Larry Osterman's WebLog

Confessions of an Old Fogey
Blog - Title

Suggestion Box

Suggestion Box

  • Comments 8

Recreating the suggestion box :)

Please note that I reserve the right to choose which suggestions I write on, and I'm not likely to write about things I don't know about.

Topics I feel comfortable writing about (in no specific order):

  • Microsoft History
  • Windows Audio (if I don't know the answer I can find it)
  • Microsoft Exchange, and email in general
  • The Win32 APIs, but not the Win32 GUI APIs (I'm not a UI programmer)
  • Software engineering
  • Debugging tricks and tips
  • Security - but NOT about specific exploits etc - there are legal issues involved that I'm not willing to push.
  • COM, DCOM, RPC, etc
  • The .Net framework (although there are others far better at that than I)
  • Localization/Internationalization issues

Topics I don't feel comfortable writing about:

  • Legal issues.
  • Internet Explorer (there are others better suited to write about that)
  • Windows GUI (ask Raymond, he knows that stuff, I don't)
  • Why doesn't my code work? (Unless the reason it doesn't work demonstrates a general principal)
  • Longhorn specifics (including multimedia in Longhorn)


  • Hi Larry,

    Since February's Vista CTP build is supposed to be feature-complete, are you going to drop the 'Longhorn specifics' from your list of uncomfortable topics?  We should be seeing all the new features by now :)
  • A friend of a friend had a question for me, assuming that since I’m a computer geek I’d be familiar with computer games. I’m not.

    She has a 10 year old son who likes ,<Name_Omitted>, but she has some misgivings about him playing a game that takes violence so casually. It sounds like her son especially enjoys the teamwork aspect of a MMORPG, though he agrees with his mom that it is awfully violent. The mom isn’t entirely opposed to violence in a game, but would prefer something more respectful of life than “kill someone and loot the body”.

    I know that you’re also concerned with the kinds of things your kids are exposed to on the web. Any suggestions? I’m neither a computer gamer nor a parent, so I’m pretty clueless here. The only thing that jumped to mind was maybe Puzzle Pirates, which I only knew about because it seemed like an interesting game concept.

    If you pick this topic, then thanks in advance to you and any commenters with ideas for me.
    - Drew
  • You should talk about the real Windows 95 architcture.

    The real Windows 95 architcture is really two parts. The first is the VMM and VxDs. The second part is the KRNL386.EXE, User.exe and gdi.exe, and all Win16 and Win32 DLLs and applications and everything else in the system VM. Think of that as it was a 16-bit DPMI application. At least it is that way when startup is completed. After the VMM init is completed, if the Winstart.bat file exists, the VMM executes inside the system VM, which executes it. And after that, it executes KRNL386.EXE, which is a 16-bit DPMI application. What about win32? The Vwin32 VXD, together with Kernel32.dll handles that. At the time the KRNL386.EXE executes, it kicks in to load kernel32.dll into the System VM. How does kernel32.dll communicates with the VMM? it uses an undocumented function called CallVxD.
  • Do you know a fundamental problem in both UNIX and Windows NT security? Guess what, the problem is there is no way to by default run as low privilege and elevate to high privilege when necessary without logging on as another user, which is not ideal because of the separate per user settings and user profiles. So how about, for UAP, make the user officially an administrator, but when a program attempts doing things only that administrators can do, prompt the user to authorize that action. Non-administrator is still should not be an administrator, meaning that they will have to use run as or switch users to elevate.
  • Have _beginthreadex() and _endthreadex() been deprecated?

    There is no documentation on it on the MSDN site - just a brief mention in the CreateThread() entry.

    For those of us who still use the standard C library, is there a better threadsafe alternative?
  • Ok, I feel foolish, there are no links to it from the CreateThread() page, but the pages do exist.

    Maybe you might like to comment why they make those pages so hard to find.

  • The 286 protected mode was very powerful for a PC. It could have brought lots of things from minicomputers into the PC.
    But was it be able to run many of the DOS applications?
    It could have been able to run it, if not for the direct hardware access and segment arichmetic etc. that most DOS applications use. It was one of the consequences for the fact that DOS and BIOS APIs were limited.

    But what if Microsoft, on 286 introduction, started development on Protected Mode DOS and finish it in time for the AT lanuch?
  • Would be nice if your blog pages had a "printer friendly" link
    that showed the page without the stuff in the left hand pane.
    Otherwise, printed versions of your blog pages have the
    calendar and stuff at the top and a huge left margin. :(
Page 1 of 1 (8 items)