2010 year-end link clearance

Another round of the semi-annual link clearance. Sir Humphrey Appleby has a blog, developed in conjunction with Yes, Prime Minister, the play. Everybody on television reads the same newspaper. (Another gallery.) Here’s where they got it. The comments on this Boing Boing post are consistently high quality. Related: Everybody on television uses the same paper…


What makes RealGetWindowClass so much more real than GetClassName?

There’s Get­Class­Name and then there’s Real­Get­Window­Class. What makes Real­Get­Window­Class more real? Recall from last time that the Real… functions were added to support Windows accessibility. The goal with Real­Get­Window­Class is to help accessibility tools identify what kind of window it is working with, even if the application did a little disguising in the form of…


WindowFromPoint, ChildWindowFromPoint, RealChildWindowFromPoint, when will it all end?

Oh wait, there’s also ChildWindowFromPointEx. There are many ways of identifying the window that appears beneath a point. The documentation for each one describes how they work, but I figured I’d do a little compare/contrast to help you decide which one you want for your particular programming problem. The oldest functions are WindowFromPoint and ChildWindowFromPoint….


Windows 7 not only can make a wallpaper slide show from images on your computer, it can even pull them from an RSS feed

Buried in the theme file documentation is a section called [Slideshow] which lets you control the source for images that are used when you put the desktop wallpaper in slideshow mode. And a bonus feature hidden in the [Slideshow] section is the ability to draw the images from an RSS feed. After creating the .theme…


Some suggestions on improving the assembly instructions for your children’s play furniture

Some suggestions for those companies which produce children’s play furniture: If a part is 99.9% symmetric, please call out the other 0.1%. Otherwise, the person doing the assembling will waste five minutes trying to get it to fit before realizing, “Oh, I have to turn it the other way.” Do not refer to the same…


That mysterious 01

Some time ago, we learned the story of that mysterious J. There is another mystery character that sometimes shows up in place of a smiley face: the \001. The character starts out as the Unicode U+263A, which looks like this: ☺. In code page 437, this character lives at position 1, and depending on what program is being…


What is the correct way of temporarily changing a thread’s preferred UI language?

A customer ran into a crashing bug in their shell extension. The shell extension wants to change the thread’s preferred UI language temporarily, so that it can load its resources from a specific language. You’d think this would be easy: // error checking elided for simplicity // There is a bug in this code -…


The __fortran calling convention isn’t the calling convention used by FORTRAN

Although the Microsoft C compiler supports a calling convention called __fortran, that’s just what the calling convention is called; its relationship with the FORTRAN programming language is only coincidental. The __fortran keyword is now just an old-fashioned synonym for __stdcall. Various FORTRAN compilers use different calling conventions; the one I describe here applies to the…