Bug Norries

I scribbled this a long time ago, but I lost it. Reconstructed from memory.

It was written shortly after debugging a stack smash bug. In an OS that ran on a system without a MMU, on which GDB did not support adding watches yet. It was an exercise in frustration.

Bug Norris is the perfect bug. Not your average bug, the one that gives in to puny debuggers and readily reveals itself when you step through code. No, Bug Norris is not like that. Bug Norris is stealthy and treacherous. It defies logic and spits on the memory of Boole himself. All the tools in the world will not help you. All you can do is stare at the code until you discover its presence.

Here are a few more facts about Bug Norris.

  1. Bug Norris can mask an NMI
  2. Bug Norris is self-modifying. Once, it morphed itself into an operating system, which someone at Microsoft happened to write on a floppy drive, and this is how the earliest version of Windows 95 came to be. After Windows 95 fell into irrelevance, Bug Norris made it big again, as systemd.
  3. Bug Norris is not merely a bug in your program. Once you try to debug it, it becomes a feature of your debugger.
  4. Bug Norris can make the system timer run backwards.
  5. Bug Norris don't care about yer puny file permissions.
  6. Bug Norris pops from the bottom of your stack.
  7. Bug Norris never hides in UEFI firmware code. It's not challenging enough for him.
  8. Bug Norris can crash a computer it is not running on.
  9. You never really fix Bug Norris, it just moves to another part of your code.

(The list is evergrowing)