The Old New Thing

Neuroscience in the service of basketball fans

Nick Shulz's Transition Game pointed out Slate's experiment in using neuroscience to distract opposing foul shooters. I thought this worth mentioning now that it seems that the entire country has been swept up in NCAA basketball fever...

The dialog manager, part 3: Creating the controls

This is actually a lot less work than creating the frame, believe it or not. For each control in the template, the corresponding child window is created. The control's sizes and position is specified in the template in DLUs, so of course they need to be converted to pixels. The class name and caption also come from the template. There ...
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The dialog manager, part 2: Creating the frame window

The dialog template describes what the dialog box should look like, so the dialog manager walks the template and follows the instructions therein. It's pretty straightforward; there isn't much room for decision-making. You just do what the template says. For simplicity, I'm going to assume that the dialog template is an extended dialog ...
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Adventures in product testing: Candles that catch fire

Not to be outdone by frying pans that explode when you use them for frying, Nature's Finest Candles has issued a product recall [pdf] because the candles catch fire when you light them. This is not to be confused with birthday candles that catch fire and explode...

The dialog manager, part 1: Warm-ups

I think a lot of confusion about the dialog manager stems from not really understanding how it works. It's really not that bad. I'll start by describing how dialog boxes are created over the next few articles, then move on to the dialog message loop, and wrap up with some topics regarding navigation. There will be nine parts in all. The ...
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When a program asks you a question and then gets upset if you answer it

JeffDav's story of a program that didn't like it when he told it where to install reminded me of another program that we dealt with during Windows 95 development. This was a big-name program developed by one of the biggest-of-the-big name software companies. Let's give this program the imaginary name "LitWare". Its setup program asked ...

The CEO-to-English Phrase Book, a continuing series from Slate

I'm an economics geek, so of course I'm a fan of Slate's Moneybox column as well as The Dismal Science and most of all, Steven Landsburg's gleefully provocative Everyday Economics. I'm also a language geek, so I've been quite enjoying the occasional Moneybox articles which decode CEO speak into plain English titled The CEO-English Phrase ...

If you disable drag/drop on the Start menu, you also disable right-click

This is one of those poorly-worded options. In the Start menu configuration dialog, you can choose to uncheck "Enable dragging and dropping". This setting disables drag/drop but also disables right-click context menus. The connection between the two is explained in the Group Policy Editor, but is unfortunately oversimplified in the general-...

The invisible price reduction

Swedish discount warehouse chain Coop Forum is running an advertising campaign claiming "New Lower Prices!", but how can you tell? Apparently you're not supposed to (shocking!) compare current prices against what they were before the ad campaign. Raymond's bad translation follows. Coops "new" price reduction not new A major new price ...

Pointers to virtual functions with adjustors

As a mental exercise, let's combine two mind-numbing facts about pointers to member functions, namely that all pointers to virtual functions look the same and that pointers to member functions are very strange animals. The result may make your head explode. Consider: Here, the variable pfn consists of a code pointer and an adjustor. ...
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