The Old New Thing

Microspeak: Assorted babble

Here are some phrases I jotted down during a meeting. I don't even know what meeting it was. (They were jotted on some scratch paper.) These don't count so much as Microspeak as they do just assorted management babble. Sometimes I wish management would speak in plain English. But then the rest of us might realize that they don't know what ...

Nobody actually talks the way they do in training videos, do they?

I'm watching a training video and it starts off with patently unrealistic dialog. I'm struggling with X. Maybe you can help me out with a different perspective, or some information that I'm not aware of. An opening line like that pretty much demands bad acting. You can tell that this dialogue was designed by a committee. Nobody actually ...

Wait a second, I thought we stopped doing this back in 2003

It looks like Verizon's default DNS server for their customers is redirecting all failed DNS queries to their own site, calling the feature Advanced Web Search. Fortunately, they have instructions on how to opt out. The short version: Go to your DNS settings and change the last octet from .12 to .14...

There can be more than one (or zero): Converting a process to a window

A common question I see is "How do I find the window that corresponds to an HINSTANCE?" This question comes pre-loaded with the assumption that there is only one window that corresponds to an HINSTANCE, which is true for only the most rudimentary of Win32 programs. Even a simple program like Notepad has more than one window with the same ...
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When you ask somebody to take a look, you need to tell them what you want them to find

Here's a message I received some years ago, paraphrased: From: X Subject: FW: Bug 161803: Program Q uses undocumented resource which we changed in Vista Raymond, can you take a look? ------- Original message ------- From: Y Subject: Bug 161803: Program Q uses undocumented resource which we changed in Vista It appears that ...

What's with all those spam ping-bots?

Last December, some people started to get annoyed by the pingback-bots, and others were confused by them. What's the deal with those pingback-bots? It's all about fooling the search engines in order to make money, taking advantage of friendly policies at domain registrars to make it less costly an undertaking. Step one: Register a bunch of...

Why does Explorer show a + sign even if there are no child folders?

Mike Williams asked in the Suggestion Box why Explorer shows a + sign next to a folder even though it doesn't have any children. Mind you, this wasn't a suggestion; it was just a random question. I don't enjoy answering random questions about specific details of user interface elements since, as it turns out, I did not write every single user...
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Joshua Roman groupies may have to set up their frequent flyer accounts

Cellist Joshua Roman has quite a dedicated following here in Seattle, but those Joshua Roman groupies may have to dust off their frequent flyer cards, because the young cellist is resigning his position at the end of the season in order to pursue a solo career. There has been quite a bit of turmoil at the Seattle Symphony in recent years. ...

There's more to switching stacks than just loading a new stack pointer

Sometimes people think they can switch stacks by just loading a new value into the ESP register. This may seem to work but in fact it doesn't, because there is more to switching stacks than just loading a new value into ESP. On the x86, the exception chain is threaded through the stack, and the exception dispatch code verifies that the ...
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