The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, 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.

Centralized Notification Ringtone/Sound Management

Android allows me to have different sounds (ringtones) for different notification events.  This is good.

However, each seems to be managed in isolation. This is bad.

The most important thing about sound notifications is that they be distinct, so that you can remember which is for what. Best if there is some natural connection - like the sound of mail dropping through a slot for incoming email. (Although I get so much email... this is the only natural one I can think of.)

But distinct.  Not good to have the same sound for incoming email (low priority), as for the reminder to get in the car and drive across town to an appointment you don't want to miss.

Manged in isolation, need to jump to each notifying app and change.

Want cenralised management, where I can see a list of all the different types of notifications I use, and can hear their sounds back to back.

I think Blackberry had this.  But "all the differet typs of notifications I use".  *I* *USE*.  I recall the Blackberry list had all the notifications on the phone, includng many I had no idea about.  Wasted time setting distinct notificaions, n one case thinking that incoming mssages meant incoming SMS text messages, not some other service.


Want different notifications for calendar items.  E.g. different notifications for the "Leave now, drive 1 hour across town", and the "Pick up the phone for a meeting".