Okay, I did the brave (read: stupid) thing this weekend and upgraded my home machine from Windows ME to Windows XP RC1. Home Edition. I've put Professional on a totally clean install on a machine at work, which I'll use for direct performance comparison stats and stuff.
So far, so good. I'm trying NOT to "buck the system" without giving it a chance: I'm using the interface without changing all the folder views yet, I'm not totally hacking up the start menu, and I'm trying to actually USE the My Documents/Music/whatever folders. I let the OS nuke all my desktop icons (it puts 'em in a backup folder just in case).
All I did was put some of my often-used programs in the left side of the start menu, rename My Documents/Music/Pictures to something less cheesy, and move music/pictures to my D: drive where I keep all my media.
I moved some of my folders where I keep downloads and temporary files and stuff to be subdirectories in the My Documents folder (now renamed) so I can easily work in the "all your stuff goes there" environment.
So far, so good. No problems, personal firewall isn't hosing up anything, and all my apps have run just fine so far - though I haven't run them all. Office 2000 needed new stuff off the CD when I tried to run Outlook, but that's because it installs slightly differently on Win2K and such. It didn't need a reinstall, it just asked for the CD, copied some files, and continued to open Outlook.
The one-day report is that, after spending some time getting everything reorganized a bit - no more than I'd do with most any OS upgrade - it's good. Actual windows operations like opening programs and folders and moving files around and stuff actually seems snappier than Win9x. Game performace isn't NOTICEABLY different, but I'll do real benchmarking on the work machine that's set up for it.
I'll keep you guys posted.
By David E. Hunt (Davidcpa) on Saturday, July 14, 2001 - 11:50 pm:
Thanks for the update. I am hoping Windows XP is all that MS says it is. NT/2000 stability with 95/98 compatibility. Fingers crossed for you (no pun intended).
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Saturday, July 14, 2001 - 11:52 pm:
I plan to switch to XP almost immediately when it's released. What is the official street date?
By David E. Hunt (Davidcpa) on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 12:07 am:
Thursday, October 25, 2001, is the official release date.
By rob_merritt on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 12:38 am:
I plan to switch to XP when I'm allowed to make hardware changes without informing Microsoft
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 03:13 am:
Rob - then you're most likely not going to switch to XP ever.
Though it's worth pointing out that the XP activation scheme CAN tell when you've switched hardware, you have to switch a certain amount of it before it does anything. AND, there's no way Microsoft can tell WHAT hardware you have, or even who "you" are. Just that some machine out there with some unique hardware configuration has installed a certain copy of XP.
I swapped out a sound card today, just to test, and it didn't even seem to notice. The new one just started working - no reactivation, no warning, no "detecting hardware" notices, no wizards.
Also on the update front: I went super-brave (read: super-stupid) and used the command-line doohicky to convert both my D and C drives to NTFS from FAT32. The D drive converted just by unmounting the drive. Since C is my boot partition, it said it couldn't unmount it and offered to convert the drive when I restarted. That was the first restart I've needed so far (besides obvious - video driver installs and such) and it dutifully converted my C: drive to NTFS before booting up.
I've detected no noticeable difference between NTFS and FAT32 so far.
By Mike Latinovich (Mike) on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 09:56 am:
Jason, drop a few hundred (or thousand) files into a directory on FAT32 vs. NTFS. you'll see a difference there. probably that's the only REAL thing you'll notice.
the other HUGE difference that most people don't notice is the permissions and quotas that are available on NTFS drives- i'm not sure to what extent this would even show up in WinXP Home, but i'm sure you'd see it in Professional. it's not something i'd expect the typical Home Edition user to need access to.
the one other place i always see the disk usage take a hit is when i'm ripping an audio cd -> .wav on a FAT(16/32) partition vs. an NTFS partition. seems to be a bit less overhead in the overall writing of the .wav file, and when it goes from song to song, there's typically no noticeable pausing between tracks under NTFS (i'm using Easy CDDA Extractor and/or WinDAC).
- mike - not claiming to be any sort of expert here -
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 02:34 am:
Permissions and quotas are both here in the Home edition, but I'm not sure if that necessarily has to do with NTFS. There's no reason the OS couldn't do quotas or permissions on a FAT32 drive - it's an OS thing, not a filesystem thing. I didn't look around for either one before I changed the drives over to NTFS, though.
I have several directories with oodles of files, and I'm not really noticing much difference between the two. That could just as well be because modern hard drives are fast and have big caches.
I *AM* noticing that WinXP is faster in all the places you mentioned, but that's because it does good drive indexing, precaching, and so on. There's no particular reason it can't do any of that with FAT32, and I would guess that it does - I haven't noticed a performance change before and after FAT32. There probably is a difference, but not so you'd notice without running benchmarks.
Are you sure that those performance benefits you mention come from NTFS specifically, or is it just that the NTFS tests were done on Windows 2000/NT while the FAT32 performance was measured under Win9x? Or have you used FAT32 and NTFS both under Win2K/NT doing that kinda stuff?
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 02:41 am:
In other WinXP news: Media Player 8's interface is still fancier than it has to be, like 7, but it's better and less obtrusive, so it's a step in the right direction. I burned an audio CD from MP3 files with Media Player today, and it was nice to do it at full 16X speed.
I've purposely tried to fuck it up today by doing things like killing open Explorer windows while they were choking on moving a giant file to another drive (when are hard drives going to get like 10X faster damnit?). In Win9x, nuking Explorer from the task manager in this way will usually hose up your taskbar and everything on it. XP is more like Win2K - the taskbar disappears for a second while it closes explorer, then comes back with all other windows fully intact and everything in the notification area still there.
I've had two compatibility issues so far, if you can even call them that. An MPEG joiner I use that's kinda old would run but not join MPEG files right. I went to the properties on the shortcut and slected Windows 98 from the drop-down compatibility menu, and it works fine now. The other thing was that I had to re-install my Visor hotsync software (the only software I've had to reinstall after upgrading).
I know all this "it works just fine" is boring reading. I'm hoping to be more successful at screwing things up in the future...
By Mike Latinovich (Mike) on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 12:29 pm:
"Permissions and quotas are both here in the Home edition, but I'm not sure if that necessarily has to do with NTFS. There's no reason the OS couldn't do quotas or permissions on a FAT32 drive - it's an OS thing, not a filesystem thing. I didn't look around for either one before I changed the drives over to NTFS, though."
Actually, it *IS* a filesystem thing. i'm not certain to what extent that FAT(16/32) can store the permissions stuff, but the quotas was new to Win2000's NTFS (NTFS5). WinNT4 didn't do quotas. i'm going to try and find some more material on this, tho, to back it up further. :)
"Are you sure that those performance benefits you mention come from NTFS specifically, or is it just that the NTFS tests were done on Windows 2000/NT while the FAT32 performance was measured under Win9x? Or have you used FAT32 and NTFS both under Win2K/NT doing that kinda stuff?"
the problems i've had with FAT32 vs. NTFS were under win2k. the problems mentioned usually become more pronounced under win9x. it is to be noted, however, that under win2k, even FAT performance is much better than it ever would be under 9x.
so i guess it's really a question of what advantages it gives your average joe user... to which i can say that they probably wouldn't notice a difference unless it REALLY smacked them upside the head- and that just isn't the case for most people, myself included.
are there differences? you betcha. were i just some average joe user, i would be in the category above. the performance differences weren't anything that smacked me in the head, but i DID notice them.
- mike - (half-heartedly) searching for answers -
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 05:39 pm:
NTFS does have much better drive indexing, which used to actually be a performance problem - indexing the files ate up more time than it saved. That's really not the case anymore, and it's probably why doing things like using folders with a thousand files in it works better.
Did a little looking around. They don't do quotas on the user account level, they use the meta tags for files to define quotas on a per-user, per-volume basis. So thier implementation is linked to NTFS - the advantage being that the quotas are stored with the volumes instead of in a seperate database. The old NTFS actually had most of the meta data necessary, but Win2K was the first to use it.
NTFS also allows you to mount drives as directories on other drives (very unix-like there). So I can actually make my D: show up as a directory called "media" on my C: drive, and it would act like a real folder. Not just a shortcut.
By Jason McCullough on Monday, July 16, 2001 - 05:47 pm:
If you're talking anything to do with disk drives, 2k is going to be a hell of a lot better at it for speed, reliability, pretty much everything than 98.
If you really want to see a disgusting level of performance, throw two drives into your system and stripe everything across them - it's absurd how fast it is.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:14 am:
>If you really want to see a disgusting level of performance, throw two drives into your system and stripe everything across them - it's absurd how fast it is.
Well, requires IDE or SCSI RAID, but yeah, it's fast. I just tested a system with IDE RAID and it averaged a good 10 MB/sec faster than a regular Deskstar does - about 1/3 faster. Peak speed was similiarly improved.
It slows down search speed a little bit, though. And there's the reliability issue - if either of the striped drives dies, all your data is as good as gone.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:26 am:
Another OS Update:
Today I burned a CD, which you can do at full speed from the shell. Just stick in a blank CD and you get an autorun-style menu that asks if you want to do nothing or open the temporary CD-R storage folder (WinXP moves files to a staging area until you're ready to burn). And of course, there was the "always do this, don't bug me anymore" checkbox.
Drag some files to the staging area, or select them all and click the "write these to CD" from the task area. When the staging area is full of everything you want, just click the "burn this CD now" in the task area. Simple. It doesn't provide a lot of options - they're not going to put Nero or Roxio out of business for people who want detailed options. But this will handle 95% of my burning duties, easy.
XP auto-runs digital cameras and scanners, too, which is neeto.
I'm at three full days using the OS at home all the time, and counting. No reboots, but I expected that, even at this RC1 level. What I didn't expect is to so rapidly start loathing my office machine, which is Windows ME. It's as stable as Win98 ever was for me, sure, but things folders and stuff just seem to snap open with XP. And I'm rapidly starting to like the task-oriented GUI, which I'm trying to use instead of doing everything the old way. I'm digging how everything basic you want to do is integrated as OS-bundled apps or in the shell.
And yes, there's something to be said for a visually appealing GUI. Sure, it's just a lot of cosmetic changes like the tile view in explorer (which I love for some folders, and just use details view for others) or 32-bit color icons as well as more shades of color and softer highlighting. I know it's just skin deep, but damnit, I gotta look at this skin all night, I'm glad they touched it up a lot.
Don't worry, I'm not going to do day-by-day updates or anything. (this CAN'T be that exciting) It's just still relatively new and I'm trying new stuff a lot.
By Mark Asher on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 01:49 am:
"And I'm rapidly starting to like the task-oriented GUI,"
How does this work, exactly? Like I've explained in another thread, I'm pretty task-oriented too, and the way I work is to have all my recent files that I use on the desktop. I rarely launch Word. I launch a Word file.
So, with XP suppose I have a review I'm working on, a Word file. How will XP expect me to access that file? What do I have to do?
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:19 pm:
You could keep it (or a shortcut to it) on your desktop as you do now, and double-click it to launch word.
Or, you could make a single folder, a "working directory" for all the word files you're working on now, or shortcuts to them. Basically a place to put all those word desktop icons. Or work directly from the My Documents folder (which you can obviously rename). Whatever - you could do all that now.
Basically, when you click on a word file or shortcut to one in explorer, you're going to get a bunch of options on the left in the Task Area, where the dumb Web View used to be. It will have options like "rename this file" "delete this file" "copy this file to CD" "publish this file to the web" "email this file" and "print this file." And so on. There a task area beneath that with relevant locations (folders).
It's kinda like a more sophisticated version of the right-click menus, only instead of right-clicking on a file to get it, it shows up in a bar on the left whenever you select a file. It is NOT an identical list of stuff to what you would see on the right-click menu. For instance, WinZip adds that "add this to zip" to your right-click menus for every single file, but they don't show up in your task list (maybe a future version of WinZip will add it or something).
Double-clicking anything still performs the default action, just as it always has.
If you use your desktop as a launching area, you obviously wouldn't get this task pane because you're not in explorer. You could browse the Desktop folder in explorer easily enough (it IS just a folder, after all).
But if you wouldn't find it easier to do things other than open the .doc file in word, like say e-mail it, by going to the file and clicking on the "email this" thingy, you're not likely to find much use for the task view. It can be disabled just like the web view can in Win2K/98/ME.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:21 pm:
Oh, and Steve came into my office and (quite rightly) asked why I was providing these forums with content which could just as well be an ongoing feature for our own website.
So like, you'll be seeing my updates here and future ones on our site, I think.
If Mark & Tom have any problems with me doing basically a copy/paste of my own posts here to start it off, I'll rewrite it.
By Mark Asher on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:34 pm:
"If Mark & Tom have any problems with me doing basically a copy/paste of my own posts here to start it off, I'll rewrite it."
Don't rewrite it. That would be silly.
Thanks for the info. Since I don't really like to work in Explorer it sounds like the new file association stuff won't even apply to me that often.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 12:58 pm:
(I feel silly replying again in here already, but since I'm here copy/pasting I see the updates)
Y'know, I only started working in explorer about two years ago. One day I just decided that having an expandable folder tree on the left would make moving and copying files a lot easier, especially in conjunction with using right-click menus and a little bit of customization to the "Send To" menu.
By Jason McCullough on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 01:50 pm:
Hey Jason - you actually don't need a hardware RAID for striping in 2k. Just stick a drive on each IDE channel and you're good to go (I'm not sure how much faster it'd be if you put both on one channel, as only one drive per ATA channel can send at a time.)
By Dave Long on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 02:49 pm:
I do a ton of movement, copying, updating and deleting of files at work since the server I work on is located in another building. I have a share to that machine on my client PC and am constantly working with files from Explorer to handle this workload. I never thought anyone would be doing anything differently?
Just how the heck are you guys managing files if not through Windows Explorer? The right-click menu was the single greatest thing in Windows 95 as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't live without that now. Though I've used XP and I do like the stuff Jason's been talking about. XP is truly worthwhile if only to get to the 2000 kernel. I don't think anyone who's never used 2000/NT can fully appreciate the difference between the 9x series and Windows XP.
Like I noted once before though...the kind of stability that 95/98/ME provided is enough for probably 85% of home users while at the same time supporting all those old educational and DOS-based programs that home users tend to never discard. As people who use computers hours upon hours in a day, we're really not a part of that group. Windows XP is the first OS to offer the stability we need while at the same time integrating all the game support we've desired.
The interface is a big step up too. I've grown quite fond of XP's look. Of course, I never put 80 icons on my desktop either. One is too many for me...
By Mark Asher on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 03:08 pm:
"Just how the heck are you guys managing files if not through Windows Explorer?"
I don't have a tremendous amount of file management to do. Most of my archiving I do through folders on my desktop. The HTML files I work with Dreamweaver handles. Email files are handled by Outlook Express. I rarely have to use Explorer or My Computer, unless you count desktop folders as part of those apps.
"Of course, I never put 80 icons on my desktop either. One is too many for me..."
Heh. So your desktop just sits there as wasted space? For me it's the initial interface I have with the OS, so I like to put it to use rather than drill down beneath it.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 03:50 pm:
Mark, I rarely use explorer but use My Computer all the time. I download patches, demos, and drivers right and left and constantly go into a shortcut to the download folder on my server to run them. There are also some programs that I only use occasionally like WinVN and the Nvida Refresh Rate Fix program (everytime I install new drivers) that I access by drilling down in My Computer. Sure having a shortcut somewhere would be nice but since I rarely use them I don't see the point.
By Mark Asher on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 04:40 pm:
I guess I'm just weird in the way I work. I download patches and demos to my desktop. Then I patch and install from there and then delete the download files. When I'm done downloading it's like, "Hey, there's that file right on my desktop. Now I don't have to poke around in Explorer to find it." At least that's how it seems to me.
I do have a drivers folder hanging off my C: drive somewhere. I put new drivers in it just because I've had to reload stuff so often over the last year.
By Jason McCullough on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 04:51 pm:
This discussion looks like users that got started on the Macintosh drag-and-drop interface users vs. those that started with Win 3.1 File Manager. Is my guess correct?
I'm a fileman.exe man, myself.
By Bub (Bub) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 05:31 pm:
I'm with you actually. Except for the 80 icons on the desktop thing. I have 10. Often used programs and folders & shortcuts to folders that contain docs, music, patches, etc.,
I do download everything to desktop as a default. Then shelve-use it-delete it later as it merits.
I didn't start with Mac. I started with an Apple IIe, then Dos, then Win 3.1 ... then I fell in love with dragging and dropping in Win95.
I don't use the Start Button for anything except FIND.
By Mark Asher on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 05:47 pm:
I started with DOS. I used to use fileman.exe for everything, but I gradually started using drag and drop more and more after W95 came out.
Macs? I refuse to use a mouse that's missing a button. :)
By Sean Tudor on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 10:16 pm:
Being an old DOS XtreeGold fan I am a big current user of Windows Explorer. In fact everytime I use either my home PC or my work PC, Windows Explorer is the first thing I start after Windows boots up. I also have a highly organised and sorted directory structure for all my files.
As for my desktop it is as clean as a whistle. Nothing clutters it up and the only icons I have on the desktop are My Computer and the Recycle Bin.
I absolutely abhore cluttered desktops. I have also seen people who download files to straight to their desktop and then run the file from there. That is a big no-no in my book.
For quick work (or scratch) directories for temporary files I create c:\1, C:\2, C:\3, etc. These are temporary holdings areas until I archive that file on my D:\ drive.
I have found that people who have not had any DOS experience or rarely use Windows Explorer have very messy and disorganised hard drives.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 01:11 am:
I used DOS a lot, but don't use Explorer much. My hard drive seems pretty clean, though. (Probably not compared to some, though.)
I could be the happy medium around here. I download most things to My Documents, just because I don't like having too much on my desktop, but then I have that folder on my desktop, so it's just one double-click away. My desktop has the most frequently-played games, shortcuts to my CD-ROM drives, Control Panel, My Documents, (obviously My Computer and the Recycle Bin, but I don't use those real often...Well, okay, I use My Computer often enough.), and that's about it. I guess I shouldn't forget IE, either. Can't think of anything else, though. It's pretty clean.
By Thierry Nguyen on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 01:42 am:
Rather than describe my desktops, I present them to you, using the power of hypertextual transmission and internet synergy!
(warning: due to economic collapse, my host uses annoying pop-up banners. Load up thine pop-up counter-measures post-haste!)
Feel free to extrapolate what kind of mental state I am, in the two vastly different conditions that I leave my desktop machines at.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 01:48 am:
Heh. That's interesting. My desktops at work and home look pretty similar.
What's the Pop-up stopper you have on your work machine? I'd be very interested in learning more about that. E-mail if you'd like, or post here so everyone can learn...
By Thierry Nguyen on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 01:56 am:
Pop-Up Stopper came from another thread on this very board:
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 02:28 am:
Oh, yeah, I remember that now...I didn't pay much heed at the time, because we use Netscape at work, and a lack of broadband (which has since been remedied) at home kept me off the net much...Now, though, it's a different story. Thanks for the reminder!
By Frank Greene (Reeko) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 09:15 am:
I don't like desktop clutter either. Probably the most useful part of Microsoft office is the shortcut bar. Depending on screen resolution, you can store oodles of shortcuts on it. All you have to remember is which icon is for which program, and away you go with a single click. Pretty nifty.
By Mike Latinovich (Mike) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 10:36 am:
eh? why not just use the QuickLaunch stuff that's in the taskbar? seems to work for me. i don't have to clutter up my desktop with the apps/games i launch all the time, and since the taskbar is on 'auto-hide', it all goes away once the cursor is off the bar.
seems kinda 'old school' to have to use a '3rd party' tool (in this case, the toolbar with MS Office) to get the same functionality.
- mike - now playing: Jumpgate! -
By Jeff Lackey on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:07 am:
I've never quite figured out why some people abhor a "cluttered" desktop - What is the utility of that space being un-used? I'm an old DOS user, but I still have a lot of icons on my desktop and don't use Windows Explorer all that much. I used things like Xtree in DOS because there was no other good way to do things (ah, the good old days of DOS: QEMM, sound and video configuations for each game, etc. Although Config.sys and Autoexec.bat beat the hell out of the nightmare named The Registry.)
By Steve on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:52 am:
I don't like a cluttered desktop because of Windows 95 and it's infamous "let's rebuild the desktop and re-arrange your icons in some random order" feature.
I use the QuickLaunch bar for all my common apps and create desktop folders for stuff I'm currently working on or, at work, shortcuts to specific network folders.
I don't like visual clutter as I find it harder to focus on specific elements of the screen.
By Bub (Bub) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 12:15 pm:
I'm willing to bet real money that people with cluttered real-desks have cluttered Windows Desktops too.
Fess up Jeff, Mark... come on now!
I'm actually an exception. I'm surrounded by clutter in my office (I tell my wife it's because clutter comes not from shelves and drawers (where it can be re-stowed) it comes from the mail, UPS, Airbourne, FedEx, and there is no place for it).
Yet my PC desktop is mostly the ultrasound picture of my first born bordered by folders that lead inside the bowels of my PC.
By Jeff Lackey on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 02:08 pm:
Well, perhaps semantics is at play here. Cluttered implies something negative - I have my desktop very organized, albeit full. It's not cluttered - it's an "information rich environment."
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 10:27 pm:
>Mark, I rarely use explorer but use My Computer all the time.
My Computer opens up with Explorer, believe it or not. Just not in "folder view" or whatever. Heading to My Computer in XP does indeed include the task view thingy on the left.
re: using the Desktop as a download loction, etc. - Hey, the Desktop is just a folder than hangs off of C:\Windows\. It's C:\Windows\Desktop. I've always been a little nervous about purposely putting important stuff in a subdirectory of Windows if I can avoid it. =) Regardless, defaulting to My Computer (or whatever you name it) isn't really any different, it's just another folder. The difference is that the Desktop folder shows everything on your desktop, which you get to one way, and you get to My Computer another way. I happen to like the My Computer way, because I don't like having to minimize anything to see it.
Bottom line is, I guess, that we all work differently, and XP will gleefully allow you to work whichever way you want. They've just made more improvements to some ways of working than others.
Thierry: dude, since you have that virus known as AOL Instant Messanger running on BOTH machines, you're fully excused for any mental state you're in forevermore.
By Bub (Bub) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 12:39 am:
I bet Thierry has AOL-using family members. I'd put money on that in fact....
Am I right?
By Dave Long on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 01:07 am:
I've found Trillian to be the best alternative to running a zillion message programs. If not for this bugger, I'd be running AOL IM, MSN IM and ICQ. Trillian integrates all of them into one program.
AOL IM has by far the best interface and usability though. I've come to the conclusion that ICQ has finally worn out its welcome. It's user-hostile and it sucks.
By Frank Greene (Reeko) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 09:32 am:
"eh? why not just use the QuickLaunch stuff that's in the taskbar? "
The icons are a little too small. Can you drag/drop shortcuts directly on to it?
"since the taskbar is on 'auto-hide', it all goes away once the cursor is off the bar."
You can set the office shortcut bar to do the same thing. If you do, though, place it on the left side of your screen. Otherwise every time you go to the scrollbar, the office bar pops out.
I don't like a cluttered desktop because I change my backgrounds fairly often (http://www.webshots.com) and sometimes the icons are a little tough to pick out.
By Dave Long on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 09:53 am:
Sort of...and yes you can.
The icons are a little too small. Can you drag/drop shortcuts directly on to it?
>AOL IM has by far the best interface and usability though. I've come to the conclusion that ICQ has finally worn out its welcome
Well, AOL IM is just the latest iteration of ICQ, since the company, indirectly through netscape, purchased Mirabillis years ago.
By Lee Johnson (Lee_johnson) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 01:34 pm:
That may be true, but the clients are nothing alike. The ICQ client is God-awful.
By Dave Long on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 02:13 pm:
Yeah, but the two are so different. AOL IM treats your messaging as a chat similar to IRC. That just plain works better. ICQ wants to throw a million other things into the mix. Not only that, but AOL IM allows HTML usage in the chat window (limited) and has much less overhead on your system resources.
ICQ has to just fade away...AOL IM is a superior program by far. I'm really surprised that AOL hasn't just killed it since it's been so long since they bought it.
People can complain all they want about AOL and their business dealings. But in this case, they have the superior product.
By Mark Bussman on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 05:58 pm:
Re: Keyboard shortcuts.
The keyboard shortcuts that I use most are the ones for Cut, Copy and Paste. One of my friends once called this "Cut-Paste-Fu." I also use Ctrl-Enter a lot for sending mail/ICQ messages.
I've been fiddling with Linux seriously for about a month or two and it drives me nuts that it uses Alt instead of Ctrl for the keyboard shortcuts. I have to stop and think to realize why Copy and Paste aren't working. Does anyone know why it (KDE2 specifically) uses Alt instead of Ctrl?
It also drives me nuts that the DOS Edit program in NT 4.0 on the computers at school don't use Crtl X/C/V but instead use stuff like Alt-Delete and Ctrl-Enter. (I use DOS Edit to work on my FORTRAN programs.)
I've d/led Trillian but haven't tried it yet, most of my friends are on ICQ, but my dad and brother in law use AIM. I guess I'll install it now.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 08:56 pm:
My Computer opens up with Explorer, believe it or not. Just not in "folder view" or whatever. Heading to My Computer in XP does indeed include the task view thingy on the left.
The Trillian MSN client has been fine for me since they got the whole MSN service working again. You still having problems since their "we're not having a problem" problems?
(For those not in the know, Microsoft had big backend problems with MSIM about a week or two ago.)
Yeah, I forgot to mention that... Trillian has a built in IRC client as well for those that use it but aren't power chatters and clan guys like Xaroc. :)
By Dave Long on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 10:03 pm:
There's a patch on the Trillian site for MSN IM support, Xaroc. Might want to give that a try if you're not up and running with it.
By Thierry Nguyen on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 04:57 am:
"Thierry: dude, since you have that virus known as AOL Instant Messanger running on BOTH machines, you're fully excused for any mental state you're in forevermore."
I just adapted with the times. About 90% of everyone I knew on campus used AIM. It became so ubiquitous that, combined with the surge of cell phones, most people don't bother using a normal land line. Well, mostly to get DSL.
"I bet Thierry has AOL-using family members. I'd put money on that in fact....
Am I right?"
A few, but it's only ten relatives versus the circa 60 people from Cal that still use AIM.
"I'm wondering... are you folks using the keyboard shortcuts at all? Things like Alt-Tab, Ctrl-Esc, etc.? These are ultra useful and negate a lot of this clicking and button pushing. Maybe you've always got a cup of coffee in your other hand or something? :)"
I use the keyboard shortcuts a lot. Alt-Tab, and anything involving the Alt/Ctrl button in most apps. When I edit something, for maximum efficiency, I never touch the mouse.
"One note about Scooter's desktop... sheesh man... that's a hell of a lot of stuff in your system tray! How much RAM do you have? From the looks of that tray, I'm thinking you've got like 1MB left over for program usage!"
You're literally correct, as I took a quick glance and saw that my RAM Defragger listed one meg as free. When I'm not playing a game, I let a bajillion things run in the system tray. Virus scanners, PalmPilot HotSync, firewall software, online messaging crap, etc. It's a miniature ritual when I finally decide to load up a game.
Also, thanks to Dave, I will try out Trillian. Just because I'm that kinda guy. Also, while I'm looking at Trillian, can someone explain to me what the URL-ender-thingy (I think there's a real term for it, but I am lazy and I don't feel like finding it meself) ".cc" means. I'm used to two-letter URL-enders being for countries, but a webcomic I read uses the ".cc" ender, and it's based in New York. Is it related to the possible use of ."tv" and whatnot? Please explain.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 05:03 am:
Honestly, the first use of ".cc" I saw was a cell-phone company, so I thought maybe it was "cellular" something, until I saw other companies using it. I have no idea, if that's not it.
Off to the search engines we go...
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 07:39 am:
Hey, just got Trillian up and running here at work...I'll get it at home today.
Very nice. Very sleek. I likes!
Thanks, guys. Seriously cool.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 03:19 pm:
Thierry spring for some more RAM. I think at this point they pay you to take it from them. ;)
Seriously thought you can get quality pc100 or pc133 memory from crucial.com for insanely low prices (@$43 for 256mb of PC133 RAM).
By Mike Latinovich (Mike) on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 04:35 pm:
>>"eh? why not just use the QuickLaunch stuff that's in the taskbar? "
>The icons are a little too small. Can you drag/drop shortcuts directly on to it?
there's really no excuse in saying they are too small, because you CAN force it to display large icons rather than small icons, with/without text, etc.
in addition, you can create your own 'quicklaunch' groups, move them off the normal task/start bar area to the sides of the screen (like you can with the task/start bar or the office toolbar), set them to auto-hide or whatever.
As for drag/dropping: do you mean dragging icons to/from it for placement in the bar? "yes" or, drag a documents' icon above an icon in the quickbar to open it in the app? "yes" why you just don't double-click on such documents is beyond me, UNLESS you are opening a document in/with a program that it (the document) isn't associated with.
>>"since the taskbar is on 'auto-hide', it all goes away once the cursor is off the bar."
>You can set the office shortcut bar to do the same thing. If you do, though, place it on the left side of your screen. Otherwise every time you go to the scrollbar, the office bar pops out.
>I don't like a cluttered desktop because I change my backgrounds fairly often (http://www.webshots.com) and sometimes the icons are a little tough to pick out.
i will also point out that the quicklaunch stuff is part of windows/ie (is it just ie4 and newer? i forget) and office's toolbar isn't? and it's also a bloated piece of crap.. not to say that the quicklaunch abilities aren't bloated or crappy, but it's one less app i have to load up that uses a buttload of resources.
- mike - office space with a view in dallas going cheap -
By timelhajj on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 11:45 pm:
"i will also point out that the quicklaunch stuff is part of windows/ie (is it just ie4 and newer? i forget)"
This thing is such a pisser. I've gotten so used to it that when I get on a machine wihtout it, I go nuts. Apparently it was part of Ie4, but got left out of default Ie setup somewhere along the way. I have an NT4 box with Ie 5 and it doesn't have the quick launch thing. Had to dig pretty deep to figure out the command line argument for Ie5 to install with it. Very frustrating.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, July 21, 2001 - 12:27 am:
Seriously thought you can get quality pc100 or pc133 memory from crucial.com for insanely low prices (@$43 for 256mb of PC133 RAM).
Jason-- does XP come with a utility for watching DVDs? Can you use WMP8 for that? Last night I watched a DVD on my computer and as soon as I slipped it into the drive, it auto installed a decoder that promptly crashed my machine. Bastarge software did not even consult me! Had to turn off auto insert and use the software that came with the drive, which is modeled to look exactly like a remote. Ugh. The remote is like the worst UI known to man, and they decide to simulate it for their software UI. Gotta love it.
Also, with WMP8, can you burn WMA to a CD for playback on a regular CD, like in my car? You're supposed to be able to do this in WMP7, but it wouldn't work for me in W2k. The adaptec plug-in didn't recognize the WMA file format.
By Shiningone (Shiningone) on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 02:19 am:
I try to keeep my desktop fairly clean around 4 rows of icons\folders. I find that if i have too many icons it takes me too long to find the one im looking for, much easier to open a games or document folder from the desktop.
Ive heard of everyones style of using Windows before, but i have one unique thing that i find myself doing. Every time i need to use the control panel i go thoguh my computer except when im looking to for the Add/remove programs icon. I always go thoguh Start/Settings, that is basicly the only time i use the start menu. I have no idea why i do it this way but have been doing it for as long as ive been using add/remove programs.
May Peace Favor Your Sword