Windows brings out the Rorschach test in everyone

It seems that no matter what you do, somebody will get offended. Every Windows 95 box has an anti-piracy hologram on the side. The photographer chose his infant son as his model, since the human face is very hard to copy accurately. The baby sits next to a computer, and as you turn the hologram,…


Knitting a pumpkin

I’ve decided to change the color scheme to match my latest knitting project:  A pumpkin hat. (Previous food-themed hats were raspberry and eggplant.) I just got a call from the yarn store that the yarn for my sweater has come in, and I can’t wait.


Why isn’t my time zone highlighted on the world map?

In the original release of Windows 95, you could change your time zone by clicking on the map, and the time zone you selected would highlight. Similarly, you could change your Region Settings by clicking on the world map. This was one of those little touches that made Windows 95 that much more fun to…


The secret life of GetWindowText

GetWindowText() is more complicated than you think. The documentation tries to explain its complexity with small words, which is great if you don’t understand long words, but it also means that you’re not getting the full story. Here’s an attempt to give the full story. How windows manage their text There are two ways window…


What is in the “Windows 95 Special Edition” box?

At the Windows 95 Launch and at various other marketing events, guests were given a copy of “Windows 95 Special Edition”. What is so special about the box? Answer: The box. The contents of the box are exactly the same as a regular copy of Windows 95. The only thing special about it is the…


Lessons from the trenches

Lessons I learned from working in product support the past few days: If the husband is in the room, hope that he leaves. (He will second-guess everything you do.) If there’s a 14-year-old in the room, hope the parents give the phone to him/her. (Teenagers type a lot faster.) Hope you get a grandma.  They’re…


Why does Windows 95 have functions called BEAR, BUNNY and PIGLET?

If you dig back into your Windows 95 files, you’ll find that some internal system functions are given names like BEAR35, BUNNY73 and PIGLET12. Surely there is a story behind these silly names, isn’t there? Of course there is. “Bear” is the name of the Windows 3.1 mascot, a stuffed teddy bear seemingly-obsessively carried around…


A day in the trenches

I got up at 5 this morning to spend the day at Product Support Services answering phones: today was the day the Blaster worm launched its second wave. And by a startling coincidence, the person at the station next to me was Michael Howard our Senior Security Program Manager and author of Writing Secure Code….


Answer to exercise

The WM_SIZING handler intercepts only interactive resizing. If the user right-clicks the taskbar and selects “Cascade Windows”, this resizes the window directly without going through the interactive WM_SIZING step