There is a point to this rambling writeup, which I will get to shortly. Just realize that unless you've discovered what I've discovered, you are about to discover a freakin' useful little ally in the war against boredom.

At my first "IT" job, I was given Internet access because we were required to support just about any piece of hardware that was compatible with an IBM PC computer. Since they had practically no documentation whatsoever, we were expected to simply find the manufacturer website in order to troubleshoot problems. They had a strict "company use only" policy for quite some time, but they soon realized any efforts to restrict us were rather futile. The reason was simple; going through out audit trail and determining what was and wasn't legit was a full time job, and nobody really wanted to do it. Instead, we were told "stay away from porn and offensive stuff," which to us was the green light to do just about anything.

Unfortunately it was a lame-ass call-center job, so it was constantly busy and browsing the Internet was the least of our concerns. Eventually they laid us all off and I foolishly got yet another call-center tech support job. Here we weren't allowed any Internet use whatsoever. Lame. Luckily I ended up getting fired for hating my boss, and found a far easier job working at a help desk for a small company of about 200. Now I feel like I'm getting paid for nothing half the time, which isn't bad, I suppose. I spend a lot of my downtime surfing, the majority of which is done on E2.

I've been told by my direct supervisor that surfing and gaming is fine, as long as his direct supervisor doesn't see it. So whenever she walks by, I must close my E2 window, damning myself to re-loading the slow-as-hell front page every time. This gets frustrating. I've done quite a bit of noding at work, and usually just do it all in notepad, which is relatively non-suspicious looking, fortunately. This woman is rather sharp with computers and is MSCE certified, so she's not the type of person who is fooled by minimizing a window.

So today I thought, "Maybe I can find a nice virtual desktop program where all of my bad stuff is kept somewhere else, where it won't show on the taskbar." That's when I discovered "Boss!" on IT FUCKIN' RULES! My god! Here's how it works... It has an INI file, in which you put a string of text (as many as you want) that shows up in the title of a Window you want to hide, for example "Internet" will allow you to hide any window containing "Internet Explorer," "Internet Pr0nfest," etc. In this manner you can make it so that all of your games and browser windows will disappear spontaneously, gone from the taskbar. You assign a "hide" key, an "unhide" key, and a "unhide Boss!" key to bring the interface back. It works like a dream so far. It's made all of the difference! Unfortunately it doesn't hide from system tasks, so Ctrl-Alt-Del will reveal your evil doings.

Update: I've noticed that this software can be very slow when it comes to minimizing more than a few Windows, thanks to that clever Window animation. The solution is to install TweakUI and disable Window Animation under the "General" tab. This makes it blazingly fast, no one will see... Of course, now I have Windows 2000, which allows you to disable Window animation in the "Display Properties" control panel.