The Old New Thing

My evil essence revealed

I found it amusing that somebody considered the fact that Microsoft employees can read my queued-up blog entries before the articles are published to be further evidence of Microsoft's evil essence as a monopoly. Just for the record, this is not evidence of Microsoft's evil essence as a monopoly. Rather, it's evidence of Raymond's evil ...

Why are custom properties created on Windows 2000 lost when I view the file from newer versions of Windows?

In Windows 2000, Explorer let you add properties like Summary and Author to nearly any file type. But when you view the files from a machine running Windows XP or later, those properties are lost. Where did they go? Most file types do not have extensibility points for adding metadata. For example, every byte of a plain text files is...

How do IsThemeActive, IsAppThemed, and IsCompositionActive differ?

There are three functions which test very similar things, and sometimes applications pick the wrong one. Here's the rundown: Note that these functions do not answer the question "Is the application using the visual-styles-enabled version of the common controls library?" That question is harder to answer because the decision to use the ...
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WinMain is just the conventional name for the Win32 process entry point

WinMain is the conventional name for the user-provided entry point in a Win32 program. Just like in 16-bit Windows, where the complicated entry point requirements were converted by language-provided startup code into a call to the the user's WinMain function, the language startup code for 32-bit programs also does the work of converting the...
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Microspeak: PowerPoint Karaoke and the eye chart

The game PowerPoint-Karaoke was invented in 2006 by Zentrale Ingelligenz Agentur. In this game, contestants are called upon to give a PowerPoint presentation based on a slide deck they have never seen. (The German spelling uses a hyphen between the two words. When "translated" into English, the hyphen is often omitted.) At Microsoft, the ...

If it's possible to do something, then it's possible to do something WRONG

Once you make it possible to do something, you have to accept that you also made it possible to do something wrong. When the window manager was originally designed, it made it possible for programs to override many standard behaviors. They could handle the WM_NC­HIT­TEST message so a window can be dragged by grabbing any part of ...

One engineer's interpretation of the Segway as a hybrid vehicle

In a discussion of commuting options (in which I was primarily an observer), the following exchange took place: A: I would rather get kicked in the shins every morning than bike up the massive hill that sits between my apartment and main campus. B: Have you tried an electric bike? C: If you're going to eliminate pedaling, then you may as ...

BeginBufferedPaint: It's not just for buffered painting any more

I covered the BeginBufferedPaint function in my 2008 PDC presentation, but one thing I didn't mention is that the buffered paint functions are very handy even if you have no intention of painting. Since the buffered paint functions maintain a cache (provided that you remembed to call Buffered­Paint­Init), you can use Begin­...
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