Tuesday, May 18, 2004

User profiles

Here's what Longhorn needs: user profiles.

What I'm envisioning is that after setup is complete (i.e., upon first logon), the system asks you what you are: a normal user, a power user or an IT professional. It then sets up Explorer, IE and the likes to do all the things in the profile's typical ways. For example, for IT professional, uncheck Hide extensions for known file types, Show hidden files, uncheck Hide system files... you know, all the stuff experienced users do EVERY DIGGETYDANGED TIME they log on to a new box.

And maybe a few extras, like dunking the user into the Advanced dialogs for networking. I mean, for the love of Pete, Mike, your favorite deity and his or her son (if applicable), how many times does one have to click on Advanced buttons or tabs in Windows XP to get to a usable and/or familiar dialog?

Sheesh. Okay, end side rant.

Come to think of it, this can be done for XP as well. As an add-on. An easy one, too. What you need is:

- An configuration file with all relevant registry keys to export
- A small utility to export those keys to a .Reg file (preferably with a web option -- imagine logging on to a Windows 2000/XP box and just typing in www.mysite.com/my.reg, Open, and presto... ooohhh... aaahhh...)

Wait a second. I could write that and make some money! Ah well. Too late. I've spent too much time positing the idea here anyway (about as much time as it would take to write the damned thing, by now).

But for now, I'll settle for Scoble to push this up the chain for Longhorn. Robert (can I call you Robert? (can I call you anything? (oh, dangit, I'm doing the nested parentheses thing (if it doesn't sound familiar, you do not know your big-nosed Frenchmen very well (aaaaghhhh! L'infection!)))))

Right. Anyway, I have much more to say about Scoble, Rory, Longhorn and the likes. I also have lots of introducing myself to do. I also have oodles of old material from the long-lost sjoerd.org website to recycle. sjoerd.org was, in a way, my blog before blogging existed. I abandoned it because I was too far ahead of my time (okay, life happened and I did not have time... get off my back, please). However, it was very, very popular with Microsoft employees.

But more on that later.


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