More Vista Shit

Posted by Garth on Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who could possibly imagine that Vista is such a piece of shit? I mean, it's not like this is Microsoft's first foray into OS development. But it sure seems like it is. For the record, DOS was far more stable and predictable. Anyway, without further adieu, on to my latest Vista issues.

It seems that, by default, the Telnet client is not installed. That is, telnet.exe. Why MS would choose not to include this 211 kB executable in the default install (when they've included it in every version of Windows prior, including 95) is beyond me. But for those of you who need this and don't know how to install it, here's what you do.

  1. Open Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off > Telnet Client
  2. Check the box for Telnet Client, click OK and let Windows do its thing

Disappearing System Tray Icons
Booted up my machine the other day and for some reason the Volume and Wireless icons didn't appear in my System Tray. I'd seen this before, but another reboot always fixed it. This time however no matter how many times I rebooted they just wouldn't appear. I'm not going to go into the specifics of the issue as they're documented here, but the fix follows.
  1. Run regedit.exe
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \TrayNotify
  3. Delete the IconStreams and PastIconStreams values
  4. Reboot
Now, I'm no n00b when it comes to editing the registry, but having to edit it for this seems like a HUGE oversight on the part of MS. Utterly ridiculous.

Folder View FUBAR
This has got to be one of the most frustrating aspects of Vista. Vista just seems to randomly change folder views on me. I don't even know how to explain it. I'll set a folder to Tile view, and I'll go back in later and it'll be List. Or I'll set it to Details with default columns and I'll go back in later and it's changed the columns to music-type (i.e. Artist, Album, Track #, etc.) - not very useful when i'm browsing a folder containing no music files. It truly seems random. I've found this quite detailed list of fixes that can be applied to prevent Vista from doing this. And trust me, this fix list appears quite comprehensive. However as a dumb user, I want Vista's "intelligence" to work for me. If I have a folder of music files I want Vista to display music-related columns (well, ok, I don't really, but a truly dumb user might). Then there's the folders of mixed content. If I have a video file, a music file and an image file all in one folder, what folder type does Vista think this is? Cuz I guarantee no matter what it chooses it'll be wrong. So DON'T CHOOSE ANYTHING. Just use the default. If I as the user want to change the view I'll do so. I don't want my OS trying to outsmart me. Cuz I've yet to meet an OS that can. Suffice it to say that I haven't actually implemented the list of fixes above, mostly because I keep hoping that eventually Vista will settle on a folder view for each of my folders which is actually correct. Or MS will issue a fix. Also, I'm lazy. And a dumb user. Really though, I can't stress the dumb user bit enough. If my mom was using Vista (god forbid) and her folder views switched on her all the time she'd be lost, and most likely think that she'd done something wrong. And there's no way in hell she'd go through the fix list above, let alone even think to do so or even search for such fixes. We're not talking power user scenarios here. We're talking simple folder views. I never had any such problem under XP, but then XP never tried to outsmart me. In fact, I used to sort of get off on stuff like this. Problem solving and troubleshooting new OS "features" for deployment and such. But this issue is just fucked. It's unpredictable, which is never a good thing when supporting a mass deployment. Thank god I'm just a hack now and not actually an IT specialist. Cuz I'd hate to have to support this in the field, especially on a mass scale of hundreds or thousands of machines.


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