The Old New Thing

How much is that gigabyte in the window?

Slashdot is in an uproar over a lawsuit charging computer manufacturers for misleading consumers over hard drive capacity. The manufacturers use the ISO definition, wherein a "gigabyte" is one billion bytes, even though most people consider a gigabyte to be 1024 megabytes. This is a tricky one. The computer industry is itself inconsistent ...

Improving the world one bad analogy at a time

One thing I am known for at Microsoft is my frequent use of bad analogies. Everybody else at work has had to suffer; now it's your turn. Why are there so many copies of svchost.exe running? What is svchost.exe anyway? Traditionally, each service runs in its own process. When you are ...

Something about Microsoft employees and milk

Behold the power of milk. Or something. Here's another milk-related bug report from Paul Vick. Paul also has a bug report that challenges the philosophical underpinnings of the eventing model...

Whimsical bug reports

Whimsical bug reports, while not a common occurence, aren't exactly unheard of either. They are a popular way to vent a shared frustration and lighten the mood. Recently, we changed milk suppliers for our cafeterias. Well, more accurately, our previous milk supplier was bought by another milk ...

The default answer to every dialog box is "Cancel"

The problem with displaying UI is that people will take every opportunity to ignore it. This story of how people deal with virus warning dialogs (via Don Browning) is a template for how users treat any unexpected dialog: They try to get rid of it. We see this time and time again...

A day in the trenches

I got up at 5 this morning to spend the day at Product Support Services answering phones: today was the day the Blaster worm launched its second wave. And by a startling coincidence, the person at the station next to me was Michael Howard our Senior Security Program Manager and author of Writing...

More terse Q&A on Tweak UI 2.10

I'm going to try to alternate between programming entries (where I actually try to teach something) and random entries (where I get to spout off or go into storytelling mode). So here's another random entry. Why does Tweak UI put up a totally incomprehensible error message ("Cannot locate...

Tweak UI 2.10

What are you talking about? Tweak UI is part of the Windows XP PowerToys. It was recently updated to version 2.10. What OS is required? Windows XP Service Pack 1 (or higher) or Windows Server 2003 (all versions). Not supported: Windows XP RTM, Windows...