Visual Studio Code: supported languages

Visual Studio Code, version 1.44

As of today, Visual Studio Code (not to be confused with the plain old Visual Studio) is the world’s favorite development environment. It supports a variety of programming languages. The question is exactly which?

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Microsoft stops branding competitor as malware

Happy new year, dear readers! 😊

Almost a month ago, I wrote about how Microsoft mistakenly branded Process Hacker a malware, and how their security response team refused to acknowledge their mistake. (As I said before, please apply Hanlon’s razor!)

Approximately 17 days after I wrote it, when I had stopped following up on the issue, Microsoft reversed its decision.

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Software, app, program, and process: What’s the difference?

This article talks about several highly popular computing terms: Software, app, program, application, code, executable, binaries, and process. Do you know what each one means?

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Process Hacker deleted: Microsoft brands competing product as malware

Update: Added Microsoft’s response. Fixed semantic error.

Update 2: Microsoft stops branding competitor as malware (6 January 2020)

An hour ago Windows Defender incorrectly deleted a benign utility app called Process Hacker from my system. Process Hacker is a free and open-source competitor of Microsoft’s own Process Explorer.

Screenshot of Process Hacker
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The case of File Explorer failing to start immediately on Windows 10 v1909

Recently, after updating Windows 10 to version 1909, one of my workplace computers encountered the following problems:

  • File Explorer takes a very long time (say, 15 minutes or 2 hours) to launch from the Windows taskbar or the Start menu.
  • Most items in the Quick Link menu do not work. 
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To write a poignant story in three words

During a social lunch with a group of friends, one of us proposed a little game: Tell a poignant story in three words. We agreed to write our stories on post-it notes and share them in one hour.

The winner was a real out-of-the-box thinker.

I thought about writing “nuke killed billions,” but as I wrote it, I realized it was too abstract to be a poignant story. So, I thought about the Holocaust, the Great Purge, and World War II. Eventually, I wrote, “nuke vaporized Nagasaki.” As it turned out, however, almost everyone had thought of writing about death or physical pain. Clearly, we’re no Shakespeare.

The winning story was by unanimous consensus was:

“I edited Wikipedia!”

We all knew that editing Wikipedia is a story that never has a happy ending.

The poignance

Wikipedia is the most comprehensive online encyclopedia to this date. It is one of the most visited websites on the world wide web. Touting itself as “The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, it is, in my humble opinion, the evidence that humanity is benevolent and peaceful by nature. Founded in 2001, it rapidly became the largest community on the Internet. While “free encyclopedia” and “anyone can edit” are tall claims, Wikipedia’s tallest claim is that its decision-making process is consensus-based. This implies that Wikipedia isn’t just a community like Facebook, but a community whose members are fast friends, like the gang of toys from Toy Story.

Of course, not all of us had edited Wikipedia. Even fewer have or had a Wikipedia account. Still, we had little doubt that things inside Wikipedia are not as rosy as I described above. Quite to the contrary, there have been times that we ran into unfriendly users outside Wikipedia who hated us because they hated someone with a similar pseudonym in Wikipedia. From those experiences, I know that Wikipedia is bleeding benevolent editors and is unable to recruit new ones as quickly. In most cases, the editing career in Wikipedia ends abruptly and unpredictably.

Windows Sandbox: first impression

Today, I decided to try Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 v1903.

My first impression of Windows Sandbox: Broken apps, can't mount ISO images
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Of fish and of administrators

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” And yet, there is a catch.

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Obscure and mildly amusing facts from the IT world

Welcome to the first episode (and hopefully the last episode) of obscure and mildly amusing facts from the IT world.

Visual C++ Redistributable

The digital distribution services like Steam and GOG are infamous for installing different versions of Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable (VCRedist) with every video game. If you look at the list of installed software on your computer, there is a good chance you will find dozens of items titled “Microsoft Visual C++ #### Redistributable” where #### is number starting with 2005.

What they do not seem to know is that starting with Visual C++ 2015, Microsoft is publishing all versions of VCRedist in one package. Now there is one package to rule them, one package to find them, one package to bring them all, and in your computer bind them! (At least, that’s what Sauron from the Lord of the Rings would say.) You can download that one package from Microsoft Support website.

NVIDIA GeForce, version 342.01

Today, two graphic cards on two different computers suffered from failure. So, I pulled out two older graphics cards from the storage to get those computers running again. They both had the same GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 210. The last NVIDIA GeForce driver pack to support this GPU is version 342.01. However, according to the NVIDIA website, I had to download two different driver packages: 342.01-desktop-win10-64bit-international.exe and 342.01-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international.exe.

I downloaded both files and compared them byte-by-byte. They were identical.

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