ThumbsBug: Reporting Problems


ThumbsBug is a program designed specifically to help Cerious Software get valid and useful information about problems in ThumbsPlus. It handles obtaining crash dumps, screenshots, log files and configuration information. It packages them into a single archive that you can email to us when you have a problem.

It can also act as a stand-alone problem report form. Instead of submitted problem reports via the Internet, which inundates us with spam, it will directly email pertinent information about your problem. Since the program only comes with ThumbsPlus, we're not likely to see the hundreds of spams we get daily from our on-line report form. We considered Captcha and other ways to validate that a real person is submitting the problem, but Captchas are irritating and often difficult to discern.

When ThumbsPlus crashes, ThumbsBug takes over. First, it displays an error message and obtains critical memory information from ThumbsPlus. This is the kind of thing you'll see:

Writing a minidump file that Cerious can use to diagnose the problem.

Writing a minidump file that Cerious can use to diagnose the problem.

The Minidump is complete. When you click Close, you can submit the report.

The Minidump is complete. When you click Close, you can submit the report.

ThumbsBug will now collect information most likely to help us figure out the problem. The more information you can provide, the likelier we will be able to reproduce and cure the problem.

Additionally, ThumbsBug attaches several log files and a screen shot to the problem submission. You may also attach additional files that you think might be useful; for example, if specific files are causing crashes or other issues, please attach copies of them. You can also remove any attachments that you don't want to send.

These are the files ThumbsPlus usually attaches:

ThumbsPriv.exe.log: A log of the last time ThumbsPriv ran do ask permission (UAC) on Vista or Windows 7.

Thumbs8.vconfig8: Your current view window customizations (tool bar locations, menus, custom keystrokes, etc.

Tpetech.log: A compendium of information that ThumbsPlus collects from Help - System Information and in the event of a crash.

Thumbs8.typ: The file type configurations from Options - Preferences - File Types.

Thumb8.ini: The current user preferences from the various Options - Preferences windows and tabs.

ThumbsPlus.log: The log file from the last time ThumbsPlus ran. (You can turn this off, but it's often very helpful, especially with startup and shutdown problems. If it's not included, we may ask you to try to reproduce the problem with logging active.

ThumbsPlus-build-datetime.exc: The exception report from the crash.

ThumbsPlus-build-datetime.dmp: The minidump which contains memory contents during the crash.

ThumbsPlus-build-datetime.png: A screen shot at the time of the crash.

If you need to configure how ThumbsBug sends mail, or to generate more detailed minidumps, you can click the configure  button on the Submit Problem Report screen to display or modify the configuration, as seen to the left. You can also turn off screen shots if you prefer not to send them.

You may also select a specific e-mail program; for many (especially web-based mail), you may have to manually attach the .7z file created by ThumbsBug. The compressed file has the same name as the .dmp, .exc and .png files, but with the 7z extension.

ThumbsBug can also be used standalone; there is an option to run it from the Start menu. In this case, you will need to decide exactly what files to send. We will be phasing out our on-line forms, as with ThumbsBug it is much easier for us to filter and avoid spam.