I get quite a few reader questions that boil down to “How do I do this in Windows Vista?” Quite often I can easily answer because I’ve already done what they’re trying to do in my own business, but when the question touches on something I haven’t encountered, I turn to my primary resource for such things, the Windows Vista TechCenter at http://technet.microsoft.com.

TechNet offers everything from whitepaper adoption guides to hands-on virtual labs covering all aspects of Vista configuration and deployment. The focus of TechNet is important; while many of us in the industry use the Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) at http://msdn.microsoft.com, it has a very developer-oriented approach. For IT people in the trenches, TechNet’s benefits are substantial. You don’t need to be a TechNet subscriber to use most of the resources on the TechNet sites, but if you’re interested, a subscription runs $399 or less, which at the least gets you access to evaluation software with no time limit on its use.

For SOHO users who neither need nor want in-depth technical resources provided by TechNet, Microsoft provides a Windows help and How-to site at http://windowshelp.microsoft.com. This site offers easy-to-find answers to common Windows client questions, with walkthroughs of solutions and links to free downloadable tools that are focused on the end-user.

Tip -- Be forewarned that Vista SP1 changes the way the way the amount of memory installed is reported. If you look at the System applet, it will show a 4GB machine as having 4GB installed; however the Task manager will report a smaller number, which is the actual amount of memory available to the OS after you subtract that being used by other devices, such as video cards. So, for example, even though my current desktop has 4GB of memory installed (according to the system applet), when I look at available memory in Task manager I see just over 3GB due to the memory used by video and other system devices.