The Old New Thing

The double-click time tells the window manager how good your reflexes are

The double-click time is sort of the dialog unit of time. It's used as the basis for many user interface time values that don't have their own custom setting. Here are just a few examples, along with the values you get if you leave the double-click time at its default of 500ms: If you go into the mouse control panel and speed up your double...

The contradictory dialog: Click Finish to begin

I was installing a program and its setup wizard said, and I am not making this up, Click Finish to begin installation. But wait, the weirdness doesn't end there. After you click Finish, the program installation completes, and then you get another page that tells you to click Close. This is misuse of the Finish button. Finish does not mean ...

Fell the force

Engrish, the whimsical term applied to poorly-translated or downright bizarre English used in non-English-speaking countries, is not restricted to East Asia, although the most well-known examples certainly come from there. While in Lisbon, I saw someone wearing a t-shirt that said Fell the force...

Windows doesn't close windows when a user logs off; that's your call

Commenter Peter Kankowski asks why Windows doesn't send WM_CLOSE and WM_DESTROY messages when the user logs off. That's what WM_ENDSESSION is for. To tell the program that the Windows session is ending, and that you should get done whatever last things you want to get done before the world comes to an end. Windows doesn't send the WM_CLOSE ...
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Special advance screening of five seconds of True Lies

In response to Perhaps the movies made too literal a translation, Steve Sinofsky reminded me that everybody at Microsoft got a special advance screening of the movie True Lies, or at least five seconds' worth. The computer that Arnold Schwarzenegger's character infiltrates runs the Arabic version of Windows 3.1, and the Arabic version ...

Baby Names for Dummies

While waiting in the check-out line at the local grocery store, I saw a book titled Baby Names For Dummies and amused myself for wondering what its goal was. Bonus chatter: One of my colleagues proposed a fourth interpretation: Maybe you are a store employee who dresses mannequins and you want help coming up with cute names for them. (On a...

One-line batch script to delete empty directories

You don't need a whole 260KB program to do it. This batch file does the trick just fine: I call it rdempty.cmd. This is the long-forgotten follow-up to Performing an operation in each subdirectory of a directory tree from batch. We're using the same technique as in that article, but pumping the result through "| sort /R" to reverse the...

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