The Old New Thing

If you ask an author to sign a book, you have to tell him/her what to write

If you happen to catch me, say by stopping by my office if you happen to work at Microsoft, I'd be happy to sign your copy of my book. (There's no need to set up a formal book signing appearance in building 9; just stop by my office any time.) One of the things you don't realize as a fan waiting in line at a book signing is that when ...

Crackpots in computer security: A complete solution to computer security

Now that computer security grabs headlines, the crackpots are drawn to it. This means that the security folks are innundated with dubious vulnerability reports and revolutionary computer designs. Today's story is one of the "revolutionary computer designs" category. I have developed a complete solution to computer security. Construct one ...

If vertical strips are better, why do toolbars use horizontal strips?

If vertical strips are better, why do toolbars use horizontal strips? An early version of the toolbar control first made its appearance in Windows 3.0, and in those days, screen resolutions were low and toolbar buttons were small. Horizontal or vertical didn't really matter. Ten bitmaps, each 16 × 16, at 4-bit color, comes out to...
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The real underground (and subway)

London's Transport Museum commissioned a gorgeous interactive map called The Real Underground which lets you see two of the many versions of the world-famous London Underground Map, as well as a street map, and switch among them to see how the two schematics agree with actual geography. I wasted way too much time playing with the Real ...

The /MAXMEM switch doesn't set the maximum amount of memory Windows will use

The Windows boot.ini file has a /MAXMEM switch whose name would lead you to believe that it sets the maximum amount of memory that Windows will use. But that's not what it does; the name is misleading. What the /MAXMEM flag really does is set the maximum physical address that Windows will scan in search of RAM. If your physical memory map ...

Not my finest hour: Where are my keys?

Tuesday was not my finest hour. Towards the end of the work day, I noticed that my coat was nowhere to be seen. I distinctly remember putting it on the back of my chair, but it's not there now. And where are my keys? After checking all the likely places (and several unlikely ones) in my office, I realized that we had gone out to lunch in my ...

Where did the Windows Vista wallpaper images come from?

Windows Vista needed some new wallpapers. Where to get them? Historically, they were purchased from a professional service, which is expensive since Microsoft would need worldwide rights to reproduce (not just use) the image, and not just for a few months, but for decades. Besides, there are a lot of good amateur photographers at Microsoft who...

Walking through packed snow and ice with a little more confidence

:: Wendy :: invited several her friends to join her in some tea two weeks ago, and during the conversation, LaCroix recommended a product called Yaktrax. It's a lightweight little mesh that straps to the bottom of your shoe and acts like miniature tire chains, but for your shoes. Two of my friends acted on this tip immediately ...

The undeletable Outlook folder, episode 2

I had another undeletable Outlook folder, and all my tricks for cajoling Outlook into letting me delete it failed. I already deleted all the items in it, emptied it of offline items, deleted all the failures from my Sync Issues folder, but still I couldn't delete the folder. But I came up with a new trick. I moved the folder out of its ...

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