Journal of computing related issues for Web Authoring, and general topics using Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Collapsing Icons and work around

One advantage of rebuilding my XP system, see previous post, was it cleared my collapsing icon problem, or so I thought. See end of post to how this happened.

I like a clean desktop and have my icons spread around the two side and top edge in related groups. However sometimes after start up these all shift over to a near alphabetic order on the left.

Having failed to fix I downloaded a free program from
which lets you SAVE and RESTORE icon layout from options listed when you right button click My Computer or My Documents.


For about three weeks after rebuilding XP this did not happen, The for the first time after rebuild I connected GigaOne Drive (basically a 30GB drive with card readers around edge so you can download cards in the field and then connect to PC at base where it appears as a hard drive).

I was planning to use it as external drive, download 18GB of photos which I could then connect to lap top and sort out at leisure. However XP did not recognise drive, and hung. Strange as drive was OK on older XP machine and new Vista Notebook. Anyway I loaded SW from mini CD provided by GigaOne and seemed OK. Did not have to load SW on other aforementioned machines.

Started copying and almost immediately PC display went black and PC restarted itself. And when it came back up it started the collapsing icons again! Drat!

Linux Summer Experience and why I am taking a break

Well Linux almost there but once again I have realised that I am spending so much time on investigating and experimenting that it is stopping me progressing on other projects, so yet again I am putting it on the back boiler.

As an example when setting up SUSE 10.3 on my Production Machine that runs XP which has plenty of power and spare disk I felt safe with the knowledge that I can always rebuild MBR (Master Boot Record) if problems. Well it went in fine except it would not boot up after installation, Oh well just slip in the XP Distribution Disk and rebuild MBR, which I have done plenty of times before, only to be greeted with demands from MS XP for Admin Password. Would not take any!

A bit of googling on laptop led me to advise that I can just take install option and although it looks like it is building new system it will not. Well it did!

Finally fixed MBR with old DOS v7 installation diskette. See
for technique. It took all of 5 minutes.

Oh well it is generally believed that an XP rebuild does wonders for the performance, but I will spare you the details.

About three weeks ago I bought a new Lap Top Intel Core 2, 2GB, 15" display, Vista Home Premium, et al and against all my expectations I am enjoying the Vista experience. Everything is working first time with little effort from me. I have it talking to rebuilt Production machine, old HP laptop, old AMD Test machine with XP, SUSE 10.3 and Ubuntu 7.10.

Just taken old HP Laptop into sitting room, pushed in USB wireless stick and pointed Windows Media Player at large Music collection on desktop across wireless, plugged cable into headphone on laptop and other end into stereo kit and WOW, masses of music available, control of stereo all via old laptop.

Now I will clear space in room by ripping all remaining CDs, experiment with radio and see where I go. Oh and of course I still have Media Centre on new laptop with Vista to play with.

Now to connect old lap top and access data, upgrade Windows Media Player, update library, start playing the music took about 60 minutes. Now no doubt I can do all this with Ubuntu/SUSE but I know it will take me nearer 60 hours.

But I do believe linux will get there in the next couple of years, but I will leave it for now,

About Me

Husband, dad and grandad. Physics graduate from London University in late 60s. Retired from IBM company in 2000 after 27 years as both Sytems Engineer and Salesman. Interests include photography, nature, science, maths, walking, travel. I like facts as a basis of opinion and not opinion that is assumed to be fact.