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Diagnosing weird problems - a Stack Overflow case study

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Earlier, I came across this Stack Overflow question. I solved it, tweeted it, but then thought it would serve as a useful case study into the mental processes I go through when trying to solve a problem - whether that's on Stack Overflow, at work, or at home. It's definitely worth reading the original question, but the executive summary is: When I compute the checksum/hash of c:\Windows\System32\Calc.exe using various tools and algorithms, those tools all give the same answer for each algorithm. When I try doing the same thing in Java, I get different
results. What's going on? Now to start with, I'd like to shower a bit of praise on the author: The post came with a short but utterly complete program to demonstrate the problem The comments in the program showed the expected values and the actual values The code was mostly pretty clean (clean enough for an SO post anyway) In short, it had pretty much everything I ask for in a question. Yay! Additionally, the result seemed to be strange. The chances...(Read whole news on source site)

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