Larry’s Suggestion Box

Someone suggested that I open a Suggestions box similar to Raymonds.  It's a good idea, so the suggestion box is now open.

Please note that I reserve the right to choose which suggestions I write on, and I'm not likely to write about things I don't know about.

Topics I feel comfortable writing about (in no specific order):

  • Microsoft History
  • Windows Audio (if I don't know the answer I can find it)
  • Microsoft Exchange, and email in general
  • The Win32 APIs, but not the Win32 GUI APIs (I'm not a UI programmer)
  • Software engineering
  • Debugging tricks and tips
  • Security - but NOT about specific exploits etc - there are legal issues involved that I'm not willing to push.
  • COM, DCOM, RPC, etc
  • The .Net framework (although there are others far better at that than I)
  • Localization/Internationalization issues

Topics I don't feel comfortable writing about:

  • Legal issues.
  • Internet Explorer (there are others better suited to write about that)
  • Windows GUI (ask Raymond, he knows that stuff, I don't)
  • Why doesn't my code work? (Unless the reason it doesn't work demonstrates a general principal)
  • Longhorn specifics (including multimedia in Longhorn)



Comments (16)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would like to see some more Debugging tricks and tips

    Keep up the good work

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well Like I told you before, I really like your blog you have been doing very well on your own. But sometimes I imagine you may sit there wondering well what do people want to know? So without further ado…

    Several of your posts, you comments back to the public that your books are old and outdated on a subject. While yes I believe that, I ran across my old ADA 83 book the other day, It doesn’t mean I am not reading something else right now, I haven’t compiled ADA on a Vax system since 85 but for some reason I still have the book. So how about it Larry, what are you currently reading, Technical and/or Non Technical?

    Microsoft History, is always fun and interesting, your Microsoft history has been great so far. But I wouldn’t know what to ask on this. Reading your history on Microsoft is kind of like browsing the channels on TV and seeing something like Modern Marvels on the History channel. You flip to that channel and watch it because you know it is always something interesting even without knowing what the subject is. Your Microsoft History is kind of like that. When I see it hit my sharp reader, I typically finish up the piece of code or train of thought I am on and go read it. But, one thing I have always been curious on is when you do a fresh install of Windows any version on a clean never has anything on it machine it comes up to set your time zone. The Default it always starts at is Tijuana, or Taiwan, or something really odd can’t remember off the top of my head but think it is Tijuana, just curious why is that the default when you first bring a windows computer up. I know on an unattended install you can specify it ahead of time but just curious why that became the default. You would think it would be Redmond Time or maybe Anchorage, Alaska time.

    InternationalizationArchitecture – How would you handle working with an application installed on a en-US Operating system that will be reading and devouring information say from flat text files in csv format coming from Belgium, France, Brazil and the USA. These files will have dates and money in them. However there is nothing in the file that tells you where the file originated. It is just dumped into an ftp folder. My quick and solution was just to create unique directories for each country but was wondering if there was anything that may help identify those files.

    Semi internationalizationAPI – You have a server, for ease lets say it is en-US server and the time is set to EST Eastern Standard Time. You want to know what time it is in say Germany, then Australia, then Japan all from that server. Ok how I did it was calculate the server time from the prime meridian via API, if it was daylight saving time or not via API, then built up a hash table on country codes and what time zone they were in the hardest part was different countries have different rules on when they all do daylight savings time, I put Australia in there because they are a different hemisphere and their summer is our winter and so on. I know I could flip the time zone on the server as the clock would adjust. But I could not find any API’s to easily get this information from. Yet something tells me that it is there since the OS seems to handle this even when traveling on a laptop you can set your time zone and the PC clock updates.

    Wow just realized the length of this post , you know I could ask questions forever, but I think my cup runnith over. At least for now I haven’t even got to ask any questions on windows audio which I do have questions about, another time in the suggestion box.

    One last thing, maybe a monthly lesson on AL from the start, like where you start if you to disassemble something. What tools are you using just simple hex dumps or more? You did suggest we should all know it. While I know enough to be dangerous I know the .net IL much better I find it a lot easier to read. Plus the ILDASM tools for .net make hitting the IL code for .net really easy. I haven’t done AL in so long where to start again. Especially on a Windows Machine.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Multimedia timers and how people don’t realize they get called on a different thread than their UI thread (unlike WM_TIMER).

  4. Anonymous says:

    How about the correct way to stop a multimedia timer pre-Windows XP, where TIME_KILL_SYNCHRONOUS is not available? It took me a couple of tries to get a solution that doesn’t have a race condition, and I’m curious as to the official solution.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, to answer your question, I did not insert the links in the comments, they inserted themselves on pre-selected keywords. This can be done from the admin.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not just debugging tips and tricks, but perhaps mini-session/walk-throughs annotated with your observations ("Uber-Geek Powers ACTIVATE! Form of… a big nerd for asking for this"). Also, spot-the-bog &/| coding contests with lunch with Larry for any lucky winner willing to travel to Redmond for lunch. 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    MS-DOS (and thus the DOS parts of Win9x) do all sorts of weird things when logging in a hard drive, depending on what the OEM ID is. I’ve documented some of what happens on my website (linked from this comment).

    Presumably, there were versions of DOS that didn’t set up the boot sector correctly, and MS-DOS is using the OEM ID to detect this. My questions are:

    (1) Which were the buggy versions of DOS that it’s trying to work around?

    (2) Wouldn’t it be nice if Microsoft’s documentation (such as Q140418) mentioned this?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The component you work on is well hated, and has been for decades (at least 1). This is because it featured in so many blue screens on 9x and also 3.1 I think.

    Defend the honour of Winmm. Tell us the story of this one component, from birth through to today. This could be themed into your categories (such as SW engineering, debugging, and History). I realise you do this already, but not in a systametic way. You can see the source so you can see the changes that have been made. Interesting features, bugs (or issues if not MM fault), and interesting API (such as HeyPrestoChangoSelto or whatever it was) of it.

    For Michael Fisher

    One could win a virtual lunch with larry via netmeeting. Both go to Mcdonalds in respective countries, buy take away, and eat together via NM. I don’t buy takaway so I can’t participate.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A little more History on Exchange would be appreciated. Specifically, can you speak to the rumour that the Exchange System Manager tool uses unpublished API’s to correspond with an Exchange Server? Great Blog… Thanks.

  10. Anonymous says:

    C# string vs. StringBuilder: How many concatenations would it take for StringBuilder to be more useful than a plain old string?

  11. Anonymous says:

    This falls into the history category (but it also falls into the GUI category).

    Can you provide a brief history of MFC?

  12. Anonymous says:

    It would be nice if you can sketch the approach you took in solving some interesting problems over the years. For ex, consider an interesting problem u solved years back and write abt your thougt process in solving that..

    I highly appreciate that you take some time off your schedule to answer our comments.. great job…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Stealing a page from the Exchange Team’s book (who initially stole from Raymond and Larry ), we created a suggestion box . This forum should prove to be more “open” than just e-mailing us topic ideas. Suggest away! gretchen P.S. If you look at the sidebar

  14. Anonymous says:

    Stealing a page from the Exchange Team’s book (who initially stole from Raymond and Larry ), we created a suggestion box . This forum should prove to be more “open” than just e-mailing us topic ideas. Suggest away! gretchen P.S. If you look at the sidebar

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