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Preview: Calvin Hsia's WebLog

Calvin Hsia's WebLog

thoughts from a professional developer

Last Build Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:54:47 +0000


More Shakespearean Monkeys

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:54:47 +0000

  While I was in high school, I attended a lecture at Yale University in 1974 about monkeys at a typewriter by William R. Bennet, Jr, one of the inventors of the helium-neon laser. Quote: He was also frequently seen at various sites around the Yale campus collecting data for his popular course on “The...

It’s easy to use Windows Hooks, even from C#

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 03:40:15 +0000

Microsoft Windows is based on showing windows of data to the user (duh). An application can create windows with which to interact with the user. Every window has a Window Handle, which is used just like an ID number. The Windows OS communicates with the application windows via Windows Messages. For example, when you type...

Automatically open Visual Studio Projects and Solutions using IMessageFilter

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 01:21:16 +0000

I wanted to learn more about what an IMessageFilter is and how it behaves. So I wanted to have some sample code that used it to demonstrate its behavior. So I wrote a program that starts Visual Studio, calls some properties and methods (like Get Version and MainWindow.Activate)  and then opens a solution of one...

Memory use of Dynamically expanding TreeView

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 01:08:46 +0000

I created a tool a few years ago that uses a WPF TreeView with huge numbers of nodes. The branching factor is pretty high (the number of branches per level), and the depth can be several hundred levels. Of course, creating the whole tree would consume huge amounts of memory and processing time. This is...

Use gravity to generate Cartoon animation frames

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 18:02:54 +0000

I wrote a cartoon animation program around 1982 in C. The Honolulu Academy of Arts asked me to demo the program in their Focus on Computer Graphics. The program allows the user to draw lines of a cartoon frame using the mouse. The user then saves that frame and draws another. To animate, the program...

What’s in a PDB file? Use the Debug Interface Access SDK

Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:37:46 +0000

It’s easy to use C# code and MSDia140.dll from the Debug Interface Access SDK to examine what’s inside a PDB. A PDB is Program Database which is generated when an executable such as an EXE or DLL is built. It includes a lot of information about the file that is very useful for a debugger....

Mapped Files give very fast access to huge amounts of data

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 01:40:15 +0000

Sometimes you write a program and it requires lots of extra storage. Perhaps it needs to deal with lots of information. If the requirements are large there are several alternatives to consider: 1. use main process memory (HeapAlloc, VirtualAlloc, or any API that eventually calls these, such as C++ new, C# new, etc). a. 32...

Media Files:

Visual Sorting Algorithms part II

Sat, 28 May 2016 00:20:44 +0000

In the days before the internet, email and cell phones: My ice hockey team was in the locker room talking about skating when the topic of a video showing me roller staking in Boston in 1980. see Visual Sorting Part I Below is the new version that uses a background thread to do the...

Visual Sorting Part 1

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:38:16 +0000

Remember the days before the internet?   I have a collection of hundreds of programs that I wrote in the early 1980’s using the DeSmet C compiler. This is way before the internet age. My machine of choice was an IBM PC with 4.77 MHz 16 bit processor and 256K Ram, dual floppy disks, running...

Use C++ to show memory use in an Excel Pivot table

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 01:45:35 +0000

(apologies for the formatting: The MSDN blog infrastructure has changed and some tools aren’t working yet) The CComDispatchDriver class is very useful, but it doesn’t work too well with Excel. It makes it easier to call many Automation interfaces (IDispatch). PropertyGet and PropertyPut, Invoke Method You can see the typedef of CComDispatchDriver in typedef CComQIPtr