14 November 2013

Adding portable programs to Windows 7 Start menu

A tiny addenda to Raymond Chen's series of posts about how programs appear in the Windows Start menu. According to Raymond's posts, Explorer counts the number of times the program is launched to place it in the Start menu. However, Explorer doesn't add the program's icon in the Start menu if you just start an executable (e.g. a PortableApp or a not-installed program) by entering its path in the "Search programs and files" field; a workaround is to add a shortcut to the program in the desktop.

12 November 2013

Showing last modified time with seconds in Windows 7 Explorer

Windows 7 Explorer only shows the last modified time of files and folders in hours and minutes, not seconds, i.e. hh:mm instead of hh:mm:ss. If you use the Properties dialog, you can briefly see the last modified time in hh:mm:ss but if you wait longer, the text in the dialog changes to the pretty useless "n minutes ago" and then a more useless "m hours ago". If you check the file or folder properties the next day, you can see the last modified time in hh:mm:ss again! This misfeature became a problem when I wanted to check the modified time of files created seconds within each other.

The workaround is to change the Long date format in your Region and Language from dddd, d MMMM yyyy to ddd, d MMMM yyyy, which stops last modified date format from changing in the Properties dialog. Note that Windows 7 Explorer's Date Modified column never shows seconds.

Reference to self: use "HH:mm:ss" for 24-hour time format and "dd/MM/yyyy" to ensure that day of month always has two digits.