Thoughts on timestamps of computer files

Computer files can have a number of different kinds of timestamps. Some of them are stored in the file's external metadata, alongside the file's name -- I'll call these external timestamps. Others are stored inside the file itself -- I'll call these internal timestamps. I use the term "timestamp" loosely. When something called a "timestamp" … Continue reading Thoughts on timestamps of computer files

Notes on WinHelp format, part 3

This post is part of a series about WinHelp file format. Please read the other parts first: Part 1Part 2 With what we learned previously, we can decompress the TOPIC blocks, locate the TOPICLINKs, and stitch each TOPICLINK's fragments together to make each TOPICLINK a contiguous blob of bytes: A defragmented TOPICLINK is composed of … Continue reading Notes on WinHelp format, part 3

Another Implode bug in old PKZIP software

In a previous post, I discussed an old PKZIP bug related to the compression method named "Implode". I'll call that bug the "MML bug", for "Minimum Match Length". [See also a later post: Bug #3.] In this post, I'll discuss another old PKZIP bug related to Implode compression, mainly just to distinguish it from that … Continue reading Another Implode bug in old PKZIP software

Notes on WinHelp format, part 1

I wanted to write a program to extract the text from WinHelp .HLP files. HLP format was the standard Microsoft Windows help/documentation file format from around 1990 (the start of the Windows 3.x era), through the early 2000s. There are countless old Windows applications that come with an HLP file, but starting with Vista, Windows … Continue reading Notes on WinHelp format, part 1