Night of the Knitting Dead

Okay, wrong zombie movie, but I couldn’t resist the pun. Knit zombies reenact Dawn of the Dead. Now playing on Flickr.


The Hallowe’en-themed lobby

During the Windows 95 project, the window manager team stayed late one night and redecorated the lobby. They suspended a variety of Hallowe’en-themed objects from fishing lines: spiders, ghosts, witches, jack-o’-lanterns, that sort of thing. The fishing line went up and over pulleys, rigged so that the objects spookily rose and fell seemingly of their own…


Even in the enlightened year of 2005, we have programs that don’t handle long file names

When I saw Tim Sneath’s description of the root cause for all the Windows Vista product key problems, I was amazed that the reason was something my readers tend to go completely ballistic over: Long file names. It so happens that one of the ISO mounting tools that people were using for installing Windows Vista…


How to recognize different types of sentinel timestamps from quite a long way away

Some time ago, I discussed several timestamp formats you might run into. Today we’ll take a logical step from that information and develop a list of special values you might encounter. Note that if you apply time zone adjustments, the actual timestamp may shift by up to a day. Date Interpretation January 1, 0001 The…


Without a doubt, the world’s worst online Swedish lessons

Lesson 3: Schomething schtranger (mp3) is part three of a series of four (so far) horrifically bad Swedish lessons. (Warning: Off-color content and copious swearing, but nevertheless very funny.) Boz has been living in Sweden since June, and two of his so-called friends have been putting together Swedish language tapes for him. Listen along as…


Why is the OEM code page often called ANSI?

It has been pointed out that the documentation for the cmd.exe program says /A Causes the output of internal commands to a pipe or file to be ANSI even though the output is actually in the OEM code page. Why do errors such as this persist? Because ANSI sometimes means OEM. The “A” versions of…


PC Magazine interviews "the team behind Windows" on its twentieth birthday

PC Magazine interviewed “the team behind Windows” in commemoration of Windows’ twentieth birthday. The article’s author talked with Bill Gates, Charles Simonyi, Jeff Raikes, Ray Ozzie (huh? He didn’t even work at Microsoft until April 2005! How could he have been part of “the team behind Windows”?), Jim Allchin, Brad Silverberg, David Cole, Yusuf Mehdi,…


When programs assume that the system will never change, episode 1

An example, all too frequent, of ways programs assume that the user interface will never change is reaching into system binaries and sucking out undocumented resources. In the shell, we have fallen into the reluctant position of carrying “dead” icons around for the benefit of programs that assumed that they would always be available. However,…


Seattle Twenty-Five for $25 November 2005 restaurant list is available

A regular restaurant promotion in the Seattle area is called Twenty-Five for $25 (The “$” is silent). Other cities have their own versions of this. New York’s is called Restaurant Week, for example, and Toronto’s is called (I am not making this up) Winterlicious. The common theme is that participating restaurants offer a prix fixe…


It’s like being at the PDC, but without the lines or the tote bag

Michael Swanson announced last night that the arduous process of assembling the PDC 2005 DVD content is now complete and the results are now online. For free. For six months. You can choose a session and watch it via streaming video, or you can download the video itself for offline enjoyment (!). Michael also has links…