Note to self: when working with older applications on Vista – or applications that keep trying to write settings to Program Files – remember to check \UserName\Documents\AppData\Local\VirtualStore for redirected INI files. Uninstalling and reinstalling the application will not clean out these files.
Long story short, I wanted to see what Clockz did on Vista, since it was originally written in 1997 for Windows 95. Not bad, really: it shows the time correctly, still docks like a proper AppBar, but the new width of borders in Aero causes some painting problems. And yes: because it was written ten years ago it uses an INI file that lives next to the EXE… which is now “off limits” to users. After seeing that the original INI file wasn’t changing, I went digging to see what was up:
When Vista sees an application trying to do this – that is, modify a config file where the EXE lives – it looks like they make a copy in a user-writable location and then uses that copy. Did the same thing for CuteFTP (from 1997) and CRT (from 1996), so it’s pretty aware of archaic software.
Pretty neat, actually, once ya know about it.