This message would not bother me under ordinary circumstances, while the program is running. I mean I can hardly blame the OS for a program trying to access some memory it does not own.

What really gets to me is that I often get this message several seconds after I have instructed the software to shut down. I mean, come on, Windows knows the program is being shut down because, after all, Windows software reacts to the shut down request by sending itself a Windows system message.

It would seem logical that if I have requested a program shut down, I don't need to be told it is going to be shut down. Hey, the problem is with some memory error in the computer, not a memory error in my head.

Secondly, this message drives me crazy when I get it twice (or more times) in a row for the same program. I already know from the first message the program messed up, and I have resigned myself to it by clicking OK, so why tell me again and again. Just shut it down already, and shut up!

Either problem could easily by solved by using a flag. Dear, Microsoft programmers, it appears the concept of flag is new to you, so here's an explanation: You reserve either a bit or a byte (or whatever size, but a single bit is enough) of memory whenever you load a program. This bit/byte/whatever is the flag. Now, you set the flag to zero initially (the flag is off, you know, just like keeping a real-world flag lowered).

When the program sends itself the message to quit, the system software simply needs to change the value from 0 to 1. That is, the flag is on (you know, as if a real-world flag were raised). Get it so far? Good!

Now, when an exception occurs, let your exception handler check the value of the flag. If it is zero, pop up that message box about the program being shut down and set the flag to one (this mind boggling trick will prevent you from popping it up twice).

If, on the other hand, the flag is already set when your handler starts (i.e. its value is not zero), just kill the program without popping up that message box. Got it? Excellent!

Oh, yes, Microsoft, you now need to send me $10,000,000 flat, plus $2 (US currency) for every copy of Windows you sell hereinafter. And don't even think about patenting this revolutionary new idea!