Time to RTFM!

Displaying the list of recently used programs within Vista
Having rebuilt my desktop using Windows Vista SP1 (32-bit) I was getting a bit confused as to why my list of recently used programs where showing up empty?  I had made sure that the relevant option had been selected within the Start menu properties…
 Start Menu
But still nothing was appearing on my Start Menu and I wondered if I had found a bug in my SP1? It turns out that I should read the next page of the Vista manual. Click the Customize… button and Hey Presto!
 Start Menu - Customize
Under the Start menu size option my Number of recent programs to display was set to zero. No idea why it was set to that value and I dont remember setting it to zero, but once I had increased the value my recently used list of programs started showing up.

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