MSDN Magazine > Issues and Downloads > 2005 > June >  Editor's Note: Reader E-mail
Editor's Note
Reader E-mail

Here at MSDN Magazine, we get a lot of mail from readers. As you can imagine, much of it involves fulsome praise for our content, our eye-catching covers, or the handsome photo that now graces this page. However, some of the mail we receive goes well beyond these basics and talks about, well, the basics. Especially prevalent around this time of year, our favorite mail takes this form:
Dear Columnist:
Provide the anwers to the following questions:
1. How large is a pointer?
2. How do you write strcpy?
3. How do you implement an infinite loop? —A. Reader
Here's the thing. Our mission in creating MSDN Magazine every month is to be the best source of information for developers who use Microsoft tools and technologies. We have a lot of pages of content because there's so much to talk about out there—we assume that readers can find introductory "how to program" information in alternate sources. Besides, since you found your way to our Web site, there's no doubt that you are one of the world's most sophisticated developers. We don't have time to do your school homework for you! Not only that, but we just might tell your teacher that you're asking us to do your work.
Okay, we admit it. MSN Search and Google weren't around when we were in school. But they exist now! We're a bit jealous. Of course, once this Editor's Note is on the Web, you'll search for "implement an infinite loop" and it'll bring you right back to this page. And after reading it, you'll follow our instructions and search for the term again, and it'll bring you back here. So now the question is: how long will you continue to do this before realizing that you've just answered your own question about infinite loops?
Another old favorite piece of mail looks like this:
Waiting for your reply (if you have not): Final Notice.
Client ID #: 627914
You have been approved for an extension/refinance of your home, saving you thousands per year.
Hey, how did you find out about our secret magazine hideaway? True, interest rates have been rising lately, but when we got that $600,000 jumbo mortgage on the conference room down the hall, we specifically checked the "do not contact us by e-mail" box.
In our editorial inbox, we tend to get all sorts of general assistance letters. People who can't find answers in a search engine often find their way to our contacts page. Mail like this always arrives with purple letters on a pink background, with stationery of kittens or seashells repeated down the left margin. Most of the time we can't make heads or tails out of what they're supposed to mean:
Grip toolbar? Is this some sort of specialized add-in for the motion picture industry? Maybe it comes packaged with the best boy toolbar and the dolly shell extension.
Mail like this aside, we do welcome all comments and questions about the magazine. If you'd like to tell us what you think about an article, drop us a line at If you have a new product that you think we just have to hear about, send it to our New Stuff desk at
You can also reach us through our Web site. Every article on the site has a ratings and comments area on the bottom of the page. If you have thoughts about a piece we've run, you can let us know online. We look at every comment entered on the site, and we use aggregate ratings to help plan future coverage. We can even see which authors get the best and worst grades from our readers. (Which is why this editor no longer writes features for the magazine. Sigh.)
We always want to hear from you, so let us know what you're thinking. We'll use your feedback to improve the magazine, which will, in turn, lead to more feedback from you... and we're in an infinite feedback loop. Not a bad thing at all.

Thanks to  the following Microsoft and Intel technical experts for their help with this issue: Raymond Balint, Joe Binder, Richard Burte, Simon Calvert, Rob Caron, Girish Chander, Raymond Chen, Bogdan Crivat, Chris Guzak, Philip Kerly, Ronald Laeremans, Martyn Lovell, Jamie MacLennan, Mark Matusiefsky, Bradley Millington, Jim Newkirk, Matt Odhner, Shankar Pal, Polita Paulus, Eric Perlin, Riyaz Pishori, Matt Powell, Raphael Renous, Juan Rodriguez, Michael Rys, Paul Schafer, Sam Spencer, and Maura Van Der Linden.

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MSDN Magazine does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied with respect to any code or other information herein. MSDN Magazine disclaims any liability whatsoever for any use of such code or other information.
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