Why do I get spurious WM_MOUSEMOVE messages?

In order to understand this properly, it helps to know where WM_MOUSEMOVE messages come from. When the hardware mouse reports an interrupt, indicating that the physical mouse has moved, Windows determines which thread should receive the mouse move message and sets a flag on that thread’s input queue that says, “The mouse moved, in case…


Why is the readonly property for folders so strange?

It’s actually a signal to Explorer to look harder. It doesn’t mean that the directory is read-only. If a folder has the Readonly or System flag set, then Explorer will look for a desktop.ini file which describes the folder customizations. For performance reasons, Explorer does this only if the directory has the +R or +S…


In case people got the wrong impression

I really did enjoy my trip. I just like talking about the goofy things. I intend to go back to Sweden in the spring. I’m currently enrolled in Swedish lessons but this trip came far too soon for me to have learned anything useful aside from “tack”, “ursäkta” and “Jag taler inte svenska.” Though the…


Back from Europe

Here are some things I learned in Sweden, Germany and Denmark. If you are an airplane pilot, you should avoid communicating on the emergency frequency unless you have an actual emergency. In Sweden, marmalade comes in a flexible tube that looks like a really fat sausage. Swedes can’t handle spicy-hot food. Road warning signs are…


When I dock my taskbar vertically, why does the word “Start” disappear?

Because the alternative is even worse. If the taskbar is not wide enough to display the entire word “Start”, then the word “Start” is hidden. To get it back, resize the taskbar wider until the word “Start” reappears. This behavior is by design. From a design point of view, a partial word looks very broken….


Pre-travel insomnia

I can’t sleep the night before an airplane flight. Certainly I’m not the only person with this problem, right?


How much is that gigabyte in the window?

Slashdot is in an uproar over a lawsuit charging computer manufacturers for misleading consumers over hard drive capacity. The manufacturers use the ISO definition, wherein a “gigabyte” is one billion bytes, even though most people consider a gigabyte to be 1024 megabytes. This is a tricky one. The computer industry is itself inconsistent as to…


Improving the world one bad analogy at a time

One thing I am known for at Microsoft is my frequent use of bad analogies. Everybody else at work has had to suffer; now it’s your turn. Why are there so many copies of svchost.exe running? What is svchost.exe anyway? Traditionally, each service runs in its own process. When you are developing and testing your…


Emergency vacation

Hurricane Isabel made a mess of my weekend travel plans, so I decided, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” My outbound flight was cancelled, and even with the best possible substitution – a flight out the very next day – losing a day on a weekend trip pretty much kills it. So I extended…