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Article:
  Five More Annoying PC Annoyances
Subject:   More Annoyances
Date:   2004-07-13 23:51:38
From:   johngalt
Forgive me if some of the items on my list are old.
I still use Windows 98, largely because I haven't seen fixes for most of my pet peeves in the newer Windows versions I've gotten to use at the office. Anyhow here are some of mine, which I haven't seen cured in any book to date.


1) There is no way to delete files in Windows without that "Are you sure?" dialog box. Even shift-Del doesn't skip it.


2) My computer frequently hangs up the phone in the middle of large downloads. Going into Control Panel -> Internet Options and unchecking the "disconnect after __ minutes of inactivity" box doesn't seem to actually disable the stupid feature, nor can I teach the timeout logic to notice the fact that I'm actively using the Net through non-Microsoft software such as WS_FTP and Netscape.


3) It would be nice if somebody documented the command line for either Internet Explorer or Netscape 7.1, so that I could create shortcuts for specific web sites that open a specific browser. (This is mainly for sites such as Microsoft's that only work with a particular browser.)


4) The method given in "Windows 98 Annoyances" to create shortcuts to system "virtual folders" doesn't work for Dial-Up Networking. When I create a folder named "Dial-Up Networking.{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}", the folder's icon changes as it should, but the folder stays empty.


So I try to do the same thing by creating a regular folder named "Dial-Up Networking", then highlighting all the connections in the original Dial-Up Networking folder with CTRL/click, and right clicking "Create Shortcut". Result: Only ONE shortcut, for the last connection, gets created on the desktop. The rest are ignored, forcing me to do them all manually.


5) While we're on the subject of all those connections, why won't Windows allow me to create just one connection and program it to try all the numbers in rotation until it gets through?


6) There ought to be a way to create shortcuts from the DOS command line. That way I could somewhat automate the process of creating a large number of them by doing it in a batch file. What brought on this request was when I loaded some of my CDs onto the system as MP3s, then wanted to create a shortcut for each song that would open them in WinAmp, minimized. It turns out that to do this, I have to go through and right click each shortcut individually, select Properties, and change the setting to "Run Minimized". There is no way to have that be the default, nor to set it for multiple shortcuts at once. What a pain!


7) I want to delete the "Settings" option from the start menu.


8) I want to be able to load the driver ANSI.SYS in the shortcut for a particular DOS program while still running that program in a "DOS box". As it stands I seem to have only two choices: load ANSI.SYS from the system CONFIG.SYS, thus having it taking up memory all the time, or run the program that uses it in MS-DOS Mode, thus stopping everything else I'm doing with the computer.


9) The computer has a USB port, but Windows insists on ignoring the existence of any printer I plug into it.


10) Allow me to move the menu bar to the top of the screen, making the system look more like a Mac or Sun. Rumor has it that this can be done.


11) Allow me to disable the Hearts game's networking capability, so I can play the game normally while waiting for a download.


12) Where can I get an FTP client capable of resuming an interrupted download? Likewise a
program along the lines of Unix "wget". It would be great if a single program combined these capabilities.

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  • More Annoyances
    2004-07-23 16:18:01  Steve Bass | O'Reilly Author [View]

    John,

    It looks like you've accumulated enough annoyances to fill another PC Annoyances book. While I'd love to spend a week researching all your issues, I'm going to call on others in our audience to help and offer solutions.

    --Steve