The Old New Thing

Why does the System Properties page round the memory size?

During Windows 95 beta testing, people ran the System Properties page and complained about "missing memory". The Windows 95 System Properties page reports the amount of memory available to Windows as system memory, which is not necessarily the same as the amount of memory installed in ...

Why can't I use &-accelerators on the Start menu?

The first letter of the program is the accelerator and there's nothing you can do about it. So if you have ten programs by Microsoft, they all use the accelerator "M". (Yes I hate this too. The first thing I do after installing a Microsoft program is go into the Start menu and delete the word "Microsoft" ...

Why is the readonly property for folders so strange?

It's actually a signal to Explorer to look harder. It doesn't mean that the directory is read-only. If a folder has the Readonly or System flag set, then Explorer will look for a desktop.ini file which describes the folder customizations. For performance reasons, Explorer does this only if the ...

Why do some people call the taskbar the "tray"?

Short answer: Because they're wrong. Long answer: The official name for the thingie at the bottom of the screen is the "taskbar". The taskbar contains a variety of elements, such as the "Start Button", a collection of "taskbar buttons", the clock, and the "Taskbar Notification ...

It's a lot easier to write a column if you don't care about accuracy

Now that Longhorn Rumor Season seems to have kicked up, I'm reminded of Windows 95 Rumor Season. The great thing about writing a rumors column is that you don't have to be right! Even if you're wrong, you can just say, "Well, Microsoft changed it before they shipped," and nobody can say you were wrong. It'...

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. ...