What are those little overlay icons?

Windows XP ships with a number of icon overlays. The black clock is particularly baffling because you sometimes see it even if your system is not equipped with Hierarchical Storage Management. When this happens, it's because some program (...

Rotating the Z-order

Sometimes you run into a conflict where you need the controls laid out in one Z-order to get hit-testing to work, but need a different order to get keyboard TAB order working. For example, consider this dialog template, which has been simplified for expository purposes. The...
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Windows brings out the Rorschach test in everyone

It seems that no matter what you do, somebody will get offended. Every Windows 95 box has an anti-piracy hologram on the side. The photographer chose his infant son as his model, since the human face is very hard to copy accurately. The baby sits next to a computer, and as you turn the hologram...

Knitting a pumpkin

I've decided to change the color scheme to match my latest knitting project:  A pumpkin hat. (Previous food-themed hats were raspberry and eggplant.) I just got a call from the yarn store that the yarn for my sweater has come in, and I can't wait...

Why isn't my time zone highlighted on the world map?

In the original release of Windows 95, you could change your time zone by clicking on the map, and the time zone you selected would highlight. Similarly, you could change your Region Settings by clicking on the world map. This was one of those little touches that made Windows 95 that much more fun to use...

The secret life of GetWindowText

GetWindowText() is more complicated than you think. The documentation tries to explain its complexity with small words, which is great if you don't understand long words, but it also means that you're not getting the full story. Here's an attempt to give the full story. How windows ...
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What is in the "Windows 95 Special Edition" box?

At the Windows 95 Launch and at various other marketing events, guests were given a copy of "Windows 95 Special Edition". What is so special about the box? Answer: The box. The contents of the box are exactly the same as a regular copy of Windows 95. The only thing special ...