a childhood I can never outgrow
Wednesday, May 10 2006
Someone must have the answer to this question: is it possible to keep the icons on a Windows XP desktop from ever being reshuffled? Normally the icons stay where you leave them, but if you make the mistake of changing screen resolution or dropping into Safe Mode, forget about it. All of sudden your icons are in a neatly-arranged grid, sorted in some completely unfamiliar way. The whole idea behind a graphical user interface based on icons is that it is supposed to resemble reality, allowing your right brain to keep track of where functional entities are so your left brain can be free to work unhindered. When you find yourself suddenly confronted with a neat grid of your icons in completely new locations, it's as if your mother came into your room and cleaned it while you were in the midst of building something very complicated. Not that my mother ever did such things, but now that I use Windows as my operating system it's as if I have that kind of mother - in a childhood I can never outgrow. Maybe back when people had small monitors with only a few icons on their desktops, such reshuffling was perfectly acceptable. But for someone like me, who has three monitors and depends on the ability to drag and drop documents onto the alias icons of applications, a single reshuffling can take fifteen minutes out of my day to fix. And even then it continues to sap my productivity as I'm forced to grow accustomed to the imperfections in my reconstruction of my old arrangement (something I have to do from memory). It's absurd that a computer can't store an icon arrangement as safely as it can store a text file.
I've taken to storing a copy of all my arranged desktop icons in a folder, but it's a tricky job to restore from this folder, particularly given the fact that some desktop icons are "special" and cannot be either copied or overwritten. These will always have to be put back into position manually.
Tonight in celebration of our third wedding anniversary, Gretchen and I had dinner and a movie in Rhinebeck. We went to Upstate Films to see Brick, a highly-stylized movie set in a Southern California high school but written as if it was Film Noir from the early 1960s. The two genres made for an awkward fit, and most of the film came across as cartoonish even when it seemed (as it usually did) that it was trying to be serious. Not being fluent in film noir language (often spoken in a mumble), I would have benefitted from subtitles. There was precious little deliberate humor, except for the scene in which the lair for the movie's criminal kingpin proves to be the basement of his clueless mother's house.
Dinner was at Gigi's, the fancy Italian restaurant across the street. It was "Winesday," meaning we got a thirty percent discount on our bottle of wine.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next