Category Archives: IHOS

The ugliest Wikipedian navbox yet!

Wikipedia uses, on its pages, templates with links to kindred articels so you can see the relation between them and find similar subject matter. Here is a good example.

Now, for what I found: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:DSLR_cameras_with_movie_mode&oldid=772927666

Hideous! It is hard to display so many different categories at once, and this is a good example of that.

An unwontedly ugly property sheet

We all know that parts of a system that are used the least are generally the worst. They get the least attention and have the lowest priority when triaging bugs. In some cases they are so rarely seen that they don’t even get bug reports written about them. Vide the now notorious Windows 3.x font addition dialog that lasted until Windows Vista.

Here is a less egregious example from Windows 10 (current version, 1511):

UglyFTPProps

Note the background color problem under the permissions section of the dialog. I suspect that it has been there since Windows 98 or something. If it was removed, this would look fine. Maybe in the next version of Windows, the anniversary update, they will improve this?

I am not mentioning the UNIX style permissions because that is a function of the FTP server, rather than the Windows FTP client.

Checkbox v. dropdown

When I was applying for a position at, if I remember correctly, PSEG, I had to fill out a diversity form or two or three. I don’t have a problem with that.

I did notice this UI confusion though:

Nocheckboxes

Clearly that is a drop down menu. However I would note that check boxes would actually be improper here, since the options are mutually exclusive (check one). However, if they said “click on of the radio buttons” they would be probably confusing people who don’t know UI designers jargon.

Two minor user interface choices on VirtualBox

VirtualBox is – as a general user I have to say – a really neat program. A free and open program from Oracle (ex Sun Microsystems) it lets you do virtualization on a reasonably powerful PC with a smooth interface and options. It’s like VMware but free.

I did spot a couple of problems with the interface when I was using it though1.

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How to get rid of the Bluetooth icon from the Action Center in Windows 10

EDIT (August 5, 2016): This post is now obsolete: the “Anniversary update” or version 1607 allows you to individually enable and disable the quick actions, including Bluetooth. Worth noting: Windows now does not even allow the icon on my PC, perhaps recognizing that it is not even present.

EDIT (June 16, 2016): It’s gone again, because I installed the latest cumulative update for Windows 10. Will keep observing.

EDIT (May 8, 2016): This no longer works for me.

In Windows 10, the Action Center contains some “quick action” tiles at the bottom of its flyout panel. One of the common ones is Bluetooth, even if the PC doesn’t support it. This is evidently frustrating to many people.

I found what I think is the answer:

  1. Restart Windows

I know it’s an old joke about Windows that you restart it to get it to work, but I’ve noticed that the unwanted icon shows up whenever I’ve installed a cumulative update from Windows Update… and disappears at the first restart afterwards.

Try it and let me know of your success.

What is that supposed to look like? VPN edition

In Windows 10, the Action Center is a flyout panel with information and common (supposedly) actions that you get by clicking the little message icon in the notification area at the lower right of your screen (lower left if you have an RTL language). A sales-language infused explanation is here on Microsoft’s site for Windows (10).

Down in the lower part of the flyout is a collection of “quick actions” – buttons you can hit to bring up common tools like PC Settings and OneNote. One of the common actions is VPN. Evidently Microsoft is expecting them to become a big thing, but my question is:

VPN-icon

What is that swirly icon supposed to be? It looks sortof like the Command key on a Macintosh, or maybe this flag from New Zealand. Nothing about it says “virtual private network” to me, nor would I guess that’s what it meant if it was spotted alone in the user interface somewhere.