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March 12th, 2004

Your Desktop

Do me a favor. Go read this Denver Post article on spam… or at least, look at the photo. Is there anything odd there?

That’s right: there are way, way too many icons on that guy’s desktop. There must be over a hundred.

The messy computer desktop thing is something that it’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around, but I see it all the time – at work, in newspaper articles, and the like. It seems that people aren’t quite sure what to do with a Start Menu or a Dock, and thus throw stuff on the Desktop. But I bet you a solid number of Mr. Messy’s icons have automatically been placed there by installers. A quick survey of his desktop shows dozens of folder shortcuts, all of which look identical.

While I’m sure this works for some, something like this would make me fear my computer. “Where’s the icon? Okay, let me visually sort through all 193 that are on my desktop… hmmm….”

Me? My desktop has four icons right now: hard drive, a ZIP file, one representing the music CD in the CD-ROM, and one for the iPod. That’s it. And it works nicely.

Posted in Technology

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 9:01:15 am
I've a clutter of icons in my desktop, but I am reorganizing. Of course, all I do is move them into My Documents, so the clutter remains there. I guess it's like keeping the top of the dresser free of clutter by moving the clutter to the drawers. If I had a CD burner, I could really clean my computer out. I just got a digital camera and the picture files are bogging my computer down. Anyone want to sell me a CD burner cheap?

PS now that my computer is so slow because the memory is being taken up by picture files, pop up ads are causing my computer to crash when I'm on the internet. I would like to see the feds go after pop-up ad senders even more than I would spammers since I don't seem to have much luck finding software to deal with pop-ups. I have used email filters and the results, as far as reducing the amount of spam I receive every day, are significant; I get almost none at all anymore--so spam doesn't bother me. You know, I'm actually even beginning to miss the daily enticing spam for Dog Fart Sluts. That was the greatest. It nearly makes me puke just to read it every time. So gross! Say it with me, "Dog Fart Sluts." Has anyone ever actually gone to the site of Dog Fart Sluts? I was always afraid that something with that disgusting of a name had to be virus that would blow up your computer. Then, if you wanted to complain to someone or get your computer fixed, you would have to admit to some stranger technician that you visited Dog Fart Sluts. Oh man.



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 9:50:46 am
Joseph -- You can get a CD burner for about $25 brand new these days. They're practically free!



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 9:51:27 am
Oh, and...

I would like to see the feds go after pop-up ad senders even more than I would spammers since I don't seem to have much luck finding software to deal with pop-ups.

The Google Toolbar



FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 10:21:32 am
or Mozilla



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 11:02:04 am
Or Opera. Or MyIE2. Or... :)



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 11:04:20 am
And to get back on topic, that guy's screen is indeed packed with icons, but it's not at all out of the ordinary. I generally keep my desktop limited to a few very frequently used shortcuts and a few documents that I may be working on at the moment.

What's the worst is when people their Desktop as a dumping ground for anything and everything and they don't bother cleaning it off -- and on top of that they also don't use the "Auto Arrange" function, so their icons are scattered everywhere, laying on top of each other, etc.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday March 12, 2004 -- 4:02:39 pm
I tried the Google toolbar. No worky.
But thanks.



FROM: Rheinholdt Tzarius
DATE: Friday April 16, 2004 -- 1:38:52 am
Joseph, if the toolbar doesn't stop the popups, you've probably got spyware or some such. Ad-Aware, and Spybot Search & Destroy work very nicely for $0.



FROM: Victoria Lee
DATE: Saturday December 25, 2004 -- 11:04:25 am
I want the day and date to be on my computer just like the weather and time, but I am unable to get it to be visible. Thank you.



FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday December 26, 2004 -- 10:50:42 am
Victoria: if you're running Windows, you might like TClockEx.

I, too, am aghast at how much stuff people have on their desktops... especially when I ask them for a file and watch them hunt and peck through their *own* desktop trying to find it!

Mine probably has 20 icons in the cormers. Upper-left: The standard Windows ones (which I never use, but IT gets tetchy if they disappear). Upper-right: keyboard shortcuts (so, for example, launching Opera is a mere Ctrl-Alt-O). Lower-right: current temp text documents that I refer to at least weekly. That's it.

Of course, I also actively manage my start menu. The first level has a dozen items. One is "Junk", where all those stupid apps you never need to use get moved into. Others are semantic groups, like Games, Graphics, Internet, Languages, Tools.



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