Geeks With Blogs

News Bob Taco Industries is an ISV focused on game and app development for Microsoft platforms headed up by Michael B. McLaughlin. Mike is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP (previously an XNA/DirectX MVP from 2011-2013), a developer, a writer, a consultant, and a retired lawyer. If you're a developer who is just getting started, consider checking out the BTI website's section for developers for links to code samples and other helpful sites.
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I’m working on several large posts right now. So in the interim, I’ve decided to do shorter posts that contain something I find very helpful. This is the first.

I’ve been using Windows 7 since April 2010. It’s the first OS I’ve ever worked with that I actually enjoy. I’ve used many over the years (KERNAL; PC DOS; MS-DOS 3.x+; Windows 3.0, 3.11, 95, 98, 98 SE, Me, NT 3.51, NT 4, 2000, XP, Vista, 7; various GNU/Linux distros starting with Debian 1.2 – most recently Ubuntu 10.04; ProDOS, Mac OS 9.X, Mac OS X (through 10.4); SunOS, Solaris; AIX, z/OS; OpenVMS). Some were frustrating. Some tolerable. Some were “nice except for…”. OS X actually started out as seemingly “nice” until every single release contained a breaking change to some major API and they then decided to flip-off everyone who had bought a Mac as little as two years earlier with the release of Snow Leopard without PPC support. Windows 7 is the first one that’s just “nice” without any qualifiers. There are so many little features that add up to make it nice. Today’s Quicktip is one of them.

Quicktip 1: Create a Library for your Code

One thing I particularly like about Windows 7 is the Libraries feature in Explorer. Specifically the fact that you can create custom ones. I used to spend a lot of time opening new Explorer windows and navigating my various Visual Studio projects folders. Custom libraries allowed me to simplify that whole process. I now simply go to my “Code” library and there it all is.

Adding a new library is easy. Open an Explorer window. If you aren’t in your Libraries when it opens, navigate to Libraries. Click the “New library” button. Give it a name. Then right click on the new library you created and go to “Properties”. Click the “Include a folder…” button. Choose the folder you want and press “Include folder”. Voilà! If you wish to add more, simply click “Include a folder…” again and repeat. It’s true that this is just a small time saver. But it’s one of those things that just adds a really nice touch.


In a separate note, just before Christmas I finally finished and published my new website: . I waited to post here about it until I found time to incorporate a few things I hadn’t had the time to do when I pushed it out for its “soft open”. Most of them are now done and so my site is now formally open. I have no plans or intentions of moving my blog ( points here). I quite like it here, both in terms of the interface and also in terms of the concept (and realization thereof) of pooling geek bloggers to create a pool of knowledge and helpful tips, tricks, techniques, and advice.

I created it simply because I felt that it was time to have a website as I venture further into my return to the land of software development. The “For Devs” section should hopefully be useful to developers, particularly the links section. It’s my curated list of sites that I regularly visit to solve problems, to help answer questions on Twitter and the AppHub forums, and to learn new things. I’ll be adding links to it periodically and will be including topic areas as I become acquainted with them enough to form a proper list. WPF will likely be the first topic area added.

If there are any links you think I should add to the existing topics, let me know! I warn in advance that I’m less inclined to add blogs; there are simply too many good blogs and I do not want to have hundreds per topic area. So blogs are limited primarily, though not exclusively, to acknowledged experts in the subject area who generally blog regularly about it and who usually are part of the team that develops the product or technology in question. I’m much more amenable to including individual blogs posts in the techniques subcategory in the appropriate topic area. Ultimately, it’s a collection of things I find interesting and helpful. So please no hard feelings if I don’t add a link you think is awesome. I may well think it’s awesome too, but conclude that it doesn’t fit with my goals for the dev links area.

Posted on Sunday, February 6, 2011 6:14 AM general , quicktips | Back to top

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