Tech Off Thread

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Current Windows Annoyances

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  • User profile image
    peartree

    I'm starting this thread with an expectation that it will become 1) A long-lasting list of gripes, and 2) Useful to The Five Guys (and Microsoft).

    The easiest way to find out what bugs the heck out of people is to give them a place to talk about it. I've even got a few things to post, myself :^).

    So, I'll leave this original post as the street sign and put my first post as a reply.

  • User profile image
    john259

    Before I open the flood gates, please let me prefix all my comments with "in my humble opinion, and subject to my incomplete knowledge". If anyone can suggest any solutions, I'd be extremely grateful. Here goes with the first one: Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: In Windows Explorer, there are two "My Documents" folders, one outside "My Computer" and one inside. Are they the same or not? This is extremely confusing at first to normal users, before they realise that they in fact are the same folder. Not a clever idea. John

  • User profile image
    peartree

    Okay... First post!

    #1   Non-resizable dialogue windows.

    Even in XP Pro, we're still stuck with these. Come on, guys! This is the 21st century! These should have been gone by version 98, at the latest!

    #2   Non-sticky column widths in the Accounts dialogue window of Outlook Express (and many other places in this and other apps).

    Ditto.

    #3   Changing the default browser doesn't actually enforce a browser change.

    Use a non-MS browser and it should stick. I don't want to click a Google link and have IE pop up.

    #4   IE isn't a bad browser (well, it won't be by the time Longhorn ships), but how about updating it? A glance at the more popular IE shells and replacements should tell you what is missing or done wrong. Top of the list is tabbed browsing, of course.


    Well, that's enough for now. I do actually have other things to do today. There's plenty of list left for future posts.

    p.s. This is a little off-topic, but how about sticky size, font, color, and highlight settings in these forums?

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Edition SP1, fully up to date with patches: The maximum length of a filespec in Windows XP is only about 256 characters, which is not sufficient. For users, a lot of characters are "wasted" in the "C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents" prefix In some situations files and folders can be created with longer filespecs and these items then become inaccessible in Windows Explorer. This may be fault of NTFS or Windows Explorer rather than Windows XP. Windows Explorer in Windows ME (with FAT32) has the same limit but handles long filespecs much more intelligently, preventing the creation of files or folders with excessively long filespecs. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: The special folders called My Music, My Pictures, etc are very confusing. Must the corresponding files be stored in those folders? What happens if they are not? Can these folders be moved or copied? What happens if they are? I can't find any documentation on this subject. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: There seems to be a general problem with how Windows XP and programs handle the online/offline status. For example, Internet Explorer V6.0 often claims to be offline with it is online (online favourites are greyed out). John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: It would nice if Paste Special > Unformatted Text could be made the default, or a shortcut created for it. I reckon I paste unformatted text at least 95% of the time. I'd be quite prepared to lose pasting of formats for text completely if it meant I could have unformatted as the default. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: The Taskbar icons in Windows XP operate as toggles. In addition, it is not obvious which icons are "in" (window open) and which are "out" (window closed), especially as the icons change colour as the mouse is drifted over them. When working with several programs it is very easy to accidentally click the wrong icon and become very confused. I can't find any way to change this behaviour. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: Windows Explorer: If a CD is removed from a drive and replaced by a different CD in the same drive, the volume label displayed by Windows Explorer is not updated, even if an explicit refresh is requested. To display the new volume label, Windows Explorer must be closed and re-opened. I can't find anything in KnowledgeBase about this bug. Everyone else I know who has XP reports the same problem. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: Windows Explorer: It would be nice to have an option to disable drag and drop in Windows Explorer, so as to remove the significant risk of items being moved if the mouse button is accidentally pressed as the mouse is moved. Hiding hidden and system files and folders helps to some extent, but it certainly does not completely solve the problem. I'd be very happy to have to use copy and paste instead of drag and drop in Windows Explorer. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches (but you guessed that, right?) Windows Explorer: It would be nice if the right-click menu for folders included a "New Folder" option. This has been an obvious failing ever since Windows 95. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches (sorry to keep repeating this, but in this thread I think it's vital that we know exactly what product we're talking about) Windows Explorer: Operation when the "Tools > Folder Options > View > Advanced Settings > Remember Each Folder's View Settings" option is disabled is strange. Except for column widths, settings are immediately applied to all folders but only remembered between sessions if the "Tools > Folder Options > View > Apply To All Folders" option is used, and that option causes Windows Explorer's maximised state to be forgotten. Operation when the "Remember Each Folder's View Settings" option is enabled seems to be ok. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP SP1 Home Ed, fully up to date with patches: Windows Explorer: There is still no split screen facility. This makes it extremely awkward to work with two folders at once. The program has been crying out for something like Word's draggable horizontal line split screen facility since Windows 95. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: Windows Explorer: The search facility is poor, to put it mildly. I use Agent Ransack, which is far superior. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1 fully up to date with patches: Windows Explorer: When a folder is deleted, it often stays in the folder list until a manual refresh is done. I can't find any mention of this bug in KnowledgeBase. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: Start Menu: Some programs are installed under "All users" and others under the current user. Because of this, and the split between folders and files, the start button menu items are arranged into a number of separate alphabetical sequences instead of one alphabetical sequence, making items difficult to find. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: Internet Explorer 6: The long-standing problem whereby the maximise state, window size and window position of Internet Explorer are not saved between sessions has still not been fixed. There is still no way to ensure that all new IE windows are opened maximised. This problem goes back at least to Internet Explorer 3. It would nice if Longhorn's version of Internet Explorer had a configuration option to "Always open Internet Explorer with a maximised window". I know there are third party solutions (I'm using one) but it would be nice if Microsoft could figure out how to do it. And test it. (Sorry to be so negative, but this one _really_ annoys me!) The same comments also apply for Windows Explorer. John

  • User profile image
    john259

    Windows XP Home Ed SP1, fully up to date with patches: Internet Explorer 6: When a web page is saved, IE6 reloads all the files, even though it already has them in memory. Attempts to save web pages often fail (with an error message which doesn't indicate the cause). Sometimes attempts to save web pages appear to work but when the saved page is subsequently opened it contains no information, or only information for the wrong frame. Alternative browsers such as Mozilla, Netscape and Opera don't have these problems. John

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