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Archive for November, 2010

Why are error codes pre appended with 0x8007 ?

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment
In Windows the error code 5 and 0x80070005 are the same error, ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED. Since they are the same why are error codes preappended with 0x8007? I found the answer at Structure of COM Error Codes. The 8 means FAILURE and the 7 means FACILITY_WIN32. I think that was introduced as part of the transition from 16 bit to 32 bit. One might expect that the 7 would be replaced with something else as part of the transition to 64 bit, but that hasn’t happened.

Windows Media Center computers should not have included Explorer.exe

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment
In 2005 Windows XP started shiping with a Media Center edition. All of the big box computer resellers started pushing it as the OS to have. But all it was was Windows XP SP2 with the Media Center application. The computers were designed to be Media Center computers, but I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of them are not being used as Media Center computers. In the news it’s easy to hear talk about Apple TV or Google TV, but never Windows Media Center. The reason is because the mouse does not work as an input to a TV, but that’s what Microsoft required anyway.
I think that Windows Media Center would be more in peoples minds if the Media Center editions of Windows did not include explorer.exe. Instead of booting up to explorer, the computer would boot up to Media Center. This would change the paradigm of what was possible for the computer. A Media Center computer would no longer be a Windows computer, that has a Media Center application, but would be a computer for the TV.
Think about it. The paradigm shift would be exactly what Microsoft needs to get Media Center into more homes. Also the reduced functionality would justify a price reduction, and if the price would hover just over the price of a Tivo, I would be surprised if anyone would want anything but a Windows Media Center machine.

Microsoft Needs to Build Robots

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I haven’t heard anything coming from Microsoft Robotics in some time. I think the reason is because of Microsoft always holding the position of “we just build the platform”. Microsoft was able to get away with that during the early IBM PC days because IBM built the product, but couldn’t build all of it, so they relied on Microsoft. So unless some robot maker comes to Microsoft and does the same thing there’s little reason for makers to use Microsoft’s platform. For goodness sake Japanese car companies show off their advanced robots. Do they sell them? Perhaps, but I don’t think so. Why can’t Microsoft show off instrument playing walking robots? The reason is because of Microsoft’s just-the-platform attitude. Will Microsoft ever make money selling robots? Probably not. But would making robots to show everyone what their platform could do sell the platform. I certainly would hope so.

Rules all movies must now follow

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

That’s it. I’m sick and tired of watching movies (and occasionally a book will be in violation of this too) which do the same unentertaining things. I think it comes from movies trying to be the biggest and best movie ever so they feel the need to do everything that other successful movies have done. I now decree that movies are no longer allowed to:

1.       Have our hero stand in a trial before the tribe/kingdom/nation/planet leader because he committed a crime while ignorantly waltzing into their territory.

2.       Have the daughter of the tribe/kingdom/nation/planet leader fall in love with our hero

a.       At first sight.

b.      The second time she sees him and he is able to do something which is difficult for the men she knows to accomplish.

c.       Ever.

3.       Have the leader of the tribe/kingdom/nation/planet encourage our hero to marry one of the locals. (While this rule is the least broken it never makes sense when it happens)

4.       Have the hero be challenged to a duel by the chief warrior/captain of the guard/guy who has a crush on the leader’s daughter.

5.       Have duels which are mandatory to be to the death because

a.       It follows the old ways.

b.      It’s tradition.

c.       It is the only way to find out who was telling the truth.

6.       Have our hero in a mandatory duel to the death which results in the hero defeating his challenger, but in a way that spares his life which results in

a.       The challenger being killed anyway.

b.      Everyone brushes it off like nothing happened.

7.       Have a situation where the hero is tasked with capturing/training/finding the largest/meanest/rarest worm/dragon/grape fruit, and he is able to do so on his first (even second) attempt. Especially if in doing so, the hero becomes better than the male character whose plausible reason for not liking this stranger is because he instinctively knows that the stranger/hero is better than him and will take is job/girlfriend.

8.       Have the hero be unquestioningly brought into the leader’s primary decision making group/councilors. Especially if the survival of the tribe/kingdom/nation/planet is at hand.

There we go a simple list of items that movies are no longer allowed to put into their movies because we are all sick and tired of them happening.

Categories: Entertainment

Men and Women are Different

November 3, 2010 3 comments

I have an announcement to make. I’m sure it will surprise many of you. Contrary to progressive belief Men and Women are different. Now that you’ve recovered from that shocking revelation let me explain some new found evidence I have for this crazy hypothesis.

Something that bothers Amanda is that I’ll say that I’m hungry and she’ll ask me what I want to eat and I’m okay with eating anything. She finds it very frustrating that I’m not craving something specific. Last night I asked about dinner and she said that she wasn’t hungry and that I’d have to have dinner by myself. She prepares a rice based dish for me and while I’m eating she’s eating out of my dish. I find this odd because she said she wasn’t hungry. Right about as we finish my dinner she says that the Indian food we had at the Royal India is what she’s hungry for. I find this odd because she said a few minutes ago that she wasn’t hungry; I inquire further and this is how she explains it. Her stomach will give a little signal to her brain that she’s hungry. Her brain then goes through the list of everything that she can think she might be hungry for. If nothing feels like it can satisfy her hunger she’s not hungry anymore. Now that she’s figured out something she’d like to eat, she is hungry. I’ve never had anyone say anything like that before, it’s rather novel. I then explain to her that when I’m hungry there’s a sharp poking pain stabbing in my stomach up towards my diaphragm and all I want to do is to consume anything that can get past my tongue, just so I can make the pain stop. Amanda finds this to be very odd.

Today at work I was talking to my coworkers James and Liz. I’m recounting this experience and right as I’m explaining Amanda’s point of view Liz acknowledges with an understanding “Okay”, and at the same time James says “Weird”. I think I’ve stumbled across a bit of novel information.

So there we have it. Due to the way that women can suppress their hunger and men cannot; Men and Women are different.

Categories: Health and wellness

Why does Visual Studio take so long to shut down?

November 3, 2010 6 comments
For everyone who’s used Visual Studio, I’m willing to bet you have wondered why it takes so long for Visual Studio to shut down. Outlook can take a while to close, but I assume that in part has to do with telling the Exchange server that it’s shutting down. Which can be a good thing. But Visual Studio isn’t talking to a server, so why does it take it so long to close?
The answer is that it is talking to a server on shutdown. Visual Studio sends it’s SQM data on close. If I ever get in a position where I can influence that decision I will. Closing should be a fast operation, not one that loads assemblies and creates connections.

The Cotton Wars

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I think that the Planet Money teams Friday podcast “The Cotton Wars” should be a required listen for anyone who is voting. It addresses the current situation with cotton farming in the US, and quite frankly I was surprised by the outcome.

Categories: News and politics