Speaking Geek: Pinning files to XP’s Start Menu

start menuYes, we “still” use XP.   Meaning, we tried Vista, it turned out to be less a software program and more criminally irresponsibility on the part of Microsoft, so now, after being told our original hard drive will never work with Vista again, we’re back to XP.

So I wanted our family phone list to stay “pinned” to the start menu, so I could get at it anytime I wanted.

It’s called shulppl.txt, (yes, it’s a text file – low-tech, but it works!) and it’s in a central spot on the hard drive, shared among everybody, but only parents (aka Admin users) have write access to change the file.

BTW, setting file privileges and permissions is WAY simpler and less buggy than Vista.  Every 10 minutes, Vista was denying me access to files I knew I had access to:  even my own files, on occasion.  At one point, I was the only administrator, and it still wouldn’t let me get at a lot of stuff without wasting an hour resetting inherited permissions. 

Or waiting for that awful Green Bar of Doom that fills up forever…

Anyhow.  I couldn’t figure it out and couldn’t figure it out.  So I turned to Google, and got the answer in just a few minutes.

Create a shortcut to the file somewhere - anywhere.  Drag the shortcut to the Start button.  Done.

The next time you open the Start Menu, you should see your file pinned right there at the top along with other must-have favourites.  (Snippy is my super-basic screen-capture all-in-one executable)

You can even, apparently, delete the shortcut once you’re through.

I’m mostly putting this up here so I can do it again if necessary.  But if it helps somebody else, so be it.  Apparently, people are hungry for technical information:  the most popular page on my blog is my “review” – slash – comparison of Windows Live Photo Gallery vs Picasa.

Pretty sad:  I pour my heart out on 745 pages (not counting this one!), and the one completely unrelated post is the most read, most helpful, most commented-upon and easiest to find with a Google search.

Maybe I’ll go back to being a tech writer if nobody wants my surreal ramblings about supper, philosophy, theology, the garden, my kids and, as Dennis Prager so often says about his show… everything in life.



  1. No, don't be a tech writer! Be a mommy blogger - I love reading your stuff! (although I will say that the comments section is a bit lonely)

  2. No, seriously, check out the comments section on the Windows Live vs Picasa page. Way livelier!!!


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