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Case Study 2 - Windows page 6

Part of the file system viewers case study.


Windows has a rather bizarre way of allowing programmers to add menu items to programs. In addition to having to specify the keyboard shortcut as a string, accelerators are specified by placing an ampersand in the menu caption. I don’t know why the caption, accelerator and shortcut are not all specified separately, but this is Microsoft we’re talking about.

It is thus ironic that one of the key components of Windows 2000 falls victim to the problem, with a folder with ‘&’ in the name:

Even Windows Paint can get this much right:

Macintosh computers have no concept of drives, only volumes. You cannot affect a floppy disc until you insert one, because the physical act of inserting a disc creates a volume. Without a drive that can detect the presence of a disc (at least, quietly, unlike *cough* the Amiga) you can get a bit confused:

The funny part is what happens if you try changing the volume label, to anything:

You might expect “No disk inserted” but that would be too obvious. (Oops, looks like XP fixed this one!)

Explorer losing track of a folder’s contents in thumbnails mode:

From David Joffe, duplicate drive letters in Explorer:

Finally, David writes, “WinXP mapped network drive server server (server) --- developers developers developers”: