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Oddities page 3


Betbest1 sent me the following image, noting the curious description of the numeric keypad:

Two-tone cream and grey keyboards are a little outdated now, and plenty of people will look at this and frown and wonder whether the “grey” keys are anything to do with that mythical Any key.

Windows 2000 and XP (and likely other versions) have a built-in floppy copier, accessed via the floppy drive’s context menu:

I think it caused my floppy drive to make horrible noises.

Some binary formats, such as that generated by REALbasic, do not obey the Windows resource format properly or do so in a way that chokes resource editors. Here’s a memory usage graph of my system after launching one of my applications having allocated it a VERSIONINFO resource with a resource editor (one of XN Resource Editor or ResHack):

Again, this time showing the initial memory allocation (the step) for the process itself:

Applications compiled with REALbasic will likewise crash spectacularly on load if you compressed them with UPX.

On IBM-compatible hardware, text mode is text mode. On an Acorn Archimedes, the system starts up in a graphics mode, and has a strange treat for you:

You can turn on the mouse cursor outside of the desktop!

Finally, an almost-serious system error stored inside the Macintosh kernel and revealed by Alessandro Levi Montalcini’s free Errditor tool:

One interesting curiosity about any system is what it’s doing with all your memory. Take for example the Mac kernel, which in this instance has mysteriously vacated half of its allocated memory:

When in 256-colour mode on a 640×480 screen, Acorn !Draw’s colour palette is a touch on the large size:

Acorn RISC OS has a module task called “Free”, which can be closed:

Is this free as in speech, or free as in beer?

Finally, the RedSquirrel Acorn emulator developer seems confused as to what the “Description” field of VERSIONINFO means:

This field is supposed to be the full application title, not a function summary of the product. A few people get confused over this one.