windows comments edit

I just re-imaged my work machine and for the last couple of days I’ve been bringing it back to life, installing the various thousands of millions of applications that I use on a regular basis to do that thing I do. This time around, though, I’m doing a little experiment.

Before I re-imaged, I was very careful about organizing my Start menu so I could find things. I created a group called “Programming” to keep the various IDEs and development tools I use in, and subgroups for various functions therein. Same thing with programs that work with multimedia stuff (Flash, Photoshop, etc.) - I had a group in the Start menu for that.

The problem is that installers don’t always let you select where to put the icons in the Start menu. Most times, they just create their own company-centric Start menu group, then create a product-centric group under that, then create their one program shortcut inside that. That means I end up installing the program, then manually opening up the Start menu and rearranging things to fit my usage. You know what happens then?

I upgrade.

I take the latest stupid version of whatever stupid project, I run the upgrade installer, and the damn company-centric Start menu group comes back. And the product-centric group inside it comes back. And the same single damn program shortcut comes back. And I, once again, have to go through the rearrangement of icons to be more sensible. This time, though, it’s a manual diff-and-merge process, trying to determine if the old icons still work or how to replace them properly with the new icons.

You know what’s worse? Nothing could be worse, right? No, there is something.


Now I’ve got icons in my personally organized Start menu that don’t point to anything. I have to manually keep track of these things or find a program that will run through my Start menu and remove shortcuts that don’t point to anything. Argh!

Why haven’t we figured this out yet? The Start menu’s over ten years old! Installers should let me specify where to put shortcuts if I opt to even create them. If the developer feels the desire to suggest a default location, perfect - users who don’t care can make that extra click on the “Next” button and there’s no skin off their noses. But if I want to override that, and have everything organized, I can. And maybe I don’t even want to create icons - let me uncheck the little “Create a program group for this program” option and carry on my merry way.

I mean, tell me it’s not just a company’s big brass balls thinking that they need a whole program group just to themselves and that, should I deign to buy more of their products, I will inherently want to group the products in my Start menu by manufacturer and not by functionality.

I don’t actually think this will change, not in my lifetime, but this is the sort of thing that irks me. As far as my experiment is concerned… I’ve installed maybe 15 things thus far and my Start menu already wraps into a second column. Unreal.

Just got notification via email:

Your Xbox Video Game system has been shipped! You can expect to receive it in 2-5 days. Thank you for your patience and get ready to get back into the action!

traffic comments edit

We haven’t done a Traffic Asshole in a while, so I figured it’d be a good time.

Jenn and I took a trip up to the Empress Palace last week to do some wedding preparations. Traffic was pretty heavy and Jenn was driving, so I hung out with the camera on the lookout for traffic assholes (as is my wont).

It really didn’t take long.

Check this guy out:

This is why motorcyclists get

How many thousands of motorcycle deaths do you hear about each year? Normally I feel bad, thinking that cars should pay more mind to the other lesser-wheeled vehicle companions.

Not so with this guy. This right here is why motorcyclists get killed. It has nothing to do with a car’s ability to see you and everything to do with obeying the fucking traffic laws. Look, stud, you are a vehicle on the road just like the rest of us. You have to ride in the lane, just like the rest of us. If traffic is at a standstill or is moving slowly, you’re fucked just like the rest of us. You don’t get to skinny between cars regardless of your size. You, too, must sit and cook in the heat.

If someone had knocked this guy down, I wouldn’t have stopped. In fact, I’d have laughed. It sounds hard, but you get what you deserve. Obey the law, dumbass, and maybe you’ll live to ride your motorcycle tomorrow.

personal comments edit

Programming Is Hard is a site for sharing common code snippets and links. Sort of like Flickr for code.

Is this really a time saver, or is it a bad idea? I mean, sure, grabbing some common functionality from somewhere might get you going a little quicker, but remember Scott’s Rule of Programming #0x3eA

  • “Just because code is on the Internet doesn’t mean you should cut and paste it into your production system.” It occurs to me that something like this is asking for all nature of trouble. You know that the entry-level developer sitting two cubes down from you just grabbed some code off this thing and pasted it, entirely unchecked, into a block of code that barely compiles.

On the other hand, folks have experimented with putting incorrect data into Wikipedia and found the incorrect data doesn’t stay there very long before someone corrects it. Will that same level of policing go on with these code snippets?

I think maybe there should be some nature of moderation - like you submit a snippet and then it has to be reviewed before going on the site. Or maybe that’s asking too much, and a free-for-all really is the way to go, with the implicit “buyer beware” disclaimer.