You'd never know from the way I bitch on this thing that I'm generally a very optimistic person. Oh well, may as well run with the theme and post a couple of minor annoyances.

The first one is best displayed with a picture of my Windows Explorer. Notice the folder list on the left.

This has been a problem I think since I installed SP2 but I can't be sure. The closest I came to finding out what's going on is this KB article which says it could occur if you place a folder called Desktop on your desktop. I don't have this so that's not the problem. What I believe *is* causing this is that I have a Desktop toolbar on my taskbar. And I love having my Desktop toolbar there more than I hate having multiple Desktops appearing in Explorer.

The second annoyance is unconfirmed. It appears there is no way to remap your Fn key nor is there a way to override the default Windows key combinations. I adore the Windows key and have been using it for many years. Even Dell's absolutely ridiculous positioning of it in the top right corner of my laptop keyboard hasn't slowed me down. I'd love to talk to the genius who decided the heavily used Windows key deserves to be banished to the right field of my keyboard while the Fn key plays shortstop in the bottom left 'twixt the Ctrl and Alt keys.

So after being inspired by Scott Hanselman's nigh infinite list of tools, I tried out SlickRun enough that I'll keep it on my machine. But he has this seemingly innocuous throwaway little tidbit in its description: bind it to Window-R. Three hours later and I've just realized that the beginning of that sentence was “read the instructions and edit the slickrun.ini file”. Which of course I didn't do because I've spent the last...shall we say, “little while” trying to find a way to remap the built-in Windows key combinations to different commands. I've tried various keyboard mappers, WinKey, and some funky Microsoft Keyboard Layout thingy. And I had just come to the conclusion that it wasn't possible until I read the SlickRun instructions and find out that they've done it. How? HOW?!?

But during my search, it occurred to me I could remap the Windows and Fn keys to make them switch functions, thereby bringing my keyboard a little closer to being useful for people who don't have freakishly long fingers. But it also appears that the Fn key, at least for Dell, is hard-wired to some BIOS thing and blah, blah, blah. The short answer, which took me forever to discover because no one wants to come out and say it, is that it can't be done. And the title of this post is designed specifically to show up on search engines so that others' hopes can be dashed as mine were. What can I say? All this altruism in the software world has to be counter-balanced with a dose of spite every once in a while.

*Edit* Given the number of hits this post is getting, I've renamed this post to something more appropriate so as to pre-empt any hate mail I get from people who would rather take the time to send me an e-mail than to click the back button.