The Old New Thing

What do the colors in the elevation dialog mean?

On Windows Vista with User Account Control enabled, when you right-click a program and select Run as Administrator, the elevation prompt contains a particular snippet of warning text and a corresponding color-coding. Here are what the four colors mean. You can learn about the philosophy behind UAC in this Channel9 interview. Pre-emptive ...

How to talk like Marketing: The awareness space

The great thing about Marketing is that you get to use words and phrases that normal human beings never use. Here's an example from over a decade ago: XYZ fit the installed base of web browsers we were targeting, and worked well in an awareness space. I have no idea what an "awareness space" is. The punch line? This sentence came from a ...

The buffer size parameter to GetFileVersionInfo is the size of your buffer, no really

The GetFileVersionInfo function takes a pointer to a buffer (lpData) and a size (dwLen), and that size is the size of the buffer, in bytes. No really, that's what it is. The application compatibility folks found one popular game which wasn't quite sure what that dwLen parameter meant. The programmers must have thought it meant "The size ...
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Why are there both TBSTYLE_EX_VERTICAL and CCS_VERT?

There are two ways to make a vertical toolbar. You can use the common CCS_VERT style, or you can use the TBSTYLE_EX_VERTICAL extended style which is specific to the toolbar. Why are there two ways of doing the same thing? Because we messed up. Whoever created the TBSTYLE_EX_VERTICAL extended style didn't realize that there was already a ...

The publicity machine continues: A chat with Scott Hanselman and Hanselminutes

Scott Hanselman let me know he was going to be in town, and after some negotiation with the company PR department (who probably get the massive heebie-jeebies from this whole blog thing), I was able to accept his invitation to appear on his weekly podcast, HanselMinutes. We sat down for a little chat, and a few weeks later, I became Show #...

Passing by address versus passing by reference, a puzzle

Commenter Mike Petry asked via the Suggestion Box: Why can you dereference a COM interface pointer and pass it to a function with a Com interface reference. The call. The function called. I found some code written like this during a code review. It is wrong but it seems to work. You already know the answer to this question. You...
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The wisdom of seventh graders and you: Design a course

I'm out today to volunteer with grading student essays. The topic the students were given is one that I suggested: "You have been chosen to design a new elective for your school. Describe what it would be." In a few weeks, you'll learn what the students wrote, but my question for you is what you would propose in your essay. You can answer the...

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