Saturday, August 31, 2019

I find it a bit amusing how Special Folders have evolved, and less so how programs have perverted them. At this point, NT and X desktop environments mostly agree about the dumping grounds in your home directory or "User Profile". Programs not so much.

One of the things I do find amusing is this compat trick:

C:\Users\Terry>dir /A:H Documents
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 9278-0228

 Directory of C:\Users\Terry\Documents

2015-02-28  20:24                 0 Default.rdp
2019-08-14  21:31               402 desktop.ini
2019-07-02  23:22         My Music [C:\Users\Terry\Music]
2019-07-02  23:22         My Pictures [C:\Users\Terry\Pictures]
2019-07-02  23:22         My Videos [C:\Users\Terry\Videos]
               2 File(s)            402 bytes
               3 Dir(s)  295,411,253,248 bytes free


A long time ago the content was like "\My Documents\My Pictures\". And then eventually when the concept of multiple users took off, we ended up with "%UserProfile%\My Documents\My Pictures" and so on, until we finally ended up with the modern path. Kindly, some Microsoftie decided '\Users' was a lot nicer than '\Documents and Settings' as far as prefixes go for where you store user profiles.

So while %UserProfile%\Pictures is the legit place on my modern system: if for some reason you still wanted to access them through the documents folder: hidden junctions will redirect you. Thus keeping old software working. Once upon a time this was probably important for keeping software written for Windows 95 and early NT working.

Curiously there is a hidden junction of "\Documents and Settings [C\Users]" at the top of my %SystemDrive% but there are none for the really-damned-old "\My Documents" at the top of the drive. I wouldn't be surprised however if compatibility trunks for older software faked those.

Also, I kind of feel glad that I haven't really touched a live Windows 9x install since the Pentium 4 was still sexy ^_^. That might sound less fun if you consider that I know where to reach for install discs that makes XP look young enough to be playing with Fischer Price.... but I'm not interested in running a virtual machine to jog the ol' meatbag memory.

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