We know what the official Vista requirements are now, so most of us are well informed and on our way to Best Buy. But isn't there an easier way to tell if your PC is Vista ready? Microsoft thought so, and they just released a Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor program that scans your machine to tell you whether it's Vista capable.
We imagine this would be useful for non-technical folk, especially your parents. Email this link to them, tell them to install it—well, some parents don't know how to install software—and they'll know whether their old Dell can run the newest OS out of Redmond.
Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor [Microsoft]