Archive for the 'microsoft' Category

What’s with the J in Emails?

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This has bothered me ever since I saw it appearing in emails:

I’d love that J

WTF is that “J”? Does it stand for “joke”? “Jesus”?

After a while it became apparent that it’s somewhat equivalent to a smiley face, but I was still puzzled by it until I peeked under the hood today and found an email sent from Outlook with the following bit in the HTML part:

I'd love that <span style="font-family:Wingdings">J</span>


When rendered using the Windings font, indeed you get a smiley face:

I'd love that J

And the text/plain part of the email actually does contain the regular :), so you’d only see the “J” showing up if your device is trying to display the HTML version but it doesn’t have the Windings font available.

IE7 with IDN support

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

From the official IEBlog posting entitled “IE7 Is Coming This Month…Are you Ready?”:

The final release of IE7 is fast approaching … and I mean really fast … and will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it’s available for download.

The #1 feature in IE7 that interests me greatly is its support for IDN. Yes, it’s a little late (3.5 years after the IDNA standard was published and more than 4 years after Mozilla implemented it in the browser.) Still, being the most popular browser on the planet this marks a very important milestone in the history of IDN. In fact, JPRS saw the IDN registration numbers soar after Microsoft announced that IE7 will support IDN. I’m sure many other IDN-enabled registries experienced similar surges too.

I’ve been using the RC1 version of IE7 for about a month now, and have been using to find example IDN URLs. So, if have IE7 installed and want to see a real-life IDN in action, head over to

If you’re an IE6 user, I would encourage you to upgrade.

Download IE7 here:
Find IDN examples here:

Bug in IE?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2004

One day, I found myself debugging a very wierd situation with a CGI script that I was maintaining. The CGI script processes Chinese characters, and only on very rare occasion that it fails mysteriously. I double and triple-checked for all possible error handling, to no avail. After spending many hours, I decided that the problem only surfaces under Internet Explorer (my version is 6.0) and when a HTML form has the multipart/form-data enctype attribute, and one of the textfields in it contains the character . When the form is submitted, IE would send the HTTP request, but with the first CGI parameter corrupted.

I tried submitting a problem report to Microsoft here, but all I got after filling in the tedious form, is this:

We’re sorry, we were unable to service your request. As an option, you may visit any of the pages below for information about Microsoft services and products.

I tried submitting again today and the same thing happened. So I decided to post it here.

You can test if your version of IE has this bug by going to and submitting the form.
If you could let me know your results by posting a comment here, that’d be great.

MS Bookshelf Symbol 7 Update

Thursday, February 12th, 2004

Today, Windows XP automatic updates service greeted me with two new updates waiting to be downloaded. One was another of those serious enough to allow a remote attacker to completely take over and wreck your computer, the other was about a font! A font? It says that the Bookshelf Symbol 7 font that is included in MS Office 2003 “has been found to contain unacceptable symbols”. Well, that’s some interesting stuff…

So I fired up the symbol browser included with Office (from Word, Insert -> Symbol), selected the font and took a screenshot. Then I proceeded with the update, rebooted the machine, and did the same thing again. Voila! 3 symbols have been removed – 2 Swastika’s and a six-pointed star.

Here’s the old font:

and here’s the new one:

I began googling around for it and found some references to the Swastika being removed in this update, see this post on J-Walk Blog.

What’s more interesting is that no one ever mentioned the Star, it’s not even in Microsoft’s press release.

The six-pointed star or Hexagram, is called the Star of David in some religious context (Jewish?). Some Christians believe that it is the Mark of the Beast in the Revelation. Some reading here too.