Simon Willison’s Weblog

34 items tagged “windows”


98.css (via) This is pretty beautiful: a CSS library that meticulously styles HTML form elements to look like the Windows 98 interface. # 22nd April 2020, 4:22 am


What is the difference between Windows and Linux for web hosting, in other words, what are the pros and cons of each, each’s limitations, performance development environment and deployment between Windows and Linux?

Any and every operation you perform on a Linux server can be trivially automated by copying the commands you ran in to a text file. I haven’t managed a Windows server in years and I hear PowerShell is pretty great these days but an OS based around a GUI is always going to be harder to automate than one based around a command line.

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Is Microsoft’s platform prohibitively expensive for large scale web deployment? Would licensing costs have killed Twitter/Facebook early?

I would argue that the cost of the Microsoft stack is a lot more than just the license fees.

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Symbian Operating System, Now Open Source and Free. With Symbian now open source, are there any widely used operating systems left (besides Windows) that don’t have an open source core? # 4th February 2010, 8:38 am


Imminent Death of the Net Predicted. Well, maybe not, but the way Windows Vista deals with round-robin DNS A records (using a new IPv6 algorithm from RFC3484 backported to IPv4) means that domains that serve up multiple A records to load balance between data centres will find that the IP nearest to the 192.168.* range will get the vast majority of Vista traffic. # 5th March 2009, 9:50 am

Load Windows ICO files. Apparently PIL has trouble with the most recent versions of the windows .ico format (Vista now embeds PNG images in them)—this clever function deals with the differences and gives back a PIL Image object. # 17th January 2009, 9:48 pm


[In Mali...] The outcome of this rampant illegal software copying is that Windows is seen as “the first world standard” and any attempt to push a cheaper alternative is strongly resisted. They consider it trying to cheat local people out of getting the same quality of software that is used in the developed world, even though it’s a legal way of getting quality software for free.

Jeremy Allison # 9th December 2008, 8:03 am

Trying out Windows on EC2. Phillip Pearson provides the missing documentation. # 24th October 2008, 9:57 am

Windows Server and SQL Server on EC2 (via) Launched today, the pricing includes rental of the Windows license. Regular Windows is 25% to 50% more expensive than Linux, but SQL Server comes in at a hefty $1.10 per hour, which is $9636 per year (nearly three times as much as a Linux server running an open source database). # 23rd October 2008, 3:54 pm

Coming Soon: Amazon EC2 With Windows. It’s not instantly clear if you need to source your own Windows licenses or if the license comes as part of the hourly VM charge. If it’s the latter, I can see this being fantastically useful for both automated and manual cross-browser testing—throw up a Windows VM for just as long as you need to run your tests, running them through rdesktop. # 1st October 2008, 9:16 am

Unfortunately, we’re not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows.

Install Photosynth page # 21st August 2008, 10:07 am

Velocity: A Distributed In-Memory Cache from Microsoft. I’d been wondering what Microsoft ecosystem developers were using in the absence of memcached. Is Velocity the first Windows platform implementation of this idea? # 6th June 2008, 9:52 pm

The strain due to the fact that most business desktops are locked into the Microsoft platform, at a time when both the Apple and GNU/Linux alternatives are qualitatively safer, better, and cheaper to operate, will start to become impossible to ignore.

Tim Bray # 3rd January 2008, 1:08 pm


Silly MS-DOS 5 Promo Video. I can’t decide if this is better or worse than the Windows 386 rap. # 13th September 2007, 10:10 am

I’ve been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system—it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes.

Joel Spolsky # 20th August 2007, 3:58 pm

Skype: What happened on August 16. Windows Update caused a massive global reboot, which destabilised Skype’s peer to peer network due to the flood of log-in requests. # 20th August 2007, 2:11 pm

Windows Live ID Web Authentication Released! Passport lives again! Who’s going to be first to build an for it? # 17th August 2007, 10:20 am

Instant Django. Portable Django environment for Windows, no installation required. Can also be run from a USB thumb drive. # 24th July 2007, 6:49 pm

Safari for Windows, 0day exploit in 2 hours (via) Once again, down to handling of alternative URL protocol schemes. # 12th June 2007, 1:30 pm

Enabling the debug menu on Safari for Windows. “Turn off site-specific hacks” is one of the menu options. # 12th June 2007, 1:18 pm

Safari 3 Public Beta. Safari for Windows. Unfortunately this kills the best excuse corporate Web developers had for getting Macs (“we need to run all our supported browsers on one machine”). # 11th June 2007, 11:06 pm

Deploying a Django app on the desktop. Silver Stripe used cx_freeze to package their commercial agile project management Django application as an easy to run Windows executable. # 1st June 2007, 9:45 pm

Just because Java was once aimed at a set-top box OS that didn’t support multiple address spaces, and just because process creation in Windows used to be slow as a dog, doesn’t mean that multiple processes (with judicious use of IPC) aren’t a much better approach to writing apps for multi-CPU boxes than threads.

Guido van Rossum # 8th May 2007, 9:21 pm

Migrating Microsoft Hotmail from FreeBSD to Microsoft Windows 2000. I’d like to see them try that with Yahoo!’s 100+ properties. # 4th May 2007, 5:54 pm

The problem is a lack of respect for the consumer. The manufacturers don’t act as if the computer belongs to you. They act as if it is a billboard for restricted trial versions of software and ads for Web sites and services that they can sell to third-party companies who want you to buy these products.

Walt Mossberg # 6th April 2007, 10:46 pm

Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.

Bill Gates # 2nd February 2007, 6:01 pm

How-to: Read and Write NTFS Windows Partition on Mac OS X. NTFS driver for MacFUSE, with full read and write support. Great for BootCamp. # 27th January 2007, 12:55 am


Patching Windows XP from burned CDs?

antifuse: that’s perfect, thanks. Unfortunately slipstreaming isn’t really an option—or at least I’d rather avoid it (I’d have to take her laptop home with me and return it another time).

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Subversion on Windows quick start (via) Subversion cheat sheet. # 5th February 2005, 6:43 pm


IE in Windows XP SP2. An overview of the new security changes. # 10th August 2004, 7:39 pm