Fun with Windows

Sort of following up on my last post, I got kinda tired of hauling my iPaq around in my pocket just to listen to music and spoken words, so I dug my 512 MB iPod Shuffle out of the back of my desk drawer. I stuck it back there a long time ago when I got sick of how it would inject really long silent, uh, silences, in between some songs, for no apparent reason. I can’t fast-forward or rewind across the silences; they are played in entirety before resuming normal play. Sometimes, it is silent for up to a couple minutes before playing again.

And yes, I am certain I am not accidentally pressing Pause or something.

Anyway, so I dug out my iPod, and plugged it into my PC. Then I went and re-downloaded and installed iTunes. It found my music library, and charged up, re-synced, and upgraded my iPod.

Except, every time a song changed on the iPod, a Explorer window would open showing me the contents of the iPod. I’d have to close that and return to what I was doing, and then another would pop up when the iPod updated again.

It got really annoying, really quick.

So I busted out my old Windows Annoyances book, but it was geared to Win95 and NT 4.o – way too out of date for XP. So I googled, and went to, the official site for finding fixes for Windows annoyances. If there’s anything you ever wish you knew how to change about Windows, check that site, or buy the current book. It’s FANTASTIC! Plus, you’ll learn all sorts of tricks and become a highly revered WINDOWS POWER USER. You can even make a T-shirt for yourself on Cafepress so all your friends know.

Anyway, long story short, I knew it was Windows’ AutoPlay feature that was re-launching my iPod as a removable drive every time it thought it was being reinserted after iTunes did whatever it does that makes Windows think a USB drive is being reinserted after having a file copied or deleted from it.

The easiest way to stop it was to download Microsoft’s TweakUI from their PowerToys for Windows XP site. In TweakUI, it was just a couple checkboxes to disable AutoPlay for the iPod’s drive letter. Plus, it has lots of other options to enable or disable Windows’ default behavior that may irk you.

I also downloaded their Image Resizer, Virtual Desktop Manager, and Command Window Here apps.

Useful stuff from Microsoft. Who knew?

3 thoughts on “Fun with Windows

  1. Well I certainly didn’t know. Thank you. I do feel better that you are not just listening to boring renditions of hymns all the time. What a relief.

  2. I’ve always wondered why Power Toys isn’t included in XP.

    I appreciate that you looked it up instead of asking me to fix it 😉

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