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Sometimes I'm asked about a broad software engineering book to recommend for general memory dump analysis that covers software architecture, design methods and diagramming languages like UML, programming languages, concurrency, real-time issues and many other topics you need to know to have systems understanding that helps in problem identification and debugging. Here's the book that I was fortunate to buy 4-5 years ago in a book shop and is a sheer pleasure to read:
There even exists an OMG certification based on it:
Every debugging engineer needs to know how the code is interpreted or compiled. Debugging complex problems or doing memory analysis on general-purpose operating systems often requires understanding the syntax and semantics of several programming languages and their run-time support. The knowledge of optimization techniques is also important for low-level debugging when the source code is not available. The following book provides an overview of all important concepts and discusses almost 50 languages. I read the first edition 6 years ago and I liked it so much that I'm now reading the third edition from cover to cover.
I finally read this book from cover to cover and I must say it is the very sound book and presents a consistent approach to debugging real-life problems with user-land C and C++ code on Linux environments.
Although it uses mainly GDB for illustrations and provides Visual C++ equivalents when possible it doesn't cover Debugging Tools for Windows and its main GUI debugger, WinDbg. To rectify this I created extensive notes while reading:
Additional reader audience for this book might include a Windows engineer who needs to debug software on Linux or FreeBSD so a quick GDB crash course is needed. It would also serve as an excellent debugging course or as a supplemental course to any C or C++ course. Highly recommended if you are a Linux C/C++ software engineer. Even if you are an experienced one, you will find something new or make your debugging more consistent. If you need to teach or mentor juniors, this book helps too.
DumpAnalysis.org announces forthcoming 2011 - 2020 as
OpenTask, the publisher of memory dump analysis and debugging books, announces restructuring:
DumpAnalysis.org announces forthcoming 2010 as
This is a full color book about postmortem, static and dynamic memory visualization and its current and emerging applications:
While working on "Computer Memory Visualization" book I noticed this recent title and immediately bought it:
This is not only a wonderful hardcover coffee table book with stunning photographs of old computers and their memory hardware but also has numerous historical notes. It nicely complements my own DLL List Landscape: The Art from Computer Memory Space book that features virtual memory visual images.
DumpAnalysis.org jointly with OpenTask establishes Memory Analysis & Debugging Institute (MA&DI)
Includes 60 programmed exercises from real life debugging and crash dump analysis scenarios and multiple-choice questions with full answers, comments and suggestions for further reading.
DumpAnalysis.org jointly with OpenTask publisher announces forthcoming 2009 as
Table of contents is amazing for its practical depth and breadth. If you want me to provide a review in a language of concurrency (I'm reading many books in parallel) I would simply say one word:
It simply means priority reading for any Windows software developer and maintainer. Invaluable for any engineer debugging complex software problems and analyzing Windows crash dumps. Simply because Microsoft OS and CLR developers use all this concurrent stuff and best practices described in the book so it is vital to be able recognize them in memory dumps. After reading this book you also get priority boost in your understanding of process and thread dynamics and your ability to plan, architect, design and implement concurrent applications and services.
The new link "Arts & Photography" has been added to the top panel featuring cartoons from Narasimha Vedala.
This is planned for publication after Windows Crash Dump Analysis book. Preliminary information is:
Forthcoming introductory book for software engineers transitioning to kernel-mode development or expanding their knowledge and skills. Can also useful for technical support and escalation engineers troubleshooting and debugging complex software issues. Preliminary information is:
This is a forthcoming book about .NET debugging seen in a wider context than CLR. Preliminary information is:
Although Windows user space and kernel interfaces are based on C language huge amount of code present in crash dumps especially in user space was written in C++ and compiled by C++ compilers. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to understand how C++ constructs need to be translated to C in order to implement various OO concepts like inheritance and polymorphism because from there you can see familiar straightforward mapping between C language constructs and assembly language. This book gives software maintenance and support engineers such solid foundation necessary to understand possible variants of C++ object layout and method dispatch that you might encounter during crash dump analysis.
The reference contains normal thread stacks and other information from Windows Server 2003 x86 complete memory dump. Useful when trying to spot anomalies in crash dumps from problem servers.
Printed versions are available for purchase at the nominal price to cover manufacturing costs:
The reference contains normal thread stacks and other information from Windows Vista x64 complete memory dump. Useful when trying to spot anomalies in crash dumps from problem workstations.
Printed version is available for purchase at the nominal price to cover manufacturing costs.
The reference contains normal thread stacks and other information from Windows Vista x86 complete memory dump. Useful when trying to spot anomalies in crash dumps from problem workstations.
Printed versions are available for purchase at the nominal price to cover manufacturing costs:
PDF file can be downloaded from this link:
Just got this nice hardcover book: 5th edition of "Programming Applications for Microsoft Windows". It has 200 pages less but more material covered because of smaller font and line spacing. What's new:
C++ classes throughout - I guess writing .NET books influenced this decision
x64 Windows specifics
New Vista and Windows Server 2008 API
Updated classes for API hooking
and the most important for me - updated SEH material and Windows Error Reporting (WER) coverage with very nice diagrams.
Bearing in mind that the previous 4th edition is 8 years old it should be read by everyone using Win32 API, debugging user mode applications (knowledge of Win32 subsystem helps greatly), extending or maintaining legacy Windows software. Highly recommended. 5 starts for 5th edition :-)
This is the book I wanted to read when I started doing Windows crash dump analysis more than 4 years ago. Although other excellent Windows debugging books existed at that time including "Debugging Applications" written by John Robbins and "Debugging Windows Programs: Strategies, Tools, and Techniques for Visual C++ Programmers" written by Everett N. McKay and Mike Woodring I needed a book that discusses debugging in the context of WinDbg and other tools from Debugging Tools for Windows package. So I had to learn from day-to-day experience and WinDbg help. Now WinDbg is a de facto standard in debugging and troubleshooting on Windows platforms and the book comes at the right time to teach the best practices and techniques. I'm reading it sequentially and I'm on the page 106 at the moment reading Chapter 2 "Basic Debugging Tasks" and I have already learnt techniques and debugging strategies I missed due to certain habits in using WinDbg. Even if you do mostly memory dump analysis and not live debugging of your product you also will learn a lot to apply in your day-to-day problem identification and troubleshooting. I'll write more about this wonderful book as soon as I finish reading it. Absolutely must have for any Windows software engineers, escalation engineers and technical support engineers willing to advance their debugging skills.
When you write programs in C or C++ it is good to know how these languages are represented in assembly language code. When you analyze crash dumps or do low level debugging involving assembly language code it is good to know how CPU abstractions are implemented in hardware. I read this book during summer and was impressed by its clarity and visual presentation. Instruction latency, pipelining, caching, locality, micro-ops fusion and memory aliasing are explained very well on color pictures without complication and all recent Intel CPU architectures including their history and motivation behind there development are covered. I particularly like data/code streams as a general computer architecture model. Highly recommended.
The reader will master crash and hang memory dump analysis for process, minidump, kernel and complete memory dumps from Windows XP/Vista/7 and Windows Server 2003/2008/R2.
Almost finished reading the book and I would never look at any source code again without security in mind. The first chapters describe how static analysis tools work. Later chapters on buffer overflows are excellent although with some minor typos. Web programming chapters on HTTP, XML, services, privacy and privilege were very illuminating. I was very eager to buy this book because I had been developing parts of C++ static code analysis tool for Programming Research (PRQA C++) 5 years ago although at that time the company didn't anticipate this market segment. Highly recommended for software engineers developing new or maintaining old software and security engineers performing code reviews.