How many times have we redirected new people to websites about DirectX? Many times they get intimidated and just give up. Perhaps we could code a DirectX startup module and make it available for download from the board. This way we could start explaining the meat of graphics code instead of having to go through all of the Windows crap that we all love so much.
Think about it. Essentially you setup just enough crap to satisfy Windows and then you tell it to take a hike. From then on, its pretty much like DOS graphics programming in that you plot pixels, draw lines, change modes, get pointers to buffers, etc.
Of course I'm only talking about DirectDraw here - D3D would be much different. We could use DX7 interfaces since the DX standard states that all previous interfaces should work with newer versions. The only reason I say DX7 is because DirectDraw was merge with Direct3D in DX8 and beyond.