Changing the Windows boot logo

This is the answer I give to IT people when they ask if it’s okay to customize the Windows boot logo. DO NOT DO THIS ON A PRODUCTION MACHINE OR YOU WILL REGRET IT. If you hack the bitmap everything will seem fine until six months down the road when you decide to install the…

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Answer to previous exercise

If you look at the WM_VSCROLL message, you’ll see that the scroll position is a 16-bit value. So if the number of entries is more then 65535, you won’t be able to use the scroll thumb to get to the ones at the end. Try it: Change the value of g_cItems to 100000 and watch…


Scrollbars, part 4: Adding a proportional scrollbar

To obtain a proportional scrollbar, you need to tell Windows the minimum and maximum values covered by the scrollbar, the current scrollbar position, and the size of the scrollbar thumb (called the “page size”). One annoyance of the way scrollbars are set up is that the maximum value is attainable. This differs from the way…


Answer to yesterday’s exercise

iMin is the lowest-index element which intersects the paint rectangle, so a simple truncating division produces the desired index. The formula for iMax can be interpreted two ways. One is that it is the roundup of the first invisible line. Recall the rectangles are exclusive of the endpoint, so rcPaint.bottom is actually the first row…

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Why doesn’t the new Start menu use Intellimenus in the All Programs list?

Common request: I want to be able to turn on personalized menus (Intellimenus) when in XP Start Menu mode. Imagine if Intellimenus were enabled with the XP Start Menu. You use 5 apps; the rest are not used much. (Studies show that 5 is the typical number of unique applications users run on a regular…

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Scrollbars, part 3: Optimizing the paint cycle

Observe that we paint all 100 lines in our paint handler, even though most of them aren’t visible. This is a problem if there are a large number of items, or if painting an item is time-consuming. So instead, we optimize our paint cycle so as to paint only the elements which intersect the paint…

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Why doesn’t Windows have an “expert mode”?

We often get requests like this: There should be a slider bar somewhere, say on the Performance Tab, that ranges from Novice to Advanced. At the highest level, all the geek settings are turned on. At the Novice level, all the settings for beginners are turned on. In between, we can gradually enable stuff. We’ve…

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Scrollbars, part 2

Managing scrollbars is not hard in principle. The basic idea is not that difficult, but there are a lot of small details that need to be ironed out. If you don’t get the details just right, your program will feel odd in a strange way that you often can’t pinpoint, much like a subtle background…

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More terse Q&A on Tweak UI 2.10

I’m going to try to alternate between programming entries (where I actually try to teach something) and random entries (where I get to spout off or go into storytelling mode). So here’s another random entry. Why does Tweak UI put up a totally incomprehensible error message (“Cannot locate entrypoint GetDllDirectoryW in Kernel32.dll”) when I try…

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The scratch program

Occasionally, there is need to illustrate a point with a full program. To avoid reproducing the boring parts of the program, let’s agree on using the following template for our sample programs. For expository purposes, I won’t use a C++ class. I’ll just keep all my variables global. In a real program, of course, instance…

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