I've seen a lot of weird Windows crashes in my day, but this one takes\nthe cake. Definitely different from your run-of-the-mill STOP error.\n\n1. I'm clicking around in an Explorer window and go to sort some folder\nby name. I think maybe Windows interpreted the click as hitting that\n"slide show" button above it, based on what eventually happened, but\nat the time all I knew was that the window didn't resort itself as\nI'd wanted it to.\n\n2. I go to sort it again and it works. I do a couple more things. Then\nsuddenly busy cursor and a moment later BAM! Blank black screen.\nAlt-tab does nothing. Ctrl-tab does nothing. Esc does nothing. Ctrl-\nesc does nothing. Ctrl-shift-esc does nothing. Nothing else does\nanything either. I have a mouse pointer and it moves but there's\nnothing to click on. Keyboard LEDs toggle but sluggishly and less than\n100% reliably.\n\n3. I'm sighing and reaching for the power switch when some other random\nExplorer window appears abruptly, relieving the blankness. I click in\nit figuring I might be able to use the menus to do *something* useful\nbut the damn thing is not responding.\n\n4. A few seconds later, there's a lot of automatic-seeming flickering and\nthen my desktop comes back to normal -\- almost.\n\n5. For a little while, nothing responds, and then suddenly the start menu\nflies open all by itself. After that, the system's back to normal -\-\nalmost. I cancel the unwanted menu and go about my business but soon\nnotice that several applications are being sluggish. Typing in\nanything stops and then rushes to catch up, mouse clicks are ignored\nonly for half of them to randomly take effect several full seconds\nlater, and as if I'd just clicked even if something different is under\nthe pointer now, etc.\n\n6. I pop up ProcessExplorer and see that Exploder is chewing up 30-40%\nCPU.\n\n7. I try to work on other things for a bit in the hopes that it will die\ndown after a little while longer, as the system recovers from ...\nwell, whatever the hell had happened to it to cause that blank black\nscreen earlier.\n\n8. Eventually, I get fed up and switch to ProcessExplorer. Right click\n... wait 3 seconds ... Properties. Wait 6 seconds. Dialog appears.\nClick Threads. I want to know which specific Explorer thread is\nresponsible for the excessive CPU use; perhaps I can safely kill just\nthe one thread and not lose all my state in open Explorer window, and\nperhaps the thread's name will give me a clue as to why Explorer is\nspazzing, and perhaps that clue will let me despazz it, perhaps by\nclosing some window I wasn't using anyway or something.\n\n9. Instead, BAM! Blank black screen again. From clicking the Threads tab\nin the Properties dialog in ProcessExplorer this time.\n\n10. Wait, what's this? One of my extensive collection of Kathy Ireland\nwallpapers. WTF? Who ordered *that*?\n\n11. Then another, then another. Some sort of slide show? I have a mobile\nmouse pointer but no UI. Keyboard LEDs are stuck and ESC, clicking,\ndouble clicking etc. don't work. I even get desperate enough to hit\nF1. The one key I avoid is alt-F4, in case it goes straight through\nthe slideshow that has hijacked the screen and hits some application\nI don't want to close.\n\nMeanwhile my mouse pointer is a hand in a couple of random spots and\nan I-beam in others, but an arrow most places, as if responding to\nthe invisible contours of an unseen window *beneath* the one that\nnominally has the focus (the fullscreen app that's quite evidently\nhijacked my display).\n\n12. It's unresponsive, other than that the slideshow doesn't freeze, for\nover five whole MINUTES. And then, suddenly, roughly as I was sighing\nand reaching for the power switch, a control overlay with pause,\nstop, etc. appears that should obviously have been there five minutes\nago (if you ignore the fact that the slideshow itself should NOT have\nbeen).\n\n13. Obviously, I hit stop. It takes a minute or so to take effect (natch)\nbut I've got my desktop back! Only ... what the fuck is THIS shit?\nWindows are cut off by screen edges and not where I left them. Other\nstuff is wrong. The whole goddamn thing looks blurry and low res. And\nthere's a help window open, which was presumably the outcome of my\nearlier F1 keypress, but wasn't very helpful since it stayed under the\n"window" (if you can call it that) I needed help with and only became\nvisible after I no longer needed any fucking help from it.\n\n14. I pop up control panel, noting that the system seems more responsive\nthan earlier. I make a mental note to see if Explorer's CPU use is\ndown out of the stratosphere in a bit, while I delve down into the\ndisplay settings.\n\n15. What the fuck is this? 1024x768? How 1990s. Who the hell has been\nmonkeying with my settings WHILE I HAD NO WORKING UI?!\n\n16. Obviously, I change it back, then alt-tab to ProcessExplorer. Er,\nthat is I TRY to alt-tab to ProcessExplorer. It's *gone*. Apparently\nthat click on the Threads tab of the Properties dialog for the\nCPU-hogging Explorer process crashed the fucking thing.\n\n17. I restart it. Explorer's CPU use is normal (i.e., nearly nil).\n\n18. WTFWTFWTFWTFWTF...\n\n\nHere are a few useful pointers for Microsoft that might come in handy\nwhen the time comes to start developing Windows 8:\n\n1. One stray mouse click shouldn't render a machine nearly unusable for\nFIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES, unless it somehow does a Start -> Shut Down\n-> Yes, I Really Do Want To Shut Down, You Goddamn Machine, or\nsomething else drastic from that menu such as Reboot.\n\n2. Clicks in Explorer windows, particularly, should not initiate anything\nthat effectively grabs the whole system and locks you out of the UI\nfor ages without there being some way to CANCEL the bloody thing\nquickly. In particular, Esc should cancel any fullscreen thingie\nthat's not a game or something (and even then Alt-Enter should de-\nfullscreen the damned thing), and do it *promptly*.\n\n3. Alt-Tab should always, always work, and alt-tab away from a fullscreen\napp should always, always minimize it.\n\n4. Ctrl-Esc should always pop the taskbar and start menu up, even over\nfullscreen apps. Then you can always right-click the recalcitrant\nfullscreen app's taskbar button and "Close" it, or at least use\nStart -> Shut Down to get a graceful shutdown that saves all your\nstuff instead of maybe having to resort to power-cycling your goddamn\nbox.\n\n5. Ctrl-Shift-Esc should always start Task Manager, and if it's already\nstarted, force it to the front and focused, and if there's a\nfullscreen app that wants to stay in front of it, force always on top\nback on in Task Manager.\n\n6. Likewise, F1-induced help should not pop under a fullscreen app, but\nappear over it, or the fullscreen app should de-fullscreen when you\nhit F1 in it.\n\n7. Anything fullscreen that should exhibit screensaver-like behavior\nshould disappear *instantly* if any key is pressed or the merest\n*twitch* of the mouse occurs (unless it *instantly* pops up the\npassword prompt instead).\n\n8. Exploder should not, under any circumstances, chew up significant CPU.\nIt is inherently an I/O-bound task.\n\n9. Nothing should ever trigger something that, when eventually canceled\nout of (somehow), will spontaneously *un*cancel itself five whole\nminutes later.\n\n10. The slideshow feature's controls should not wait ten minutes to become\navailable after the slideshow itself starts.\n\n11. Things like ProcessExplorer shouldn't just disappear without so much\nas a "This program has performed an illegal operation..." messagebox,\nlet alone an actual by-your-leave from the guy nominally in charge of\nthe fucking box.\n\n12. The desktop resolution should not spontaneously randomize itself. Nor\nshould fullscreen things like the slideshow hijack it but fail to put\nit back the way it was on exit. Nor should they default to something\nother than the desktop resolution the user set, at least not without\na damned good reason, again unless it's a game and the user has\nexplicit settings for that game that are dissimilar.\n\n13. Mouse focus should always, always be on whatever opaque or translucent\n(not 100% transparent) thing is frontmost beneath the pointer\nposition, and never be clicking or "feeling" *through* that to\nsomething further down the window stack.\n\nPut another way: Go down the video card's Z-buffer at the pixel\nposition of the hotpoint. First non-100%-transparent pixel down that\nZ- buffer, find out what app it belongs to. That pixel of that app is\nwhat should receive the mouse events until that Z-buffer changes or\nthe pointer moves.\n\nTaking notes? Good. Maybe you'll manage not to fuck up Windows 8 too\nbadly, then.