Answers to exercises

Exercise: Explain why we used 0x7FFF to represent infinite height. Answer: Commenter “Reiko” got this right. 0x7FFF is the maximum integer coordinate supported by Windows 95, 98 and Me. Exercise: Explain the line rcWindow.bottom += Answer: The more precise way of writing the line would have been rcWindow.bottom += ( – – (0…

Whimsical bug reports

Whimsical bug reports, while not a common occurence, aren’t exactly unheard of either. They are a popular way to vent a shared frustration and lighten the mood. Recently, we changed milk suppliers for our cafeterias. Well, more accurately, our previous milk supplier was bought by another milk company. The problem is that the single-serving milk…


Scrollbars part 10 – Towards a deeper understanding of the WM_NCCALCSIZE message

When your window is resized, Windows uses the WM_NCCALCSIZE message to determine where your window’s client area lives inside your window rectangle. There are two forms of the WM_NCCALCSIZE message. The simple form merely takes a window rectangle and returns a client rectangle. This is useful for resizing a window to have a desired client…


You too can dress like Raymond

Yes, I’m the Raymond that Kraig Brockschmidt is writing about when he discusses “Dress Like Raymond Day”.


Computers are still too hard to use.

UK survey reveals that one in seven computer users needs help turning the computer on and off.


Why do some people call the taskbar the "tray"?

Short answer: Because they’re wrong. Long answer: The official name for the thingie at the bottom of the screen is the “taskbar”. The taskbar contains a variety of elements, such as the “Start Button”, a collection of “taskbar buttons”, the clock, and the “Taskbar Notification Area”. One of the most common errors is to refer…


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….