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  Message 1 of 16  
07 Jan 17 12:24
Amin Mohammadi
xxxxxx@gmail.com
Join Date: 06 Jan 2016
Posts To This List: 4
how softICE gui works?

softICE had interesting technology,ut manually freeze system and drawing a window over whatever currently displayed on screen. how softICE internally manage it's window?? can we drawing window using device driver??
  Message 2 of 16  
07 Jan 17 23:13
M M
xxxxxx@hotmail.com
Join Date: 21 Oct 2010
Posts To This List: 689
how softICE gui works?

The short answer is no ? drivers do not create or manage windows. The long answer starts with, yes, as code running in KM a driver _can_ do _anything_ including many things that are not supported and will certainly crash the system. In the case of softice, IIRC as stop the world debugger, it did not create a ?window? in the sense of a Windows GDI window, but rather pounded directly on the video hardware behind the back of whatever video driver was running. This obviously dangerous technique was deemed appropriate for a debugger designed to run on the system being debugged. The advent of simple virtualization has obsoleted the motivation for such a technology IMHO Sent from Mail<https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986> for Windows 10 From: xxxxx@gmail.com<mailto:xxxxx@gmail.com> Sent: January 7, 2017 12:23 PM To: Windows System Software Devs Interest List<mailto:xxxxx@lists.osr.com> Subject: [ntdev] how softICE gui works? softICE had interesting technology,ut manually freeze system and drawing a window over whatever currently displayed on screen. how softICE internally manage it's window?? can we drawing window using device driver?? --- NTDEV is sponsored by OSR Visit the list online at: <http://www.osronline.com/showlists.cfm?list=ntdev> MONTHLY seminars on crash dump analysis, WDF, Windows internals and software drivers! Details at <http://www.osr.com/seminars> To unsubscribe, visit the List Server section of OSR Online at <http://www.osronline.com/page.cfm?name=ListServer> --
  Message 3 of 16  
08 Jan 17 03:21
Tim Roberts
xxxxxx@probo.com
Join Date: 28 Jan 2005
Posts To This List: 11361
how softICE gui works?

On Jan 7, 2017, at 8:11 PM, Marion Bond <xxxxx@hotmail.com<mailto:xxxxx@hotmail.com>> wrote: In the case of softice, IIRC as stop the world debugger, it did not create a ‘window’ in the sense of a Windows GDI window, but rather pounded directly on the video hardware behind the back of whatever video driver was running. You recall correctly. SoftICE only worked in one-screen mode on certain graphics cards -- cards where they had their own internal drivers. They would essentially snapshot the frame buffer, then do their own drawing, by pounding directly into the kernel mapping of the frame buffer. Later, they could do any board that supported DirectDraw, again by grabbing a pointer to the primary surface and drawing directly. I was writing display drivers at the time, where this technique was not particularly useful. We kept a monochrome graphics card around for years, just so we could run SoftICE on the mono monitor. — Tim Roberts, xxxxx@probo.com<mailto:xxxxx@probo.com> Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.
  Message 4 of 16  
09 Jan 17 12:02
Jamey Kirby
xxxxxx@gmail.com
Join Date: 31 Dec 2014
Posts To This List: 159
how softICE gui works?

I miss SoftIce. I cut my teeth with SoftIce on DOS, and used it all the way through XP. I cried when it was discontinued. An Asian vendor tried to create a replacement, but it was junk. In my setups, I always added a secondary monochrome video adapter to my system, and directed SoftIce to use the monochrome display as the debug terminal. Because the old VGA and Mono adapters mapped memory to b8000, and b0000 respectively (color or mono), it was easy for SoftIce to simply change modes, and write directly to the video memory. This made it extremely responsive and fast. On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 3:19 AM Tim Roberts <xxxxx@probo.com> wrote: > On Jan 7, 2017, at 8:11 PM, Marion Bond <xxxxx@hotmail.com> wrote: > > > In the case of softice, IIRC as stop the world debugger, it did not create > a ???window??? in the sense of a Windows GDI window, but rather pounded > directly on the video hardware behind the back of whatever video driver was > running. > > > You recall correctly. SoftICE only worked in one-screen mode on certain <...excess quoted lines suppressed...> --
  Message 5 of 16  
09 Jan 17 14:25
Tim Roberts
xxxxxx@probo.com
Join Date: 28 Jan 2005
Posts To This List: 11361
how softICE gui works?

Jamey Kirby wrote: > I miss SoftIce. I cut my teeth with SoftIce on DOS, and used it all > the way through XP. I cried when it was discontinued. An Asian vendor > tried to create a replacement, but it was junk. In my setups, I always > added a secondary monochrome video adapter to my system, and directed > SoftIce to use the monochrome display as the debug terminal. Because > the old VGA and Mono adapters mapped memory to b8000, and b0000 > respectively (color or mono), it was easy for SoftIce to simply change > modes, and write directly to the video memory. This made it extremely > responsive and fast. The biggest advantage of SoftICE was discoverability. As you typed a letter, it showed you the commands that started with that letter. This often resulted in "hey, what does THAT do?" moments that led to revelations. WinDBG commands, on the other hand, look like RS232 line noise. I am absolutely boggled by some of the pseudo-random character streams that come up in our discussions here. It's even worse than Perl, and that's saying something. Now, I clearly understand that it is weighed down by the terrible burden of a 30-year legacy, but I also miss the SoftICE UI concept. -- Tim Roberts, xxxxx@probo.com Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.
  Message 6 of 16  
09 Jan 17 19:33
Sven Kreamer
xxxxxx@gmail.com
Join Date: 27 Oct 2016
Posts To This List: 7
how softICE gui works?

I miss the speed of softice. It takes windbg ages to single step. With softice I could tap the step key a half dozen times and it would be there before my finger was up. Windbg will throw some the of the keystrokes in the garbage and take ages to do a single step even on fast connection hardware like 1394 and ethernet. Our company charged clients 3x more if they required windbg in those days because the productivity difference was so terrible.
  Message 7 of 16  
10 Jan 17 06:05
Jan Bottorff
xxxxxx@pmatrix.com
Join Date: 16 Apr 2013
Posts To This List: 374
how softICE gui works?

That’s different than my experience of windbg. If I connect the debugger and target machine over 800 Mbs 1394, with an LSI card that knows how to RDMA above 4GB, if you press and hold the single step key it single steps at keyboard repeat speed, which is 20-30 steps/sec. If you’re not seeing this performance, then perhaps your 1394 connection is not working optimally. Unfortunately, the LSI 1394 chipset is fading away, although last I checked cards still were available in the retail sales pipeline. I don’t believe any of the other 1394 chips implemented the optional high memory limit register, like the LSI chip did. Jan On 1/9/17, 4:31 PM, "xxxxx@lists.osr.com on behalf of xxxxx@gmail.com" <xxxxx@lists.osr.com on behalf of xxxxx@gmail.com> wrote: I miss the speed of softice. It takes windbg ages to single step. With softice I could tap the step key a half dozen times and it would be there before my finger was up. Windbg will throw some the of the keystrokes in the garbage and take ages to do a single step even on fast connection hardware like 1394 and ethernet. Our company charged clients 3x more if they required windbg in those days because the productivity difference was so terrible.
  Message 8 of 16  
10 Jan 17 10:24
Scott Noone
xxxxxx@osr.com
Join Date:
Posts To This List: 1302
List Moderator
how softICE gui works?

We tracked down the "right" 1394b cards and sell them in the store: https://store.osr.com/product/1394-card-for-debugging-pcie/ These cards rock (my experience matches Jan's). -scott OSR @OSRDrivers "Jan Bottorff" wrote in message news:221921@ntdev... That’s different than my experience of windbg. If I connect the debugger and target machine over 800 Mbs 1394, with an LSI card that knows how to RDMA above 4GB, if you press and hold the single step key it single steps at keyboard repeat speed, which is 20-30 steps/sec. If you’re not seeing this performance, then perhaps your 1394 connection is not working optimally. Unfortunately, the LSI 1394 chipset is fading away, although last I checked cards still were available in the retail sales pipeline. I don’t believe any of the other 1394 chips implemented the optional high memory limit register, like the LSI chip did. Jan On 1/9/17, 4:31 PM, "xxxxx@lists.osr.com on behalf of xxxxx@gmail.com" <xxxxx@lists.osr.com on behalf of xxxxx@gmail.com> wrote: I miss the speed of softice. It takes windbg ages to single step. With softice I could tap the step key a half dozen times and it would be there before my finger was up. Windbg will throw some the of the keystrokes in the garbage and take ages to do a single step even on fast connection hardware like 1394 and ethernet. Our company charged clients 3x more if they required windbg in those days because the productivity difference was so terrible.
  Message 9 of 16  
10 Jan 17 17:38
Mark Roddy
xxxxxx@gmail.com
Join Date: 25 Feb 2000
Posts To This List: 3931
how softICE gui works?

I miss softice like I miss win98. Mark Roddy On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 10:22 AM, Scott Noone <xxxxx@osr.com> wrote: > We tracked down the "right" 1394b cards and sell them in the store: > > https://store.osr.com/product/1394-card-for-debugging-pcie/ > > These cards rock (my experience matches Jan's). > > -scott > OSR > @OSRDrivers > <...excess quoted lines suppressed...> --
  Message 10 of 16  
10 Jan 17 18:18
M M
xxxxxx@hotmail.com
Join Date: 21 Oct 2010
Posts To This List: 689
how softICE gui works?

I couldn?t agree more about poor interface design IMHO power shell is worse ? at least most windbg commands are short ? but nothing is worse than the fixation with ribbon based ui Sent from Mail<https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986> for Windows 10 From: Tim Roberts<mailto:xxxxx@probo.com> Sent: January 9, 2017 2:24 PM To: Windows System Software Devs Interest List<mailto:xxxxx@lists.osr.com> Subject: Re: [ntdev] how softICE gui works? Jamey Kirby wrote: > I miss SoftIce. I cut my teeth with SoftIce on DOS, and used it all > the way through XP. I cried when it was discontinued. An Asian vendor > tried to create a replacement, but it was junk. In my setups, I always > added a secondary monochrome video adapter to my system, and directed > SoftIce to use the monochrome display as the debug terminal. Because > the old VGA and Mono adapters mapped memory to b8000, and b0000 > respectively (color or mono), it was easy for SoftIce to simply change > modes, and write directly to the video memory. This made it extremely > responsive and fast. The biggest advantage of SoftICE was discoverability. As you typed a letter, it showed you the commands that started with that letter. This often resulted in "hey, what does THAT do?" moments that led to revelations. WinDBG commands, on the other hand, look like RS232 line noise. I am absolutely boggled by some of the pseudo-random character streams that come up in our discussions here. It's even worse than Perl, and that's saying something. Now, I clearly understand that it is weighed down by the terrible burden of a 30-year legacy, but I also miss the SoftICE UI concept. -- Tim Roberts, xxxxx@probo.com Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc. --- NTDEV is sponsored by OSR Visit the list online at: <http://www.osronline.com/showlists.cfm?list=ntdev> MONTHLY seminars on crash dump analysis, WDF, Windows internals and software drivers! Details at <http://www.osr.com/seminars> To unsubscribe, visit the List Server section of OSR Online at <http://www.osronline.com/page.cfm?name=ListServer> --
  Message 11 of 16  
11 Jan 17 02:30
Tim Roberts
xxxxxx@probo.com
Join Date: 28 Jan 2005
Posts To This List: 11361
how softICE gui works?

On Jan 10, 2017, at 2:36 PM, Mark Roddy <xxxxx@hollistech.com> wrote: > > I miss softice like I miss win98. I don't know what that means. You do or you don't? Win 98SE was, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the 16-bit Windows systems. It was solid and reliable. — Tim Roberts, xxxxx@probo.com Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.
  Message 12 of 16  
11 Jan 17 02:34
Tim Roberts
xxxxxx@probo.com
Join Date: 28 Jan 2005
Posts To This List: 11361
how softICE gui works?

On Jan 10, 2017, at 3:17 PM, Marion Bond <xxxxx@hotmail.com<mailto:xxxxx@hotmail.com>> wrote: I couldn’t agree more about poor interface design IMHO power shell is worse – at least most windbg commands are short – but nothing is worse than the fixation with ribbon based ui PowerShell doesn't imply a UI, but I have to step up to say a good word about PowerShell. It, at least, has the great benefit of discoverability. Because they have used rational and predictable rules to form their commands and stuck to it, you can make a pretty good guess as to PowerShell commands even if you don't know them. That takes discipline, but it pays back in the long term. CDC used the exact same philosophy in their NOS/VE mainframe system. — Tim Roberts, xxxxx@probo.com<mailto:xxxxx@probo.com> Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.
  Message 13 of 16  
12 Jan 17 14:09
Mark Roddy
xxxxxx@gmail.com
Join Date: 25 Feb 2000
Posts To This List: 3931
how softICE gui works?

Yes win98 was pretty good, but would you really like to be using it today? Do you actually "miss it"? It would completely suck for a huge number of reasons. Lots of things that are now pretty horrible were once "the pinnacle". SoftIce solved a problem that existed for a rather brief period of time, its approach to system debugging is now useless. Mark Roddy On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 2:28 AM, Tim Roberts <xxxxx@probo.com> wrote: > On Jan 10, 2017, at 2:36 PM, Mark Roddy <xxxxx@hollistech.com> wrote: > > > > I miss softice like I miss win98. > > I don't know what that means. You do or you don't? Win 98SE was, in my > opinion, the pinnacle of the 16-bit Windows systems. It was solid and > reliable. > ??? > Tim Roberts, xxxxx@probo.com > Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc. <...excess quoted lines suppressed...> --
  Message 14 of 16  
12 Jan 17 14:36
Peter Viscarola (OSR)
xxxxxx@osr.com
Join Date:
Posts To This List: 5806
List Moderator
how softICE gui works?

<quote> I miss softice like I miss win98. </quote> Agree. I miss SoftICE and Win98 both about as much as I miss my last stomach virus. SoftICE was always a hack from hell. It was horrifically invasive, full of hooks and digging into random OS data structures at random offsets. I get that people liked it because it was fast and allowed single system debugging. I never warmed to it, personally. Compared to WinDbg, even back then, SoftICE always felt old and out-of-date to me. As I remember them, the good old days mostly weren't so good. Peter OSR @OSRDrivers
  Message 15 of 16  
12 Jan 17 14:45
Don Burn
xxxxxx@windrvr.com
Join Date: 23 Feb 2011
Posts To This List: 1295
how softICE gui works?

+1 The thing I most hated about SoftIce was if you were developing a highly threaded environment, you were going to find things worked differently without SoftIce. I don't just mean debugger versus no debugger, but really differently, the hacks in SoftIce as part of its hooks really changed what was concurrent. Don Burn Windows Driver Consulting Website: http://www.windrvr.com -----Original Message----- From: xxxxx@lists.osr.com [mailto:xxxxx@lists.osr.com] On Behalf Of xxxxx@osr.com Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 2:34 PM To: Windows System Software Devs Interest List <xxxxx@lists.osr.com> Subject: RE:[ntdev] how softICE gui works? <quote> I miss softice like I miss win98. </quote> Agree. I miss SoftICE and Win98 both about as much as I miss my last stomach virus. SoftICE was always a hack from hell. It was horrifically invasive, full of hooks and digging into random OS data structures at random offsets. I get that people liked it because it was fast and allowed single system debugging. I never warmed to it, personally. Compared to WinDbg, even back then, SoftICE always felt old and out-of-date to me. As I remember them, the good old days mostly weren't so good. Peter OSR @OSRDrivers --- NTDEV is sponsored by OSR Visit the list online at: <http://www.osronline.com/showlists.cfm?list=ntdev> MONTHLY seminars on crash dump analysis, WDF, Windows internals and software drivers! Details at <http://www.osr.com/seminars> To unsubscribe, visit the List Server section of OSR Online at <http://www.osronline.com/page.cfm?name=ListServer>
  Message 16 of 16  
13 Jan 17 01:21
anton bassov
xxxxxx@hotmail.com
Join Date: 16 Jul 2006
Posts To This List: 4311
how softICE gui works?

> .... you were going to find things worked differently without SoftIce. Ironically, this is EXACTLY the reasoning behind Linus famous "real programmers don't need debuggers" stance. Sorry, but no matter how you look it, you just cannot observe a system without actually changing its state ( unless we are speaking about running it under the emulator,of course) > ... the hacks in SoftIce as part of its hooks really changed what was concurrent. Having said the above, I have to admit that SoftIce was, indeed, highly unreliable when it came to debugging memory-mapped IO. I spent almost a MONTH once debugging a non-existent problem that SoftIce made me believe was persistent. What it was really great for was disassembly - I have learned so much about the Windows internals this way..... Anton Bassov
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