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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An insight into the Windows 95 startup sound

Doo, dudududingggggg.... ding.... ding... ding... In an interview with Joel Selvin at the San Francisco Chronicle, Brian Eno explains. Q: How did you come to compose "The Microsoft Sound"? A: The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. ...

Where is my program running from?

Another common question: "How do I find out where my program is? I want to be able to access support files in that same directory." Answer: GetModuleFileName(NULL...
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Case mapping on Unicode is hard

Occasionally, I'm asked, "I have to identify strings that are identical, case-insensitively.  How do I do it?" The answer is, "Well, it depends. Whose case-mapping rules do you want to use?" Sometimes the reply is, "I want this to be language-independent." Now ...
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How to recognize different types of timestamps from quite a long way away

The great thing about timestamps is that there are so many to choose from.
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Why are the rules for GetWindowText so weird?

Set the wayback machine to 1983.

Why is there no programmatic access to the Start menu pin list?

We learned our lesson the hard way. In Windows 95, we gave programmatic access to the Start menu "Fast items" list - the items that appear at the top of the Start menu above the Programs list. This area was meant for the user to customize with their favorite links, but programs quickly ...

The World Adult Kickball Association

"People just want to come out and have fun," Smith said. "A lot of the sports leagues out there, unless you're die-hard, unless you're so serious, people end up getting left out," he said. Not so with kickball. "People haven't done it since grade school, so it's not like people ...

Determining whether your window is covered

The method described in the previous coding blog entry works great if you are using the window visibility state to control painting, since you're using the paint system itself to do the heavy lifting for you. To obtain this information outside of the paint loop, use GetDC and GetClipBox...
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Even the trees are falling for the media's lies

The White House is doing some renovating of its own (NYT, free registration required), in order to refurbish a section of the lawn that is used by television reporters so they can stand there with a nice picture of the White House behind them. But that's not why I found this story interesting. Go about halfway down the article: "The light...

Suburbs make you fat, researchers conclude

Researchers have determined that living in the suburbs makes you fat. That and all the super-sized value meals. Speaking of super-sizing your value meal: people are tearing down their McMansions in order to build... a bigger McMansion (WSJ, paid registration required, sorry...

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