hansl's blog

A Tangled Web of Insanity

What do you do if you need to move from a 32-bit to a 64-bit environment while still retaining compatibility with older software? You retain a compatibility subsystem of some sort, that provides a runtime environment for 32-bit applications, and by extension for the necessary 32-bit libraries and system services.

Getting session info from Terminal Services

So I wanted to retrieve the remote endpoint address for the current Remote Desktop session. Should be easy, right? After all, there's the documented wtsapi32.dll API for retrieving session information, which one would expect to provide this information. Right? No, it doesn't.

Time to start using Subject Alternative Names

I have been experimenting with my personal/test CA recently, since I wanted to try out the extension for Subject Alternative Names and make a Unified Communications Certificate to enable me to use name-based virtual hosts using SSL on a single IP address, something that was well-known to be impossible before.

Some serious hardware

And here I was, thinking that the ASR-33 Teletype was an amazing piece of hardware... well, it still is, but I just found something that easily wins on the coolness scale. A Rube Goldberg style data storage device that I'd never heard of before: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/27/tob_ibm_1360/.

It's a bit sad that devices like this don't seem to be built anymore. I wonder how much engineering expertise has been lost, just because we now have better, simpler solutions available.

Regarding I4i's patent 5,787,449 and Microsoft's "Custom XML"

[UPDATE: Microsoft were recently granted patent no 7,571,169, which appears to be fully capable of covering every aspect of XML document representation.

VMware templates and OVF

VMware VCenter and OVF Environment properties together give us a great tool to achieve ultra-fast deployment and re-deployment of virtual machines. Since you can easily transport custom properties from the VCenter Settings page all the way into the guest OS, it's very simple to achieve truly low-touch deployment of ready-made templates.

Alternate Data Streams; the perils thereof

We set up a Windows file share with "append-only" permissions, meaning anyone in the group in question can add files or directories on this share, but not change or delete anything already there. This works, more or less, but with some annoying artifacts - mostly due to the point-and-clickiness of Windows as a file management interface.

For example, creating a new directory is easy enough, but giving it the proper name is a separate operation, which means modifying the directory, which is a no-no.

Divide and conquer - a less absurd multithreading

A followup to End of the threads: My extreme version of Multithreading Mandelbrot turned out to be less than perfect, after all. I experienced frequent deadlocks on other subsets of the Mandelbrot set, forcing me to forcibly reboot the computer. Very bad. I'm not exactly sure what caused those deadlocks but introducing a far better method of taking care of the data generated by the computing threads solved it.

We Spit On Your Standards And On Anyone Who Conforms

Once again, those lovely people at Microsoft have done it...

I built a cleverly colour-coded table of data using multiple CSS class selectors, only to find that Internet Explorer couldn't handle it. Surprisingly, googling for multiple-class selectors seemed to indicate that it should be fixed from IE7 onwards, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I upgraded to IE8 since this version is supposed to fix all bugs and finally be standards-conformant, but no luck.

SEO Magic

What am I doing right? If I google on "java war" right now, one of my pages ends up as hit #8 on the first result page. That is strange in so many ways, especially considering the double or triple meaning of the phrase.

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