The Old New Thing

Raymond misreads newspaper headlines, episode 2

I have a strange tendency to misread newspaper headlines. This week, I read the headline Rogan Sets 200 Back World Record, and I thought, "There's a world record for running 200 meters backward?" Well, actually there is, but this article was actually about the 200 meter backstroke (swimming). Once I figured that out, I was not confused by...

Email tip: Nostalgia is not a question

This is another special case of Don't forget to ask your question, indeed an even more extreme case of Making some statements and asking for advice isn't a question. I remember in version X, we used to be able to accomplish Task Q by clicking on W and then selecting X. Now you have to click on Y and select Z...

Follow-up: That shopautodotca seocontest online contest

So I didn't win the shopautodotca seocontest search engine optimization contest, so I decided to check on how the actual winners were faring. After all, one of the winners was supposed to become the company's SEO manager. The top prize winners in the Google category and in the MSN category have both complained that they haven't received ...

Why doesn't Explorer let you create a file whose name begins with a dot?

Rolf Viehmann asks why Explorer doesn't let you create a file whose name begins with a dot. Such files are considered to have an extension but no name. If the extension is known and the user has chosen to hide known extensions, the resulting file would have no name at all! If you really want to create a file with a leading dot in its name, ...

We can't cut that; it's our last feature

Many years ago, I was asked to help a customer with a problem they were having. I don't remember the details, and they aren't important to the story anyway, but as I was investigating one of their crashes, I started to wonder why they were even doing it. I expressed my concerns to the customer liaison. "Why are they writing this code in the ...

The dead desktop computer: The good, the bad, and the ugly, but not in that order

When last we left my dead desktop computer, it had fried its second video card, and I was considering whether I should get a third. I did indeed get a third video card, a cheap one since I knew that if the computer really did eat video cards, I'd have to feed it on a budget. I plugged it in, and... Computer still dead. Bad. Remove the ...

Use the #error directive to check whether the compiler even sees you

You may find yourself in a twisty maze of #ifdefs. Or you may be wondering why your macros aren't working. I have these lines in my header file: but when I try to use them, I get errors. Any idea why this is happening? First, make sure the compiler even sees you. Notice that for macros, generating a preprocessed file doesn't ...
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