The Old New Thing

Why does Explorer sometimes show my server name in parentheses?

A customer wanted to know why Explorer showed one of their servers in the folder list the normal way: ⊞ servername but another server showed up "where the server name is parentheses and the node name is in front." ⊞ nodename (servername) "Where is Explorer getting that information, and why are the two servers showing up ...

Sometimes people can be so helpless: Finding the owner of a Web page

Internal to Microsoft are thousands of Web sites. This is a story about one of them. On an internal discussion list, somebody asked We just created a new Flurb. Does anyone know how to get listed on http://internalsite/newflurbs? I hadn't heard of that site before, but I checked it out. Neat, it's basically a blog which announces new ...

I'm sure that Star Trek-themed parties exist, so why has no one ever scheduled one as a Microsoft holiday party?

I dreamed that I was attending a Star Trek-themed company party. Nobody was dressed as a Starfleet officer or anything exotic. Half of the people ignored the party theme and came in cocktail attire, and half were dressed in Renaissance or Elizabethan clothes, but they represented Star Trek aliens because they were not all white Europeans, and ...

A program for my nieces: The ABCs, part 4

Disabling autorepeat in my ABC program was largely sufficient to keep my nieces happy, given their instructions to press only one key at a time. Once in a while, though, they would hit the context menu key in the bottom right corner of the keyboard, and then they'd get stuck because they didn't know how to dismiss it. So let's disable that...
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What is the default cursor for a thread?

When we looked at the process by which the cursor is set, we neglected to discuss the case where nobody bothers to set the cursor. What is the ultimate default cursor? Let's write a program that refuses to set the cursor. Take the scratch program and add these lines: What we did was make the window explicitly refuse to set the cursor ...
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Windows 7 no longer tries to guess application size and other information

Back in the old days, if an application did not provide information like its Estimated Size or Install Date, then the Add/Remove Programs control panel tried to guess the values by searching your hard drives for files and directories that bore a superficial resemblance to the application. (Note that I use the word drives in the plural. It ...

Office Office Office Malkovich Office Office Office

Some years ago, a colleague of mine received a message from our IT department. It began like this: You are receiving this notification because our records show that the machines below are still running a pre-release version of Office 2010. All pre-release versions of Office 2010 will expire on Office 31, 2010. Either the Office team managed...

At least it's clear who will NOT be bunking together

I dreamed that I was on a business trip with two colleagues. We discussed Canadian science broadcaster David Suzuki and how in photos of him as a teenager, he looked like Elvis Presley. (Note: Not actually true as far as I know. Remember, this is a dream.) Fortunately, the hotel room we booked had three beds. But if Michael Jackson hadn't ...

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