of the application is to translate user input into actions
that are fulfilled by the Operating System, and the OS is not involved
in this process at all.

In fact, "users" never really run applications – an application is
ALWAYS the thing that runs other applications, whether it is explorer
running an application, a utility running a secondary application to
perform some background processing, etc.

The OS has no way to tell whether the user is intending for an
application to run based on where the mouse is, what the user clicked
on, or what buttons they have pressed on the keyboard, because it has
no idea what that application has told the user and whether the
application has made the user aware that their action will result in a
program being run."

Not that your program should not maintain this illusion, of course.

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