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Early last year I posted an article about changing icons and file associations in Vista. The bad news is that nothing seems to have changed natively in this regard for Vista. Perhaps things will be different in Window7… who knows.

The good news though is that I have since found a much nicer program for assigning your own icons:

Types

“Types” is a free and lightweight utility for Windows that allows you to edit program associations, icons, context menus and other properties of various file types displayed in Explorer.

http://types.sourceforge.net/

types

When I first tried it out way back in the beginning of last year I had a few difficulties but when I recently setup a new development VM and had a need once again to customize my clarion file associations I gave it another go. This time round they have made great improvements in stability and it performed beautifully and did what it said it would. No more, no less.

Hopefully someone will find this useful too.

Having recently re-installed my main development machine with Vista Ultimate 64bit I decided to try running with UAC enabled. Previously I was using Vista Business 32 bit and I was using it as my main development platform for Clarion and had always run with UAC turned off.

With the move to 64bit the poor old Clarion IDE, which is still a 16bit application (!), was obviously not going to be running directly from the desktop. This is fine, I had long since moved all my development into virtual machine for just this reason. I figured this was a good time as any to try out the UAC and see if it really was as annoying as people have been saying.

Anyway, being that most of my development was going in inside virtual machines (Vista 32bit, UAC off) I really found very little issue with UAC. Occasionally I would trigger it off when adjusting various parts of the system but with a little ping and a flash (that bit sucks…) I am on my way again.

However, every so often I would find that the application I attempted to launch would simply freeze completly just before the expect UAC prompt would appear. Very annoying, and utterly un-fixable. Even from the Task-Manager it was imposible to kill the task!

I am still not sure what was the cause of this. It didn’t happen when I first installed the system and it has not happened in a while now so I suspect either a bug fix has been applied from Microsoft or a program I had installed was somehow interfering.

There is a workaround though… if you ever find yourself with the above symptoms try this: Hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then immediately press the Escape key. It seems that consent.exe (the one responsible for UAC) fails to gain focus occasionally. Those actions will bring it back to the foreground and you can continue along your way.

I originally found this helpful hint in the comments of this article.

One of the first things I like doing on a new development machine is setting file associations for Clarion APP and DCT files.

By doing this I can have specific icon and type description for the file extension making it much easier to see these files in amongst all the other junk. Once these are setup and with windows explorer in detail view sorted by type the clarion app and dct files would be nice and visible at the top of the list.

Just like this:
fileassociations_clarion
But hang on, how the heck do you do that in Vista?