'Booting Windows From A Usb Drive', and 'Windowless User Interface'

Dennis Faas's picture

Booting Windows From A Usb Drive

According to the author, "Microsoft denies that booting Windows off a USB drive works. To put a long story short, this is exactly what I do now. However, it took me significant time to figure out all the painful little problems, and I was not fully happy with the current official guide by Dietmar (no pun: he was the first to make anything public). I wanted an easy guide that allows creating a modified version of the Windows XP CD, for painless and transparent installation to as many systems as you want. This page is the result of my work. Have fun.


Windowless User Interface

For programmers: traditionally, Windows applications are built upon the GDI (Graphics Device Interface) windowing hierarchy, and thus restricted in several areas. While you can certainly generate a nice application quickly with the built-in control-set and get a standard clean look, you will soon enough stumble upon the limitations of the Windows controls -- especially if you want to build something that looks a little more flashy. The native Win32 custom-draw/owner-draw technique is limited, next to no support for transparent windows, rigid control scaling/resizing and the Common Controls are merely remnants of Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer widgets. A windowless user-interface doesn't make use of the native Win32 controls. Instead it custom paints every control and widget on the screen, including labels, buttons, list control, etc. This kind of interface is not new: "Skinning" has been widely accepted for its cool application-look, as seen in Nullsoft's WinAmp and the MS Media Player. But skinning is usually only feasible for small applications hosting a limited number of dialogs. If you're building a large database-driven application, you'll want to have a solid framework to back your dialog design up. Here's a sample.


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