The Great Flying Tortoise

A hard-boiled look at Win32 C++ programming and the property system

January, 2007

Blog - About

About The Great Flying Tortoise

Ben Karas has been a developer working at Microsoft since 2003.  He hopes to write useful tidbits concerning the property system, Win32 C++ programming, and living in the Seattle area. 

I'll keep the rules simple:
 1. Use good judgement.
 2. See rule #1

All postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confer no rights. Opinions expressed are those of the respective authors. More legal stuff here.

  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Property Handler Decisions and Preparation

    • 3 Comments
    Viewed as a data flow component , a property handler has a single file stream input and outputs a one or more properties. Unfortunately, writing one requires making many decisions before you even set eyes on the code. Let's look at a few of these preparations...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Understanding the Role of Property Handlers

    • 4 Comments
    Knowing what you are trying to accomplish is the first step to using the property system. Property handlers provide a specific set of services which support specific behaviors in the Windows shell. So let's delve into the role of a property handler and...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Property Handler Terminology

    • 0 Comments
    In this series, I will be presenting Windows Vista functionality with a focus on the the file system namespace. Feel free to ask questions, especially if you want to know how things work on XP or in other namespaces, since I'll otherwise ignore those...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    What does a property handler accomplish?

    • 8 Comments
    A property handler is the piece of code that enables you to see the properties about your files as in the picture below. Don't worry about the ambiguity in this sentence; I will be much more specific concerning what component does what in later posts...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Computer Science Exams

    • 2 Comments
    Graduate level courses are surreal. Professors assign nearly impossible homework assignments and projects. The exams make you break out in sweat just thinking about them. At the same time, you are often able to just sketch out solutions since it is assumed...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Viruwormy

    • 0 Comments
    I can't bring myself to click the "compile" button on my property handler project yet... so here's a little piece of geeky joy: Viruwormy . -Ben Karas
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Pandora and the Music Genome Project

    • 3 Comments
    A coworker recently turned me onto Pandora.com , a new music service backed by the Music Genome Project. The concept is to create a radio station tailored to your exact likes and dislikes. You tell it an artist you enjoy and it decodes what makes you...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Code for Previous Blog Posts

    • 0 Comments
    Someone asked if I had a copy of the code I've been using in my blog so far. Well, I didn't as of 5pm today, so I went back and collected the code into 3 projects: propreader.exe <file> - Prints a list of all properties we know about the file...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    Choosing your property API

    • 0 Comments
    It is time that I talk a little about what to do if you want your application to run on XP. There are three sets of APIs, each with subtle differences and caveats, and ultimately your choice requires deciding what platform your application must run on...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    The fickle critic

    • 3 Comments
    Personally, I have trouble using the "I liked it" scale ala Netflix. A movie that garners 5 stars one week only finds 4 another week. In a way, this arises from ambiguity present even within the "I liked it" scale. Did I like it because I was in the mood...
  • The Great Flying Tortoise

    The split personality critic

    • 3 Comments
    The 5 star rating control is misused in most applications today. How can I say that? What's more natural than selecting 5 stars for a movie or song? Actually, the intuitive nature of the rating star control is the cause of this subtle usability issue...
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