The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cute trick to snarf Windows dialog box text

I have long been frustrated when trying to report bugs in Windows, because I could not easily snarf the text of a dialog box, etc., to stuff into the bug report.

Well, it turns out there is a way:


Little known fact: in most standard Windows (XP) dialogs, you can hit Ctrl+C to have a textual copy of the content of the dialog. 
Example: open a file in Notepad, hit space, close the window, hit Ctrl+C on the Confirm Exit dialog, cancel, paste in Notepad the text of the dialog.
Well, I have wasted lots of time not knowing this...

O)f course, I would learn about it after I get into the habit of using tools like SnagIt and Windows 7's Snipping Tool to snip bitmaps by default, and paste those into... email, OneNote.

Heck, yesterday I got a primitive ability to paste images into GNU EMACS "text" files.
      (Basically, I am making such text files be directories, and using my-org-screenshot (found all over, e.g. http://pastebin.com/QfLb9ZBr) to put the screenshot into a file that EMACS' org-mode can reference. Currently using directories, am modifying EMACS' tar mode to allow the new file to be written. Following my dictum that "UNIX already has all of the support needed for structured files: directories. Archives of directories, to make them convenient to move around.")

Heck, I think the biggest change in my usage patterns over the last three years has been to start blithely throwing bitmaps around.  Basically, to treat bitmaps as a first class data type.

Especially useful when you have tools like Microsoft OneNote that can OCR a bitmap.  Abd can therefore do a pretty good job of searching notes composed out of bitmap files.

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