Attention Programmers: sometimes the taskbar is at the top of the screen. Keep your programs out from under it.

I have two computers for my use.  One, the one I’m writing this on, has an obsolete onboard graphics card.  That’s my surfing computer.  The other one has an ATI x800.  Although nothing to write home about so far as being a great graphics card, it sucks less than the other one, so it’s my gaming, or actually 3D virtual world and other more graphically demanding application machine.

I do my Second-Life-ing  on the other machine, and I run SL in windowed mode, because I like to see my taskbar, and it also switches tasks much nicer in windowed mode.

SL’s popup help and the taskbar don’t play well together.  The tooltips for SL appear while the cursor is over the taskbar, which bugs me.  I am thus moved to put the taskbar at the top of the screen in order to avoid this SL tooltip and Windows taskbar misbehavior.

Having the taskbar on the top of one machine and at the bottom of the other machine’s display might seem like it would bug me, given that I’m fairly easy to bug, but it actually doesn’t cause me any trouble at all.

Applications, however, don’t seem to be able to figure out that the taskbar is at the top of the screen, and insist on drawing themselves with their title bar and or menu bar covered up by the taskbar.

If there’s one company that ought to know where the taskbar is, it ought to be Microsoft.  After all, they wrote the taskbar.  However, this is not the case.  Microsoft applications such as, for example, the new Windows Live Mail program, can’t figure out where the freaking taskbar is and draw themselves in the space below the taskbar.

This is not rocket science here.  There are Windows function calls that will tell you where the working area of the screen is.  Some programs get it right and never appear partially obscured by the taskbar at the top.

Why can’t programmers manage to keep their software from showing up with the title bar and menu bar not covered up by the taskbar? I get tired of having to move it to the side or bottom and then  down and then move the taskbar back.

Of course if SL could manage to not have it’s tooltips misbehave when the taskbar is at the bottom I might have my taskbar at the bottom and I wouldn’t be writing this now.  I suppose I might be griping about something else.

Please don’t tell me to use the autohide function; if you were paying attention you’d have noticed that I said I like to see the taskbar.  You can’t see it when it’s hiding, can you?

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