I bought a new 4G 60GB iPod Photo a while ago, and it’s just slightly larger than the 3G iPod I had (thanks, Apple!) so now I gotta buy a new dock that fits the new iPod, a new case, etc.

I bought the CEO Classic case from Marware. I got it yesterday, and I dig it, but it’s a pretty snug fit.

I ordered a new dock and power converter for the iPod directly from Apple’s online store.

They don’t tell you during that order process that they require an in-person signature when your stuff is delivered.

I mean, I understand if you’re delivering my new $5000 computer or something, but this is $50 worth of crap I would have bought at the local Apple store if they weren’t out of stock.

So I got this stupid FedEx sticker on my door that says I have to be there in person and can’t just sign to have it released. I called FedEx to inform them that I have, you know, a job, and I can’t be home all day, so can they please tell me when it’ll be delivered.

They gave me the window of “sometime between 8:00a and 8:00p.” You thought the cable company was bad. That rules, FedEx. Even UPS will hook me up with a decent window.

That, plus FedEx Ground doesn’t have any customer service in my area, so I can’t just go pick it up at the drop center.

My only option was to call Apple support, which I did, and I think I got connected to Australia because the guy’s accent was super thick and the telephone ringing sound was definitely not US. I talked to the guy and he said they absolutely could not let my stuff out without an in-person signature.

Fine, buddy. Get me your supervisor. I don’t care - get me fucking Steve Jobs. Someone best be delivering my shit or I’m going to go postal.

I get the Apple guy’s supervisor, who gets on another line with FedEx, and after like 10 minutes on hold (I think they were trying to wait me out - “put the guy on hold… is he still there? yeah… stick him back on hold, see if he hangs up”) they somehow got FedEx to promise to deliver this evening after I get home from work.

How come that wasn’t an option when I first called?

Sigh. I guess we’ll see how this comes out when I get home tonight.

There’s this guy at the local video store who seems to be in there every time we go. I’m sure you’ve got one of these guys at your video store, too.

He’s maybe 25. His fingernails are half an inch long and dirty underneath. His hair has been neither washed nor combed in… well, ever. That Grizzly Adams beard has got to go. When you check out, he talks to you in a monotone voice and asks things like “wouldyoubeinterestedinourtwoforonepreviouslyviewedmovies?”

Oh, and he snorts and clears his throat repeatedly while he stands there behind the register.


We call him “Mr. Hygiene.”

downloads, windows comments edit

UPDATE: Hermann Schinagl has a Link Shell Extension that provides a lot of excellent functionality that incorporates my icon overlay and property sheet, which basically obsoletes this package. Definitely check this out if you want a very robust shell integration for reparse points.

That said, if all you need is an icon overlay and a property sheet for junctions, read on…

I use junction points (aka “reparse points”) a lot in my daily tasks. I’m originally a Unix guy; I love hard and symbolic links. Very cool, very flexible. Windows offers a sort of hard link equivalent but doesn’t directly provide tools to manipulate them or otherwise deal with them. Instead, you have to use tools like junction to create them.

Even when you do create them, when you’re browsing in the Windows Explorer you’ll never know they’re reparse points because there’s no visual cue. The only way to see is if you drop to a command prompt and run a directory:

Command prompt illustrating

See the JUNCTION up there? That’s the only indicator you have a reparse point. And, of course, if you’re not paying attention in Windows Explorer and checking for that, you’ll end up accidentally deleting something you didn’t want to delete.

I decided I wanted a visual cue in Windows Explorer. Enter the Junction Icon Overlay. You know how you see little icon overlays for things like shortcuts (or, when using TortoiseCVS, things under CVS control)? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could see something on junctions? Now you can:

A Windows Explorer folder showing junctions with icon

The “source” folder is under CVS source control and I’ve got TortoiseCVS, so you see a little green checkmark overlay. The “build” folder is just a standard folder. The “tools” folder is a junction - see the little “link” overlay?

I also added a property sheet that shows up just for junctions so you can easily see where your junction points to. Right-click the junction, select “Properties,” and find the “Junction” tab. You should see the path the junction points to in the text box.

Junction property

You can get this as a setup (MSI) or you can have the source. It’s free, but use at your own risk and all that. I’m also not offering support on this one, so if it doesn’t work for you or trashes your machine or gives you nightmares or something, I’m sorry - can’t help ya.

One drawback: It seems you can only have one overlay on an icon at a time. So if “tools” was both under CVS control AND a junction, you’d only see the junction icon (I cranked the priority up on it because I’m more concerned with junctions than CVS status).

You will have to reboot after you install before the shell extensions will show up.

Download Junction Shell Extensions 1.1.0 (Setup - MSI)

Download Junction Shell Extensions 1.1.0 (Source - ZIP)

For more on how icon overlays work, check out lallous’s article on CodeProject (which is how I got this going). Also, a special thanks to Mike Nordell, whose CodeProject article on junction points provided some code that I modified and am using here, and to Michael Dunn, whose series on writing shell extensions was absolutely invaluable.

Version History: 1.0.0: First release. Included only icon overlay. 1.1.0: Renamed from “Junction Icon Overlay” to “Junction Shell Extensions.” Added property sheet for junctions.