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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Ännu skriver jag inte bra

I was exchanging e-mail with one of the people I will be visiting while I'm in Uppsala [link repaired 10:43pm]. and we wrote in double-translation, first in Swedish, with English translation beneath it. But eventually he gave up and wrote exclusively in English. I went back to my previous dual-language message and found a few pretty ...

More on the AMD64 calling convention

Josh Williams picks up the 64-bit ball with an even deeper discussion of the AMD64 (aka x64) calling convention and things that go wrong when you misdeclare your function prototypes...

On a server, paging = death

Chris Brumme's latest treatise contained the sentence "Servers must not page". That's because on a server, paging = death. I had occasion to meet somebody from another division who told me this little story: They had a server that went into thrashing death every 10 hours, like clockwork, and had to be rebooted. To mask the problem, the server ...

Why do text files end in Ctrl+Z?

Actually, text files don't need to end in Ctrl+Z, but the convention persists in certain circles. (Though, fortunately, those circles are awfully small nowadays.) This story requires us to go back to CP/M, the operating system that MS-DOS envisioned itself as a successor to. (Since the 8086 envisioned itself as the successor to the 8080...

Still more creative uses for CAPTCHA

I want to say up front that I think CAPTCHA is a stupid name. CAPTCHA stands for "Computer-Aided Process for Testing..." something something. Why do people feel the urge the create some strained cutesy acronym for their little invention? Anyway, it has already been noted how spammers are getting around these tests by harvesting a practically-...

How do I convert a SID between binary and string forms?

More than you probably wanted to know about how SIDs are represented in memory.

Senators are really good at stock-picking

A Georgia State University study shows that U.S. senators have an uncanny knack for picking stocks that outpace the overall market. Professor Alan Ziobrowski's analysis of senators' financial disclosure data found that over a period of six years, the lawmakers outperformed the market by 12 percent. Professor Ziobrowski seems ...

What is the default security descriptor?

All these functions have an optional LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES parameter, for which everybody just passes NULL, thereby obtaining the default security descriptor. But what is the default security descriptor? Of course, the place to start is MSDN, in the section titled Security Descriptors for New Objects. It says that the default DACL comes ...
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What happens to those "To Any Soldier" care packages

Commentator and novelist Christian Bauman recalls the excitement of receiving mail from anonymous well-wishers back home during his deployment with the U.S. Army in Somalia in the early 1990s. This was a fascinating listen. The coup, of course, was getting a letter with a snapshot or two inside. I don't know why, but the further...

Tony Harding laces up again

The skater you love to hate is back. Tonya Harding will lace up for a single game tomorrow with the Indianapolis Ice, which coincidentally happens to be "Guaranteed Fight Night". (If there's no fight, you get a free ticket to another game.) Ah, minor-league hockey... Personally, I don't think it's right when somebody benefits ...