Business Expenses

So I was over at a friend’s house the other day, and it happened that he had a WinXP SP1 box that was crashing on boot. He’s a budding driver developer, and wanted help actually figuring out why the driver was crashing, as opposed to just removing it and going on about his business.

So, I pulled my laptop out of my bag and noticed that… sigh… it lacks a 9-pin serial port. His computer lacks a firewire port. Stuck. So, I got in the car and drove to the local MicroCenter to pick up a usb-to-rs232 thingy and a null modem cable. The total for these bits of archaic technology? $65.00! Yikes!

The other wrinkle is the fact that my laptop is an Apple PowerBook, so I run my debugger, build environment, etc., inside VirtualPC. This set-up works fine, most of the time, but I admit I was worried about the idea of getting WinDbg to work right with this set-up.

Well, as it turns out, my worries were well-founded. There’s a bug somewhere causing the VPC to not get interrupts from the serial port (I gather). Whatever the case, I could send data, but I could not receive it. Microsoft is halfway between releases of VPC, so I’m hoping this is fixed in the upcoming 7.0 release. Meanwhile, back to the other laptop, with an actual serial port, for now.

Total time spent: 3 hours.

[Now playing: Super D EP by Ben Folds.]

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