Category Archives: General

How not to maintain an API

So I’ve been working on my graphing code for EDB.  I was eventually able create a Qt widget which natively  renders a graphviz graph layout. It actually works quite nicely, you can create an ordinary graphviz graph either in memory or from a file like usual.  The code can simply create a “GraphWidget” and the code will display the graph perfectly (there are some constructs which it doesn’t support, but the basics are there) with nice things such as zooming and rotating.

All of this works great, except for the fact that graphviz decided to change some of the structures used to represent the layed out graph.

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Fun with graphs

So I figured that I would post some of the progress with EDB. I’ve been very happy with the function analysis engine that I developed, but there is one thing that it completely ignores, basic block analysis. Of course in order to identify functions it does technically break things down into blocks, but this information is discarded when a whole function is identified.

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Micro-optimization is stupid

I tend to frequent the website It’s a fantastic website. It allows knowledge to be shared in a unique way. The only problem is, some people have no idea what they are talking about. If there are enough people who agree with these misguided notions, well then these incorrect answers get up-votes. And the cycle of mis-information repeats. It isn’t too dissimilar from the various types of incorrect information regarding 32-bit machines and 4GB of RAM. Continue reading

It Lives!

It’s official, I’ve gotten the core component of EDB to compile on Vista!

It took a lot of effort and to be honest, some working around various compiler bugs. But step #1 has been completeled. Next I’ll have to port the “DebuggerCore” plugin, and it should be smooth sailing from there. I plan to have Win32 support before calling it 1.0, we’ll see. I hope to have more updates soon :).

GTA IV Actually Discourages Attacking Police

I’ve been a huge fan of the GTA series ever since GTA 3 came out. It is a genuinely fun game which gives you your money’s worth of entertainment. The plots have been good and the missions are hard enough to be challenging, but not so hard that you’ll wanna stop playing. I’ve always gotten a little amusement from the people who claim that games like GTA encourage violence, particularly violence towards law enforcement. As of today, I’m about 50% done with the game, and have come to a conclusion. GTA IV actually discourages violence towards the police!

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How Microsoft Could Have Handled Compatibility In Vista

So I’ve been using Windows Vista for a while on my desktop and have been generally happy. The system is stable, most features work as expected, and let’s be honest, it looks really nice. One thing that has constantly frustrated me is the shear size of each release of Windows. Every release is noticeably larger than the previous. I certainly understand that each release adds more features, and more features means bigger. But I think it’s about time that Microsoft started to trim the fat.

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Time to update older UI toolkits?

My favorite editor of choice for the past 10 years has been nedit, it is a wonderfully simple yet complete GUI based text editor with a focus on development. It has all of the basics that I need; syntax highlighting, relatively smart indenting, brace matching, the ability to highlight an include and open the file it refers to. All of the basics are there, so as an editor it suites my needs and development habits. There is only one thing, it’s ugly. And this is no fault of the developers, it’s the fault of how Motif looks.

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Linux’s ptrace API sucks!

I love Linux, as a developer, I find the tools available suit my style of work perfectly. Sometimes the tool that I want isn’t available. That’s OK though, because whenever I can, I try to contribute.

I do a lot of reverse engineering work and thus the lack of anything like Ollydbg spawned off my EDB project. It’s a debugger designed to focus on applications at a machine code level. This project is coming along nicely but there is one thing that I really wish I could change…ptrace sucks, and it sucks a lot.

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Windows Vista doesn’t suck

First let me say that I wouldn’t classify myself as a Microsoft advocate. I have a Linux box I use for my daily work and a Windows machine for both work and play. I am however, an early adopter. So pretty much as soon as I could get my hands on it, I installed Windows Vista.

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Why do AMD and Intel insist on making virtualization complex?

OK, So I was reading up on the new virtualization architectures that both AMD and Intel introduced. My first reaction…why the heck did they make it so unnecessarily complex?

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