Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I love hidden shell "features"...


For a while now, I've believed Dr. Alfred Lanning from the movie i, Robot (staring Will Smith). Dr. Lanning said that there were "ghosts in the machine that would make the machine behave abnormally time to time". He wanted to leverage these ghosts to build a special type of Artificial Intelligence that could think more like a human.

I was believing this primarily based on the My Music folder. On occation in thumbnail view, the folder names would just disappear (like so):


I spent hours in the View menu, searched Google, everything. I couldn't come up with why it was happening. It was a Ghost! A.I on my Media Center Edition!

Then I got to thinking, I'm not a little boy anymore, and I don't believe in Ghosts. Furthermore, I work for the company that built the shell! What luck! I took advantage of some contacts and asked some folks in the Shell team what was going on. Just like the software, I was in Ghost Town. No one seemed to know until recently I happened to be reading up on some mail about photography, and my question was finally answered!

If you switch from a non-Thumbnail view to the Thumbnail view and hold down the shift-key, this will toggle if you get the foldernames or not. I'm not sure I call it a feature, but that's how it works.

So, in one email, I went from a believer in software ghosts giving us the ability to create human-like articifical intelligence, to realizing that I just have a stuck shift-key and in fact, need a new keyboard.

What a let down. :o)

9 comments:

Javier Gomez [SBS MVP] said...

I'm somewhat dissapointed (not because of the whole Ghostbusters post) but...

Why on earth do you have an ABBA cd on your collection??? :-)

Sean Daniel said...

Ah yes, the relentless "your music isn't as cool as mine" posts begin. :)

I grew up in those ages, my mother listened to it when I was younger... give me a break.

(At least I'm not a Dancing Queen ...)

Anonymous said...

hola... just wanted to say thanks for the post - had the same problem & found you through google:"thumbnail view music text folder names disappear"

-Andreas

Sean Daniel said...

Hey, glad I could be of assistance!

Anonymous said...

The first time this happend I actually copied all my folders out of a file and recreated it. The second time, i searched google. Thanks for the answer. I love all those extra bonus "features" microsoft loves to design into things.

Sean Daniel said...

{grin} Bonus features are fun, you can't say this isn't a fun feature to tell your friends about! :)

Paul said...

Thanks for the post!!! You saved me hours trying to work this one out!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer. I thought I was losing my mind. It was maddening because in other windows (such as attaching a photo in email) the folder names were there.

Roland said...

Thanks man, I spent quite some time digging through explorer shell settings in the registry before I found your site for the easy fix.