Archive for the ‘Dr. Watson’ Category

Forthcoming 2nd edition of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

After 4 years in print this bestselling title needs an update to address minor changes, include extra examples and reference additional research published in Volumes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Publisher: OpenTask (Summer 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-35-1
  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-36-8

The cover for both paperback and hardcover titles will also have a matte finish. We used A Memory Window artwork for the back cover.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

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:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+5

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:

www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V5-TOC.pdf

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 @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

The Way of Philip Marlowe: The Abductive Reasoning for Troubleshooting and Debugging

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Working for more than 7 years in technical support environment I found that many support incidents were resolved more easily by abductive reasoning than by induction and deduction practiced by Sherlock Holmes and observed by Dr. Watson. Abduction as a way to build an incident theory to advance in problem resolution was practiced by a USA colleague of Holmes: Philip Marlowe. Because technical support is less detached from customers (”the world”) when compared to software engineering departments I see the way of Marlowe as more natural. Of course, from time to time the way of Holmes is also appropriate. All depends on a support case. I found that abductive reasoning is also appropriate for memory dump and software trace analysis where “leaps of faith” are necessary because of insufficient information. Such leaps of abduction actually happen all the time when analysts give troubleshooting advice based on patterns.

I plan to write more about the 3rd way of reasoning after I finish reading two Raymond Chandler’s novels and a few other inference, causality and explanation books I mention later: The Big Sleep & Farewell, My Lovely (Modern Library).

I’m grateful for Clive Gamble for pointing this way out in his book Archaeology: The Basics

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Five volumes of cross-disciplinary Anthology (dubbed by the author “The Summa Memorianica”) lay the foundation of the scientific discipline of Memoretics (study of computer memory snapshots and their evolution in time) that is also called Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis.ca

The 5th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about crash dump, software trace analysis and debugging written in February 2010 - October 2010 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 fifth volume 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

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-96-4
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-97-1

Back cover features memory space art image Hot Computation: Memory on Fire.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

The Curious Incident of the Tsar in the Day-Time

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

The title of this blog post is a bugtated Sherlock Holmes phrase “… the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” from Silver Blaze short story. To see why please watch a video at the end of this post.

Last week I was in St. Petersburg where I visited a bookshop Singer House 

 

and bought “A Grammar of the Coptic Language” book (in Russian) to practice with ancient memory dumps:

Before that I was circling on an 18th-century coach (seems to be a model if we look at its door handle):

After the riding I was looking around and spotted the Tsar (click on a picture to watch the movie):

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Modern Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis: Volumes 1-3

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

OpenTask to offer first 3 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in one set:

The set is available exclusively from OpenTask e-Commerce web site starting from June. Individual volumes are also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores worldwide.

Product information:

  • Title: Modern Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis: Volumes 1-3
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 1600 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (31 May 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-99-5

Information about individual volumes:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

The Korean Edition of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1

Monday, April 5th, 2010

I’m very pleased to announce that the Korean edition is available:

The book can be found on: 

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Bus Debugging

Friday, February 19th, 2010

This post is not about debugging a computer bus. It is about debugging on a bus. More correctly, it is about debugging software running on a bus, not on a computer bus but on a real bus. A few days ago I was on a bus leaving Dublin bus station to Dublin airport. Looking around inside the bus I noticed one monitor had a characteristic Windows XP-style message box of an access violation. It was just before disembarking the bus so I made a mental effort to memorize the referenced memory address: 0×4000 and the instruction address: x73f18a09. The application name was bb.exe. Google search for 73f10000 module load address points to this one:

ModLoad: 73f10000 73f6c000   C:\WINDOWS\system32\DSOUND.dll

Not really a debugging (there’s no fix from me) so it can be named as a bus analysis exercise.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Bugtation No.114

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Reinterpreting Mr. Sherlock Holmes’ words (as heard by Dr. Watson) in this zero-paradigmatic (no word substitution) semantic suffixal bugtation:

“Stop, driver, stop!” Did he forget a stop code?

Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 3: The Lauriston Gardens Mystery

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Dr. Watson’s Observational Patterns (Part 3)

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Demands and goals? 

That he [Sherlock Holmes] could play pieces, and difficult pieces, I knew well, because at my request he has played me some of Mendelssohn’s Lieder, and other favourites. When left to himself, however, he would seldom produce any music or attempt any recognized air.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 21

Typical memory dump analyst is sought after by different classes of corporate citizens:

I [Dr. Watson] found that he [Sherlock Holmes] had many acquaintances, and those in the most different classes of society.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 21

Layers of problem solvers (support levels 1, 2 and 3): 

When these fellows are at fault, they come to me [Sherlock Holmes], and I manage to put them on the right scent.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 23

One thousand and one memory dump:

There is a strong family resemblance about misdeeds, and if you have all the details of a thousand at your finger ends, it is odd if you can’t unravel the thousand and first.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 23

Memory analysis producers and consumers: 

I [Sherlock Holmes] listen to their story, they listen to my comments, […]

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 23

May be we should stop reasoning sometimes and just ask a memory dump. My favourite example is printer driver elimination for spooler crashes (uninstall one by one and test), where the reasoning technique can drive you mad. It is better to dump and look inside:

The train of reasoning ran, […]

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 23

Problem solving anti-patterns?

The question was how to identify an unknown prisoner. I could have done it in twenty-four hours. Lecoq took six months or so. It might be made a textbook for detectives to teach them what to avoid.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 24

Problem description specifies software version X. The customer insists. The dump points to version X-1. The customer retreats:

Here was an opportunity of taking the conceit out of him [Sherlock Holmes].

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 25

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Dr. Watson’s Observational Patterns (Part 2)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

His [Sherlock Holmes] hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, […]

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 19

Before I started memory dump analysis:

[…] how objectless was my [Dr. Watson] life, and how little there was to engage my attention.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 19

Most problem solvers are not polymaths:

His [Sherlock Holmes] ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 19

Sherlock Holmes - his limits [numbered list]

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 2: The Science of Deduction, page 20

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Dr. Watson’s Observational Patterns (Part 1)

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Today I started reading complete stories of Sherlock Holmes using the nice hardcover illustrated edition I bought in a local bookshop for just 12 euro (I give an Amazon link here though):

Buy from Amazon

I plan to read 1,408 pages of this book during my lunch time. The aim is to learn from Dr. Watson. Here is a pattern he discovered:

‘Very interesting reading it might be made, too,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes, sticking a small piece of plaster over the prick on his finger. ‘I have to be careful,’ he continued, turning to me with a smile, ‘for I dabble with poisons a good deal.’ He held out his hand as he spoke, and I [Dr. Watson] noticed that it was all mottled over with similar pieces of plaster, and discoloured with strong acids.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 1: Mr. Sherlock Holmes, page 17 

I also noticed that Holmes analyzes dumps not too often but keeps his mouth shut like me for some time after seeing things there: 

I [Sherlock Holmes] get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my mouth for days on end.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 1: Mr. Sherlock Holmes, page 17

Important trait of a memory dump analyst:

I [Dr. Watson] am extremely lazy.

A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, 1: Mr. Sherlock Holmes, page 17

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -