Raymond Chen

Raymond has been involved in the evolution of Windows for more than 30 years. In 2003, he began a Web site known as The Old New Thing which has grown in popularity far beyond his wildest imagination, a development which still gives him the heebie-jeebies. The Web site spawned a book, coincidentally also titled The Old New Thing (Addison Wesley 2007). He occasionally appears on the Windows Dev Docs Twitter account to tell stories which convey no useful information.

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What is the difference between Minimize All and Show Desktop?

They do almost the same thing but not quite.

Art too bad to be ignored

The Museum of Bad Art: Art Too Bad To Be Ignored. The Athlete Crayon and pencil on canvas by Unknown 30"x40" Acquired from trash in Boston by Scott Wilson A startling work, and one of the largest crayon on canvas pieces that most people can ever hope to see. The bulging leg muscles, the black shoes, the white socks, the pink...

How does the desktop choose the icon label color?

Many system colors come in pairs, one for background and one for foreground. For example, COLOR_MENU and COLOR_MENUTEXT; COLOR_WINDOW and COLOR_WINDOWTEXT; COLOR_HIGHLIGHT and COLOR_HIGHLIGHTTEXT. More on these colors in a future blog entry. But there is COLOR_DESKTOP and no COLOR_DESKTOPTEXT. How does the desktop choose the icon ...

The F*deral Bur*au of Inv*stigations

According to the Chicago Division, Use of the NAME, INITIALS, or SEAL of the F*I is restricted by law and may be used only with written permission of the F*I. Asterisks inserted to avoid being arrested by the F*I for using their name and initials without written permission. (I hope they don't go after me for using their ...

When you change the insides, nobody notices

Calc and Notepad changed. Did you notice?

Callback, the safety newsletter for the aviation community

Yes the "S" in NASA stands for "Space", but don't forget that the "A" stands for "Aeronautics". One of the programs that I (amateur aviation wannabe) find fascinating is the Aviation Safety Reporting System, where pilots can submit anonymous reports of "stupid things I have done" in order to teach other pilots "Don't do what I did...

Extending the Internet Explorer context menu

In a comment, Darrell Norton asked for a "View in Mozilla" option for Internet Explorer. You can already do this. Internet Explorer's context menu extension mechanism has been in MSDN for years. Let me show you how you can create this extension yourself. First, create the following registry key: Of course, you need to change C:\...

You can do anything at zombo.com, anything at all

Zombo has been around for many years, and yet I still find it hilarious (requires Flash). I just went back to check, and alas the introduction actually ends. But fortunately, they made it even cooler by having a text-only version. (Still requires sound...

Do you know when your destructors run? Part 2.

Continuing from yesterday, here's another case where you have to watch your destructors. Yesterday's theme was destructors that run at the wrong time. Today, we're going to see destructors that don't run at all! Assume there's an ObjectLock class which takes a lock in its constructor and releases it in its destructor. Pretty standard ...

Do you know when your destructors run? Part 1.

Larry Osterman discussed the importance of knowing when your global destructors run, but this problem is not exclusive to global objects. You need to take care even with local objects. Consider: Easy as pie. And there's a bug here. When does the destructor for that smart-pointer run? Answer: When the object goes out of scope, which...