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earnshaw earnshaw Jack Sleeps
  • Windows 7 At Your Service

    So I'm trying to get some work done using Windows 7.  I notice that the initial current working directory in the command line shell matches whatever directory cmd.exe is launched from.   I copied CMD.EXE to a directory in C:\Users.  That changed the initial working directory to the directory that I want, but then cmd.exe is unable to find an unidentified file that permits it to construct certain messages -- probably a systematic way to customize CMD.EXE for non-English speakers.   So, what is the official received way to get the initial current working directory the way I want it in CMD.EXE?    Please indicate where in the documentation this is stated.  Next on our agenda is Windows 7's handling of hugely expensive BD-ROM media.  You put a blank in the BD-ROM drive.  Windows 7 recognizes it as blank and opens Windows Explorer with a suggestion that you might drag and drop stuff to be burned to the blank.  When you put more in the bag than it will hold, Windows 7 opens the drive without telling you that you've tried to put 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag.   The stuff that is staged in Windows Explorer stays staged in Windows Explorer and the blank is permanently ruined.  It makes a nice coaster.  It cannot be closed.   I cannot be read.  Windows 7 reports that it is both empty and beyond full at the same time.  

  • Ghostly Remnants of Uninstalled Software

    I'm sure everyone has had the "pleasure" of uninstalling some software from Windows, only to have remnants of the dearly departed infere with reinstallation.  This is really unacceptable.  Software that is tested by installing only on pristine Windows installation will behave badly on the less pristine.  And the error messages are abominable.  There is no advice whatsoever when you have removed, say mySQL, only to discover that such removal didn't take any databases or passwords with it.  Just complaints that the database that you are trying to create already exists somehow.  Or that the login that you attempt is producing an access violation.   Hours are regularly burned up trying to sort out such misbehavior.

  • System.IO.​FileInfo.​FullName

    figuerres said:

    Yeah seems silly for .net to have a limit like that.


    I know that I have seen a few programs - one was a MSFT addon for VS that had issues with folder and filenames beeing to long.

    very frustrating esp. when some of the problem came from folders with names that MSFT created!


    today I would say that WIndows and .Net should drop the "MAX_PATH" limit and just warn that at some point a large name or path might not work.


    but we should be able to have as many folders as we care to manage. to nest them as deep as we want. and to name files just about as long as we care to.


    And I would drop the .xxx crap.  in place have a 32 bit int that id's the "file type" in a table and put that int in the files meta-data.

    so we do not need .docx to have the pc know that it's a word file.

    On the Univac 1108 operating system (before you were born) there were things called program files that contain elements.  Elements are symbolic, relocatable, absolute, and omnibus.  Symbolic elements are simple text files.  They have a maximum 12-character element name and a maximum 12-character version name.  Also included is a six-bit symbolic type so you can tell a Fortran program from a COBOL program.  Your idea of a 32-bit property in metadata is thus proven to work.   MSFT has been trying to hide the filename extension by making it disappear from Windows Explorer unless you decide not to go with the default.  Seems kinda lame to have a file type identifier be part of the name of the file.  Worked in the Windows progenitor operating systems.  But this is now 30 years on. 

  • System.IO.​FileInfo.​FullName

    I just ended a several day exploration of the FullName Property of the System.IO.FileInfo class in .NET.  When the FullName exceeds in length a certain pre-determined number of characters, the Property throws an Exception.  There are rules, you know.   And limitations.  Funny thing is, it is possible to create a file whose name exceeds the limit.  And said creation does NOT cause any grief at all.  The boobytrap waits around until an innocent user traverses a major subtree, using GetDirectories() in System.IO.DirectoryInfo (similar for files), and stumbles over the illicit item.  Seems a little crazy to permit a user to create a file whose name is illicit.  But what do I know?


    Also, this arbitrary and capricious character limit obviously came about to cater to the needs of C language programmers who would routinely declare a static, one dimension array of characters to contain just about any fully-qualified filename that you are likely to encounter.  Just so Mister C Programmer could aim at something, a limit was established.  That was well before the advent of the native string class, which is far more natural to code with than arrays of characters that terminate in a NUL character.

  • Leaflet on Recent End-User Experience

    Well, it has been quite a coupla weeks here at the old development farm.  Two commercially available computers' motherboards took a powder at almost the same time, despite provision of very, very clean power.   One was no longer covered by a warranty.  The other was covered on account of a wise extension purchased last summer.  The supposed-to-be boat anchor was covered by equipment insurance that came along as a rider with FiOS that went in last summer.  So, I'm getter a replacement computer and a check.   Not too shabby.  But terribly disruptive.   The Vista system on the one computer that didn't suffer a catastrophic failure continued its downward spiral to unacceptable instablity.  I decided to put Windows 7 on that computer.  But, wouldn't you know it?  You may not "upgrade" the software from Vista Home Premium 32-bit to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.  I inadvertently installed W7 to the wrong partition, thereby confusing what has come to replace BOOT.INI functionality.  A reboot of the computer randomly chose to run the W7 system or what was left of the old Vista system.  Most of the Vista files were gone, so the bootstrap loader went into zombie mode trying vainly to repair the irreparable.  I operated on the bootstrap database using the fine tool provided for that purpose and restored sanity to my system.  I miss my Windows Calendar and Windows Mail client.  No doubt they have been made to disappear for reasons that appear to be rational at corporate heights where the oxygen is a bit thin. 

  • W7 and Visual Studio 2008 Like Oil and Water

    Now that I've committed one partition on one machine to W7, I find I am unable to use Visual Studio 2008.  The Internets (cf. Our Former President)) show people discussing this matter with early builds of W7 back last winter and spring.  On my machine, at first Visual Studio 2008 had trouble running MT.EXE.  So, I inadvisedly deinstalled Visual Studio 2008.  All attempts to reinstall under W7 were thwarted with an error code 2908.  This is accompanied by a derogation of the "package" that I am trying to install.  I proved that wrong by successfully installing the package under both Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP.  One the one hand Microsoft marketing wants people to migrate to W7.  On the other Microsoft slaps people hard who do.  Paid support over at Dell referred me to Microsoft technical "support" who advises that "support" won't be available for W7 until October 20, 2009, or thereabouts.  Should I swear off W7 permanently or will Microsoft explain why their premiere compiler suite doesn't work properly on the latest in operating systems?  Just asking.  No harm intended to the jobs of people at Microsoft or the corporate entity itself.

  • W7 RTM Upgrade Matrix

    Where is the upgrade matrix?  What SKUs of Vista will upgrade to what SKUs of W7?


    Windows Vista™ Enterprise cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate. You can choose to install a new copy of Windows 7 Ultimate instead, but this is different from an upgrade, and does not keep your files, settings, and programs. You’ll need to reinstall any programs using the original installation discs or files. To save your files before installing Windows, back them up to an external location such as a CD, DVD, or external hard drive. To install a new copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, click the Back button in the upper left-hand corner, and select “Custom (advanced)”.

  • Updated Microsoft .Net Logo sweetness

    Kudos to the Microsoft Art Department.  I think their latest is attractive and forward-looking.   Microsoft's Accounting Department will be pleased that it moves product.  Any further and I'd venture into forbidden territory.

  • One of my pet hates ... The Start Button

    "...standard avenue to discovery..."  This implies that Microsoft intends that operating system users shall learn Windows through accident of discovery.  And it is true that the one avenue of learning that is open to everyone is, in fact, discovering how things work by stumbling over them.  Just as a child might discover which creatures live in a woods and how they behave, a user "discovers," for example, how to launch a program, by fiddling around until a program accidentally starts up.   Genius!  What a time and cost savings for the software originators.

  • Digital Rights Management in Windows

    wkempf said:
    FUD.  You don't serve your cause by spreading lies.  I have lots of complaints when it comes to DRM, but no one will listen to you if you spread FUD.

    "These days, you cannot record the sound coming out of your computer's speakers, because the fear is that what is playing is copyright material.  And who are you to record that? "

    Non-copyrighted material, and even a lot of copyrighted material, is not protected by DRM, and nothing legal or technological prevents you from copying it.  DRM is stupid, and we need to protest its use, but scare tactics like this aren't called for.  Oh, and no matter how much we dislike DRM, it doesn't make much sense to complain about the OS or the hardware.  The problem is with the media, not the software and hardware that allows you to play the media.
    Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.  That is what IBM used to spread about the BUNCH companies in legacy days.  Well, I'm not about to spread FUD.  Microsoft has clearly embraced Digital Rights Management as closely as Time-Warner and Fox.   What Microsoft has not done is clearly express what is and what is not supported in its software.  Capabilities come and capabilities go.  And you only find out about what has changed when you try to use capabilities and they don't work.  Are they not working because the user interface has changed?  Don't know.  Are they not working because Microsoft's 400 lawyers sent down The Word that it is now illegal?  Don't know.  Microsoft spends a fortune writing words that are supposed to inform the public, especially the Developing Public.  Where is the information regarding how to record the sound coming out of your computer speakers?  If doing that is now prohibited, then say so.  I don't have a cause.  I think every decision made in Congress is divinely inspired.  I'm doing business with Microsoft when I buy their product.  They should be man enough to tell me what their product can do, can no longer do, and how I can work it to my advantage.  And I state this in all humility and in deep respect of the many talented people who work at Microsoft.