Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Leave My Desktop Alone!

One of our favorite movies is Blast from the Past. It's about a family that locked themselves into an underground shelter because they thought a nuclear blast had occurred during the Bay of Pigs. At one point the dad comes to the surface and encounters a current-day surface-dweller. The dad says to him, "Leave my elevator alone!", which later becomes a mantra in the movie. That line is similar to Moses saying, "Let my people go!"

Well, I wish software developers would, "Leave my desktop alone!"

Personal Preferences
While it is not the personal preference of all, I like to keep my desktop as clean as possible-- no shortcuts. There are two I can't get rid of (Recycle Bin and BlueTooth), but my desktop is otherwise clean. Why, then, do software companies insist on cluttering up my desktop with their shortcuts every time I update their software? It's just rude!

Some Play Nice
Every now and then a software developer is nice enough to include in their installation routine a question that let's me tell it whether or not I want shortcuts added and, if so, where. But most don't care about me, they just want to mark up my screen.

Menus Too
Even though Microsoft has told me how my menus should lay out, I've decided that I like them labeled and organized differently. The other half of this rant is that they should leave my menus alone too and save me the time it takes to reset them to my preferences.

I know that many will think this is a little issue that I'm making a mountain out of, but someone has to tell them to respect our personal preferences! What do you think?


Adam & Andrea said...

Right on Man!, Fight the power. I don't keep my desktop completely empty but i don't have all that much on it and I HATE HATE HATE it when i get stupid new icons thrown on there that i don't want. Unfortunately for me it usually comes from other people, not software companies but i still feel ya on this one.

Ian Ramsay said...

I agree with you. I don't like the fact that setup files place icons on the desktop by default. Microsoft should give you the option of what you want on the desktop and what you don't want on it.

Tech Girl said...

Microsoft does give you the option to put what you want on the desktop and how you want to arrange it- you just have to know how to do it.

For XP
If you go to your start menu and right click on it and choose classic menu or not and then apply.. I like choosing the classic view to start out with because then I can right click on the icons I don't want and delete (or remove) them. To finish customizing my desktop icons. If you go to path to \\C:Documents and settings\”your profile name”\desktop. Once you are there you can create shortcuts icons to anything thing you want or remove anything you don’t want.

For Vista
You just need to do everything from right clicking on your start menu and customizing then under control panel – they have a new feature called a side bar that allows you to add customized gadgets or remove them. Sidebar is completely optional. But I really like it.

Anyway—I don’t preach Microsoft and I am versed in several operating systems – but you should do your home work before making statements that aren’t accurate.


Nick Nicholaou said...

I agree, Tech Girl, that you can modify and delete almost all of the shortcuts on the desktop (except for the sacred Recycle Bin!). That wasn't my point.

I don't like it when I install new software or updates and the process assumes I want shortcuts on my desktop-- without giving me the courtesy of asking first. So then I need to manually clean them up... or my desktop could like that picture!