Thursday, October 16, 2008

Been working on 64-bit

I'm sorry it has been so long since I have posted. Stated bluntly, I've been scrambling with product releases. Although I hope to rise into a management position deserving of my title at HBGary, -- I am in fact a developer. I code every day, new feature or bug fixes. We made the decision a while back to adopt agile development - a buzz word I know, but one actual hard side effect is the short development iteration. We try to patch our Responder product about once every two weeks. We develop on very short cycles. Even a few bug fixes are good enough to warrant a patch. Even more interesting, we adopted a commerical patching solution used by MMO's (massive multiplayer online games) - we figured the patch-every-2-weeks system was very close to the game industry requirement. I think that model is pretty advanced for a software company. Our upcoming releases are very exciting, least of which is the 64-bit upgrade to our platform. That means analysis of 64 bit windows, running on 64 bit windows, and also imaging 64 bit systems. The acquisition of 64-bit data is much harder than it sounds, it turns out. Not only do we have to analyze physical memory snapshots from vista and 2003 64 bit images, we also have to be able to acquire them. To do this requires a device driver. And, since we are adding pagefile support, we also have to build a parser for raw NTFS filesystems - THAT is a major effort and is non-trivial. Our next patch will add pagefile support for 32 bit systems, and the follow on will add 64 bit. There is a huge amount of engineering going on internally right now. I haven't had time to write about world events.