The Old New Thing

Still working out the finer details of how this Hallowe'en thing works

Here's an excerpt from a conversation on the subject of Hallowe'en which I had with my niece some time ago. Let's call her "Cathy". (This is a different Cathy from last time.) "Cathy, what do you do on Hallowe'en?" "You get all dressed up and people give you candy." "What do you say when people come to the door?" "Chuck-E-Cheese...

What this batch file needs is more escape characters

(Employing the snowclone "What this X needs is more Y.") Each time you add a parsing pass to the batch processor, you have to add another layer of escaping. This is just a special case of the more general rule of thumb: any problem in quoting can be solved by adding another layer of escaping. (Okay, it's not actually true, nor is it a ...

Warning: Not much useful content inside

Remember, this Web site is for entertainment purposes only. Sometimes it takes people a little while before they realize this: I apologize for posting the link to the "Old New Thing" blog. [...] I have read a few articles in the "Old New Thing" blog and so far I have not seen much that is useful there...

Why does the Photo Gallery show all my photos with a colored tinge?

When you view your pictures with the Photo Gallery program which comes with Windows Vista, and which is also available for download from live.com, you might see a colored tinge. Where is the tinge coming from, and how do you get rid of it? Ironically, what you're actually seeing is the absence of a tinge, but you got so used to seeing the ...

If aluminum pull tab redemption is a rumor, what happens to all the tabs?

Everybody should know by now that it is not true that pull tabs from aluminum cans can be redeemed for time on a dialysis machine. Of course, not everybody actually knows this, and then the next question is, well, what happens to all those pull tabs collected by misinformed people? The Snopes article explains that it depends on where you ...

Freudian typo: The accidental emoticon

Some time ago, I ran across the following Freudian typo in a mail thread discussing plans for the project after Milestone 3, commonly abbreviated M3. I'd like to talk with you about your plans for this area after <3. On the US-English keyboard layout, the M and comma keys are adjacent, and a shifted comma is a less-than sign. A ...

Why won't my computer go to sleep? Where is the energy going?

The powercfg utility has been around for a while, but in Windows 7, it gained a little bit more awesome. powercfg /energy will analyze your computer's power consumption and report on things like devices that prevent the computer from sleeping, devices which won't suspend, and processes which are increasing your battery drain. Another ...

Yes, there's a new desktop window manager, but no, I don't know any more about it than you do

Sean W. requests, via the suggestion box, "an in-depth discussion of the use of the shell's new Desktop Window Manager (Dwm*) functions in Win32." The desktop window manager is not actually part of the shell. It operates at the window manager level. (Notice that DWM is active even when Explorer isn't running.) You probably should have posted...

If you have to cast, you can't afford it

A customer reported a crash inside a function we'll call XyzConnect: The title of today's entry gives the answer away. (The title is also an exaggeration, but it's a pun on the saying If you have to ask, you can't afford it.) The last parameter to the XyzConnect function is declared as a void**: A pointer to a generic pointer. Note that...
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