January 24, 2000

By Karen Kenworthy

IN THIS ISSUE

I knew it! Sure, you try to pretend. But those crumbs on your chin give you away. You can't fool me. You're crazy about cookies. :)

Yes, it turns out I'm not the only one who wants to know what those little files contain. In case you missed it, last week we got our first look at a new version of Karen's Cookie Viewer. Like the original, it shows what's inside the hidden files placed on your disks by the web sites we visit. And now it can look for cookies stored in unusual places, and even delete some cookies we find hard to swallow.

Thanks to you, this new Cookie Viewer is a hit. I received a bag full of e-mail this week. In addition to many nice notes thanking me for the new version, I also received some great ideas for ways to improve the Cookie Viewer. Always eager to try a new recipe, I've already put many of your ideas to work.

Cookie Cutter

Many of you like the new ability to delete cookies created by Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But several people pointed out that it was difficult to delete a large batch of cookies. The new Cookie Viewer only let you delete cookies one at a time. And most annoying, it scrolled back to the top of the list of cookies after each deletion. As a result, folks spent more time scrolling through the list, finding their place again, than they did actually eating, err, deleting cookies.

Kyle Bernard went one step further. Several Windows list boxes allow multiple selections, by clicking the mouse while holding down either the Shift or Ctrl key. Why not, he asked, the Cookie Viewer? Then folks could select several cookies, and delete them all at once.

Why not, indeed? It’s a wonderful suggestion, and Cookie Viewer version 2.1 does just that. Use your mouse's left button to select one cookie, as before. But now, you can extend that selection. If you hold down the Shift key while clicking another cookie, all cookies between the first cookie, and the new one, are selected too. If you only want to add a single cookie, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the new cookie. Ctrl+clicking or Shift+clicking a previously selected cookie removes that cookie (or group of cookies) from your selection.

Now when you click the Cookie Viewer's Delete button, all selected cookies are erased. Once the selected cookies are gone, the Cookie Viewer redisplays its list of remaining cookies. This time, though, the cookie immediately after the last cookie deleted is highlighted. So now you can continue gobbling up cookies right where you left off.

Now your probably wondering: which cookie is displayed, when more than one cookie is selected? The answer is simple. The last cookie touched by your mouse is the one displayed. When adding cookies to a selection, the last cookie added is displayed. When removing cookies from a selection, the last cookie "de-selected" is displayed instead.

Does this new Cookie Viewer sound appetizing? Are you tired of cookie and food metaphors? If so, visit my web site, at https://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcookie, and download the latest Cookie Viewer. No, it won't stop the seemingly endless stream of silly puns. But as always, the new Cookie Viewer is free. And the program's Visual Basic source code is available too.

Missing Ingredient

Speaking of which, even the Cookie Viewer's source files were popular last week. I'm always delighted when folks download these, to see how the program works, or to make changes of their own. I hope you know you're always welcome to do so.

Unfortunately, last week's Cookie Viewer source code archive was missing one ingredient. Russ Neis, Melvyn Lapes and David Salahi all wrote to say the file describing the program's Search window was inadvertently left out. This window appears when you ask the Cookie Viewer to search your hard disks looking for misplaced cookies.

Thanks to their tip, I uploaded a new version of the source file archive, containing the missing file, late last Thursday night. Hopefully I won't make the same mistake again. Always wanting to improve myself, I'm now looking to make all new mistakes this week. :)

Y2K Thanks

Before we part, I want to pass along something Sandy Patterson wrote, in response to something I said in last week's newsletter: "Just thought I'd mention that the reason there were no Y2K glitches is not because they were phantom but because a lot of us hardworking IT folks did our jobs!"

Sandy, you couldn't be more right. There were many real Y2K "bugs." In fact, I fixed a few of them myself. But virtually all were exterminated during the years, months and weeks leading up to big day. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of programmers, the New Year was really something to celebrate.

That's why I'm declaring this "Give a Programmer a Hug" week. (Why didn't I think of this before?) If you see a programmer, give him or her a hug. And if you see me, I'd like a hug too. And whatever you do, don't forget to wave and say Hi!