Read-Only and Write-Only computer languages

A colleague and I were chatting the other day and we were talking about STL implementations (in the context of a broader discussion about template meta-programming and how difficult it is).   During our discussion, I described the STL implementation as “read-only” and he instantly knew what I was talking about.  As we dug in…

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Getting started with test driven development

I’m at the build conference in Anaheim this week, and I was in the platform booth when a customer asked me a question I’d not been asked before: “How do you get started with test driven development”.  My answer was simply “just start – it doesn’t matter how much existing code you already have, just…

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Nobody ever reads the event logs…

In my last post, I mentioned that someone was complaining about the name of the bowser.sys component that I wrote 20 years ago.  In my post, I mentioned that he included a screen shot of the event viewer. What was also interesting thing was the contents of the screen shot. “The browser driver has received…

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Reason number 9,999,999 why you don’t ever use humorous elements in a shipping product

I just saw an email go by on one of our self hosting aliases: From: <REDACTED> Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:27 PM To: <REDACTED> Subject: Spelling Mistake for browser in event viewer Not sure which team to assign this to – please pick up this bug – ‘bowser’ for ‘browser’ And he included a…

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The case of the inconsistent right shift results…

One of our testers just filed a bug against something I’m working on.  They reported that if they compiled code which calculated: 1130149156 >> –05701653 it generated different results on 32bit and 64bit operating systems.  On 32bit machines it reported 0 but on 64bit machines, it reported 0x21a. I realized that I could produce a…

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Why does Windows still place so much importance on filenames?

Earlier today, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes posted a rant (his word, not mine) about the fact that Windows still relies on text filenames. The title says it all really. Why is it that Windows still place so much importance on filenames. Take the following example – sorting out digital snaps. These are usually automatically given daft filenames…

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Not Invented Here’s take on software security

One of my favorite web comics is Not Invented Here by Bill Barnes and Paul Southworth.  I started reading Bill’s stuff with his other web comic Unshelved (a librarian comic).   NIH is a web comic about software development and this week Bill and Paul have decided to take on software security… Here’s Monday’s comic:…

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I can make it arbitrarily fast if I don’t actually have to make it work.

Digging way back into my pre-Microsoft days, I was recently reminded of a story that I believe was told to me by Mary Shaw back when I took her Computer Optimization class at Carnegie-Mellon… During the class, Mary told an anecdote about a developer “Sue” who found a bug in another developer’s “Joe” code that…

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Digging into the history bin (AKA: Microsoft Developer says that Windows is useless)

As I was writing my “25 years of Larry’s history at Microsoft in 1 year chunks” blog posts, I spent a fair amount of time digging through my email archives (trying to figure out exactly what happened at what time).  During this, I ran into a link to a post I’d made on the Info-IBMPC…

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Thinking about Last Checkin Chicken

Raymond Chen’s post today started me thinking about “Last Check-in Chicken” again.  Back in the says when we were close to shipping Windows Vista, I wrote about ”Last Check-in Chicken”.  What I didn’t mention was who ultimately won the game for Windows Vista. It turns out that the very last change to Windows Vista was…

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