The Old New Thing

If you get confused by a register dump, then you’ll just have to accept that some of my postings won’t make any sense

This Web site is not for beginners. I try to write for advanced programmers, and if you're not an advanced programmer, then you'll just have to accept that there will be times you are baffled by what I write. Often I dial the geek back a notch, explaining some things which should be "obvious" to an advanced programmer, such as why storing a ...

A different type of writing exercise, this time in preparation for buying a house

One of my colleagues was overwhelmed by how many times papers need to be signed when you buy a house. A seemingly endless stack of papers. Sign and date here, initial here, initial here, now sign this, and this, and this, and sign and date here, and sign here, and initial here... By the time it's over, your arm is about to fall off. Some ...

Changes to the the 2009/2010 Seattle Symphony subscription season

A thank-you to commenter Greg for pointing it out that the Seattle Symphony made changes to their UBS Masterworks 13 series after the brochures were printed. I compared my printed brochure against the online one and updated the 2009/2010 Seattle Symphony subscription season at a glance accordingly. They deleted five concerts and added six, ...

What is the purpose of the RunAsCommand value?

Commenter c_e_pizano asks what the purpose of the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\foo.exe\RunAsCommand registry value is. Well, for starters, it isn't documented, so the official answer to that question is "Don't mess with it." Kind of makes me wonder why you're asking about the registry value anyway, seeing as it's...

A process shutdown puzzle: Answers

Last week, I posed a process shutdown puzzle in honor of National Puzzle Day. Let's see how we did. Part One asked us to explain why the ThreadFunction thread no longer exists. That's easy. One of the things that happen inside ExitProcess is that all threads (other than the one calling ExitProcess) are forcibly terminated in the nastiest ...
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What the various registry data types mean is different from how they are handled

Although you can tag your registry data with any of a variety of types, such as REG_DWORD or REG_BINARY or REG_EXPAND_SZ. What do these mean, really? Well, that depends on what you mean by mean, specifically, who is doing the interpreting. At the bottom, the data stored in the registry are opaque chunks of data. The registry itself doesn'...

Being lucky is observing what you weren’t expecting: An illustration

I decided to begin searching for a replacement for my current laptop computer since it was by this point literally being held together with electrical tape, and I decided to go against my more common computer replacement policy of "Wait until it breaks, and then panic." There was one model I had my eye on, and it was on sale at a local big...

What is the terminology for describing the various parts of the registry?

Hives, keys, values, types, and data. As I noted some years ago, the file that holds the registry data is called a hive. A hive contains a tree of keys. Keys contain a list of values. Associated with each value is a type and data. The terminology is weird and counter-intuitive thanks to the history of the registry. Back in the ...

Microspeak: Recommends (noun)

I have only one citation, but the usage is so egregious to me that one citation is all I need. I'm looking for XYZ recommends. My requirements are... Why write recommendations when you can shorten it to recommends and sound buzzwordier at the same time...

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