Monday, June 10, 2013

Folder or Directory? Icon or Shortcut?

What do you use, and when?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Skype Problem Troubles Microsoft Introduced and Learn Something New

So about a month or 2 or 3 ago, Microsoft played its hand with Skype, which it bought a long time ago but hadn't touched.  Suddenly they were taking over the accounts with Live, but Live changed its name, and .... it just felt like something was going to go wrong.

Well about the same time, I had the most irritating problem.  I'd see the Skype online icon in my Windows 7 notification bar (lower right corner), but there was no way to get the interface to pop-up. Right-click on it brought nothing.  Long story short:  At some point during the transition to Microsoft's control (intersecting with the update to 6.5) the desktop shortcut must have gotten switched but not the icon I had pinned in my start menu.  Well, the desktop one also showed something I'd never seen before, and I was clueless.  The Target was GREYED OUT...PLUS, weirdly, it had a TRADEMARK symbol affixed to the name SKYPE. This icon, when clicked, worked fine.  It was the pinned one, which still had the normal Target you'd expect. "C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" (though I now have to wonder about the "Target location: Phone" business going on.

Google was especially useless in finding the answer for this, and in desperation I hit Bing.  It must be opposite day (there are few things in this world I am sure of, but one of them is Microsoft Cannot Do Search).  Found this:

If you right click on a Windows shortcut and click Properties, you may find that the shortcut’s Target property is greyed out. The target property of a shortcut is greyed out if the shortcut is to an advertised program, rather than an actual program file.
When a shortcut is a link to an advertised program, it doesn’t link to a file; instead it links to Windows registry settings. The shortcut then has it’s properties (in the actual binary file of the shortcut) set to grey out the target and replace it with a program name instead. I suppose, given this information, you could probably find out what the shortcut links to if you opened the shortcut up with a HEX editor and did some research into the binary file format of a shortcut. Otherwise, you could just find out the location of the program being advertised through the software advertising it or by opening the application installer for the program in a packaging software, such as Symantec Wise Packager or installing it on an App-V Sequencer and seeing where the files are place

UPDATE: Might not have really solved the Skype problem.  It is inconsistent which of the two work versus just seem to lock up to nowhere.  Both of them can give either result now.  *sigh*