Windows Gripes

(Got a new computer, so this ain't just for Windows 95 any more.)

1. The "it's now safe to shut down your comptuer" screen
If NOT running Windows 95 any more means your computer is safe, doesn't that imply that running Windows 95 is inherently dangerous?

2. Internet Explorer 3.02's cache
The whole idea of a cache is that files you've already seen are stored on your hard disk for quick access and viewing. However, try this test: view any website, then go to another page or website. Once it's loaded in, immediately hit the Back button. Most of the time, Explorer will try and re-load the page you just saw seconds ago. What changed in those few seconds, Explorer, that you insist on getting a new copy of the page every time?
     And, yes, "Update pages: Never" is selected.

3. Inconsitencies in naming files
a. Try to create a directory called "IBM". What do you get? "Ibm".
b. Save a file, and you may wind up with all lowercase letters, the first letter capitalized, or all uppercase letters.

4. Inability to highlight a group of files and rename them sequentially
Why would I want to do this? For when programs, such as Internet Explorer's "Save Picture As" right-click command, that insist on putting everything in uppercase.

5. Creating Directories
Every program has the Create New Folder button, usually in their Save box, except for Windows Explorer, where you need it the most. Instead, you have to select File, wait, select New, wait, and then select Folder.
     (Windows 2000, for all of its improvements, still lacks this button in Windows Explorer.)

6. "You don't need to see it"
After downloading and reading some messages in Internet News, I marked them as "Unread", intending to come back to them later. However, the next time I accessed the newsgroup server, that message had been deleted from the server for space considerations. So, Internet News erased it from my hard drive, too. Apparently the program decided that if the news server didn't have the file any more, that I didn't need to have it, either.
     (Outlook Express 5, the replacement for Internet Mail and Internet News still has this problem, which is why I use Forte's Free Agent for any newsgroup I want to follow conversations on.)

7. "Are you really, really sure you want to do that?"
Thanks to the Windows Annoyances page, I've been able to bypass the Recycle Bin and just delete files when I press the Delete key. (I've decided to leave the "are you sure you want to delete that" on to prevent me from deleting something if my fingers slip on the keyboard.) However, what I wish I could get rid of are the "that is a program, are you sure you want to delete it?" and the "if you rename the file extension, I might cry" messages.
     All these were good when I was just learning Windows 95. Now, it's just in the way. I don't do these things just willy-nilly; it's a conscious action on my part. Plus, do you know how many ZIP files come in a self-extracting EXE format these days?
     And, if making sure that you don't accidentally delete an .EXE file is such a good idea, why aren't .DLL files, which are equally important, if not more important, protected the same way?

8. Getting permission from Microsoft to use my own computer
I don't mind entering my name when I install software. I do mind, however, having to log into my own computer every time I call out to the Internet. If this was a government or business computer, it would be approprite, but as this is my computer, I shouldn't have to do this. This was disabled at one point (and I don't remember how), but has reappeared.
     (I did get it disabled again. I think the answer is in the TweakUI utility. See below for more on TweakUI.)

9. Windows 2000 deletes files you may want
One of the neat features of Internet Explorer 5 added was the "Save As" command that would put a copy of the web page you are looking at along with all its graphics into a folder on your hard drive. That way, you don't always have to be online if you want to look at that page (and in case that website closes).
     Windows 2000 has the habit of grouping these files together. Delete the web page, and the folder with the graphics is also automatically deleted. Move the folder by itself, and Windows moves the file anyways.
     What if I didn't want the two together any more? What if I like the graphics, but don't need the web page any more?
     The answer turns out to be the TweakUI addition to the Control Panel which Microsoft developed and makes available, but doesn't officially support. Under Windows 2000, there is a new option in the "Explorer" section of TweakUI called "Manipulate connected files as a unit". Deselecting this solved the problem.
     I recommend that everyone go to the Windows Annoyances website to find out more about TweakUI. (Unfortunately, it doesn't have options to turn off those two messages I listed in #7.)

Windows Annoyances website -- ways to fix some of the "features" in the various versions of Windows (95 through XP so far).

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Last Update: March 27, 2002.