My first PluralSight course has been published!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In the last few months, I’ve been working on a course for PluralSight. Creating a video course is not easy, as I found out first hand. In fact, it’s more difficult than writing a book. With a book, I can change a sentence or a paragraph, at any time and any place. A video course is different… changes are hard, and recording sessions cannot be done just anywhere. But I’ve learned a lot from the experience, which should make next courses a bit easier…My first course is about a favorite subject of mine, Windows Internals. This deals with the...

Dealing With Native DLLs in .NET “AnyCPU” Builds

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A .NET application can be compiled using the “AnyCPU” configuration, meaning the application runs as 32 bit on a 32 bit OS, and 64 on a 64 bit OS. As long as the application is purely managed, everything should be just fine. However, if the application must use some native DLL through interop (e.g. P/Invoke), then “AnyCPU” may be an issue. A native DLL cannot be both 32 and 64 bit – it’s one or the other. The traditional solution to the problem is to switch the .NET build to a “Win32” or “x64” configuration, thus aligning...

Multiple Instance Windows Media Player

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When Windows media player (WMP) is open, any attempt to open it again simply reactivates the existing WMP window. WMP is running as a single instance. It uses a relatively well known methods for this, creating a named mutex on startup and seeing if it already exists (by calling GetLastError and comparing with ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS). WMP uses a mutex called "Microsoft_WMP_70_CheckForOtherInstanceMutex" and this name seems to be consistent between WMP versions (at least starting from Windows XP). Mark Russinovich showed this mutex in the latest addition of Windows Internals. Let’s run an instance of WMP and look at process...