So that’s what daddy does at work

As many people have pointed out, Hallowe’en at Microsoft is a very family-oriented affair. The parents love it because the kids are in a safe environment; the kids love it because instead of having to go from house to house, you just have to walk to the next office, and then there’s a big party…


Separated at birth: The Windows XP SP2 launch team

When Paul Thurott interviewed the Windows XP SP2 launch team, he also included publicity photos of many of the team members. Which, of course, prompted me to play a game similar to my stunt casting of Harry Potter, namely, “Separated at birth?” Todd Wanke Robert Redford Rebecca Norlander Lisa Kudrow Mark Harris Ryan Stiles Laurie…


Руками не трогать!

Former Microsoft “big-time important guy” Charles Simonyi wants to be the first nerd in space. In this BBC article, he says that he is even learning Russian so he can better understand the systems aboard the Soyuz spacecraft that will take him up and back. (Note to the humor-impaired: Joke begins here.) When his Russian…


Why can’t I get my program to use more than 50% of the CPU?

This is sort of the reverse of Why is my CPU usage hovering at 50%?, but the answer is the same. When I run a CPU-intensive task, the CPU percentage used by that process never goes above 50%, and the rest is reported as idle. Is there some setting that I set inadvertently which is…


Now it looks like I speak far more languages than I actually do

The folks over at TechNet Magazine have done something really cool: They’ve started translating all their articles into Spanish, French, German, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Simplified Chinese. (But no Swedish.) You can change your language on the fly with the combo box in the corner. (MSDN Magazine is doing the same thing. It’s an epidemic!)…


Let the dead computer scavenging commence!

Now that my old computer is up on bricks in the virtual front yard, the scavenging has begun. I got a piece of email from one of my colleagues saying, “Say, you aren’t using that PC-2100 memory any more are you?” Why no, in fact, I wasn’t. Christmas comes early. (He offered to buy the…


For a brief shining moment, DirectX was more popular than another word that ends in x

In the month after DirectX 3 was released, “directx” became the number one most-searched-for term on That in itself wasn’t too surprising. What was more surprising was the word in sixth place: “sex”. That puzzles me to this day. What kind of people search for “sex” on And what were they expecting to find?


Non-resolution of the dead home desktop problem

Last time, I told of attempting to upgrade my home computer and failing. I ultimately gave up and returned the parts to the store, telling them that I thought the IDE controller on the motherboard was dead. They refunded my money after a false step where they refunded me more than I paid for the…


Offline mode silently prevents you from streaming media content

Into Windows Media Player (version 9 if you’re keeping score at home), I type the URL of an MP3 file (poor man’s podcast) and get the error message “The download of the specified resource has failed.” On this dialog there two buttons: Close and Web Help. Close closes the error dialog, of course. Web Help does…