A couple of minor niggles with Windows 7

I’ve been using Windows 7 on my desktop PC for a couple of months now after upgrading from Windows XP. So far I’ve had no real problems and am quite satisfied with the OS but I have two minor annoyances:

Date and time display in the status bar

I’m not a great lover of the new full size taskbar. For me, the icons are too large and the bar takes up too much real estate at the bottom of my screen. So I changed to small icons (right click on taskbar, Properties and choose Use small icons) which I like better but the problem is that the two-line time-date display in the system tray now just shows the time, which is a pity because I find myself constantly referring to the date (and day of the week for that matter!). Yes, you can see the date and day of the week if you hover your mouse over the time but I’d rather just be able to glance there and see the date. I’ve tried changing the display format, looked around online, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to get the time and date to display on the same line. Which is a pity because it’s the default display in Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my Acer Aspire One netbook:

Ubuntu date and time

I don’t know why the single line date-time option wasn’t included in Windows 7. It would surely be a nice option for those who don’t want a two-line display. But date display in the system tray has always been a problem in Windows for some reason. I used to use the TClockEx utility in XP to get the date in the system tray. Unfortunately, TClockEx hasn’t been updated for Windows 7. Update (6 March 2012):  T-Clock 2010 works with Windows 7 so you can now display date and time on a single line. There’s a good write-up of T-Clock 2010 here.

Still, I have some kind of a workaround. My Rainlendar desktop calendar shows the date in the system tray as you can see:

Windows date and time

And I have found a Firefox extension (Date Picker/Calendar) which displays the date and time (and a pop up calendar) in the bottom left corner of the status bar in the Firefox browser window:

Firefox date and time

But what a pity Microsoft couldn’t follow Ubuntu’s lead on this one – or at least give us the option.

Bare bones snipping tool

Microsoft have included a snipping (screenshot) utility in Vista and Windows 7 which is fine as far as it goes. But it’s just a basic capture and save tool with no facility for annotation of screenshots with text and symbols – a must for bloggers. And that’s a great pity because, as with Windows XP,  I have to download a third party app to do the job properly. So it’s back to FastStone Screen Capture for me, at least until Microsoft improves the functionality of their tool.

Do you have any gripes or niggles with Windows 7? Drop a comment below.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Says:

    I love Windows 7. I have to suffer through the awfulness known as XP at work everyday. Can’t wait till we get upgraded.

    For screen cap, I really like the power of ZScreen. I’ve been using it with Paint.NET for all my screen shots.

  2. david Says:

    I’ve been looking for ages for a way to display the date on the small taskbar.

    The rainlender app is perfect!

    thanks!

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