The Old New Thing

Sometimes people don’t like it when you enforce a standard

Your average computer user wouldn't recognize a standards document if they were hit in the face with it. I'm reminded of a beta bug report back in 1996 regarding how Outlook Express (then called "Microsoft Internet Mail and News") handled percent signs in email addresses (I think). The way Outlook Express did it was standards-conformant, ...
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Don’t save anything you can recalculate

Nowadays, a major barrier to performance for many classes of programs is paging. We saw earlier this year that paging can kill a server. Today, another example of how performance became tied to paging. The principle is "Don't save anything you can recalculate." This of course, seems counterintuitive: Shouldn't you save the answer so you ...

Excellent blog about Windows and Unicode

Michael Kaplan has probably forgotten more about Unicode than most people know. He knows about the mysterious placement of the Won character in the Korean character set, and the same for the Japanese Yen character, what the invariant locale is, why Korean text sorts strangely if you pass the NORM_IGNORENONSPACE flag, and other strange and...
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How did Windows 95 rebase DLLs?

Windows 95 handled DLL-rebasing very differently from Windows NT. When Windows NT detects that a DLL needs to be loaded at an address different from its preferred load address, it maps the entire DLL as copy-on-write, fixes it up (causing all pages that contain fixups to be dumped into the page file), then restores the read-...

How to get more hits on Google than even Steve Ballmer

Ein deutscher Blogger namens Tony schrieb dass Robert Scoble is gaining on Steve Ballmer. Mit anderen Worten, dass eine Google-Suche nach "Robert Scoble" ungefähr 172.000 Seiten findet, während eine Google-Suche nach "Steve Ballmer" ungefähr 302.000 Seiten zeigt. Er fragte, ob jemand einen anderen Microsoft-Angestellten finden...
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This Game Boy won’t hurt a bit, just help the Powerpuff Girls count backwards from ten

Is there nothing a Game Boy can't do? We already learned that it can be played like a musical instrument. Now we discover that letting children play with a Game Boy before surgery is more effective than tranquilizers or a parent's hand at keeping them calm. You know when you go to the dentist and she asks you, "What flavor fluoride rinse ...

The hunt for a faster syscall trap

The performance of the syscall trap gets a lot of attention. I was reminded of a meeting that took place between Intel and Microsoft over fifteen years ago. (Sadly, I was not myself at this meeting, so the story is second-hand.) Since Microsoft is one of Intel's biggest customers, their representatives often visit Microsoft to show off ...

Why do dialog editors start assigning control IDs with 100?

When you use a dialog editor and insert new controls, they typically are assigned control IDs starting at around 100. Why? Because the small numbers are already taken. /* * Dialog Box Command IDs */ #define IDOK 1 #define IDCANCEL 2 #define IDABORT 3 #define IDRETRY 4 #define IDIGNORE...

Scientists come one step closer to the perfect poppy-seed bagel

It's easy to distribute points evenly across a flat surface, but doing so over a curved surface is a much more complicated problem. Even spheres are hard. NPR's Scott Simon interviews mathematician Ed Saff who with colleague Doug Hardin has developed a new method of attacking this complex problem. Press release from Vanderbilt University...