Taking A Dump (file!) With Windows Vista

Note: Not sure if this is a feature that will make it into the final release, or if it’s there for testing while the product’s in beta; I personally would love to see it remain, especially in the Server version.

Oftentimes, you don’t know you need to take a (memory) dump until the moment is upon you – the process has hung, you can’t work out what it’s doing through other means.

And at that moment, it’s often quite inconvenient to have to go surf the web to find the Debugging Tools for Windows or DebugDiag – what you’d really rather do is dump your errant process, fix whatever’s happening, and then worry about getting someone to inspect the dump for clues later.

As always, there’s no substitute for preparation, but hey, if you can’t prepare, react!

All you have to do is invoke the Task Manager, right click the MrNasty.exe process, and choose Create Dump File. Most of the time, the process simply won’t know what hit it, and it’ll continue doing whatever it was (badly) before you dumped it after the dump is complete.

The dumps (processname.DMP files) get written to the pleasantly-shortened-since-Windows-2000 user temp folder.


Was it worth the pun? Absolutely.

My PR is 4. What’s Yours?

Let down mainly by my cheap (but serviceable for games) video card, I rate a 4 in the Windows Vista Performance thingummy.

Makes it nice and easy to plan for my next upgrades 🙂



Perfwiz (!)

Yet another one minute blog post. That took four.

Perfwiz is a tool that configures Perfmon (Performance Monitor) counters for you, based on the settings you give to a functional yet adorable little wizard. The output can be useful in troubleshooting performance problems, memory leaks, and in baselining and testing.

You just run the wizard once to configure it, hit Start, then run it again when you want to stop the log and harvest the data. The logs are viewable in Perfmon, which brings up an interesting point – if you know of a better way of reading counter logs than Perfmon, please share it!

Download Perfwiz here – WGA validation is required, so you know it must be good.

Sir William, I cannot wait until lunch time.

WARNING: Low-content lint collection post.

I’ve finally run around fixing all the broken bits of the blog’s front window, so hopefully the old neighbourhood will follow my example, and won’t continue its inevitable spiral towards doom and disfigurement.

“Colour management” (note to reader: please infer a sneering, sarcastic tone) reared its ugly head again. There is nothing that annoys me more*.

As a Graphic Design drop out (tip: you can kinda spot that from the number of people reading the RSS only version), I’ve probably spent, oh, several hours throughout my life trying to deal with the vagaries of “helpful” colour matching schemes.

Example: I try to make little buttony things that don’t have a transparency layer, so I just try to match the background colour. I do so using a screenshot-and-paste system. Nice and straightforward. But between Expression, Firefox, the clipboard and IE, nothing agrees on what colour is actually what. So I end up with my little buttons being just a little mismatched from them all.

It was 11:30 when I’d finished, but I didn’t Actually Finish (Note The Capitals There) until 12:15.

For those of you that sent your kind messages of hate and side-splitting schadenfreude about the only-slightly-destroyed-but-it’s-funny-how-that’s-enough motherboard situation: I’d respond, but I don’t think it’s necessarily appropriate to use gamer acronyms in global forums.

Love to all. Kthxbye.


PS also hate Ctrl-K being “Close all tabs” in Maxthon. And Ctrl-I being Favourites.

ISA 2004 SP2 Out Now

ISA Server 2004 Service Pack 2 is the latest collection of updates, fixes and enhancements to ISA Server, for both Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition.
SP Numbering: There was no SP1 for Enterprise Edition, because it was roughly equivalent to Standard Edition SP1. Now, they both get an SP2 release.
What’s New? – BITS caching for WindowsUpdate, WSUS and SMS, compression and caching support for forward and reverse proxy requests, and more (for a heavier but ultimately more satisfying read, see the SP2 Tech White Paper).
Thought o’the moment: when was the last time you backed up your ISA configuration? Just right-click at the top level and Backup, and put the XML file somewhere safe, while you think of it.