The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Mikey at Electric Boogaloo has a perverse need to have his Windows program tabs in a certain order in his taskbar:

I soooo do that. I'll close everything if I have to. My order goes: Outlook, workshit, media player, workshit, bugaloo, whateverotherblogi'mreadingatthemoment. And maybe some more workshit at the end.

Whew. I thought I was the only one who did that.
Judging by all the comments he's gotten back on this, he's far from the only one.

At home, this isn't an issue for me, because the only program I'll have running continuously is Internet Explorer, and typically at least 2 or 3 browser windows at a time. I do have an email notification applet that runs in my system tray that checks for new email every couple of minutes, which obviates the need to keep Outlook running all the time. Beyond that, I fire up other programs (Mozilla browser, Outlook, Excel, whatever) only as needed, instead of keeping them active all day.

At work, I did indeed exercise the same regimen on my Windows machine--and yes, I thought I was the only one who did this too! I had to have my email client, Mozilla browser, Excel, and IE windows, in that exact order. Otherwise, it just didn't feel right. I think it had to do with familiarity with your mouse/cursor movements; it was just an instinctual thing to run your cursor to the lower-left corner of the screen and know that a click would bring up my email program.

For the past month, though, I've switched to a big honkin' Mac G5 at work. You can't force order onto the Mac equivalent of the taskbar, the application switcher (at least not on OS 9.2, which is what I'm stuck with for the next few months); but I don't use that much anyway.

So, I've put my taskmaster-like taskbar ordering in the past. Except... the aftereffects of so many years of taskbar order have partially carried over to the Mac environment, in the form of keeping my active application windows in a fairly strict hierarchy: Email client at the very top of the desktop, then IE window with this blog, then secondary IE window or two, then Netscape browser window, then Excel and any other Office windows below all that. That's the everyday lineup; other programs, notably Quark, get placed wherever I feel appropriate on the day that I'm using them.

Is all that anal-retentive enough? If not, I can work at it. Just wait 'til they upgrade us to OS X.