Tony Schreiner's Blog

Developer - Internet Explorer | UX | Privacy | Web Graphics | HTML Platform Infrastructure | Windows. Fighting complexity for 15 years and counting.

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  • Blog Post: The Inline Returns Option

    Using my last example, Stuart Ballard pointed out that using inline returns is another way to avoid the uninitialized variable mistake: if (hwndParent != NULL) { if (fFoo) { return DoOperationWithFoo(hwndParent); } else if (fBar) { return DoOperationWithBar(hwndParent); } ...
  • Blog Post: More Micro-optimizations

    Here's another micro-optimization that I'm not very fond of. I should note that we don't really obsess about these things too much internally - in general we have established coding practices and only occasionally debate a few debatable things, usually on the fringes. But they do make reasonable blog...
  • Blog Post: The Risk of Micro-optimizations - follow-up

    In yesterday's post I gave an example of a bug where an attempted micro-optimization combined with a common C++ idiom causes a fairly subtle bug. For those who didn't look long enough to catch it, the flaw was in these two lines: BOOL _fRaining:1; _fRaining = (dwFlags & WEATHER_RAINING); The...
  • Blog Post: The Risk of Micro-optimizations

    A lot of things have been said over the years about premature optimization, and after running into the following bug I thought it served as a good example of a type of premature optimization that I call "micro-optimization". That is, doing something quirky in order to save a tiny amount of RAM or CPU...
  • Blog Post: RAW Conversion and Photo Manipulation

    Last fall I purchased a digital SLR: the popular (and relatively inexpensive) Canon Rebel XT. I had been dabbling with digital cameras for a few years and was having increasing amounts of fun using the limited manual controls of my Canon S50. As a technical person part of the draw is simply learning...
  • Blog Post: Bug Triage

    Eric Sink has a good article on the process of triaging bugs. In it he pokes a little bit of fun at the people who don't understand why all good software ships with known bugs and then discusses a process for determining which ones to fix. Determining which bugs to fix and how to prioritize them is...
  • Blog Post: How ! to code

    A little rant to prove I'm still alive. :-) Here's a pattern I see every now and then that makes my brain explode. This is a simplification, but the two bools that are named exactly the same except the word "Dont" are real, as is the "partial assert" and not-completely-mutually-exclusive logic that...
  • Blog Post: XP SP2 fixes

    One interesting change I discovered in XP SP2 was that Subspace Continuum -- the first and (by far) best massively multiplayer online game -- now runs on XP without entering an infinite loop trying to launch the process. This only repro'd under certain accounts, and I suspect it was a bug in their anti...
  • Blog Post: Breaking-in electronics

    For best performance, you should make sure to break in your cables. Otherwise, you may be getting substandard audio performance and transfer rates - I hear that breaking in your modem cable will let you get 64kbps out of a standard 56k modem!. ;-)
  • Blog Post: Expression 3: Vector drawing application available for download

    As others have pointed out , Microsoft has made available a free download of Expression 3, apparently acquired from Creature House. My first impression, having only played with it during breakfast and lunch, is that it's a very cool app. It has a standard, user-friendly palette-based UI with a few interesting...
  • Blog Post: My MSN

    I'm not sure when the changes happened, so this could be really old news, but I was pleasantly surprised when I visited http://my.msn.com today. It's always been configurable, but now it's pretty slick. You can easily add and remove content modules that you're interested in (Hotmail inbox preview...
  • Blog Post: A Good MP3 Player

    Check out these features: Supports MP3 and WMA (and mounts as a hard drive) 4 GB storage 10+ hr removable lithium-ion battery Size is 3" x 2.5" x 0.4" for the one standing up, 2.4" x 3.1" x 0.4" for the one laying down. Around the size of the iPod mini, but smaller in some dimensions....
  • Blog Post: Getting the flat menus back in Windows XP

    I'm not sure if anybody else has this problem, but after I have used XP for a while the menus seem to revert to an ugly 3D look instead of having the clean, flat border. No amount of tweaking seems to get back the flat menus except going back to the original XP theme and re-customizing everything. ...
  • Blog Post: High DPI in IE: Tip & Mystery Solved

    On his blog (and in a comment on my 120 DPI post ) Omar points out a super-secret registry tweak make IE do extra scaling in high DPI mode . IE already adjusts for well-written web pages, but if you're using high DPI and still feeling cramped on some sites, you might want to give it a shot. I don...
  • Blog Post: Fonts on XP

    Scoble and Dudley are having a debate about fonts and I can't help but think the little screenshot isn't enough to go on. For one, it's clear that Japanese fonts are not rendered using ClearType, so that's a topic for a different day. Right now I want to focus on regular Latin fonts. I've put up...
  • Blog Post: Enabling Remote Desktop, remotely

    Let's say you're in a situation where you can't log into your XP machine because you forgot to click that checkbox. psexec to the rescue! psexec \\machinename reg add "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server" /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0 I shouldn't have to say that...
  • Blog Post: Drivers: a new kind of bloat

    Over the weekend I bought an HP LaserJet 1012, the first printer I've had in years. Good printer at a great deal this week at Staples ($150). I let the driver install with all of the default options. After rebooting (sigh...) I was prompted with the new XP SP2 Firewall dialog, asking me if I wanted...
  • Blog Post: Text Legibility: Using 120 DPI Fonts on High Resolution Displays

    Let's talk about fonts. As somebody who spends far too much time in front of a computer each day, I've become incredibly picky about display quality, and fonts in particular. With Windows XP, ClearType, and a sufficiently high DPI display, onscreen type is now getting close to the legibility of paper...
  • Blog Post: IE Team

    I don't suppose anybody is keeping score, but I'm now working on the Internet Explorer team full time. More specifically, I'm on the browser UI team along with Jeremy , Jeff , Aaron , and a bunch of others who either don't blog, or who's blogs I don't know about yet. :-) This isn't a huge change; much...
  • Blog Post: Paying for software

    In his blog, Omar talks about his adventures in getting a good deal on Photoshop. My take is slightly different: it's amazing what people will go through to avoid paying $20, $50, or $100 on a piece of software they would use every day for a few years, while having no qualms about spending several...
  • Blog Post: Long live the command line interface

    Josh links to the VSCMDShell project, which is an effort to provide an addin to Visual Studio to host the command prompt as a tool window. Very useful, plus a trivial WinForms app makes it a replacement to the default cmd.exe as well. I know there are thousands of you with lots of spare time on your...
  • Blog Post: Lightwave 3D & computers as a hobby

    I'm definitely not an artist, but Lightwave 3D ( http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave ) remains one of my favorite applications. I suspect this is because it's one of the (few) types of applications that has escaped the trend of simplification at the expense of depth. It seems that there are...
  • Blog Post: Majel: The feature nobody knew existed

    Before joining the Windows Privacy team I worked on MSN 8 . One of the technologies I worked with was code named "Majel", after Majel Barrett who was (is?) the voice of the computer on Star Trek. As the name implies, this feature allowed the user to type commands using ordinary English sentences...
  • Blog Post: Outlook Fonts

    A while back I started getting tired of the default Outlook reply colors (yeah, I was bored...). The font picker under Options/Mail Format/Fonts doesn't let you choose colors outside the standard 16, and I didn't want to use the Stationery option, so some registry hacking was in order. After a bit of...
  • Blog Post: Internet Explorer

    IE is a hot topic on Robert Scoble's blog these days. Lots of good comments there about overdue features and bug fixes. http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2004/01/15.html#a6187 http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2004/01/14.html#a6186 http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2004/01/14.html#a6183 On a slightly...
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