The Old New Thing

Microspeak: bubble up

Bubble up is the name of a soft drink, but at Microsoft, it means something else. (Remember, Microspeak is not just terms used exclusively within Microsoft, but also terms used at Microsoft more often than in the general population.) To bubble up information is to expose the information at a higher reporting level. For example, you might ...

I speak German better in my dream than I do in real life

I dreamed that I was at a large trade show, where everybody had cleared the center of the main floor to make room for an impressive real-time holography demo. After the demo was over, everybody moved their chairs back, but the German delegation had difficulty returning their chairs to the exact position they took them from, because everybody...

Display control buttons on your taskbar preview window

Today's "Little Program" displays a button on the taskbar preview window. For now, the button increments a number, because incrementing numbers is so retro. Welcome, visitor number  0 0 3 1 4 var count = ((Date.now()/1000 - 25200) % 86400 + 100000) + ""; document.getElementById("counter0").innerHTML = count.charAt(1); document....
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Debug session: Why is an LPC server not responding?

A particular scenario was hanging, and the team responsible for the scenario debugged it to the point where they saw that their X component was waiting for their Y component, which was waiting for Explorer, so they asked for help chasing the hang into Explorer. The team was kind enough to have shared what they've learned so far...
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How do I launch a file as if it were a text file, even though its extension is not .txt?

You might have a program that generates log files or other text content with an extension other than .txt. You naturally might want to open these documents in the user's default text editor. You might decide to ask the Windows developer support team, "How can I figure out what program is the handler for text files?" The idea being that once ...
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What’s the story of the onestop.mid file in the Media directory?

If you look in your C:\Windows\Media folder, you'll find a MIDI file called onestop. What's the story behind this odd little MIDI file? Aaron Margosis considers this file a security risk because "if an attacker can cause that file to be played, it will cause lasting mental pain and anguish to everybody within earshot." Despite Wikipedia's ...

Let me take this shortcut across Lake Saskatchewan

I dreamed that I had to drive from Los Angeles to Berkeley to catch my flight home. To do this, I used a product from a local startup company: A computerized map of the Bay Area. There were two routes across Lake Saskatchewan. The southern route is highway I-70, and the northern route is an elevated highway that goes right past the head of ...

Display an overlay on the taskbar button

Today's "Little Program" displays an overlay on the taskbar button. I've seen some people call this a "badge", but "overlay" is the official term. Start with our scratch program and make the following changes: #include <comip.h> #include <comdef.h> #include <shlobj.h> #include <shellapi.h> _COM_SMARTPTR_TYPEDEF(...
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The Essential Guide To Dim Sum

The folks over at BuzzFeed Food have put together this marvelous Essential Guide To Dim Sum. The field guide includes pictures of dim sum offerings, organized by food preparation style, then sub-categorized by physical appearance. Each dish is accompanied by its name in three languages (English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese), along with ...