Vista the Fourth

Not much more to report. A lot of my dabbling the past day or so involved the old machine. I did install OpenOffice.org on the new machine, and I let it install updates and the lame Ultimate Extras that were available. I’ve backed up craploads of stuff from the 2000 machine.

One of the things I wanted to back up was my “cleanup” folder on the desktop. Long story…

I use my Windows desktop heavily for staging stuff. It’s where things download to by default. I’ll often put files I am working with there. And when installing things, they often create shortcuts on the desktop, wanted or not in the end.

Periodically, with the desktop completely covered in icons, I copy it all to a folder on the desktop named “Cleanup m-d-yy,” where m, d and yy are the numbers for the month, day, and two digit year. At one point I named the folders “stuff” rather than “cleanup.” When I do this, I will move the previous cleanup folder into the new one. Thus I end up with a directory structure that looks something like:

C:\documents and settings\jay\desktop\cleanup 7-5-07\cleanup 2-28-07\cleanup 10-6-06\cleanup 4-3-06\cleanup 12-26-05\stuff 9-29-05\stuff 6-28-05\cleanup 2-21-05\cleanup 8-14-04\…

To add insult to injury, then put long names of some of the files, especially rampant from saved web pages, but not limited to those. Can you guess what’s coming?

For some reason it lets you create that mess… then when you want to copy, delete, move or open certain files you can’t; path and file name have exceeded the system limit.

To back it all up, I couldn’t simply copy and paste the one on the desktop, because that would fail. On the new machine, I had a backup folder off the root and in it created a folder named cleanups. I had to create each folder, flattened to the same level, and carefully copy the contents of each folder, less anything in or under it that would be too long, all or most of which was expendable enough (as is much of the rest, but some isn’t and it’s a delightful archeology). That left me wanting to kill the monstrosity and being unable to delete it. I figured I might have to find a utility, else it would wait until the drive ever gets wiped. However, sometimes what won’t work on the machine will work connected from another across the network.

Sure enough, Vista allowed me to delete it. Then I copied back the flattened version… and Vista warned me when it detected one file to be copied that would be too long in combined path and file name on the target, allowing me to skip that file without aborting the whole operation. I’ve always thought Windows was kind of mindless in little things like that.

I didn’t run the rest of OpenOffice. I’ve used it before, and thought it was okay, but never warmed to it or used it enough to feel comfortable. The word processor is so much like Word, intentionally, and yet it always feels clunkier to me. I think some of the ways it defaults or tries to be not just like Word contribute to that feeling. It probably doesn’t help that I am so outrageously used to Word, having used every version and supported the product so extensively. At some point I will want to get Office 2007 for the same reason I got Vista, with that being its logical home. I downloaded Gimp but didn’t install it yet. I believe I only ever tried it, rather minimally, on Linux, and that was a few years back. I’m used to Paint Shop Pro 5, but I’ve used a lot of other graphics software and am not quite as stuck on one as I am with Word versus other products. And even with Word, there were other things I liked as much or better along the line. Before I went into Word support for Microsoft, I had used Word 2.0 and decided it was ugly and clunky compared to Ami Pro 3.0, in which I wrote the resume that got me the job supporting primarily Word 6.0, which in turn compared favorably to Ami Pro. WordStar 2000 was also a perfectly acceptable word processor. At any rate, I want to get used to it enough that I can help people with it if needed, as it’s a good alternative to bankrupting yourself buying the Microsoft equivalent.

One of the few games I ever got really good at was Monster Truck Madness. My CD long ago was lost (I still have the box, amazingly), but I had copied or installed it onto my old P200 such that I could play it without needing the CD in the drive. I copied that over to the Vista machine and to my amazement it ran beautifully and without question; far more smoothly than it ever did on older machines. I still need to try some of the old DOS games.

Let’s see…

The only other thing I can think of is that I noticed there’s a hidden ‘documents and settings” folder off the root, much as there is a hidden “My Documents” off the user profile. I assume both are legacy support, mapping anything that uses those paths by name to the current versions, named “users” and “documents” respectively.

I also noticed there’s an autoexec.bat and a config.sys, but no msdos.sys. Autoexec contains only a REM line saying something about it being there for legacy support. Weirdly, config.sys contains a single line:
Files=40

That’s an odd thing to be there, and come to think of it, that may have been after the OpenOffice install and put there by it, rather than being a default.

Okay, back to work. I’m trying to do a combined cleanup prior to company and packup of things in the office to make it easier to move furniture and rearrange things.