Category Archives: Programming

Making Windows Slower Part 1: File Access

Windows has long had a reputation for slow file operations and slow process creation. Have you ever wanted to make these operations even slower? This weeks’ blog post covers a technique you can use to make all file operations on … Continue reading

Posted in Investigative Reporting, Performance, Programming, xperf | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Compiler bug? Linker bug? Windows Kernel bug.

Flaky failures are the worst. In this particular investigation, which spanned twenty months, we suspected hardware failure, compiler bugs, linker bugs, and other possibilities. Jumping too quickly to blaming hardware or build tools is a classic mistake, but in this … Continue reading

Posted in Debugging, Investigative Reporting, Programming | Tagged , , , | 64 Comments

Zombie Processes are Eating your Memory

Zombies probably won’t consume 32 GB of your memory like they did to me, but zombie processes do exist, and I can help you find them and make sure that developers fix them. Tool source link is at the bottom. … Continue reading

Posted in Debugging, Investigative Reporting, Performance, Programming, Rants | Tagged , , | 65 Comments

Delete an inline function, save 794 kB

In the previous episode of “Simple Changes to Shrink Chrome” I discussed how deleting ‘const’ from a few key locations could lead to dramatic size savings, due to a VC++ compiler quirk. In this episode I’ll show how deleting an … Continue reading

Posted in Performance, Programming, Visual Studio | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Add a const here, delete a const there…

I just completed a series of changes that shrunk the Chrome browser’s on-disk size on Windows by over a megabyte, moved about 500 KB of data from its read/write data segments to its read-only data segments, and reduced its private … Continue reading

Posted in Performance, Programming, Visual Studio | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

VC++ /arch:AVX option – unsafe at any speed

Microsoft’s VC++ compiler has an option to generate instructions for new instruction sets such as AVX and AVX2, which can lead to more efficient code when running on compatible CPUs. So, an obvious tactic is to compile critical math-heavy functions … Continue reading

Posted in Programming, Visual Studio | Tagged , , , , | 33 Comments

Zeroing Memory is Hard (VC++ 2015 arrays)

Quick, what’s the difference between these two C/C++ definitions of initialized local variables? char buffer[32] = { 0 };char buffer[32] = {}; One difference is that the first is legal in C and C++, whereas the second is only legal … Continue reading

Posted in Performance, Programming, Visual Studio | Tagged , , | 22 Comments