The Old New Thing

Don’t be helpless: You can put things together, it doesn’t have to be a single command

Humans are distinguished among all animal species by their advanced development of and heavy reliance on tools. Don't betray your ancestors. Use those tools you have. For example, during the debugging of a thread pool problem, it looked like somebody did a PostThreadMessage to a thread pool thread and left the message unprocessed after the ...

What does each country claim for its own?

One of the things that fascinates me is how each country's view of history is clouded by its own chauvinism. I was reminded of this when researchers were able to reconstruct the original recording from a phonautograph which predated Edison's phonograph, thereby adding another claim to the mix of who invented sound recording. I think the ...

When I double-click an Excel spreadsheet, Excel opens but the document doesn’t

Sometime last year, we got a report from a customer that whenever he double-clicks an Excel spreadsheet, Excel starts up, but the document isn't loaded. Instead, he gets an error message saying that document could not be found. He has to go to the Open dialog and open the spreadsheet manually. This report was routed to the shell team, since it...

Be careful what you name your mailing list

Some time ago, I recommended exercising caution when choosing the name for your product group. The same caution applies to the name of your mailing list. Thanks to the large number of spammers out there, creating a mailling list whose account name is a word from the dictionary is just asking for trouble. When you create a new mailing list ...

How can SIGINT be safely delivered on the main thread?

Commenter AnotherMatt wonders why Win32 console programs deliver console notifications on a different thread. Why doesn't it deliver them on the main thread? Actually, my question is the reverse. Why does unix deliver it on the main thread? It makes it nearly impossible to do anything of consequence inside the signal handler. The main ...

Why seventh grade students want to go to weddings

My friend the seventh-grade teacher is getting married this summer, and when her students learned about the impending nuptials, they couldn't contain their excitement. The students asked her if there was going to be a chocolate fountain. Because you can't not have a chocolate fountain. When they learned that, no, there will not be a ...

Simulating a drop, part two

Last time, we wrote a tiny program to simulate dropping a file on another file, but we discovered that it didn't work for dropping a file onto Mail Recipient.MAPIMail. The reason, as you no doubt instantly recognized, is that the MAPIMail handler creates a worker thread, and we're exiting the process before the worker thread has finished its ...
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Reading a contract from the other side: Simulating a drop

Most people, when they think of the IDropTarget interface, think only of implementing a drop target. But you can read the contract from the other side, because the description of how a drag source interacts with a drop target tells you how to be a drag source. To summarize, the sequence of drop target operations go like this: IDropTarget...
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Things other people have written that have amused me

I occasionally post things I've written that have amused other people, but today I'm going to share something Betsy Aoki wrote that amused me. On one of our internal mailing lists, somebody wondered why we don't use email spam filters to attack comment spam and trackback spam. My point was that the goal of email spam is very different from ...

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