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"\I386\DRW\DWWIN" in Windows XP: What's with the 'H' mystery at naming and gaming, Dr. Watson or Douglas Winslow?

December 19, 2023 at 4:49 P.M. Eastern Time

You may be aware that there has been controversy recently about random generation being used with alphabet characters and numerals to generate identification strings not meant for reader identification. Such systems in use in popular culture are the YouTube URL video identifier string, the Microsoft-popularized GUID using hexadecimal, and most junk password generators over the past few decades, including the factored authentication routines that most world-wide-web sites employ to randomly reset forgotten passwords or to provide random log-on tokens.

As these strings begin to mistake their way into our learners' lives, it's worth reviewing where the system has overrun its privilege before. We talked before about art system failures, and how to keep separate operating system partitions separate. This should have prepared you for isolating problems from a working situation, something that autistic people in professional life are often very good at, and something that everyone had to game with during the Coronavirus. Now that we've moved into the realm of talking about art system violations, not just art system failures, let's review some interesting lore about Microsoft Windows XP, an operating system that is still supported and running today.

If you were Bill Gates, what happens after you make billions of dollars producing computer software for some of the world's most depended-upon and monied corporations, not just the companies? Well, it seems hackers have targeted the August 2001 release of Microsoft Windows XP version 5.1.2600.

Mere weeks before the New York terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001, a file representing a copy of Windows XP Professional's compact disc was released and was found by many circulating on the internet for free. Microsoft had planted timebomb code in Windows XP that caused the user to need to centralize (register) their session at the Microsoft home offices briefly to receive Microsoft's permission to continue to run the operating system. Windows Product Activation and Windows Genuine Advantage were soothsayer phrases meant to reinforce that there was an upside to license disability enforcement.

Because of the still-today-loathed timebomb code, and the hackers' want or need to circumvent Microsoft's corporate scheme to steal the users' files by way of a sanctioned file system failure, software crackers began circulating what would become the most famous license key in Microsoft history: "Fckgw Rhqq2 Yxrkt 8Tg6w 2B7q8". It's not supported as a read-aloud sentence or string, however that didn't stop most people from guessing at the first five letters being a sly hint to George W. Bush, the Republican president of the United States who was in office at the time of the Microsoft activation disaster, in an economy where few wanted to invest again in any dot-com (internet) futures due to the company's earlier defeat in an antitrust lawsuit. But what about the rest?

If we in computing were to tell you that the company was once permitted to hide codes inside the machine to do things to your data that you didn't ask them to do, you might be surprised. If you were a fundamental businessman, you might have thrown out the P.C. for the calculator, the ledger, and the pencil. But what if we were to say that's just as cryptic to someone who doesn't want business?

At a promotional event, Microsoft had supplied Windows 2000 Professional and Advanced Server to our startup business. Noting a lot of the very well-made advances over Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, I took interest in the Microsoft platform for internet and development reasons. I purchased Microsoft Visual Studio which came with the TechNet Library on CD-ROM, so I then paid for a subscription to the on-line version of Microsoft TechNet, which gave access to Microsoft Operating Systems. I also got current on e-mail with Microsoft Office XP, a fine upgrade above and beyond Microsoft Works. This was co-existing well enough along with my Red Hat Linux purhcases and FreeBSD subscription to make me confident that I was keeping within my financial support boundaries for the software I was expected to memorize to gain employment at the time. I was never out of bounds on licensing. I still have a license for Windows 3.11, 95, 98, and 2000. And, beyond that, I hear they may still be activating Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10. (Windows 11? Birth month or not, I'm not going to go sick trying to chase down hardware just to run a slower program launcher. Linux is doing just fine.)

So you can imagine my surprise when I went back to see what was on the old Microsoft Windows discs. You might remember my previous run-in with the letter 'H' at Nintendo, where my full legal name entered into their 1985 video game software 'Metroid' somehow led to the female protagonist starting on top of a blocky letter 'H'. What were the chances of my full name passing the password check for any reason? Thus my interest fifteen years later in the file folder named 'DRW' on the Windows XP Professional CD-ROM. I've checked with sources of the era and verified that the volume license version of Windows XP was the most popular version released with the aforementioned "2B7Q8" key in 2001. Being that it's a volume license and all, I guess it's time for Microsoft to speak up. Or, as some might say, "'fess up.."

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Douglas Winslow>D:

D:\>chdir I386\DRW

D:\I386\DRW>dir /s
 Volume in drive D is WXPVOL_EN
 Volume Serial Number is 6638-A994

 Directory of D:\I386\DRW

08/23/2001  07:00 AM    <DIR>          .
08/23/2001  07:00 AM    <DIR>          ..
08/23/2001  07:00 AM    <DIR>          1033
08/23/2001  07:00 AM           162,128 DWWIN.EXE
08/23/2001  07:00 AM            28,672 FAULTH.DLL
               2 File(s)        190,800 bytes

 Directory of D:\I386\DRW\1033

08/23/2001  07:00 AM    <DIR>          .
08/23/2001  07:00 AM    <DIR>          ..
08/23/2001  07:00 AM            55,632 DWINTL.DLL
               1 File(s)         55,632 bytes

     Total Files Listed:
               3 File(s)        246,432 bytes
               5 Dir(s)               0 bytes free



So what was the problem again? I'm trying to figure out why Microsoft chose my initials in that many configurations for their Dr. Watson debugger application. Named in the executable's description field "Microsoft Application Error Reporting", not named MAER, DWWIN does not yield any spectacular results when loaded from CD-ROM. Had I spent more time in Microsoft Visual C++ instead of Microsoft Office, maybe I'd know how to invoke this version of Dr. Watson. So cryptic things could scare people not used to their surroundings. Noteworthy. And ultimately the reason for the failure of Windows 10 and Android.

This specific installation of Windows XP is getting decommissioned, of course, since I don't want to put my actual license key into the software now that it seems to have led a second life that Microsoft itself probably isn't supporting. I already have Windows XP installed with a paid version of Adobe Photoshop. However, graphics in motion.. Antagonist? You might think so. Did Windows Product Activation piss off the Arabs, or does Microsoft just have bad launch timing? Aside from the old conspiracy theories about Wingdings showing some encoded unpleasantness, there will never be a final say in this matter until Microsoft opens up. And that's how today's Microsoft continues, allowing Google and others to add countless cruft and troll bait to an already overburdened developer system for what's left of the personal computer. At least IBM has part numbers, Johns..

Anyway.. I have a lot of screenshots to show you of a professionally-designed operating system, but I guess the mystery stops for me right now because I'm sleepy. Think of it this way. If you could look into YouTube video IDs (or as I call them, content IDs) and retrieve a lot of tangential stuff that may or not be related to Nintendo, 9/11/2001, Donald Trump, chess, and the ultimate lack of Bill Gates' signature or underwriting, then you understand that once you have an anchor point in the software that it's easier to find areas of confidence that we in society probably act kindly upon, one should hope. You could spend days amassing references that lead exactly where you are. If you're playing along with the computer nicely.

But that's not how everyone acts. Ultimately, it's a lesson on how to continuously do your own best rewrite of yourself just in time to not fail. Below, there's a brief look into the functions of DWWIN.EXE of August 2001. If Sherlock Holmes had been put back into motion in real-life somewhere in 2001 to sign a license agreement, with Dr. Watson needing to decompile Microsoft binaries as if they were a codebook to save the world, then and only then can I understand most of the nomenclature in these exports. For whatever reason, since most of my Sherlock Holmes experience was via Star Trek: The Next Generation, I shift to Alexander Graham Bell, but not him, but maybe Thomas Edison vs. his spilled battery acid, for some reason. That's the ticket. It's not that thrilling to be a pro detective, I guess.. What's the under-over on Alfred E. Neuman as the Apple VR debugger?

And now you know why everyone tolerates art system violations. It's still art, is what they'd say. It's actually ought, or the difference-maker. Is random junk from an alphabet-toting computer where we draw the line? Or does the next generation read into intelligent (human) design's void of definition as if Bill Gates' replacements on their off-hours are the definers of what is holy? At least the games tried to start me with the letter 'H'.

  • DWAllowHeadless
  • DWNoCollectionLink
  • DWReporteeName
  • DWNeverUpload
  • DWURLLaunch
  • DWNoSecondLevelCollection
  • DWNoFileCollection
  • DWNoExternalURL
  • DWTracking
  • DWFileTreeRoot
  • DWStressReport
  • DWTester
  • Debug
  • BuildPipeMachine
  • WinVerifyTrust
  • DeleteDC
  • RestoreDC
  • SaveDC
  • SetBkMode
  • DestroyIcon
  • GetWindowPlacement
  • IsIconic c353ef35218272c2242233b4a818784b WXPVOL_EN/i386/drw/dwwin.exe af0fd7129db2cba1ab42464a3ec2e660 WXPVOL_EN/i386/drw/faulth.dll ef32415c2755e66ca1b345df68c71243 WXPVOL_EN/i386/drw/1033/dwintl.dll Microsoft Windows Version 5.1 (Build 2600.xpclient.010817-1148)

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