Archive for December, 2012

Querying the Windows Registry

I’ve always considered the Windows Registry to be a pretty awful piece of technology and a terrible way to store system and application settings. That said, if you’re doing Windows development, you’re probably going to have to touch it at some point. I was digging through some old C++ code, and came across some code to get the current version of Flash installed on the system (I can’t remember why I need to do this at all), which I think serves a good example of how to query the registry.

#include <iostream>
#include <windows.h>

int main()
    LONG ret;
    HKEY result;
// open the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Macromedia\FlashPlayerPlugin"
ret = RegOpenKeyExW(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, L"SOFTWARE\\Macromedia\\FlashPlayerPlugin", 0, KEY_QUERY_VALUE, &result);
if(ret != ERROR_SUCCESS)
return 1;

// allocate 64 wide chars to hold value
DWORD dataLen = 64;
wchar_t* data = new wchar_t[dataLen];

// query the value of "Version" for the key we opened
ret = RegQueryValueExW(result, L"Version", NULL, NULL, (LPBYTE)data, &dataLen);
if(ret != ERROR_SUCCESS)
return 2;

// put the value in a wide string and output it
std::wstring versionStr(data);
    std::wcout << versionStr.c_str();

// memory cleanup
delete [] data;

return 0;

The code required some modification as the name name of the key and value has since changed (FlashPlayerPlugin was previously FlashPlayer, Version was previous CurrentVersion).


Vedas by Nicholas Alan Cope and Dustin Edward Arnold

Vedas by Nicholas Alan Cope and Dustin Edward Arnold

From their blog:

Vedas is an ongoing project broadly based on the theme ‘knowledge’. Specifically the changes in thought established by Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). One of the earliest documents of the scientific revolution. It re-assessed man’s place in the cosmos and placed him at no greater value than other creatures on earth.

Knowledge, it seems; is at once both expansive and contractive. It is a value exchange. For some it shakes foundations, de-stabaizes values and opens up the sheer terror of possibility. For others it signifies hope, advancement and discovery.