The Old New Thing

Microspeak: T-shirt sizing

Larry Osterman discussed the buzzword T-shirt sizing, which means "making extremely rough estimates in terms of a small number of predefined categories." The term comes from the traditional way T-shirt sizes are specified in the United States. Instead of having T-shirts in sizes 4, 5, 6 and so on, there are only a small number of sizes: Small...

How do I get a window back on the screen when it moved far, far away?

Commenter Aggravated notes that some programs remember their location when the window is closed and restore to that location when the window is reopened, even if that position is off the screen. These programs clearly were using screen coordinates instead of workspace coordinates to save and restore the window. Okay, so you've got a ...

Writing a sort comparison function, redux

Prerequisites: Experience with sort functions such as qsort. Overqualifications: Familiarity with sort algorithms. If you break the rules for sort comparison functions, then don't expect the result of a sort call to be meaningful. In fact, if you really mess it up, you can corrupt memory or go into an infinite loop. My program hangs ...
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When you subclass a window, it’s the original window procedure of the window you subclass you have to call when you want to call the original window procedure

When you subclass a window, you set the window procedure to a function of your choosing, and you remember the original window procedure so you can pass it to the CallWindowProc function when your subclass function wants to pass the message to the original window procedure. For example, if you subclass a window like this: ...
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You can tell which people listed blogging as a performance review goal

I had been kind of baffled by some of the Microsoft employee blogs that appear to consist almost entirely of rehashes of Knowledge Base articles, or sometimes even just "A new Knowledge Base article on topic X has been published." Now, that's useful information to have if you're interested in topic X, but is it really something you ...

The social skills of a thermonuclear device: Why did you hang up?

One morning I'm working in my office and I'm interrupted by a telephone call. The caller-ID shows that it came in through the switchboard. (I.e., somebody called the main Microsoft number and asked for me by name.) Me: Hello? Caller: [angrily] Mr. Chen, why did you hang up? I don't recognize the voice, and I haven't received a phone ...

The dummy icon that doesn’t know that its fifteen seconds are over

Commenter Myron A. Semack asks via the Suggestion Box why there is a hardware notification icon that doesn't do anything. This is the notification icon that is left behind if you dismiss the hardware notification balloon. I don't know, but I can figure it out based on information both you and I already know. First of all, notice that ...
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When advanced users outsmart themselves: The device removal notification icon

A customer submitted a suggestion to the user interface team about the device removal notification icon. The device removal notification icon is far too hard to use. When I click on it, I get a menu that says Safely Remove Hardware, and when I click on that menu item, I get a dialog box that lists all the removable devices, with vague names...
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