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[h-e-w] Workarounds for emacs on Windows 7

From: John J. Xenakis
Subject: [h-e-w] Workarounds for emacs on Windows 7
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 20:11:59 -0400

I've used emacs on several different systems, including different
flavors of Windows and xemacs on Linux, with pretty much the same
macro set, which has been very convenient.  I use multiple frames and
multiple windows very heavily on a day to day basis.

Starting late last year, I started working on a Windows 7 system, and
emacs worked fine, as usual.  However, after about 7-10 days of
uptime, Windows 7 freaked out with all application windows blinking
and moving around all over the place.  At first I thought it was a
Windows 7 bug, caused by one of my display settings, and I had to
reboot the computer.  But after it's happened several times over a few
months, I've finally concluded that it's an emacs bug.  It took me a
long time to find this out, since the bug occurs so infrequently.

Since I'm running 64-bit Windows, what it looks like to me is that
emacs is using some 64-bit counter as a 32-bit or 16-bit counter
that's cycling around to zero after several days of heavy use of
emacs.  Somehow, this is causing all the application windows on the
screen to be screwed up or start blinking like mad.

People using 64-bit Windows 7 should be aware of this bug, and be
prepared for it.  The workaround is to close and reopen emacs (you
don't have to log out or reboot).  This is a lot harder than it
sounds, with windows freaking out and you can't find where your emacs
window is.  But if you can bring up the task manager, you can kill
emacs.  What I had to do was to create an abort macro, assigned to
keystroke ctl-alt-f1, that creates a quick recovery file and exits.
If you do that, then all you have to do is remember where your emacs
window was, click on it, and launch the abort keystroke.  Once emacs
exits, all your other application windows are ok again.

John J. Xenakis

John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
E-mail: address@hidden
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