TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Aug 97 MacTech Online

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 8
Column Tag: MacTech Online

MacTech Online

by Nicholas C. "nick.c" DeMello <online@mactech.com>

It's Called MacsBug

Not MacBug, not MacBugs. The acronym stands for "Motorola advanced computer systems debugger." This powerful system extension allows developers to view and manipulate the contents of the Macintosh ram. You can download the latest version from Apple's Developer World ftp site, but if that (or any Apple ftp server) is busy check out Apple's "Software Home" page. The Software Home allows you to search for the latest version of any software Apple distributes.

MacsBug can be installed by simply dragging its file into your system folder (not your control panels folder, not your system extensions folder). When you restart your "Welcome to Macintosh" screen will display "debugger installed" if MacsBug loads (or the phrase "...carry a big stick" if you have a beta OS). Once installed, you can drop into MacsBug by hitting the command and power (triangle) keys together. Older systems require a system extension called programmers key to drop into MacsBug. Dropping into MacsBug suspends all processes and allows you direct access to all values in memory (great for pausing Doom). To return to the finder hit command-G, or to restart your Mac type "rs."

One way to learn more about using MacsBug is to drop into it and type "help" (or if you'd rather get the same information without wandering around your system memory visit Thomas Kimpton's MacsBug Help page). The Code Mechanic, Dave Evans, has at least three develop articles about wielding MacsBug (my favorite was "Stalking the Wild Defect"). In the September 1994 MacTech tips and tidbits there is a nice example of how to build a MacsBug macro, and the neat trick of making it execute automatically, every time MacsBug is entered. Check it out on the MacTech website.

Sleuthing through your systems memory is only half the fun though. When you've built up enough confidence to try and manipulate some memory see the Kool MacsBug Tricks page.

Download MacsBug from Devworld
ftp://ftp.apple.com/devworld/Tool_Chest/Testing_-_Debugging/Debuggers_-_dcmds/
Find the Latest Apple Software at Apple's "Software Home"
http://support.info.apple.com/ftp/swhome.html
Download Programmers Key or EvenBetterBusError
ftp://ftp.apple.com/devworld/Tool_Chest/Testing_-_Debugging/General_tools/
MacsBug Help
http://www.ambrosiasw.com/~dnebing/macsbug.html
Stalking the Wild Defect
http://devworld.apple.com/dev/techsupport/develop/issue27/balance.html
The MacsBug "Every time" Macro, MacTech Archives
www.mactech.com/articles/mactech/Vol.10/10.09/Sep94Tips/index.html
Kool MacsBug Tricks
http://gossamer.wheatonma.edu/users/bcote/syzgycult/Macsbug.html

EvenBetterBusError -- The Art of the Controlled Crash

EvenBetterBusError crashes your Mac. Unlike most software though, Greg Marriott's system extension does so on purpose. When you have EBBE installed, if your code dereferences a NIL pointer, writes to a NIL pointer, or attempts to execute code at NIL EBBE will crash your Mac (dropping you into MacsBug). Greg has put EBBE and three other stress testing tools that he developed at Apple on the web. Greg warns that some these tools are showing a little age, and recommends folks consider Onyx technologies commercial stress testing tools. Onyx's QC is an established and well respected stress tester. If you want to shake your code -- hard: give it to QC.

Oh, and those of you looking for the fourth generation of Mr. BusError can find YetEvenBetterBusError (aka DavesBetterBusError) beta on Dave Evan's web site. This more aggressive version of EBBE, announced in the May 1997 MacTech, can also be found on the MacTech ftp site along with the Tidy Heap C++ class library (for tracking proper use of new and delete).

EvenBetterBusError & Other Kool Tools by Greg Marriott
http://www.spies.com/~greg/tools.html
About QC...
http://www.onyx-tech.com/faq/current_QC_faq.html
Dave Evans & DavesBetterBusError
http://ng.netgate.net/~tilde/mechanic/
YEBBE & Tidy Heap
ftp://ftp.mactech.com//mactech/src/13.05/

Parting Shots

Next month MacTech Online is going to get serious about Java -- really. One last debugging tool you should check out before then is the Zone Ranger. Zone Ranger is a valuable tool for the counts and total sizes of the free blocks, pointers, handles, locked handles, purgeable handles, and resource handles that can be found on the Metrowerks web site. See you next month.

-- nick.c <online@mactech.com>

Joshua Golub's Zone Ranger
http://www.metrowerks.com/tools/software/zoneranger.html
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to deal with wind in Angry Birds Act...
Angry Birds Action! is a physics-based puzzler in which you're tasked with dragging and launching birds around an obstacle-littered field to achieve a set objective. It's simple enough at first, but when wind gets introduced things can get pretty... | Read more »
How to get three stars in every level of...
Angry Birds Action! is, essentially, a pinball-style take on the pull-and-fling action of the original games. When you first boot it up, you'll likely be wondering exactly what it is you have to do to get a good score. Well, never fear as 148Apps... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Price drops on clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs by up to $250. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799, $200... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $130-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1169 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more
Churchill Downs Racetrack Selects VenueNext t...
Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced an agreement with VenueNext to implement its technology platform for the start of Churchill Downs 2016 Spring Meet, which includes the 142nd running of the... Read more
Record 700 Million Pounds of CE Recycled in 2...
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reports that a record-setting 700 million pounds of consumer electronics (CE) have been recycled under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI). According to... Read more
Price drops on clearance 12-inch Retina MacBo...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.