Archive for the ‘Debugging Industry’ Category

Software Diagnostics Services

Friday, July 13th, 2012

For some time I was struggling with finding a good name for memory dump and software trace analysis activities. The name Memoretics I use for the science of memory dump analysis (that also incorporates software traces) seems not so good to describe the whole practical activity that should be transparent to everyone in IT. Fortunately, I timely understood that all these activities constitute the essence of software diagnostics that previously lacked any solid foundation. Thus, Software Diagnostics Institute was reborn from the previous Crash Dump Analysis Portal. This institute does pure and applied research and scientific activities and in recent years was funded mainly from OpenTask publisher and recently from Memory Dump Analysis Services. The latter company also recognized that the broadening of its commercial activities requires a new name. So, Software Diagnostics Services was reborn:

The First Comprehensive Software Diagnostics Service

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Crash Dumps, Acquisitions and Layoffs (Part 1)

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

This is a story I would like to present for a possible discussion. A leading debugging services company A was contacted by a company B to analyze dozens of crash dumps for a modest fee*. No NDA was signed and the work was done promptly. Unfortunately there was no response to an invoice and after some time a representative from the company A contacted the company B and got an immediate reply that they were bought by a company C. The new invoice was requested and promptly sent by the company A to the company C. More time passed beyond any reasonable time frame and a representative from the company A contacted the company C again and didn’t get an immediate reply as before. After some time out of the blue came a group reply from all high execs saying that the modest fee cannot be paid because it had to be done by the company B that they bought. And by the way all guys from the company B dealing with the company A were no longer with the company C. The company A pointed out that by an implicit agreement an act of nonpayment from the company B due to unforeseen circumstances automatically made all crash dumps submitted to the company A a property of the company A.

Many would say please contact a lawyer but the modest fee doesn’t worth such a contact. When I devise a happy ending I write a second part.

* an average one day exec salary or less

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

An Undisclosed Corporation Tried to Hire Vostokov, Improve a Debugger

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

The founder of pattern-driven debugging was invited to HQ a few years ago to join the Corporation and work on what would become the killer of current debuggers and disassemblers.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Forthcoming Volume 6 of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The new 6th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected blog posts about memory dump and software trace analysis, software troubleshooting and debugging written in November 2010 - October 2011 for software engineers developing and maintaining products on Windows platforms, quality assurance engineers testing software on Windows platforms, technical support and escalation engineers dealing with complex software issues, and security researchers, malware analysts and reverse engineers. The sixth volume features:

  • 56 new crash dump analysis patterns including 14 new .NET memory dump analysis patterns
  • 4 new pattern interaction case studies
  • 11 new trace analysis patterns
  • New Debugware pattern
  • Introduction to UI problem analysis patterns
  • Introduction to intelligence analysis patterns
  • Introduction to unified debugging pattern language
  • Introduction to generative debugging, metadefect template library and DNA of software behaviour
  • The new school of debugging and trends
  • .NET memory dump analysis checklist
  • Software trace analysis checklist
  • Introduction to close and deconstructive readings of a software trace
  • Memory dump analysis compass
  • Computical and Stack Trace Art
  • The abductive reasoning of Philip Marlowe
  • Orbifold memory space and cloud computing
  • Memory worldview
  • Interpretation of cyberspace
  • Relationship of memory dumps to religion
  • Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 6
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (December 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-19-1
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (January 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-20-7

Back cover features 3d memory space visualization image created with ParaView.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5 is available for download

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 5 is available in PDF format:

It features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Its table of contents is available here:

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 6 that should be available in November-December.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

The New School of Debugging

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

With the new year starts the new initiative to integrate traditional multidisciplinary debugging approaches and methodologies with multiplatform pattern-driven software problem solving, unified debugging patterns, best practices in memory dump analysis and software tracing, computer security, economics, and the new emerging trends I’m going to write about during this year.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Debugging in 2021: Trends for the Next Decade (Part 1)

Friday, December 17th, 2010

As the new decade is approaching (2011-2020) we would like to make a few previews and predictions:

- Increased complexity of software will bring more methods from biological, social sciences and humanities in addition to existing methods of automated debugging and computer science techniques

- Focus on first fault software problem solving (when aspect)

- Focus on pattern-driven software problem solving (how aspect)

- Fusion of debugging and malware analysis into a unified structural and behavioral pattern framework

- Visual debugging, memory and software trace visualization techniques

- Software maintenance certification

- Focus on domain-driven troubleshooting and debugging tools as a service (debugware TaaS)

- Focus on security issues related to memory dumps and software traces

- New scripting languages and programming language extensions for debugging

- The maturation of the science of memory snapshots and software traces (memoretics)

Imagining is not not limited to the above and more to come and explain in the forthcoming parts.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Bugtation No.132

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Do we need to debug, really? (Selling the Debug Ethic1)

Whilst debugging leads to wealth
and will keep you in good health,
so its best to be contented with your bugs.

Debug, boys, debug and be contented,
As long as you’ve enough to buy a computer.
The man, you may rely, will be wealthy by and by,
If he’ll only put his finger to the debugger.

Harry Clifton (1824-1872)

1Bugtated the title of the book I’m reading now and a song from it: Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Memory Dump Analysis Audit Service

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Memory Dump Analysis Services announces the launch of the first Memory Dump Analysis Audit Service:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Forthcoming Webinars in Q4, 2010

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The choice of webinars below mostly reflects my personal preferences and long time desire to speak on topics like systems thinking, troubleshooting tool design and development. The other topic about BSOD minidump analysis was requested by participants in an ongoing survey. There will be more topics in 2011. All forthcoming webinars will be hosted by Memory Dump Analysis Services. The planning list includes:

Systems Thinking in Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis

Software Troubleshooting and Debugging Tools: Objects, Components, Patterns and Frameworks with UML

  • UML basics
  • DebugWare patterns
  • Unified Troubleshooting Framework
  • RADII software development process
  • Hands-on exercise: designing and building a tool

Blue Screen Of Death Analysis Done Right: Minidump Investigation for System Administrators

  • Making sense of !analyze –v output
  • Get extra troubleshooting information with additional WinDbg commands
  • Guessing culprits with raw stack analysis
  • Who’s responsible: hardware or software?
  • Checklist and patterns
  • Including hands-on exercises: send your own minidumps

More detailed information will be available soon. 

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

An Exposé of the Debugging Industry (Part 0)

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The title of these blog post series was motivated by a book I enjoyed reading this summer:

The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry

Finally, after thinking and keeping silence (this blog post was in draft folder for several months) I plan an interview next month for a start.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Microsoft Silently Introduces Micro Dumps

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

My April fool’s joke about the 5th dump type partially came true. I’ve just noticed the new tab “Silent Process Exit” in gflags.exe on my W2K8 R2 server:

The registry keys corresponding to settings are:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \CurrentVersion \ SilentProcessExit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ SilentProcessExit \ TestDefaultDebugger64
DumpType (DWORD) 0x88

I continue my investigation and report more later.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -