January 2006 Newsletter
The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions. –William F. Scolavino
Thoughts are things; they have tremendous power. Thoughts of doubt and fear are pathways to failure. When you conquer negative attitudes of doubt and fear you conquer failure. Thoughts crystallize into habit and habit solidifies into circumstances. –Bryan Adams
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. –Anatole France
Accept the challenges, so you may feel the exhilaration of victory. –George S. Patton
Extreme justice is extreme injustice. –Marcus Tullius Cicero
The test of our progress is not
whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much,
it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. –
Experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes. –Oscar Wilde
Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them to be men of much greater profundity then they really are. –Henry Fielding
Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality. –Theodor Adorno
An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. –H.L. Mencken
Character is much easier kept than recovered. –Thomas Paine
For the correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting. –Plutarch
A look at 2005 with some humorous and telling quotes from the big names in the IT and technology world.
While fighting fires in IT is exhilarating and glamorous, there is certainly something to say for the heroics of rock-steady IT, especially in the view of business customers.
Even if you don't use (or plan to use) agile development techniques on a large-scale basis, this article provides five simple tools from Extreme Programming that are well suited to adaptation to other processes: code for maintainability, know your status, communicate early and often, do things that matter, and fix your most important problem first.
This article presents four common, and usually well meaning, things that project managers due to the detriment of the quality of the system: time boxing, false dates, pretending nothing is wrong, and ignoring dependencies. Be sure to check out the discussion thread for some additional insights.
This article looks at how following coding guidelines improves code quality and maintainability.
In an effort to improve relationships and alignment between business units and IT, some companies are using so-called business relationship managers, liaisons from IT tasked with keeping the lines of communication with business units open.
This article by the CIO of Intel discusses five principles for making IT into a business asset: Run IT like a business; measure and manage IT value with a consistent and repeatable methodology; move toward continuous process optimization and IT modernization; measure and manage overall IT capability; and characterize the costs and risks of not moving forward.
This article examines the key, but quite different from traditional development methodologies, role that software testers have in agile methodologies, including requirements review/verification and training developers on testing.
This site/blog has some excellent articles on software testing, with a strong focus on how developers and testers can effectively work together using many concepts from agile development methodologies.
In this interview, Robert Galen talks about his concept of how to wrap up software projects, which he calls the “endgame” from the release to external testing to deployment. Good information about how manage last-minute change.
One of the most difficult assessments to make in software development is whether or not an application is reading to ship/deploy. This article presents a practical approach to creating release criteria that all stakeholders can agree upon.
This site is a search engine and aggregator for RSS feeds from over 12,000 sources of IT industry news.
This article uses simple C# and VB.NET examples to show how to use the MS Outlook object model as part of a .NET application.
This is a comprehensive introductory lesson on SOAP (simple object access protocol), which is the foundation of many web applications.
Much of the world's information is locked in unstructured, natural language text. This article examines some techniques for extracting this information and put it into a structured format that can be efficiently searched.
This excerpt from an excellent and comprehensive new book on TCP/IP gives an excellent overview of how IPv6 addressing works and how it differs from the traditional IPv4 schemes.
This Business Week article examines whether Java is losing some of its
shine and popularity due to upstart tools, such as LAMP and .NET. This same question is posed in a recent article in SD
In this brief article, the author provides some keen insights on the difference between managing and leadership and why leadership is key to success.
In conjunction with their annual report on top IT leaders, Computer World presents this quiz to assess whether or not you are doing what it takes to demonstrate and sharpen your leadership capabilities, effectiveness and contributions.
Setting good goals is the first step toward achieving them. This site provides some excellent resources for how to set goals for both work and personal life.
This article discusses major causes of employee negativity, even in the most employee-friendly environments. It also lists some approaches that employers can use to counteract negativity.
For centuries, art critics, historians and fans have tried to explain the demeanor of Mona Lisa's smile. Now, a researcher using computer vision software has concluded that her smile indicates 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful and 2% angry. Wow! Now, if we can just apply this to our bosses and friends! :)
The group that essentially started the whole personal computer revolution 30 years ago looks back and toward the future.
A German IT company has made cheerfulness a contractual obligation for employees. However, the picture of the CEO doesn't make him look like the happiest chap.
The Microsoft Office template library provides a variety of Excel-based calendars for 2006. There are yearly calendars in both portrait and landscape orientations, as well as monthly calendars, as well.
The VMware Player is a companion to the standard VMware Workstation product. The main difference is that VMware Player can only use VMs, but not create or change them. There are a number of "pre-built"VMs provided by VMware and third-parties. These VMs are useful for trying out Linux, including full networking capability, on your Windows machine.
GalaXQL is an interactive SQL tutorial based on the SQLite embedded database engine. The "teacher" can understand several possible mistakes that you may make, and gives hints on what may have gone wrong. And you can interact directly with the database via the application. The tutorial is comprehensive covering basic querying, updating/inserting data, and some simple database administration tasks.
File Recovery allows you to restore files that have been deleted from FAT12/16/32 and NTFS partitions on your hard drive. It will even recover the file if the header information is no longer available. Has special recovery functions for common file formats, such as DOC, XLS, and ZIP.
Disk Idle Optimizer uses the built-in disk defragmenter tool in Windows XP and waits for your system to become idle and then automatically runs the defragmenter. When you start using the system again, it stops the defragmenter.
This package of free and open source applications is configured to run from a 256MB USB drive and includes versions of OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Filezilla, NVU, Gaim, and more. A light version for 128MB USB drives, which does not include OpenOffice, is also available.
In Firefox browser, you can execute a search directly by typing in keywords in the address bar (where you normally put the site address). However, by default, this immediately goes to the first search result returned by Google. Here's how to make Firefox simply do a regular Google search:
(1) Enter about:config in the Firefox address bar to display the configuration parameters.
(2) Look for Preference item named keyword.URL (or use the Filter function to find it).
(3) Double click on keyword.URL and enter http://www.google.com/search?btnG=Google+Search&q= in the Enter string value window. Press OK. (This will change the Status to user set.)
Now just enter your desired keywords in the address bar and press <Enter> to do a quick search. If you prefer a different such engine, such as Yahoo!, simply replace the keyword.URL value with the desired string (e.g., http://search.yahoo.com/search?p= for Yahoo!).
This interesting and addicting Flash-based game involves trying to create the longest connected path through a maze. Easy to learn, but tough to solve and quite addicting.
This nice, simple site offers 25 engaging, Flash-based online games. The games include some old classics, such as Mastermind, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, and more, plus some unique games.
OfficePoltergeist is a little computer prank application that you can install on someone else's computer and then control it remotely to open/close CD-ROM drive, play funny sounds, send text to the keyboard, display a message, and more.
Woogle is a fun application built on top of Google. You enter a set of words or a phrase and Woogle uses images from a Google search to build a collage of pictures.
Need a new slogan for your company or organization? Just visit Sloganizer and put in the group name and generate dozens of possible slogans!