The Old New Thing

Microspeak: Sit in it!

The title of this entry is a bad pun on a catchphrase from 1970s television. I apologize to those for whom the 1970s are a bad memory. A snippet of Microspeak that bothers me is the verb phrase "to sit in". Example: "I'm in the Nosebleed group which sits in Bob Smith's organization." I think it means "to be a part of" but I'm not quite ...

Things I've written that have amused other people, Episode 3

In an internal discussion of the women blogger conference known as BlogHer, somebody asked, "Why isn't there a BlogHim?" I replied, Isn't that the plural of the word "blog" in Hebrew? This got quite an amused response from the Hebrew-speaking (or at least vaguely Hebrew-aware) members of the mailing list. Not bad for having studied Hebrew ...

It's official, it's the Hannukah Eve Storm of 2006

(Following up on an earlier entry.) The National Weather Service chose a name for the wind storm of December 2006: It's going to be called the "Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006". But what is Hannukah Eve? Eh, it doesn't look like anybody's getting too worked up over that. You can download the entire list of entries (over 5000 of them) from...

Hiding files is not the same as protecting them

An anonymous commenter suggested that we should give up on "hiding protected operating system files". After all, if we "protect operating system files", that should be enough, shouldn't it? Well, except that some files are still hidden even though they are not protected. For example, your encryption keys are fully accessible to you (after ...

The .Default user is not the default user

If you ever gone spelunking in the registry key, you've no doubt found the user named . Who is this guy? Despite its name, the profile for the .Default user is not the default user profile. It's actually the profile for the Local System account and is an alias for . ( is the security identifier for the Local System account.) Consequently, ...

West Bank Story, the movie that sells itself in five seconds

This weekend, I attended an Oscar-watching party, and when the clips from the nominees for Live Action Short Film were run, I was completely won over by West Bank Story. Five seconds of dancing, finger-snapping Jews and Arabs is all I needed. When filling out your Oscar party ballot, "Live Action Short Film" is one of those categories you ...

If you have to ask, you're probably doing something wrong

If you have to ask about various operating system limits, you're probably doing something wrong. If you're nesting windows more than 50 levels deep or nesting menus more than 25 levels deep or creating a dialog box with more than 65535 controls, or nesting tree-view items more than 255 levels deep, then your user interface design is in ...