The Old New Thing

Hoping the worst-case scenario doesn’t come to pass

A few years ago, NPR and American RadioWorks ran a story on the consequences to New Orleans of a Category 5 hurricane [NPR part 1] [NPR part 2]. I had been hoping that the city would escape the worst-case scenario of the water topping the levees and submerging the city in twenty feet of water, but yesterday's levee breaches ...

Understanding hash codes

On more than one occasion, I've seen someone ask a question like this: I have some procedure that generates strings dynamically, and I want a formula that takes a string and produces a small unique identifer for that string (a hash code), such that two identical strings have the same identifier, and that if two strings are different, then ...
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On the adult appeal of dodgeball

NPR's Only a Game recently covered the rise of adult dodgeball. At MSN's tenth birthday party last week, there was a wide variety of entertainment options, the highlight of which appeared to be an organized dodgeball tournament. It was very well attended and didn't have the ego-damaging overtones you got from elementary school. A good time...

Program names in file type handlers need to be fully-qualified

Most people probably haven't noticed this, but there was a change to the requirements for file type handlers that arrived with Windows XP SP 2: Paths to programs now must be fully-qualified if they reside in a directory outside of the Windows directory and the System directory. The reason for this is security with a touch of ...
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Free bicycles to borrow at Marymoor Park

Marymoor Park just keeps getting better. Just this year, they added a little Subway sandwich shop, so you don't even have to pack for a picnic in the park. Next, free Wi-Fi (sponsored by MSN). Then movies in the park (sponsored by First Tech Credit Union). The latest addition is free bicycles (sponsored by Dasani). Show a photo ID ...

If you squint you might be able to make out my name

Late Tuesday night, Jenny Lam, the creative director for this year's PDC, came by our hallway and asked for permission to rummage through our offices for "stuff". They were looking for props to use to decorate a developer's cubicle in a video they were filming for the conference. I was able to loan her a framed letter of appreciation and my ...

Windows 95 crashes a cash register

Not everything related to the Windows 95 launch went well. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a local CompUSA store found that their cash registers crashed at midnight, forcing eager customers to wait ninety minutes before the problem could be resolved. The cause: A bug in the cash register software which had lain undiscovered because ...

Marymoor Park summer movie series 2005 is nearly over

Every Wednesday evening in August of this year, Marymoor Park will be showing a movie. Tonight's movie is Bend It Like Beckham. The movie begins at dusk, and a $5 donation is suggested, proceeds to be shared between the park and a local charity. The charity tends to be thematically related to the movie; for Beckham, for example, part of the ...

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