While we're on the topic of tools, I'll voice my concerns over two that I've been using regularly over the last two months.

There are two specific annoyances that bring me to tears in frustration. First is the tabbed interface which I have never liked. Not in Firefox, not in Internet Explorer, and certainly not in a text editor. I like to Alt-Tab through my apps, not Alt-Tab to the one I want, then Ctrl-Tab to the page I need. There's a reason Word and Excel aren't MDIs anymore. (Yes, yes, I know. You know what I mean.) Plus I like to see the titles of the documents I'm working on in the task bar. Visual Studio is an exception.

Peeve number two: There's no default extension when you save files. If you know of a way to set a default extension *and* turn off tabbing, I will quickly recant but at present I see no way around either issue.

Before I lay into UltraMon, I do still love the product. My beefs with it are not enough to shy away from the $40 price tag.

Both issues have to do with expanding Visual Studio across both monitors. I do this with Visual Studio so that the code appears in one monitor and all the other little windows (Properties, Solution Explorer, etc.) are in the other. I do this through judicious use of docked windows and careful placement of splitters.

When I lock the computer, Visual Studio is squished back into a single monitor. What's worse, when I click the button to Maximize to Desktop, the splitter controls have moved so that the code, which previously filled only the entire right-hand monitor, now extends about an inch into the left-hand monitor. And when your sysadmin has set a five-minute screen saver with password protect on, this hillbilly is in the market for an app that automatically moves the mouse around every four minutes and fifty-eight seconds.

This is happening only for Visual Studio, not other apps like Excel or Outlook so I imagine it's not UltraMon's fault. And I've gotten around it by not expanding VS across both monitors but by maximizing it on one, and undocking the tool windows so they can roam free on the second.

Side note: There are complaints on the UltraMon forums on: a) the price tag, and b) the lack of updates. Neither concern me but you may want to look through them before making your decision. If only for a laugh.

Kyle the Tooled