The Old New Thing

Hidden gotcha: The command processor's AutoRun setting

If you type at a command prompt, the command processor will spit out pages upon pages of strange geeky text. I'm not sure why the command processor folks decided to write documentation this way rather than the more traditional manner of putting it into MSDN or the online help. Maybe because that way they don't have to deal with annoying ...

Dreyer's Berry Rainbow Sherbet

Okay, we have Dreyer's Berry Rainbow Sherbet. Our Berry Rainbow Sherbet combines the tangy fruit taste of blackberry, raspberry and orange sherbets to create a delicious, refreshing treat. Orange is a berry...

You even have to watch out for your placeholder bitmaps

During the betas of Windows Vista, the final set of sample logon pictures had yet to be determined, so a bunch of placeholder bitmaps were created. These placeholders consisted of the letters FPO in a box. FPO is a standard term in desktop publishing; it stands for For Position Only. In order to permit designers to perform page layout ...

Darkon: A Larping Documentary

My friend ::Wendy:: has many circles of friends, and several of them converged at the Elephant and Castle Pub in Seattle last week for her send-off party, resulting in a night-long game of Venn Diagram as you tried to work out which groups intersected how. I got to meet in person some of ::Wendy::'s blogger friends, including Jennifer (...

If you want a menu that shows the contents of the My Computer folder, you already know how to do it

Commenter praful asks what to me is a rather confused question, but I'll try to guess what the real question is. If you drag My Computer to the Start button in XP, you get an expanding menu that lets you see all files and folders as submenus. Is this menu available to applications via an API, or do you have to build it yourself? For ...
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Code

In Windows XP, even when DEP is on, it's still sometimes off

As we saw last time, there are a variety of ways you can control DEP, one of which is to turn it on for all system processes. But even if you turn on DEP, it still sometimes turns itself off temporarily. It goes back to those bad versions of ATL. The application compatibility team found that there were so many programs written with ...

I'm going to keep trying on size fours until I find one that fits

Everybody has noticed by now the phenomenon of vanity sizing, wherein the size numbers printed on the tag shrink over time even though the clothes have stayed the same size. It's a phenomenon of our own doing. People want to remember themselves as the size they were when they were younger, and fashion designers are eager to please. I remember...

Is DEP on or off on Windows XP Service Pack 2?

Last time, we traced an failure to a shell extension that used an older version of ATL which was not DEP-friendly. But that led to a follow-up question: Why aren't we seeing this same crash in the main program as in the shell extension? That program uses the same version of ATL, but it doesn't crash. The reason is given in this chart. ...

Psychic debugging: IP on heap

Somebody asked the shell team to look at this crash in a context menu shell extension. You should be able to determine the cause instantly. I replied, This shell extension is using a non-DEP-aware version of ATL. They need to upgrade to ATL 8 or disable DEP. This was totally obvious to me, but the person who asked the question ...