May 2007 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our May 2007 Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Windows Vista: The Definitive Guide," published by O’Reilly Media, goes to Bernard Freund, of Canada. Second prize, a copy of "Running QuickBooks in Nonprofits," published by CPA911 Publishing, goes to Evelyn Russo, of California.

June 2007 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Vista Update challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to by June 14, 2007. You MUST include your full name, and street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct.

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an email receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at on June 15, 2007.

The June 2007 Challenge

While conducting a Windows Vista seminar at a corporation that had just rolled out the new OS in several departments, I went to the company cafeteria to look for plain iced tea (which is almost never available on the speakers' coffee break table at seminars). A group of five employees had gathered at a table for a latte break (I'm so old that when I ate in company cafs the word "latte" was unknown) and having a discussion about, of all things, their logon pictures. A couple of people were musing out loud about the relative merits of some of the built-in pictures available for the Welcome Screen (e.g., "The animals are cute except for the fish," and "Is that a soccer ball or a volley ball?"). One person wanted to know whether the others thought a Help desk person could install a picture she brought from home as the graphic for her logon illustration.

I guess this is just more evidence of the fact that I apparently am not keeping up with the culture--I like "diner" coffee and I don't care about the cuteness level of my logon picture on the Welcome Screen. Resisting the impulse to ask, "What's the big deal, who cares?" as I passed their table, I returned to the seminar room and reported the conversation to the IT professionals who were running the seminar. I didn't get the laugh I expected; instead, I heard sighs as several members of the IT department reported receiving Help desk calls on this issue.

This month's challenge isn't about how much you care about the graphics you see at logon, it's about how much you know about this component of the logon process.

Question #1: Windows XP computers joined to a domain cannot display the Welcome Screen.

A. True B. False

Question #2: You can eliminate the Welcome Screen on a Windows Vista computer that is joined to a domain.

A. True B. False

Question #3: Fast User Switching is available only if the Welcome Screen is available.

A. True B. False

The Answers

Question #1: A (True)
Question #2: B (False)
Question #3: A (True)