Scrollbars part 9 – Maintaining the metaphor

When a document is displayed with scrollbars, the metaphor is that the window is a viewport onto the entire document, only a portion of which is visible at the moment. The default behavior of a resize, however, is to maintain the origin at the upper left corner of the client area, which breaks the metaphor…


It’s a lot easier to write a column if you don’t care about accuracy

Now that Longhorn Rumor Season seems to have kicked up, I’m reminded of Windows 95 Rumor Season. The great thing about writing a rumors column is that you don’t have to be right! Even if you’re wrong, you can just say, “Well, Microsoft changed it before they shipped,” and nobody can say you were wrong….


An insight into the Windows 95 startup sound

Doo, dudududingggggg…. ding…. ding… ding… In an interview with Joel Selvin at the San Francisco Chronicle, Brian Eno explains. Q: How did you come to compose “The Microsoft Sound”? A: The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I’d been working on my own music for a while and…


Where is my program running from?

Another common question: “How do I find out where my program is? I want to be able to access support files in that same directory.” Answer: GetModuleFileName(NULL, …).


Case mapping on Unicode is hard

Occasionally, I’m asked, “I have to identify strings that are identical, case-insensitively.  How do I do it?” The answer is, “Well, it depends. Whose case-mapping rules do you want to use?” Sometimes the reply is, “I want this to be language-independent.” Now you have a real problem. Every locale has its own case-mapping rules. Many…


Why is there no programmatic access to the Start menu pin list?

We learned our lesson the hard way. In Windows 95, we gave programmatic access to the Start menu “Fast items” list – the items that appear at the top of the Start menu above the Programs list. This area was meant for the user to customize with their favorite links, but programs quickly saw the…


The World Adult Kickball Association

“People just want to come out and have fun,” Smith said. “A lot of the sports leagues out there, unless you’re die-hard, unless you’re so serious, people end up getting left out,” he said. Not so with kickball. “People haven’t done it since grade school, so it’s not like people have been out there… playing…