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Bug of the moment 2007-06-04

In many ways, I am spoilt by Mac OS 9. With Ambrosia’s Snapz Pro I can effortlessly take screenshots of just about anything including menus and drag operations. When it comes to Windows, I fare a lot worse. Even with dedicated screenshot software, I cannot capture the cursor shadow (which ruins the authenticity) and I cannot capture drag operations. Some programs like IrfanView can at least place the real cursor in the image, but during a drag operation (where you find wonderful bugs) all you get is the arrow cursor and no sign of what was being dragged. One screenshot tool makes you add the cursor afterwards, and you can draw as many cursors of as many types as you desire, all over the image.

If anyone knows of a decent screenshot tool for Windows 2000 that can cover the rudimentary basics like authentic cursors, cursor shadow, drag operations etc, please let me know! [Addendum: For now, I have made a page of overlay Windows cursors to copy and paste into screenshots; I have used one of them below.]

While trying to avoid the spyware trap, I have been trying out a few screenshot tools in the hope that there is anyone on this planet left for whom the concept of authenticity still means anything. I’d already uninstalled the last useless program when I noticed a console window open that I didn’t recognise:

cacls.exe asks me if I am sure

Am I sure? Can I answer this question with another? OK, two, the second being: Am I sure of what?

A quick Web search confirms that this is the Windows access control list tool, but I would like to know what it was asked to do. There was no parent process for it, so I could not see where it came from. Sadly, I have just this instant remembered that Process Explorer will show you on request the command line for any process; I could have checked with that to see what the program wanted to do. Of course, most people don’t even understand any such concepts.

I chose No. I hope that was the right decision.

What made me think of cursor capture? Apple Software Update. When it completes an update operation, the window frequently gets stuck:

The above picture has been lying around for ages; I didn’t know I could better it. Today, I was given two choices of updates: a QuickTime Security update, and the latest version of iTunes+QuickTime. Apple have still not figured out that I never installed iTunes: I use their QuickTime-only installer. Apple permit people to install just QuickTime, but will still push iTunes on them whenever they can.

I selected the security update and installed it. When it was done, I was greeted with this:

Poor Apple Software Update has no idea what state it’s in, only that it is in a right state. Maybe it’s something to do with using minimise during the install process? The minimise implementation in Windows is as flabbergastingly bad as they get. This is why I wanted the cursor included: you get bonus mouse-over behaviour.

Finally, while I am on the subject of QuickTime, anyone ever scrutinised their license agreement?

I forget what I read that drew my attention to this, but watch out if people in your country start producing nuclear. You won’t be allowed to use QuickTime any more. Such a pity.

Posted 4th June 2007 – Comments and questions?