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Golden Rant : Vista, the hidden son of Windows Millennium

More Vista anger this week, I'm afraid. I powered up my still-shiny two-months-old Dell M1330 laptop yesterday only to see the display had turned sideways.

Okay - something gone wrong with the display settings in Vista. But controlling the mouse on a sideways screen is little short of a nightmare, as I found out.

Turns out the display settings in the Vista Control Panel weren't much help, as there were only two pen/tablet computer choices.

Okay - off we go to system restore. But where is it?

Let's check an O'Reilly book on Vista. Look in the index - nothing about restore. Idiot's Guide? Nothing in the index about restore.

A quick call to a pal with Vista experience revealed - after some reasoned discussion - that it's in Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.

Nope, not in the blue help files. Not on the start menu. I mean, where else to bury restore but deep in the Vista menus?

Try looking for that on a sideways computer display. A quick restore and is well again, after about 40 minutes of scrabbling around. Thanks a bunch Microsoft.

My best guess for the reason for the display settings going to pen/tablet/sideways is that a setting in the Registry became corrupted.

That's not the point though. Problems do occur with PCs, but Microsoft's failure to include the system restore button on the start menu or the main screen of Vista is simply inexcusable.

Yes, I know, I could simply reformat the hard disk with Windows XP, as most sensible people would have done by now.

My job as an IT journalist, however, requires me to get to grips with Vista, whether I like it or not. I suspect many other users are in a similar situation, mainly through lack of choice and/or options.

As my pal said this morning - after helping me out with my problem - Vista is in danger of becoming like Windows ME (Millennium Edition).

Unwanted, unloved and a snorter of a failure on the sales front.