MiniDumps and "Bad" Stacks

A fellow reader sent a comment outlining the following problem:   I’m using the DMPSTK example from the Debugging Tools SDK. If I generate a crash dump from within Visual Studio 2005, I can see the call stack perfectly. However, if I create my own crash dump (the same as  you do in your blog),…


Upcoming Testing Conferences (1st half of 2009)

Here are the links and dates for some of the testing related conferences which are approaching.   Future Test February 24 – February 25 New York, New York, USA Swiss Testing Day March 18 Zürich, Switzerland ANZTB March 23 –  March 25 Sydney, Australia SEPG March 23 – March 26 San Jose, California, USA STP…


New Xbox Experience

This blog has been pretty quiet for a while since we’ve been busy doing the last push getting the “New Xbox Experience” polished and ready for release later this month. The new UI is pretty cool and is a nice break from the “Blade” interface which I’ve always thought was too web’ish (and very flat…


Off to StarWest

I’m off at StarWest, so the blog will be a bit quieter this week. If you happen to be in Anaheim, look for the pale bald guy.  


Save My Image File’s Metadata

The relatively new “Metadata Working Group” just released their first publication on guidelines for making the metadata stored in image files more portable across applications and file formats. Ever since I started photographing with a Digital SLR camera, I’ve been paranoid about preserving the rich metadata stored in every file. Paranoid to the point of…


Running 32bit dependent scripts in a 64bit world

As seen earlier, it can be problematic to run scripts which rely on 32bit COM objects on a 64bit platform. To make things easier, I wrote basic some script code to detect that the wrong scripting host was run and fork out to the correct one. This just uses a variation of the “detect cscript…


CreateObject fails with 0x80040154

I’ve got a handful of stand-alone script files (mostly JavaScript) which I run from cscript.exe or wscript.exe to perform various tasks. Unfortunately, when I was setting up one of these scripts on a Server 2008 box it started to fail when attempting to instantiate one of my COM objects.   If you go lookup the…


Testing when "the code is the documentation"

Throughout the course of my testing career, I’ve often heard this dreaded statement. Despite the causes behind it, I think that there will always be times when you just won’t get any formal documentation or specification on how a piece of software is supposed to work. Not to mention the equally evil (or perhaps more so)…


Security Tools: Codenomicon

About three years ago, when the Xbox 360 was getting close to launching, we went through a security pass of the audio and photo playback capabilities. One of the tools that was recommended to us by another employee was the Codenomicon suite of test files. The folks at this company have taken the time to…


Bad Error Messages: "Operation Failed"

Here is an error message from a Microsoft product that falls into the completely useless category. It provides the user with absolutely no information about what failed and what to do to fix it. At the very least, it could have had some cryptic error code which may have been useful by support (either official…