Developing Device Drivers in Studio 11

November 26, 2011

Another piece of great news delivered at //build/ has to do with device driver development. Coincidentally, a few weeks ago I posted a series of baby-steps with Windows driver development, and if you’ve read some of that you’d notice that the driver dev work is very different from application development – you use a different build environment, you deploy drivers manually, and you debug them with a different debugger. This story changes, however, with Visual Studio 11. You can now build drivers in Visual Studio, deploy them to test machines automatically, and debug (in kernel-mode!) using the Visual...

Analyzing Memory Leaks from Dump Files with SciTech .NET Memory Profiler

November 18, 2011

I had to analyze a memory leak the other day and all I was provided by the customer was a couple of dump files from two points in the application’s lifetime—one dump immediately after initialization, and another dump after the memory leak has accumulated. This is an ideal scenario: now “all it takes” is to compare the two dumps and see which objects are “growing” in memory. That’s, of course, if the leak is actually in managed objects—which isn’t always the case (and VMMap is your friend here). Naturally, analyzing memory leaks is not always easy, and even...
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SELA Open House: Production Debugging of .NET Applications

November 17, 2011

Yesterday I delivered a 3-hour session on production debugging at the Castra Center in Haifa. The room was set in the middle of a beautiful art gallery, and the projector was playing my slides on a wall surrounded by paintings. Amidst this cozy atmosphere I was talking about some nasty bugs and how to discover them in a production environment. ...
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Use the WinDbg Engine in Visual Studio User-Mode Debugging

November 15, 2011

In our C++ Debugging course, there are several scenarios which require WinDbg and cannot be completed in Visual Studio. They all rely on advanced extension commands available in WinDbg. Some examples: Tracing opened and closed handles with the !htrace command Viewing native heap information with the !heap command Loading and executing code in the debuggee process with the SDbgExt extension commands !loaddll, !remotecall Inspecting handles to synchronization objects with the !handle command The sheer power of WinDbg built-in commands and...

Tracking Engagement Time Using 302-Moved Temporarily Redirects

November 6, 2011

Suppose you are sending mass emails (legitimately, no doubt) and want to know which % of recipients actually viewed the email. The standard trick here is to embed a 1x1 image into your email’s HTML source, with the <img src= pointing to a location on your Web server with part of the URL unique to the user (e.g., <img src="" /> where your mailing system knows that 12345 is associated with When the user opens your email, most email clients will send your server a request for that image*, and voila—you know that the recipient opened it. It’s...
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