Category Archives: Software Development

Folder name with a trailing space character

I download a computer program that had a bug: Its installer created a folder named “Bin “; i.e. “B”, “i”, “n”, plus a space character at the end. Its uninstaller cannot delete it. Read the rest of this entry

Finding wallpaper locations in Windows 7 and later

Update (2019-10-30): The scripts were moved to GitHub.

This article introduces two PowerShell scripts that help you find the wallpaper location in Windows 7 and later.

View of Garachico, Tenerife, Spain by Diego Delso
View of Garachico, Tenerife, Spain by Diego Delso

Previously, The WinHelpOnline Blog published two scripts in the VBScript language, one for retrieving the location of Wallpaper on Windows 7 (4 February 2010) and one for doing so on Windows 8.x (25 October 2013). These scripts, however, have a problem: If there is a non-English character (e.g.  Chinese characters) in the file name path, they potentially fail. Although Windows innately supports Unicode, VBScript doesn’t. Only programs based on .NET Framework are Unicode-compliant by nature. Fortunately, Windows PowerShell is built on .NET Framework and benefits from innate Unicode support. So, all I had to do was to rewrite the script in the PowerShell language.

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Internet Explorer 11 cannot connect to local host – Redux

Updated 11 November 2013

In a previous blog post, I detailed how Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 Preview fails to open while it has no problems opening http://localhost, given an appropriate web server is installed. Well, here is an update.

Screenshot - 1. IE11 cannot connect to

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Internet Explorer 11 cannot connect to local host

If you think everything compatible with Windows 8.0 is also compatible with Windows 8.1, I am afraid you should reconsider. Perhaps if you have been with me so far, you are now aware of this fact. My latest experiments with Windows 8.1 Preview shows that Internet Explorer 11 has problems connecting to local system.
Screenshot - 1. IE11 cannot connect to

Let’s see what’s the problem and how we can resolve it.

Microsoft antivirus apps: Three basic facts everyone must know!

Today, I’d like to introduce three important facts about Microsoft antivirus products that everyone should absolutely know. Of course, that means you should first know that Microsoft creates antivirus products.

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Unified installer in Adobe Flash Player 11.3

Previously, I complained how I did not like the fact that Adobe Flash Player 11.2 64-bit package could only be installed on x64 systems while it carried the 32-bit version of Adobe Flash Player as well. I said I preferred a unified installer that could install the appropriate packages on both IA-32 and x64 systems. Well, it seems Adobe has reached the same conclusion as well.

Adobe Flash Player 11.3 installer package, digitally signed 1 June 2012, now carries both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Adobe Flash Player and can be installed on both IA-32 and x64 systems. Now, I only have to maintain a smaller footprint of 18.1 MB in my installers archive, which consists of two installer packages: A 8.79 MB package for Internet Explorer and a 9.36 MB package for Firefox, Opera and Safari.

More optimization?

Is it not possible to have one single 9 MB installation package that installs Adobe Flash Player for both Internet Explorer and Firefox? To put it more technically, is it not possible to have two sets of lightweight wrappers that expose the same core Adobe Flash Player presenter engine through ActiveX (to Internet Explorer) and NPAPI (to Opera, Safari and Firefox)?

How to fix: Diablo 3 “Blizzard Update Agent has stopped working”

In a rather interesting blog post today, Rick Brewster (the developer of Paint.NET) sheds light on an interesting bug in Diablo III setup program. Apparently, Blizzard Update Agent does not support multiprocessor systems. Rick has solved this problem by manually adjusting the processor affinity of the setup program.

Interestingly enough, Rick describes his epiphany as “some Raymond Chen style psychic insight”. Smart readers definitely know the difference between that and some Mark Russinovich-style psychic insight. From a scientific point of view, at this point of time, these two are different. blog

I finally succumbed and bought a copy of Diablo 3 today, only to found out that it just doesn’t work:

Argh! No matter what I did, it would always crash. Every single time, over and over and over and over again.

In a last act of desperation before borrowing the DVD from a friend to try and load it that way, I had some Raymond Chen style psychic insight and thought it might be a multithreading bug. You see, I just put together a brand new Dual Xeon E5-2687W system. It is a beast: dual processor, 8 cores each, with HyperThreading. That means Task Manager shows 32 tiny little performance graphs. It makes compiling Paint.NET really fast (lots of C++/CLI these days), and is killer for working on all that multithreaded rendering code.

Anyway, the fix is a bit clumsy but it seems to work (so far! we’ll see if…

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My Documents?! I am framed!

Seasoned Windows users know that the Documents folder (formerly My Documents folder) is a folder where unscrupulous applications store large quantities of cryptic files and folders without regard for their users’ comfort, making it unsuitable for actual user documents. “Digital Clutter” is now a more becoming name.

Screenshot of a Documents folder in Windows 8.1.

Screenshot of a Documents folder in Windows 8.1.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to…

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