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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In defense of the German language

What we lose in inflectional complexity we gain in word order uniformity.

German, the language of love?

Love lures French kids to German: Come and learn German - a language of love! Hundreds of advertisements in France this week will promote the unusual message to try to woo teenagers to a language they often consider difficult and ugly. "Language is the key to understand a partner, his culture, working manners and lifestyle," [...

The white flash

If you had a program that didn't process messages for a while, but it needed to be painted for whatever reason (say, somebody uncovered it), Windows would eventually lose patience with you and paint your window white. Or at least, that's what people would claim. Actually, Windows is painting your window with your class background brush. Since...

Cell phones: Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, but maybe can ban 'em

Cell phones top the latest Lemelson-MIT Invention Index survey, asking people to name the invention that you hate the most yet cannot live without. [Link fixed 8:22am...

What happened to DirectX 4?

Disappeared into the cracks.

Fixing security holes in other programs

Any crash report that involves a buffer overrun quickly escalates in priority. The last few that came my way were actually bugs in other programs that were detected by Windows. For example, there were a few programs that responded to the LVN_GETDISPINFO notification by overflowing the LVITEM.pszText buffer, writing more than LVITEM.cchTextMax...

What tools should I assume everybody has?

My code samples assume you are using the latest header files from the Platform SDK (free download), the one that includes support for Win64. If you have an older SDK then you won't have various new data types like UINT_PTR and INT_PTR and should just use UINT and INT. I write code that is Win64-compliant as a matter of course since all code ...

ia64 – misdeclaring near and far data

As I mentioned yesterday, the ia64 is a very demanding architecture. Today I'll discuss another way that lying to the compiler will come back and bite you. The ia64 does not have an absolute addressing mode. Instead, you access your global variables through the r1 register, nicknamed "gp" (global pointer). This register always points to your ...
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Uninitialized garbage on ia64 can be deadly

On Friday, we talked about some of the bad things that can happen if you call a function with the wrong signature. The ia64 introduces yet another possible bad consequence of a mismatched function signature which you may have thought was harmless. The CreateThread function accepts a LPTHREAD_START_ROUTINE, which has the function signature ...
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Aw, poor guy, he's so depressed

I suspect Tanzi isn't going to get much sympathy from, well, anybody. Parmalat's Tanzi is "Depressed" Lawyers for Calisto Tanzi, the jailed head of now-bankrupt European food and dairy group Parmalat, claim that he is "depressed" in prison, constantly asking about his family. The lawyers have suggested that Tanzi be released from prison and...