Microsoft Tidbits

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Reasons Microsoft Vista Sucks

  • "search in files" is gone. Yes, people THINK it's there, but it's not. I can't get the search to find a simple string in an .aspx file (which I have ridiculously associated with Notepad, just in case Vista is only looking for files it knows how to read). I've changed a boatload of settings, and read some other pages that seem to indicate that people got this working, but following their instruction does nothing. Is it the file type? WTF?
  • Really there are a lot of these, but given how lazy I've been updating the rest of the site you probably won't see them here unless they REALLY bother me... like whatever I have listed so far

Reasons Microsoft Access (2007) Sucks

If you have a query that constantly asks you for a prompt for no reason, it could be that you've accidentally sorted by a column that you later renamed or removed. Access 2007 doesn't quite pick up on the change, so you have to do the following:

  • Open the Query in Design View (or SQL View)
  • Open the Properties Sheet (which by default is open and docked on the right -- if not, right click somewhere and highlight "Properties")
  • See if there's anything in the "Order By" Property that shouldn't be there
  • Delete it

Of course, it could be something else. ANY name change to a dependant query or table could cause grief -- they matriculate properly about half the time, judging from the last 12 hours. Changing the "Total" type of a field in a query for example will rename a field MaxOfxxxx without asking, and in some cases without propagating to other queries that reference the field. It's enough to drive one mad!

Tips and Tricks for Windows XP Professional

Working with Files

  • To rename several files at once, select all of them in any folder view, or in the Windows Explorer, rename the FIRST one in the list, and the rest will follow.
  • To turn off filenames, hold down the Shift key when you click to open a folder in Windows Explorer or when you switch into thumbnail view. This will turn of the file names, giving more space for the thumbnails. Doing it again turns them back on.
  • Try grouping your files. In the top menu bar select View – Arrange icons by… - Type, and then View – Arrange icons by… - Show in groups.
  • You can change the size and quality of the shell's thumbnails. Start regedit, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER (only for you) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (for all the users in this computer) and in Software – Microsoft – Windows – CurrentVersion – Explorer, add or modify the following entries:
  • ThumbnailSize – Double Word, decimal value between 32 and 256
  • ThumbnailQuality – Double Word, decimal value between 50 and 100

Internet Explorer

  • You can use the Search Companion in Internet Explorer to perform many Internet related actions. Try:
  • go msft
  • Go yp cheesecake factory


  • Get rid of balloon tips: Start regedit, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced Set EnableBalloonTips=0x00000000
  • Disable the Search companion to go back to the traditional search view: Start regedit, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER and in Software – Microsoft – Windows – CurrentVersion – Explorer – CabinetState, set the value of Use Search Asst to "no"
  • Turn off the low disk space notification: Start regedit, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER and in Software – Microsoft – Windows – CurrentVersion – Policies - Explorer, and set the value of NoLowDiskSpaceChecks to DWORD = 1. (This modification requires a logoff or reboot to work)
  • You can force your taskbar to group windows. Any application that has any number you decide of windows open will automatically cluster, regardless of how full your taskbar is. To set this: Start regedit, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER and in Software – Microsoft – Windows – CurrentVersion – Explorer - Advanced, and create a REG_DWORD with the name TaskbarGroupSize and the value you want to reach before the windows are clustered together on the taskbar. (This modification requires a logoff to work). Top of pageTop of page


  • windowskey + Break opens the Control Panel System applet.
  • windowskey + Tab moves through the taskbar buttons
  • windowskey + D shows the Desktop
  • windowskey + L shows the Welcome screen, or locks the machine if Fast User Switching is disabled.