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System Tray Hell

System Tray

When Microsoft designed Windows, who knows what they were thinking when they created the system tray... Maybe they were thinking "Let's make a place where applications can put icons where they'll take up less room and be out of the way."

You know, they could have just made the taskbar configuarable enough that you can do something useful like turn off the text. (Actually, you can turn off the text - it's called putting your task bar down one side of the screen and shrinking it so only the icons are visible, but I digress.)

Now it seems like every time I install a piece of software, it has a handy little icons that sits in your system tray. Isn't that lovely? However the system tray (for some inaine reason) cannot be detatched from the task bar. So what happens when the system tray grows too big for the Task Bar?

Being somewhat bored, I changed my screen resolution to 640 by 480 and started up as many system tray applications as I could. This is the result. Not really very elegant, Microsoft...

From the top: McAfee Virus scan, Norton CrashGuard, Task scheduler, Winamp, Intellipoint, Matrox Quickdesk, HP Precisionscan, Real Player, McAfee Scheduler, MSN Instant Messanger, Getright, Flyswat, Dial Up Networking, mIRC, Resource Meter, ICQ, Pegasus, AIM, Napster, Miva Mia, Shockwave, ThingTray, eBot, RamBooster, Comet Cursor, Windowblinds, something I don't remember, Agent(Merlin), and two Traymenu icons. (And I still had 5% resources left!)

Addendum: Looks like they've changed the way the system tray works in XP - you can let it hide icons you haven't clicked on in a while. hmm...

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