2007 year-end link clearance

A few random links that I’ve collected over the last six months. Catalog Choice helps you get off the mailing lists of all those catalog companies. The DMA’s Mail Preference Service is a bigger hammer, addressing all unsolicited mail from member organizations. (via.) The Opposite of Backup and other stories of “backups that didn’t” reminds…


Why aren’t console windows themed on Windows XP?

Commenter Andrej Budja asks why cmd.exe is not themed in Windows XP. (This question was repeated by Serge Wautier, proving that nobody checks whether their suggestion has already been submitted before adding their own. It was also asked by a commenter who goes by the name “S”, and then repeated again just a few hours later,…


Now I can read my own writing the way you do: With utter incomprehension

In my mailbox yesterday arrived a few complimentary copies of the Japanese translation of my book. (Note: Still available in English.) I cracked the Japanese edition open and confirmed what I already knew: I can’t read a lick of Japanese. But now I know how you all feel when you read this Web site: It’s…


If you need anything other than natural alignment, you have to ask for it

If you need variables to be aligned a particular way, you need to ask for it. Let’s say I have the following code: void fn() { int a; char b; long c; char d[10]; } What would the alignment of the starting adresses of a,b,c and d be? What would the alignment be if the…


Paul Shirley: Basketball player, blogger, and author

Professional basketball player Paul Shirley blogged about his experiences sitting on the bench for the Phoenix Suns back in 2005. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I don’t particularly care much for the sport of basketball. He describes the life of that guy who sits on the bench, he makes observations about BMI of tourists…


Microthink: If you can’t measure it, then it doesn’t exist

At Microsoft, there is an obsession with measurement. If you can’t measure it, then it doesn’t exist. As a result, we set up data collection mechanisms, and try to interpret that data, even if the data isn’t what we’re really interested in, but we act as if it is. Because it’s what we know how…


You mean, you have computers in Taiwan?

The wife of one of my relatives grew up in Taiwan and attended college in the United States. When she went home to Taiwan for the holidays, she would tell her classmates, “If you need to get in touch while I’m away, you can send me email.” One of them asked her, “You mean, you…


Where do those Wall Street Journal hedcuts come from?

A few years ago, Marketplace radio looks at those portraits used by the Wall Street Journal, known as hedcuts. Believe it or not, these drawings are hand-done, not computer-generated. View the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery online exhibition to see, for example, how Steve Jobs’s portrait has changed over the years.


What was the role of MS-DOS in Windows 95?

Welcome, Slashdot readers. Remember, this Web site is for entertainment purposes only. Sean wants to know what the role of MS-DOS was in Windows 95. I may regret answering this question since it’s clear Slashdot bait. (Even if Sean didn’t intend it that way, that’s what it’s going to turn into.) Here goes. Remember, what I…