Interview Crashes and Hangs

As a dual to Resume and CV: As a Book OpenTask plans to publish the long time memories of the founder of in the following book next year:

My Failed Job Interviews: Reflections on 50 Percent (ISBN: 978-1906717889)

The recollections span East and West, small and giant software companies, full time and part time, office and remote job positions, direct and recruitment company hiring, phone and on-site, technical and business interviews.

Software Maintenance Institute

Memory Analysis and Debugging Institute (MA&DI), DA+TA Portal ( + and OpenTask establish R&D Institute of Software Maintenance:

Software Maintenance Institute (

Hardware Reviews accepts hardware such as laptops for reviewing in relation to their suitability for extreme debugging, virtualization, trace analysis, computer forensics, memory dump analysis, visualization and auralization. If you work for a H/W company like HP, Apple, Dell, Acer, Sony or any other respectable manufacturer please don't hesitate to forward this post to your management: it could be your company brand or laptop model that debugging and software technical support community chooses next time of upgrade or for T&D / R&D! H/W reviews will be posted on the main portal page which currently has an audience of more than 330,000 unique visitors per year from more than 45,000 network locations (*).

If your company is interested please don't hesitate to use this contact form:

(*) From Google Analytics report.

Crash Dump Analysis for System Administrators and Support Engineers (Systematic Software Fault Analysis Series)

This is a must have book for system administrators of complex Windows server platforms and client workstations to understand and choose the best course of action to address system and application crashes, hangs, CPU spikes and memory leaks. It is also invaluable to general Windows users and technical support engineers.

  • Title: Crash Dump Analysis for System Administrators and Support Engineers (Windows Edition, Systematic Software Fault Analysis Series)
  • Authors: Thomas Monahan, Dmitry Vostokov
  • Publisher: Opentask (30 November 2009)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-02-5
  • Paperback: 180 pages

This book has been superseded by the second edition:

Crash and Hang Analysis: A Guide for System Administrators, DevOps, and Support Engineers (Windows Edition) (ISBN: 978-1908043917)

Windows® Internals: Including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, Fifth Edition


David Solomon and Mark Russinovich with Alex Ionescu


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The book shows the big picture of Windows architecture and collaboration of various system components. Contains various examples of WinDbg commands for exploring OS internals and even has a short chapter on crash dump analysis. However you need to read device driver books to fill the gaps and be confident in kernel space. Highly recommended for Win32 and kernel developers, maintenance software engineers and technical support.

Twitter @ DumpAnalysis

You can now follow portal and blog news at DumpAnalysis on Twitter.

DATA (Dump Analysis + Trace Analysis) Facebook Group

Please join the community of memory (dump) and trace analysis engineers. This group promotes scientific methods and memory dump-based world view.

DATA (Dump Analysis + Trace Analysis) Facebook group

Software Engineering for Real-Time Systems


Jim Cooling


Sometimes I'm asked about a broad software engineering book to recommend for general memory dump analysis that covers software architecture, design methods and diagramming languages like UML, programming languages, concurrency, real-time issues and many other topics you need to know to have systems understanding that helps in problem identification and debugging. Here's the book that I was fortunate to buy 4-5 years ago in a book shop and is a sheer pleasure to read:

Software Engineering for Real-Time Systems

Buy from Amazon

There even exists an OMG certification based on it:

Memory Dump Analysis Certification

Memory Analysis and Debugging Institute develops x86/x64-based certification tracks for Windows and Unix (including Linux / FreeBSD / Mac OS X).
Each track consists of 3 exams, each having its own set of requirements and scope:

  • Fundamentals of Memory Dump Analysis
  • Intermediate Memory Dump Analysis
  • Advanced Memory Dump Analysis

The initiative is supported by OpenTask.

Programming Language Pragmatics, Third Edition


Michael L. Scott


Buy from Amazon
Every debugging engineer needs to know how the code is interpreted or compiled. Debugging complex problems or doing memory analysis on general-purpose operating systems often requires understanding the syntax and semantics of several programming languages and their run-time support. The knowledge of optimization techniques is also important for low-level debugging when the source code is not available. The following book provides an overview of all important concepts and discusses almost 50 languages. I read the first edition 6 years ago and I liked it so much that I'm now reading the third edition from cover to cover.

The Developer's Guide to Debugging


Thorsten Grötker, Ulrich Holtmann, Holger Keding, Markus Wloka


I finally read this book from cover to cover and I must say it is the very sound book and presents a consistent approach to debugging real-life problems with user-land C and C++ code on Linux environments.

The Developer's Guide to Debugging

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Although it uses mainly GDB for illustrations and provides Visual C++ equivalents when possible it doesn't cover Debugging Tools for Windows and its main GUI debugger, WinDbg.

Additional reader audience for this book might include a Windows engineer who needs to debug software on Linux or FreeBSD so a quick GDB crash course is needed. It would also serve as an excellent debugging course or as a supplemental course to any C or C++ course. Highly recommended if you are a Linux C/C++ software engineer. Even if you are an experienced one, you will find something new or make your debugging more consistent. If you need to teach or mentor juniors, this book helps too.

The Debugging Decade! announces forthcoming 2011 - 2020 as

2011 (0x7DB) - 2020 (0x7E4) The Debugging Decade

OpenTask Announces Restructuring

OpenTask, the publisher of memory dump analysis and debugging books, announces restructuring:

The Year of Dump Analysis! announces forthcoming 2010 as

2010 (0x7DA) - The Year of Dump Analysis

Forthcoming Computer Memory Visualization Book

This is a full color book about postmortem, static and dynamic memory visualization and its current and emerging applications:

  • Authors: Jamie Fenton, Dmitry Vostokov
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-06-3
  • Publisher: Opentask (2010)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 21.6

Book cover features a journey to the center of pagefile theme and the discovery of cosmic rays in memory:

Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers


John Alderman and Mark Richards


While working on "Computer Memory Visualization" book I noticed this recent title and immediately bought it:

Buy from Amazon

This is not only a wonderful hardcover coffee table book with stunning photographs of old computers and their memory hardware but also has numerous historical notes. It nicely complements my own DLL List Landscape: The Art from Computer Memory Space book that features virtual memory visual images.

Memory Analysis and Debugging Institute jointly with OpenTask establishes Memory Analysis & Debugging Institute (MA&DI)

Forthcoming Book WinDbg In Use: Debugging Exercises

Includes 60 programmed exercises from real life debugging and crash dump analysis scenarios and multiple-choice questions with full answers, comments and suggestions for further reading.

  • Title: WinDbg In Use: Debugging Exercises (Elementary and Intermediate Level)
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Publisher: Opentask (15 March 2009)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19.1
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-50-6
  • Paperback: 200 pages

The Year of Debugging! jointly with OpenTask publisher announces forthcoming 2009 as

2009 (0x7D9) - The Year of Debugging

Santa bug from Narasimha Vedala

Concurrent Programming on Windows


Joe Duffy


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Table of contents is amazing for its practical depth and breadth. If you want me to provide a review in a language of concurrency (I'm reading many books in parallel) I would simply say one word:


It simply means priority reading for any Windows software developer and maintainer. Invaluable for any engineer debugging complex software problems and analyzing Windows crash dumps. Simply because Microsoft OS and CLR developers use all this concurrent stuff and best practices described in the book so it is vital to be able recognize them in memory dumps. After reading this book you also get priority boost in your understanding of process and thread dynamics and your ability to plan, architect, design and implement concurrent applications and services.

Baby Turing

The perfect binary gift for your family and friends.

Buy Baby Turing from Amazon

Buy Baby Turing from Barnes & Noble

Buy Paperback from Book Depository

The genius of Albert Einstein was revolutionary in understanding reality of hardware (semantics of nature) but the genius of Alan Turing was revolutionary in understanding virtuality of software (syntax of computation). This book fills the gap in children’s literature and introduces binary arithmetic to babies.

  • Title: Baby Turing
  • Authors: Alexandra Vostokova, Dmitry Vostokov
  • Publisher: Opentask (01 November 2008)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 21.6
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-26-1
  • Paperback: 16 pages

Arts & Photography section

The new link "Arts & Photography" has been added to the top panel featuring cartoons from Narasimha Vedala.

Windows Device Drivers: Practical Foundations

Forthcoming introductory book for software engineers transitioning to kernel-mode development or expanding their knowledge and skills. Can also useful for technical support and escalation engineers troubleshooting and debugging complex software issues. Preliminary information is:

  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-9558328-4-0
  • Publisher: Opentask (15 Apr 2009)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24

Unmanaged Code: Escaping the Matrix of .NET

This is a forthcoming book about .NET debugging seen in a wider context than CLR. Preliminary information is:

Inside the C++ Object Model


Stanley B. Lippman


Buy from Amazon

Although Windows user space and kernel interfaces are based on C language huge amount of code present in crash dumps especially in user space was written in C++ and compiled by C++ compilers. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to understand how C++ constructs need to be translated to C in order to implement various OO concepts like inheritance and polymorphism because from there you can see familiar straightforward mapping between C language constructs and assembly language. This book gives software maintenance and support engineers such solid foundation necessary to understand possible variants of C++ object layout and method dispatch that you might encounter during crash dump analysis.

Reference Stack Traces (Volume 3)


Dmitry Vostokov


The reference contains normal thread stacks and other information from Windows Server 2003 x86 complete memory dump. Useful when trying to spot anomalies in crash dumps from problem servers.

Printed versions are available for purchase at the nominal price to cover manufacturing costs:

Large print (paperback)


Small print (paperback)


Small print (hardcover)


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