The Old New Thing

2007 year-end link clearance

A few random links that I've collected over the last six months. And then the obligatory plug for my column in TechNet Magazine, which, despite the fact that Microsoft's name is on the magazine cover, does not establish the official Microsoft position on anything...

Why aren't console windows themed on Windows XP?

Commenter Andrej Budja asks why cmd.exe is not themed in Windows XP. (This question was repeated by Serge Wautier, proving that nobody checks whether their suggestion has already been submitted before adding their own. It was also asked by a commenter who goes by the name "S", and then repeated again just a few hours later, which ...

Now I can read my own writing the way you do: With utter incomprehension

In my mailbox yesterday arrived a few complimentary copies of the Japanese translation of my book. (Note: Still available in English.) I cracked the Japanese edition open and confirmed what I already knew: I can't read a lick of Japanese. But now I know how you all feel when you read this Web site: It's page after page of text that makes ...

Psychic debugging: The first step in diagnosing a deadlock is a simple matter of following the money

Somebody asked our team for help because they believed they hit a deadlock in their program's UI. (It's unclear why they asked our team, but I guess since our team uses the window manager, and their program uses the window manager, we're all in the same boat. You'd think they'd ask the window manager team for help.) But it turns out that ...

If you need anything other than natural alignment, you have to ask for it

If you need variables to be aligned a particular way, you need to ask for it. Let's say I have the following code: What would the alignment of the starting adresses of a,b,c and d be? What would the alignment be if the memory were allocated on heap? If this alignment varies for different data types within the same translation unit, ...
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Paul Shirley: Basketball player, blogger, and author

Professional basketball player Paul Shirley blogged about his experiences sitting on the bench for the Phoenix Suns back in 2005. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I don't particularly care much for the sport of basketball. He describes the life of that guy who sits on the bench, he makes observations about BMI of tourists in San Antonio...

Microthink: If you can't measure it, then it doesn't exist

At Microsoft, there is an obsession with measurement. If you can't measure it, then it doesn't exist. As a result, we set up data collection mechanisms, and try to interpret that data, even if the data isn't what we're really interested in, but we act as if it is. Because it's what we know how to do. (If all you have is a hammer...) A classic...

You mean, you have computers in Taiwan?

The wife of one of my relatives grew up in Taiwan and attended college in the United States. When she went home to Taiwan for the holidays, she would tell her classmates, "If you need to get in touch while I'm away, you can send me email." One of them asked her, "You mean, you have computers in Taiwan?" (Hint: It's the home of the world's ...

Where do those Wall Street Journal hedcuts come from?

A few years ago, Marketplace radio looks at those portraits used by the Wall Street Journal, known as hedcuts. Believe it or not, these drawings are hand-done, not computer-generated. View the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery online exhibition to see, for example, how Steve Jobs's portrait has changed over the years...

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