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  • Blog Post: Reason number 9,999,999 why you don’t ever use humorous elements in a shipping product

    I just saw an email go by on one of our self hosting aliases: From: <REDACTED> Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:27 PM To: <REDACTED> Subject: Spelling Mistake for browser in event viewer Not sure which team to assign this to – please pick up this bug – ‘bowser’...
  • Blog Post: What does “size_is” mean in an IDL file?

    My boss (who has spent a really long time working on RPC) and I got into a discussion the other day about the “size_is” IDL attribute (yeah, that’s what Microsoft developers chat about when they’re bored). For context, there are two related attributes which are applied to an...
  • Blog Post: What’s up with the Beep driver in Windows 7?

    Earlier today, someone asked me why 64bit versions of windows don’t support the internal PC speaker beeps.  The answer is somewhat complicated and ends up being an interesting intersection between a host of conflicting tensions in the PC ecosystem.   Let’s start by talking about how the Beep...
  • Blog Post: The story behind the mysterious “Ding” in Windows Vista.

    I just ran into this fairly old post on Channel 9.  mstefan reported that his applications played a “Ding” noise when selecting an item in a listview (or tree) control.   It turns out that I’d had the problem independently reported to me by one of the people here at Microsoft.  Here were...
  • Blog Post: Digging into the history bin (AKA: Microsoft Developer says that Windows is useless)

    As I was writing my “25 years of Larry’s history at Microsoft in 1 year chunks” blog posts, I spent a fair amount of time digging through my email archives (trying to figure out exactly what happened at what time).  During this, I ran into a link to a post I’d made on the Info-IBMPC mailing list...
  • Blog Post: 24 years ago today (1985)

    Way back in 1985 I was busy working on MS-DOS 4.0. MS-DOS 4.0 was a multitasking derivative of MS-DOS 2.0 (during 1985 we integrated the changes for MS-DOS 3.1 to MS-DOS 4.1). It’s important to remember the difference between MS-DOS and PC-DOS. PC-DOS was an IBM OS offering which was largely written...
  • Blog Post: 23 years ago today (1986)

    23 years ago, I was working on finishing MS-DOS 4.0 and transitioning to work on MS-DOS 4.1.  We also moved from the original Northup campus to the brand new 4 building campus herein Redmond.  At the time the company mandated that we give up our President’s Day holiday and instead replace it...
  • Blog Post: 20, 21 and 22 years ago (1987-1989)

    Ok, at this point it should be blindingly obvious where this series is going :). In early 1987 I was still working on MS-DOS 4.1, a custom version of DOS for ICL in the UK. I also got married to my wonderful wife Valorie in January. We returned from our honeymoon and I wandered into work after getting...
  • Blog Post: Nineteen years ago today (1990)

    In 1990 I joined the WIndows NT OS/2 team after working on Lan Manager for several years.  I was one of about 4-5 developers who moved from the Lan Manager team to join the much storied NT OS/2 developers.  I still have my copy of the NT OS/2 workbook in my office – it’s a collection of the...
  • Blog Post: Seventeen years ago today (1992)

    I was working on the NT team working on the NT browser.  I was also preparing for my first major vacation in about 8 years – I was going to take 6 weeks off to visit Worldcon in Orlando, spend some time at Disneyworld, and visit my family on the east coast to show off the new baby.  This wasn...
  • Blog Post: Sixteen years ago (1993)

    Sixteen years ago, we were busy finishing up Windows NT 3.1.  On NT, I worked on the browser (network neighborhood) and the CIFS network filesystem, they both had their own challenges.  The NT browser (the computer browser service and bowser.sys (yes the name is NOT a typo)) were my first ...
  • Blog Post: Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen and Fifteen years ago (1994-1998)

    Sorry, I was off on Friday so no post.  1994 was probably the most tumultuous year of my career at Microsoft.  In 1994, I left the NT team to join the “Tiger” team, a research project dedicated to building a media delivery infrastructure (in 1994, this was extremely ambitious since the MPEG...
  • Blog Post: Eleven years ago today (August 1999)

    Eleven years ago, I was in the Exchange group, working on Exchange 2000 (same as 10 years ago :)).  The summer of 1999 was when Microsoft rolled out it’s “Comp2000” system which completely reworked the compensation system at Microsoft.  One of the drastic changes associated with Comp2000 was...
  • Blog Post: Ten years ago today (August 1999)

    In 1999, I was busy working on shipping Exchange 2000.  Most of the work I did on E2K was related to re-engineering the security subsystem for Exchange – the original security subsystem used a custom ACL model, for Exchange 2000, I converted that to use NT style ACLs.  This might have been...
  • Blog Post: Nine years ago today (August 2000)

    The biggest event on my plate in August was that I took taken delivery of a brand spanking new Itanium machine that was intended for 64bit Exchange development :).  We also shipped Exchange 2000 during mid 2000.  2000 was a time of some turmoil for the Exchange store development team – after...
  • Blog Post: Six, Seven and Eight years ago today (August 2003, August 2002, August 2001)…

    Between 2001 and 2002, I was working on the SCP project – SCP was a networking protocol that was designed for an embedded controller that was intended to be used for home automation.  It was a power line carrier based protocol and was designed for an ultra low bandwidth (1 bit per millisecond) link...
  • Blog Post: Five years ago today (August 2004)

    We were busy in the “Longhorn Reset” where we essentially threw away the work we’d previously done for Longhorn and restarted based on a Server 2003 based codebase.  We took the work we’d done for the Longhorn audio engine and reworked it to create the current audio engine we delivered with WIndows...
  • Blog Post: Four years ago today (August 2005)

    I had just finished the Beta3 coding for Windows Vista.  During that time I finished the per-app volume feature work and spent a bunch of time helping other groups finish up their initial coding.  Things were crazy busy, especially during the final weeks as all the features landed.   August...
  • Blog Post: Three years ago today (August 2006)

    Back in the summer of 2006, we were all busy trying to finish Windows Vista.  I actually spent most of July and August writing protocol documentation for old protocols that I’d written many years ago – I’m the principal author of the MS-BRWS document (it’s currently owned by the network team) and...
  • Blog Post: Two years ago today (August 2007)

    I was working on Win7 M1, working on the Capture Monitor feature (which enables the ability to listen to your portable media player on your PC speakers without requiring special hardware support). A good chunk of my time was spent working on the network throttling issue, it required a ton of effort on...
  • Blog Post: One year ago today (August 2008)…

    I was finishing Windows 7 M3 (the build which eventually was delivered at the PDC).  During M3, I spent most of my time working on the “Ducking” feature.  I was working on my PDC presentation , although the slides I had in August bore almost no resemblance to the slides I eventually presented...
  • Blog Post: Thinking about Windows Build numbers

    There’s been an ongoing thread internally speculating about the windows build number that will be chosen for Windows 7 when it finally ships.  What’s interesting is that we’re even having speculation about the builds being chosen.  The Windows version is actually composed of a bunch of different...
  • Blog Post: BillG Memories, Part 2

    Not surprisingly, as a peon, I don’t get to interact with Bill very often, so my few interactions are almost by definition memorable. I’ve posted this story before , but it deserves to be recycled in honor of Bill’s last few days. This happened back in the mid 1980’s, we were doing a project review for...
  • Blog Post: BillG Memories, part 1…

    I’m going to be out of town tomorrow, so I won’t be able to post this on Bill’s last full time day at Microsoft, but I wanted to post a couple of anecdotes about Bill. This one actually comes from Valorie, it was her first interaction with Bill…   Valorie was an intern back during the summer of...
  • Blog Post: News Flash: Spaces are legal characters in both filenames and passwords!

    I recently figured out a problem that I've been having with one of our internal tools. The tool is used to automatically deploy our daily builds (extremely handy when you're doing that every other day to several test machines). As a part of the tool, you need to include the password for a test account...
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