Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vista Ultimate Extras Updated.. No Really.. Honest!

One of the many promises made to those of us who bought into the Ultimate Edition of Vista was the pledge that we wouldn't have to buy Plus! for Vista. In the end I had to go with Ultimate for work reasons because I needed to be familiar with both tiers of Home and Professional. The *Extras* were just that. I wasn't going crazy over "Texas Hold'em Poker" and I don't think I have even spent more than a passing glance at Bit Locker Drive Encryption. And the big selling point of Dream Scene content for AERO Glass wasn't a big deal for me either as almost all Blindness AT turns Glass off and you end up in the Vista Basic Desktop.

None the less we all like the appearance of things that are free even though we paid for them up front. Today I was flabbergasted to see that I had some updates available through Windows Update .. in the Ultimate Extras portion of the box. My heartbeat quickened, my palms grew sweaty and I leaned into my 5.1 speaker system to hear my speech with better clarity upon the reading of these new and unexpected additions. And the first thing I heard was .. Dream Scene Content Pack 3. Ha'za! More visual stuff for Glass.

I sunk back in my chair and arrowed down. I heard "Windows Vista Ultimate Sound Schemes". My head shot up. New sounds? Really? And they are an Ultimate Extra? Well now that is a welcome surprise. There were 34 more downloads available and I already knew those to be the long awaited, and delayed, updates to the multi language packs. Quick tip, save hard drive space and hide these things if you don't need them. They take forever to download and they are pretty hefty in size.

So by now you must be thinking why so long a post on Sound Schemes right? I mean are they that much better than what comes in the box? Oddly enough .. Yes.

There are two new schemes to be had. Windows Ultimate Extra Sound Scheme Glass and Pearl. both have the same sound cues as heard in your defaults for Vista. Same names in most cases and everything. But these end up being like a remix of your favorite song rather than a brand new album of music. The new age softer sounds of Vista continue onwards in these new schemes. And I imagine it will be hard for some with hearing limitations to notice or recognize any differences. For me, however, I kind of like the new less obtrusive UAC prompt. Moreover, some of these new sounds are way more "quiet mode" or headphone friendly in their defused tones. While this isn't a reinvention of the wheel, it was unexpected and free. Okay sort of free..

I didn't see anything on the Vista Team blog about these updates. In fact the only real hard evidence I could find on the schemes came from this blog listed below.

Reading that makes me want to make King Crimson and Star Wars jokes. To avoid you all that torment I'll just say that you gotta miss those days where you played all those Musica and Robotiz schemes eh? Guilty as charged on this side of the screen for sure. And to end this post we go out on the Classic Windows 95 hit.. you all know it as the Shutdown sound... T'da!


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