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  Net Worth

Posted 4/4/2007
By Colby Horton

Shop Site of the Month

On-Site Automotive - Davie, Fla.

shop site

There is a wealth of information on this site, but the shop has done a good job of organizing it all. The site offers a clean design with professional graphics. The "Credentials" and "Testimonials" sections add credibility to the shop and its capabilities. Customers can schedule appointments online, pose questions to the shop's experts and provide feedback on service.

Web Wise

Windows Vista Is Finally Here - Should You Upgrade?

Microsoft Corp.'s marketing message for its new Windows Vista platform is "a breakthrough computing experience." But for repair shops, are the bells and whistles that accompany the new operating system really worth the upgrade?

If you've purchased a computer in the past five years or so, you're probably running Windows XP, which continues to be Vista's leading competitor. But chances are, XP will only be around for a year or so. The new Vista program still has some bugs to work out before a shop upgrade is recommended, but it definitely offers features beyond that of XP.

The look of Vista is completely different from Windows XP. Vista takes advantage of what's called an Aero interface, which takes advantage of modern 3D graphics accelerators to provide features such as translucent "glass" window frames, subtle animations, scalable icons and live previews of documents and windows. Shortcut keys allow the user to switch between applications.

I like the new Aero interface, but for those who disagree, Vista allows a classic theme that eliminates the effects entirely.

Vista's new Start menu is much easier to use than its XP counterpart. The Start menu now has a built-in search box, which offers the most convenience of any feature of the Vista system. When the user starts typing in the Start menu's search box, Vista's full-text search capabilities display all the applications, documents, favorite links and e-mails that match.

"Live icons" are also a nice addition. These icons, appearing in the Windows Explorer application of Vista, show scalable thumbnails of document contents, making it easy to differentiate between files by sight. Expand a folder icon and you'll see thumbnails of the files within the folder.

In addition to the new look, Vista includes some new and enhanced applications such as Windows Media Player 11 and Internet Explorer 7. Internet Explorer is a major improvement over its predecessor, supporting tabbed browsing and incorporating a convenient Quick Tabs view that shows thumbnails of open Web pages.

Again, there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out, including compatibility issues with existing software. Next month, we'll take a look at this issue and evaluate the compatibility of some of the major shop management software with the new Vista operating system.

Net Numbers

There are currently 1,093,529,692 people online worldwide. Of that number, more than 232 million people are online in the United States.

Source: Internet World Stats

ASA Web Ways

AutoInc. Online Offers Enhanced Search Engine

Last month, AutoInc.'s Web site ( received a new look with several new features. But with more than a decade of content online, finding the information in AutoInc.'s archive hasn't been the easiest endeavor. Until now! AutoInc.'s new search engine uses the same technology as Google, allowing visitors the capability of retrieving the most relevant search results possible. So whether you're searching for information about hybrids or managing difficult employees, the new AutoInc. search engine will get you the best information quicker.

Colby Horton Net Worth is written by Colby Horton, ASA's electronic communications manager. He can be reached at (800) 272-7467, ext. 234, or by e-mail at

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