Windows XP keeps making me smile. This afternoon, I noticed that one of the items in my Taskbar looked different… and then I noticed the subtle little numeral 3 next to the icon. It turns out that when the taskbar starts to get cluttered, WinXP groups multiple windows from a single application together; the little numeral indicated that there were three Internet Explorer windows grouped under one entry. I like that. (There’s a picture of what this looks like in the Discussion, if you’re interested.)


Here’s what the Taskbar looks like, the top image when the entry is collapsed, and underneath, when it’s expanded (by clicking on it).

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Oct 29, 2001, 2:02 PM

Man, you love your Windows. For the first time in my life this weekend I acquired a computer that wasn’t some pitifully outdated hand me down. A new dell 1.7 ghz w/256 ram - my old 100 mhz pentium is going to take a trip on a slow boat to costa rica to reunite with its bretheren sloth family in the mountains.

The reunion was fun (and funny). I just wrote something about a former classmate and deleted it upon my realization this is a public forum. Suffice to say there were some funny highlights. Don’t miss our twentieth!

Hope all is well!


• Posted by: steveriden on Oct 29, 2001, 6:20 PM

Jason, since you’re smiling at XP I’ll pass along a question that has me hesitant about upgrading. I have a number of old DOS applications that I don’t want to release. Is it true that XP doesn’t have a DOS compatibility box? If I can’t run the old stuff I guess I’ll keep at least this PC on ME…Dave.

• Posted by: dave dobbs on Oct 30, 2001, 3:52 PM

Augh, Jason, you just hit on my number one irritation with XP! On the whole I like the new OS, but I tend to surf with many, many different browser windows open, each one “holding a thought”, as it were. Then XP pops everything into the same taskbar spot, and I get hopelessly lost. (I’m a sad creature of habit.) I keep meaning to find out if there’s a way to turn the feature off, but haven’t done so yet.

On the other hand, I do really like the intelligent system tray grouping.

• Posted by: Jess on Oct 30, 2001, 7:26 PM

Dave, from the help and support info, there appears to exist a complete 16-bit DOS subsystem, with the entire functionality of the old DOS intact. (It does not exist on the 64-bit WinXP, however, but since there’s never been a 64-bit DOS, that’s not a big deal.)

Since I don’t use any MS-DOS apps, I can’t test it out for you, but I bet it’ll be fine.

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Oct 31, 2001, 1:02 PM

Jess, while I love the feature, I think I have found a solution for you, since you don’t love it so much. :)

Try this:

Open the Registry editor (run REGEDIT), and navigate to the following key:


Create a new REG_DWORD entry, named “TaskbarGroupSize”. It should take a value (a number), which is intended to be the number of windows that are open before the Taskbar starts to group. I have NO idea if this means the total number of windows or the number of windows of a specific app; you’ll have to experiment and get back to us.

Oh, and you’ll have to log off and back on for this to work.

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Oct 31, 2001, 1:07 PM

Jess, I’ve found a better solution — TaskbarGlomming.

Under the same Registry key as above, you should find an entry named TaskbarGlomming. If it’s set to 1, then the entries group in the Taskbar; if it’s set to 0, then they don’t. Set it to 0, and you’re set.

• Posted by: Jason Levine on Oct 31, 2001, 1:10 PM

I don’t mean to be simple, but couldn’t you just right-click on the taskbar, choose “Properties” and then uncheck the “Group Similar Taskbar Buttons” box?

You can also download the PowerToys for Windows XP and, in Tweak UI, go into the “Taskbar” settings and choose whether how applications are grouped. The choices are “Group least used applications first”, “Group applications with the most windows first” and “Group any application with at least x windows”.

What can I say, I’m a stickler for using a nice interface instead of Regedit.

• Posted by: Anil Dash on Nov 1, 2001, 11:10 PM
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