The Old New Thing

The dead home desktop problem returns

The computer I bought not a year and a half ago decided to keel over last week. When I push the power button, the power light goes on, the drives spin up, but there is nothing out the video card and not even a reassuring beep from the power-on self test. I've disconnected all the external peripherals as well as all the IDE devices, and no ...

Shell policy is not the same as security

Mark Russinovich pointed out that if you let users run arbitrary programs, they can circumvent policies. This is actually not surprising, because policy is not the same as security. Shell policies control how Explorer and other shell components behave, but that's just blocking the front door. For example, there is a shell policy to prevent ...

Even without a nitpicker's corner, I have to worry about nitpickers

Even without a nitpicker's corner, I have to worry about nitpickers. I just have to do it in a more subtle way. Here are some examples of changes I've made to upcoming entries in order to forestall nitpicking: What's scary is that I've noticed that I begun pre-emptively nitpicking my own entries while I'm writing them. In the balance ...

Microspeak: Housing

The real estate department at Microsoft has their own weird jargon. In the real estate world, you don't "work" in a building; you are "housed" there. Here are a few citations. The new buildings will be able to house N workers. Employees housed at Facility X will be able to use temporary parking spaces being constructed at Location ...

Crackpots in computer security: Don't plug it in, man!

Some time a few years ago, some folks on the security team were swapping crackpots stories, and this one somehow lodged in my mind. The story below is paraphrased, but the essense remains intact. "We had a crazy guy call into the security support line many years ago. He was going through a messy divorce and was convinced that his wife's ...

PLAY! A Video Game Symphony comes to Seattle

Competing with the Miss America pageant for your Saturday evening attention is the Seattle performance of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony, featuring music from a large number of video games. Presumably, the music will have something to do with the accompanying video being projected on large screens. The description of the concert omits any ...

What counts as a talent nowadays?

The annual Miss America Pageant struggles for survival tomorrow. And what makes it different from Donald Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe is the talent competition. (Yes, Miss World also has a talent competition, but nobody in the United States pays any attention to Miss World, probably because of the aforementioned Donald Trump.) It's ...

The classic start menu is even more classic than it looks

In Windows 95, the Find option took its place on the Start menu between Settings and Help. In Windows 2000, the option was still there, but its name changed to Search, a name which persist today if you use the classic Start menu. When the menu option changed its name, the keyboard accelerator changed accordingly. Whereas Find used ...

It's one thing to say "somebody should do this", but doing it is another matter

A common response when I describe a programming error is, ""Programs should have to pass a test that includes testing for this case." The case could be a program mishandling a message, a program responding incorrectly to IUnknown::QueryInterface, whatever. But these suggestions fall into the same trap that I see when grading student essays: ...

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