The migration continues

Hey folks, this blog is moving to a new home. It’ll take me a while to set up shop there, though, so please be patient. Some time after the new year, the content will likely migrate to the new location.


Welcome to the New Old New Thing

Hey there, everybody. It’s going to take me a while to settle in, so please be patient. It seems I always celebrate a new blog by designing some insane multi-part series on some obscure aspect of Win32, so I think I’ll welcome this site with a series of articles that demonstrate various things you can…


Tote Hose in Weilburg

Wenn Teenies shoppen gehen: Flugzeuge im Warenkorb. This article caught my eye because it opens with a German slang phrase I learned just a few weeks ago: “Tote Hose” which means roughly “Absolutely nothing doing”. Here’s an English version of the article for those whose German isn’t quite up to snuff. A question for Germans:…


Why are structure sizes checked strictly?

You may have noticed that Windows as a general rule checks structure sizes strictly. For example, consider the MENUITEMINFO structure: typedef struct tagMENUITEMINFO { UINT cbSize; UINT fMask; UINT fType; UINT fState; UINT wID; HMENU hSubMenu; HBITMAP hbmpChecked; HBITMAP hbmpUnchecked; ULONG_PTR dwItemData; LPTSTR dwTypeData; UINT cch; #if(WINVER >= 0x0500) HBITMAP hbmpItem; // available only on…


Voyage to Our Hollow Earth

Slashdot’s story about the amateur adventurer who is now stranded at McMurdo Base (because he underestimated his fuel requirements for a trip over the South Pole) reminded me of a controversy abrew at the other end of the planet: The hole at the North Pole. To resolve this matter, Steve Currey is mounting an expedition…


How do I pass a lot of data to a process when it starts up?

As we discussed yesterday, if you need to pass more than 32767 characters of information to a child process, you’ll have to use something other than the command line. One method is to wait for the child process to go input idle, then FindWindow for some agreed-upon window and send it a WM_COPYDATA message. This…


What is the command line length limit?

It depends on whom you ask. The maximum command line length for the CreateProcess function is 32767 characters. This limitation comes from the UNICODE_STRING structure. CreateProcess is the core function for creating processes, so if you are talking directly to Win32, then that’s the only limit you have to worry about. But if you are…


Scoble’s rant on UI defaults

Robert Scoble posted an entry in his Longhorn blog on the subject of what the UI defaults should be. It sure has stirred up a lot of controvery. I may pick at the remarks over the upcoming days, but for now I posted responses to two of the comments he kicked up. We recently did…


Why you should never suspend a thread

It’s almost as bad as terminating a thread. Instead of just answering a question, I’m going to ask you the questions and see if you can come up with the answers. Consider the following program, in (gasp) C#: using System.Threading; using SC = System.Console; class Program { public static void Main() { Thread t =…


If FlushInstructionCache doesn’t do anything, why do you have to call it?

If you look at the implementation of FlushInstructionCache on Windows 95, you’ll see that it’s just a return instruction. It doesn’t actually do anything. So why do you have to call it? Because the act of calling it is the whole point. The control transfers implicit in calling a function suffice to flush the instruction…