Masking bugs with dual processors

A while back, I had to track down a bizarre bug in a test build. A tester reported that on his machine, some code that ran to grab a decompressed video image took several seconds to run. On my machine, it was near instantaneous. My machine was certainly faster than his, but it didn’t seem…

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Ballmer’s enthusiasm

As always seems to happen around the time of Microsoft’s annual company meeting, it’s relatively easy to find various people complaining about how Steve Ballmer’s semi-public displays of enthusiasm for Microsoft seem silly or unprofessional. Before joining Microsoft, I worked at Apple for several years. And one thing I learned there is that it’s no fun…

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More Zune Info

David Caulton is blogging about Zune at http://www.zunester.com/. He’s posted about codec and formats in Zune, topics I spent much of my time working on. His most recent post is on “Clearing up content formats.” Also check out his picture of “Zune Central Command” – I spent a while shortly after I moved up here…

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Creating write-only code: the Reference (&) Operator

Write-only code is a term used to describe code that can easily be written, but that no one but the original author can easily read. Since invariably far more time is spent reading code than writing it, this is NOT a positive term. Recently, while participating in a code review, I was reminded of one…

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Move to Zune team

I clearly haven’t written anything in here in forever. In March of this year, my family and I moved from California to Washington, and I now work on Zune on Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond. (The picture to the right is of my kid playing with my Zune prototype.) I’ll try to start posting here…

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Reserved fields

Via Larry Osterman’s recent series on concurrency, I ran across an older post from Raymond Chen on why you shouldn’t use reserved fields in internal Windows data structures. About ten years ago, when I was working on the QuickTime team at Apple, we got a report from a beta tester about some third-party application that…

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New baby

This past week was my first week back to work following my paternity leave for my newly adopted son. Nathan Michael was born on December 17 in Salt Lake City. My wife, Meredith, and I got to be there at the birth. The next day, the birth mother signed the papers placing him with us,…

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Frustrations with AIM and Trillian

For a couple of years, I’ve used Trillian for my instant messaging client. I’ve stopped recently, though, because of problems with Trillian. I wrote a longer post about this on my personal blog last month, but basically, my two big complaints are that Trillian doesn’t support the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) on Tablet PC’s, and there’s…

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Reloading the .NET performance counters

On my laptop running XP SP2, I noticed that Process Explorer wasn’t highlighting .NET processes anymore. Not only that, when I went to the options panel to configure the process highlighting, the .NET option was grayed out. I sent a note to the tool’s author, Mark Russinovich, who was nice enough to respond within a…

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TV as relaxation

Many people, when they come home from a long day at work, sit down in front of the TV to unwind. It is, for example, what my wife is doing right now. I came home today from a long day at work where I spent several hours staring intently at a TV, turning aside only…

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