Systems Integrity Bulletin
IT Enterprise Systems and Services
What can be done with fewer assumptions
is done in vain with more. –William of Ockham (14th century
Nearly all men can stand adversity,
but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. –Abraham
The only way to discover the limits
of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. – Arthur
C. Clarke, Technology and the Future
A life spent making mistakes is not
only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
–George Bernard Shaw
Software Development Process
nding the Blame Game
The author discusses the destructive nature of finger-pointing on projects and offers some great suggestions on focusing on the facts to get things back on track.
Article: Application development: Surviving the unreasonable estimate
Challenging schedules for project are par for the course in IT projects. This article from an experienced developer
offers some excellent suggestions to cope with these constraints.
Article: Aligning IT to the Business:
Managing Customer Expectations
The key to a successful IT project is delivering a system that provides value to the customer and ensuring that it meets their expectations. An annual survey by Information Week magazine
shows that IT alignment with business is always a top issue. This article provides some advice on getting IT and the customer on the same page.
Article: The Ten Commandments of egoless programming
This article provides some advice on successful development techniques from the "soft skills" pers
Software Testing & Quality
Article: Six Sigma: Hardware
Si, Software No!
This article discusse
s why the Six Sigma model of quality is not appropriate for measuring the quality of software.
Article: Why Trace Requirements?
This article examines the importa
nce and benefits of providing requirements traceability in testing. It also provides some ideas for conquering resistance to traceability.
Article: Stay on track with testing metrics
This article explains some common metrics that the testing team can report to show status and progress. The list is a good
validation of the types of data that we currently collect in SIT.
Article: How Much Is Enough?
In this b
rief article, James Bach looks at how to determine when testing is done based on the constraints of a given project. Very applicable concepts for risk-based testing.
Site: The [Unofficial] Powerpoint FAQ
An unofficial (i.e., not associated with Microsoft) site with lots of good tips fo
r MS Powerpoint.
Tutorial: DWDM Technology
An excellent tutorial from optical equipment hardware vendor Xtera on the basics of dense wavelength-division multiplexing techn
Site: The Notorious Confusables
No, this isn't a new BBC com
edy series or new alternative band! Rather this is an English grammar site that provides some excellent guidance on using the correct word. It focuses on oft-confused word pairs, such as effect/affect, its/it's, etc. The quizzes alone on this site are very valuable and the parent site
itself is a fantastic grammar reference.
Site: Typing Web
Typing is one of the indispensable skills in the information technology realm. This site provides help for those who want to learn touch typing or anyone who just needs to polish their keyboard talent.
Analysis: Price drop may help expand ATM market
An analysis of how lower costs for customer premise equipment is allowing small and medium size businesses to use ATM technology for both data and voice.
TrayMin (Free -- Windows 9x/NT/2000 -- 701kB)
TrayMin is a free PC Magazine utility that allows yo
u to minimize any open window to an icon in the system tray (instead of the task bar) by right-clicking on the "Minimize" button. This is useful for applications that you need to leave open, but don't often access, such as MS Outlook.
Crimson Editor (Free -- Windows 9x/NT/2000 -- 841kB)
Crimson Editor is a fast and easy-to-use text editor. It is a most worthy freeware alternative to the UltraEdit
shareware application. Some of the special features of Crimson Editor are: ability to load and save files directly via FTP, line numbering, Explorer-style tree view for finding files, ability to view file in web browser (great for HTML and XML files), and print preview. (Editor's note: Please excuse my frequent listing of text editors. They're sort of a passion of mine and finding just the right one is really a matter of personal preference.)
Quickly toggling spelling and grammar checking on and off in MS Word
On of the most useful features in MS Word is the on-the-fly spelling and grammar checking which places
the squiggly red and green lines under
errors. However, sometimes you may want to turn these features off
to make a document easier to read. To quickly toggle these features,
right click on the Spelling And Grammar Status icon (It looks like a
book with a red "X" on it.) in the status bar and select the
desired item to hide or show. (Word will still check the spelling and
grammar in the background, but the indicators will not be displayed.
To completely disable spelling or grammar checking for
all documents, choose Options… from the context menu and
disable [uncheck] the appropriate option in the
Spelling & Grammar dialog.)
Which way to go (after pressing <Enter>) in MS Excel?
By default, in MS Excel, when you press <Enter>, the active cell changes to the cell below. However, in many cases in Excel, you'll be entering tabular data and would prefer to go to the cell to the right. Voilá! Excel can do this. Select Tools | Options… from the main menu. In the Options window, select the Edit tab. In the Direction dropdown list, choose Right (or whatever direction you want) and press OK. If you don't want the active cell to change at all on <Enter>, simply disable (uncheck) the Move selection after Enter option.
Quickly add keyboard shortcuts in MS Wor
In Word, to add (or change) a keyboard shortcut, typically, you must
select Tools | Customize… from
the main menu, select the Commands tab, press the
Keyboard… button and then locate the desired command. Here's
an easier way: Press <Ctrl>+<Alt>++
(That's <Ctrl>, <Alt>, and the plus sign
on the numeric keypad.) The cursor will change to a cloverleaf.
Then select the toolbar or menu command for which you wish to assign
(or change) a keyboard shortcut. The
Customize Keyboard dialog will be displayed. Enter the desired
shortcut and press Assign. (By default, the changes will be
saved to the Normal.DOT template, but you can choose make the change
for any active template or document.)
Just For Fun
The Web We Were
Remember the good old days? You know, 1998? This web site has a huge (ostensibly "over 100 terabytes and 10 billion web pages" back to 1996) archive of old web pages and sites. While mainly useful for historical purposes, sometimes it's nice to take a trip down memory lane.
Dillon's Online Vocabulary Tests
This site contains a collection of excellent vocabulary-building quizzes: one for each letter of the alpha
bet. The site is well laid out and easy to use. It makes building word power fun!