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What was the name of Doctor Watson?

Many people remember the program “Dr.Watson”, which appeared in the beta version of Windows 3.0, and is still alive - however, already called “Windows Error Reporting”. In its original version, Dr.Watson recorded error data in programs in the log file so that this file could be attached to a bug report. The Dr.Watson badge was a friendly doctor with a stethoscope.

Most do not know that at first this program was called otherwise. Its author, Don Corbitt, called it Sherlock, and the icon was a lit smoking pipe. Due to the fact that another company managed to release its own debugging utility called Sherlock, by the release of the beta version of Windows 3.0 Sherlock had to be renamed. The tube was replaced first with a doctor's bag, and a little later with a doctor’s head.
Don Corbitt, an eminent engineer, author of several patents, worked on Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. In 1997, he left Microsoft, and in 1999 crashed on his plane, on which he tested invented devices designed to improve flight safety. As a tribute to his colleague, Raymond Chen in his own free time created a version of Dr.Watson for Windows 98.

Matt Pitrek, known to many of his books “Windows Internals” and “Undocumented Windows” and “Under the Hood” in MSDN Magazine, recalls: “When Microsoft released Dr. Watson, I worked in Borland. I noted two shortcomings: Dr.Watson did not support names longer than 32 characters, which were obtained when compiling C ++ programs due to the coding of the types of parameters (mangling); and in addition, the segment numbers were printed in decimal, while the addresses themselves were in hexadecimal. I was lucky: I knew Don even before he came to Microsoft, so I was able to contact him and comment. Unfortunately, Don was no longer able to fix Dr.Watson, so I wrote for myself the "improved" version. I called him "Dr. Frank" - in honor of our fictional character named Frank Borland - and he was far superior in capabilities to the then version of Dr. Watson.

My superiors liked the idea of ​​Dr. Frank, and they offered to include it in the delivery of Borland C ++ 3.1. It's a shame that they insisted on renaming the utility in WinSpector, with a stupid ghost on the icon. ”

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/106751/

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