Systems Integrity Bulletin
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The one who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and, finally is nothing.
That soul may avoid suffering and sorrow but cannot learn, feel, change, grow, or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only the person who risks is free!
Software Development Process
In two recent consulting projects, we worked with online documentation developers who wanted to understand the problems users encountered and how their documentation helped solve those problems. To find out, we went and observed users in their own work environments. Although the clients and their software differ significantly, we found similar issues. Both development teams initially had specific things they wanted to know about how people used the documentation, such as whether the structure and organization made sense to users, and how often users went to the wrong place first. By watching users in their own workplace, we found issues that we would never have seen in a usability lab. These observations revealed many larger issues surrounding the use of the documentation.
BPMI.org (the Business Process Management Initiative) is a non-profit organization that empowers companies of all sizes, across all industries, to develop and operate business processes that span multiple applications and business partners, behind the firewall and over the Internet. The Initiative's mission is to promote and develop the use of Business Process Management (BPM) through the establishment of standards for process design, deployment, execution, maintenance, and optimization. BPMI.org develops open specifications, assists IT vendors for marketing their implementations, and supports businesses for using Business Process Management technologies.
Especially see the "Library" section for links to relevant standards and initiatives.
This is a series of three articles about the new approaches to software development that must be taken as the industry matures. The final article includes the "laws" of software process. All of the articles are enlightening and thought-provoking. [Editor's note: Used with permission of author.]
When AT&T assessed the performance of their engineering teams, they discovered that their top-ranking software developers were as much as 10 times more productive than their colleagues. There are several reasons behind this astounding range in performance. Besides intelligence and aptitude, of course, basic work patterns make a huge difference. I've tried to distill these patterns down into seven basic habits that you can apply daily.
[Editor's Note: Although this article is basically a set of tips on getting into the software testing arena, it has some good advice on necessary skills and on attitudes that make testers successful.]
Software development requires various talents and roles. This article takes a look at two of these roles: testers and developers. On an effective team, testers and developers complement one another, each providing perspectives and skills that the other may lack.
In this paper I would like to share the experiences of my colleagues and mine who are a part of the product-testing group while interacting with other involved parties especially development teams in Baan Info systems. Product Testing Group in Baan is an independent test team, which involves right from the Version definition of the product till the delivery.
This site is what I would characterize as a cross between an introductory tutorial and a "crib sheet" for Rational's SQA Robot tool. It has a great number of tips to avoid some of the pitfalls of the tool and links to other relevant resources.
QACity.com is a site with a great variety of links to other software testing and QA sites. The classifications of the links are very good, especially when looking for something a particular topic. This site is hosted by Hong Nguyen who is one of the co-authors (with Cem Kaner) of Testing Computer Software. [Note: This site does have corporate sponsor.]
In any relational database, the explain plan shows which way the database will access the data. In this article, Oracle expert Dan Hotka explores how understanding the explain plan can help you retrieve the right data from your Oracle database.
TCP along with IP form the protocol backbone (no pun intended) of the Internet and most modern LANs/WANs. Usually, we think of TCP and IP as being inseparable, but they are different protocols that provide diverse services. This article explains the transport layer TCP and its close "cousin" UDP protocols.
One of the nastiest, most debilitating workplace cancers is resistance to change. For those of us who make a living observing and analyzing the inner workings of hundreds of companies, there isn't a more potent, paradoxical or equal-opportunity killer of progress and good intentions. How else to understand why companies - even successful ones - fail to act on well-conceived, workable solutions; actively discourage innovative, creative ideas; lose their best employees for stupid reasons; and often helplessly watch their triumphs slowly disintegrate?
Williams Cos. announced Wednesday that it will transfer its 15-story Williams Technology Center, to Williams Communications Group in a series of financial moves geared to spur growth at both entities.
In what Corvis believes is a milestone for the optical industry, the fiber-optic equipment maker Tuesday said it has transmitted network traffic coast-to-coast without the need for boosting the signal along the way. The successful test, completed with customer Williams Communications, is a key link in the company's strategy to extend optical-based systems so a network operator does not have to add expensive traffic regeneration equipment and other expensive technologies that make up an optical network.
As the historic Telecommunications Act reaches its five-year anniversary this month, its most tangible accomplishment may be something not even known to many legislators who drafted the landmark law: broadband technology.
Everyone wants to squeeze as much performance out of his or her system as possible. Unfortunately, Windows 95 does not have optimal defaults for disk caching, since it was released in 1995 when 8MB of memory was "a lot". CacheMaster simplifies the task of optimizing the arcane disk cache parameters using built-in "profiles". (I recommend the "Power User" profile.) It's a "set it and forget it" application, so it doesn't run in the background and use system resources. (In fact, if you're satisfied with the system performance after running it, it can be uninstalled.)
Many of the Notepad replacements, such as EditPad (one of my favorites), have tabbed interfaces to allow quick switching between open files. Why doesn't MS Word have such a feature? Well, now it can with this home-grown set of macros which adds a toolbar with buttons for each document which is open in Word. To install and use the macros:
Now, whenever two or more files are open in Word, the toolbar will be displayed with buttons for each document. By default, the toolbar is at the top of the screen. If you prefer, you can move it to the bottom or even leave it floating. (Note: These macros may be incompatible with other Word macros that you have. I have tested them with the macros in the Test Cases and Procedures template and found no problems or conflicts.)
Free PDF is a utility that allows you to create Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files from any document (MS Word, Excel, Notepad, etc.). A couple of nice things about PDF files are that you can send or share them without concern that the content might accidentally be modified and PDF files often have smaller file sizes than the original document. Typically, you must have the full Adobe Acrobat package with the Distiller to create PDF files. This utility is basically a user-friendly front-end for two other utilities, GhostScript and RedMon (*which must be downloaded separately), which create the PDF file. Please read the installation and configuration instructions on the web site carefully, as the setup/configuration process is somewhat challenging, but definitely worth the effort. (The setup/configuration instructions provided are for Windows 9x, but setup under Windows NT is very similar.) Also, the quality of the PDF output is highly dependent on the Postscript printer driver chosen. Use the driver recommended in the configuration instructions for best results. Click here for an example created with Free PDF.
In MS Excel, it can be a real chore to try to select a large table of data. Excel has a "hidden" toolbar button called "Select Current Region" that can make this much easier. In this context a "region" is any contiguous set of cells which contain data (basically, a data table). To add the toolbar button:
To use the button, simply select
any cell in the desired region and press the button.
If you find that you often need to format floppy disks, it's handy to have a shortcut to the format dialog rather than having to mess with Windows Explorer. To create the shortcut, right-click on the desktop and select New ŕ Shortcut from the context menu. In the Create Shortcut dialog, enter the following Command line:
Press Next and enter an appropriate
name such as "Format Floppy". Press Finish.
At the Windows NT (but not Windows 95) Command Prompt, you can execute multiple commands by separating each command with an ampersand ("&"). For example, entering the following at the command prompt will change to the My Documents folder and then open an Explorer window in that directory for browsing:
cd \my documents & start
At the Windows NT (but not Windows 95) Command Prompt, you can use the asterisk wildcard to make it easier to change directories without typing the entire path name. For example, entering the following at the command prompt will change to the \Program Files\Internet Explorer directory:
So you've always wanted a set of vanity license plates, but just couldn't justify it? This site allows you to create image file replicas of recent and historical license plates from any state with any saying you want. There's no length limit on your phrase and no extra charge! And best of all, you don't have to wear a striped jumpsuit to make your very own plate!
This site provides satellite photos of most any location on earth. What's unique about GlobeXplorer is that you can specify a location (in the US) by address, so you can see what your house looks like from space!
This site is part of a legitimate intellectual property consultancy. It includes some of the more "interesting" patents, many of which have been recently granted. The patents truly range from the ridiculous to the sublime, such as a motorized ice cream cone.