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…

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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…

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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…


Determining whether your window is covered

The method described in the previous coding blog entry works great if you are using the window visibility state to control painting, since you’re using the paint system itself to do the heavy lifting for you. To obtain this information outside of the paint loop, use GetDC and GetClipBox. The HDC that comes out of…


Even the trees are falling for the media’s lies

The White House is doing some renovating of its own (NYT, free registration required), in order to refurbish a section of the lawn that is used by television reporters so they can stand there with a nice picture of the White House behind them. But that’s not why I found this story interesting. Go about…

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Suburbs make you fat, researchers conclude

Researchers have determined that living in the suburbs makes you fat. That and all the super-sized value meals. Speaking of super-sizing your value meal: people are tearing down their McMansions in order to build… a bigger McMansion (WSJ, paid registration required, sorry).

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The default answer to every dialog box is “Cancel”

The problem with displaying UI is that people will take every opportunity to ignore it. This story of how people deal with virus warning dialogs (via Don Browning) is a template for how users treat any unexpected dialog: They try to get rid of it. We see this time and time again. If you are…

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Setup could not verify integrity of file

When you try to install a patch, you may get the error message “Setup could not verify integrity of file. Make sure the cryptographic service is running.” This typically means that the signature catalog has been corrupted. There was a patch to fix this problem, but of course if you haven’t been keeping up with…