The Old New Thing

The credit card with a half-million-dollar credit limit

Corporate policies for acquiring hardware typically require going through a bunch of procedures, like issuing purchase orders, getting appropriate approvals, all the usual red tape with the purpose of preventing fraud. But the Windows 95 project was so notoriously behind schedule that upper management removed some procedural roadblocks. ...

It really wasn't that fancy a Swedish sentence

I dreamed that I was on vacation with my family at a cabin in the woods. I went downstairs with my elder child, and in the playroom I saw another family who are good friends of ours. I guess they chose to vacation at the same place. They had hired a Swedish-speaking nanny to help with the kids. The nanny asked me a simple question, and I gave...

A program for my nieces: The ABCs, part 1

I'm going to spend the next few weeks developing a Little Program in several parts. This is a program I wrote for my nieces, who always wanted to play with my laptop (instead of playing with me). Initially, I fired up Notepad and maximized it, and cranked the font size, but that became cumbersome, because I had to reset the font size and ...
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It rather involved being on the other side of this airtight hatchway: Disabling Safe DLL searching

The Microsoft Vulnerability Research team discovered a potential current directory attack in a third party program. The vendor, however, turned around and forwarded the report to the Microsoft Security Response Center: Our investigation suggests that this issue is due to a bug in Microsoft system DLLs rather than our program. When a ...

Why was the Windows source code trunk called the Blue Line?

The nickname doesn't get used much at all any more, but back in the day, the Windows source code trunk was called the Blue Line. Where did it get that name? From the color of the whiteboard pen. When the branching structure was worked out, the trunk was drawn with a blue pen. If you were in that meeting, and you wanted to raise a point ...

Why don't elevated processes inherit their environment variables from their non-elevated parent?

As a general rule, child processes inherit the environment of their parent. But if the parent is non-elevated and the child is elevated, then this inheritance does not happen. Why not? There are two answers to this question. For the kernel-color glasses answer, I defer to Chris Jackson, the App Compat Guy. It's interesting to see how it all ...

I didn't go to //build/ in San Francisco, but I'll be at RAMP in Budapest

Larry went to //build/, but I didn't. On the other hand, I will be at RAMP in Budapest. I will be presenting (in English) on the evolution of Windows, specifically on the lessons learned over the first two decades of Windows that led to the design of WinRT, the Windows Runtime. Although the conference has sold out, you can register for ...

You can read as well as I can, or maybe not

Occasionally, somebody will ask for help on a distribution list, and it turns into a really annoying case of hand-holding. From: X I'm using the XYZ toolset to do some document management, and I want the server to run a script whenever somebody tries to modify the master template, so it can run validations before accepting the update, ...

I wonder what sort of efficiency that house gets on the Autobahn

I dreamed that I discovered a path behind my house that led to a playground. It also led to the house of one of my friends. To access to the path from her house, you had to swing the stove away from the wall, exposing a secret door. Also, she drove her house to Europe. ("No need to pack your suitcases, kids. We're taking the whole house...

Building on our program that draws content at a fixed screen position regardless of window position

Today's Little Program uses the technique we saw last week of drawing content at a fixed screen position, regardless of window position, but adds a little physics to it. Start with our scratch program and make these changes: The Motion class simulates damped motion. Ask a physicist how it works. The rest point is the center of the ...
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