I turned on the “Expand Printers” option on the XP taskbar settings, and from that point forward, any time I accessed the Start button via Ctrl-ESC, it has kept me waiting for 5-10 seconds. Watching the CPU usage with task manager didn’t give me any useful information, it was only through trial and error, and lots of false blame (eg on a SQL Server shortcut), that I finally found this problem. Disabling the setting eliminated the CPU pegging.

For a little background… On XP, I keep my taskbar hidden unless I want to see it. I’ve ranted about this before, it’s a pretty fundamental concept that it should be ME who decides how my computer communicates with me. For Microsoft to open up the taskbar in Windows 7 so that any app can force itself to be recognized, flashing until user interaction is made, is absolute madness, akin to providing a browser with no popup control. As a control zealot, this drives me mad.

I realize this is a small problem on an old OS. I really don’t care about it except that at work I’m forced to use this shitty stuff. I shouldn’t really waste blog space on this stuff… but it makes me feel better. And that’s the only reason this blog exists anyway. So there. 🙂

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