Finding Network Connections in Vista


One of the most shameful things you can do in IT (short of locking your boss in a data center cage) is having someone show you a really simple solution to your collosal problem… especially if you’ve spent days doing it the wrong way and cannot figure out how to do it right.

So on Friday I’m listening my folks chatter about Network Connections and what a pain the new Control Panel in Vista is. First you have to go to the control panel. Then you have to go to Network panel. Then to Network and Sharing Center. Finally, click on Manage Network Connections. Finally you’re at the screen where you can actually do something. 

Vlad: “Why don’t you just make a shortcut?”

So here is this big secret. Vista has friendly (read: designed for Mac idiots) paths in its explorer windows. Instead of showing you  a path it shows a dynamic navigation bar so you can quickly move throughout the entire hiearchy without clicking back/forward. Though, if you click on any inactive part of the field the path the field goes back to plain full path and gets highlighted. Copy it, paste into a new shortcut and you’re done!

Remember this simple advice when dealing with Vista: If something is starting to look too difficult, you’re thinking too much. Vista was designed to make users too stupid for Windows XP more efficient in getting around areas of Windows they should not be in to begin with. Now when they do make significant configuration changes it will be that much more difficult to troubleshoot. Though to take the other side, something needed to be done with the control panel: there were too many places that needed to be checked, too many boxes and screens to review, too many options. Is the new control panel in Vista a worth-while upgrade or just an annoyance for people that should be in the control panel in the first place? Only time will tell.

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