Windows Gives Me the Finger!

You know how Windows has different cursors for different functions? One is a pointing finger. On an e-mail discussion list I'm on, one of the members said she thought she could swear that sometimes that hand is giving her the middle finger.

Another list member responded from a point of really knowing the inside scoop on that cursor:

He's Leo Notenboom of "Ask Leo", a site where you can get answers to computer questions. What makes him knowledgeable? He used to be a senior engineer at Microsoft. He replied:

The pointing finger showed up in early versions of Windows as the link pointer in the Windows Help system. (This is pre-HTML days.) And, sure enough, someone had to go play with the icon and, well, use the "wrong" finger.

A bug report was submitted, and the proper finger restored.

The problem was in the resolution. The dilemma was how to classify the bug according to the standard categories at the time: was it a "bad pointer" or an "off by one error"?

Oh those crazy geeks.

Posted January 28, 2006

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