The Old New Thing

On 64-bit Windows, 32-bit programs run in an emulation layer, and if you don’t like that, then don’t use the emulator

On 64-bit Windows, 32-bit programs run in an emulation layer. This emulation layer simulates the x86 architecture, virtualizing the CPU, the file system, the registry, the environment variables, the system information functions, all that stuff. If a 32-bit program tries to look at the system, it will see a 32-bit system. For example, if the ...

What is the mysterious fourth message box button?

When you call the MessageBox function, you pass flags specifying which of a fixed set of button patterns you want (for example, Yes/No and OK/Cancel) and which button you want to be the default (MB_DEFBUTTON1 through MB_DEFBUTTON4.) Wait a second. What's with this MB_DEFBUTTON4? None of the button patterns are four-button patterns. The ...
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How do I obtain the computer manufacturer’s name?

One customer wanted a way to determine the name of the computer manufacturer. For example, they wanted to make some function call and get back "IBM" or "Compaq" or "Dell". I don't know why they wanted this information, and for the moment, I don't care. And of course, when you're looking for information, you don't search MSDN; that's for ...
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How to create a Zune podcast from an audiobook or other files you already have

Here's a trick one of my friends taught me. The Zune has two styles of audio playback, one for music, and another for podcasts. For music, clicking right and left move you by song, and when you switch to another album, then come back to the first album, it starts you over at the beginning of the album. On the other hand, for podcasts, ...

The worms go in, the worms go out

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (another book in the Catchy title: Long boring subtitle category), explains why ABBA songs get stuck in your head. Meanwhile, the Earworm Research Institute has some tips on how to get them out...

Microspeak: Suited and booted

At Microsoft's consulting divisions, customer visits are a part of the job. A shorthand has developed to describe how formally dressed you should be at the meeting with the customer. (I leave it as an exercise to develop the comparable attire for women.) Note: This Microspeak entry was submitted by a colleague from the UK, so it may be...

Today, we use a GPS to locate Baby Jesus

When Baby Jesus disappears from a Nativity scene, he might be wearing a tracking device: For two consecutive years, thieves made off with the baby Jesus figurine in Wellington, a town of 60,000 in Palm Beach County, Fla. The ceramic original, donated by a local merchant, was made in Italy and worth about $1,800... Last year, officials ...

Why does the Explorer address bar reset itself while you’re typing into it?

When you ask Explorer to navigate to a new location, the steps go roughly like this (vastly oversimplified): Pretty straightforward, right? Well, commenter dhiren asks: Any idea why the address bar in Explorer randomly decides to reset itself while you're typing in it? It's not like Explorer is saying, "Ha, ha! Sucker!" Explorer is...

PDC 2008 notes: The aftermath

The Web page associated with my PDC 2008 talk has been updated to include the source code that I used for all of the demos. Other remarks...

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