Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A little heritage of the BSOD

Quora - Blue Screen of Death: Who designed the original Windows Blue Screen of Death?

John Vert, ex-Windows NT kernel guyex-Windows NT kernel guy

Back in 1991 I wrote the original code for Windows NT 3.1 that put the video screen back into text mode and the routines to put text on it (and a truly gnarly bit of code it was!). I used the white on blue colors for two reasons.

  • The MIPS workstations we were using for the MIPS port had firmware that presented a boot option screen in white on blue, so it made sense that the bugcheck screen would match.
  • I (and many others) were using SlickEdit as our text editor and at the time its default color scheme was also white on blue.

I believe Mark Lucovsky wrote the original code that dumped a bunch of text to the screen. This was a bugcode and a stack dump, resulting in a bunch of useless hex numbers which product support would occasionally dutifully transcribe from the customers and include in the bug report.


Thought this was an interesting bit of trivia... I love how we dev's make decisions sometimes. "What color?" "Oh heck, I don't know, but we're looking at SlickEdit all day, so lets make it look like that" "Works for me..."

(via Looking For The Spike... - Who wrote the original BSOD (and why white-on-blue)?)

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