It could just be because they are new, but I kind of like the Windows 7, vertically oriented, ‘peek-a-boo’ folders that show a small amount of the content. I particularly like how it indicates, albeit subtly, that there are nested folders within a folder.
BUT the options provided by Windows 7 for customizing these folder icons are flaccid and as such leave a lot to be desired.
OK. While writing this post, I just discovered ANOTHER Windows 7 BUG.
So much for the testing. I really would like to know who tested Windows 7. It had to have been kids. I recall all these people writing about how they were testing Windows 7. What were THEY TESTING? That you can run Internet Explorer under Windows 7.
THE BUG. You can’t customize folders through the LIBRARY view! That is crazy and violates every precept of GUI design.
When in DISK view mode, you can right click on a folder, get ‘Properties’ and then click on CUSTOMIZE. Windows 7 gives you quite a few icons from its %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll library.
The problem. There isn’t enough variety. Let me give you a classic example. In XP, the folders that contain Web sites, say created with FrontPage, have a globe superimposed on them … I guess to denote worldwide as in ‘www’. That is nice. I got used that that. I wanted a globe on my new folder of Web sites. Out of luck. The nearest I could find was that notepad thing you see in the picture … but that isn’t a folder.
But, at least you can customize folders to an EXTENT.
As I had said earlier I am getting fond of the Windows 7 library feature. It suits the way I organize my documents. Given the number of different things I work on and my multitude of interests, I can’t keep all my documents within ‘My Documents.’ So in addition to ‘Documents,’ I set up another library called ‘Popes.’ In there I have eight of my most accessed folders related to popes and the papacy. Now with one click I can browse through all eight folders.
I also set up a library for ‘Webs’ to point to all the the Web sites I maintain.
Windows does NOT give me a built in customization ‘tool’ to change the ICONS of these new libraries. So I am stuck with the generic one — for both new libraries!
Yes, I know how to use Google. I probably use Google better than most since I probably do, on average, three different searches a day! Yes, research on papal history is not easy. So yes, I found how I can customize the library icons using NOTEPAD. For example, this article on how to do it. But it is a hack. Plus, I looked at my icon options. Nothing there I really liked.
Yes, I am sure that within a week we probably will have some cute 3rd party Windows 7 icon editors. But that is NOT for me. I refrain, as much as possible, from adding 3rd party ‘tweaks’ to my systems. It has served me well over a very long time.
So it got me thinking. Apple vs. Microsoft. Yes, as I have said before, I am a longtime Apple share holder. I also owned PIXAR, Steve job’s media company that produced Toy Story for one, on multiple occasions. But, I haven’t owned a Mac since 1998. Prior to that I owned dozens. I don’t have an iPod or an iPhone. But, I am sure the Mac OS would let me do a better job customizing folders. If I remember correctly, I could, on a Mac, color code folders way back in the early 1990s.
I guess just looking at Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer tells it all. Jobs, even after his cancer, in his trademark black top, always looks dapper and polished. Well, what can we say about Ballmer. I guess, that about sums up Windows 7. It could do with some ‘polish.’
Hope this helps.