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October 2004 Newsletter


Quotable Quotes

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.  –Arthur Schopenhauer


Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  –John Quincy Adams


We're face-to-face with our destiny. And we must meet it with a high, resolute courage, for ours is a life of action, of strenuous performance, of duty. Let us live in the harness of striving mightily. Let us run the risk of wearing out rather than rusting out.  –Theodore Roosevelt


Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.  –George Washington Carver


Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.  –Dale Carnegie


It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.  –Edward de Bono


Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.  –Vincent Van Gogh


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Software Development Process

Article:  An Introduction to the Rational Unified Process

The Rational Unified Process (RUP) is a commercial software development process that is widely used.  This article gives an overview of the process and explains some of the benefits of the process.



Article:  The six myths of IT

This analysis by Infoworld looks at six common misconceptions about IT:  Server upgrades matter, eighty percent of corporate data resides on mainframes, all big shops run multiple platforms, CIOs and CTOs have a greater need for business savvy than tech expertise, most IT projects fail, and IT doesn't scale.



Editorial:  Why Is This IT Project So Expensive?

In this opinion, a software developer poses some questions that each developer and project manager should ask when creating a new system to ensure that application can handle normal changes in the business without substantial development/overhaul.



Articles:  The Systems Builder and The Systems Builder as Leader

The author discusses the key characteristics and skills of a successful leader in systems development.




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Software Testing & Quality

Article:  Software Testing as an Art, a Craft and a Discipline

What stage has software testing achieved in its lifetime.  The first text on software testing called it an art.  James Whittaker makes the case for software testing being treated as a disciple just like any other recognized branch of learning.



Tutorial:  Defining a Test Strategy

This five-part video series with corresponding notes provides an overview of what is involved with a test strategy and how to define one for your project.



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Site:  W3 Schools

This site includes dozens of tutorials on many topics related to developing web sites and networked applications.  The site is very well organized and tutorials are well written.



Tutorial:  Optimizing Windows 2000/XP/2003 Virtual Memory/Page File

Proper maintenance of your Windows page file is one of the most considerations in preserving good system performance.  This detailed, step-by-step tutorial provides excellent advice on planning and maintaining peek performance.



Tutorial:  SysAdmin to SysAdmin:  Awk is Your Friend

For simple text processing in Unix/Linux, awk is often a much better choice than the more complex scripting languages (Perl, Python, etc.).  This article shows you how to get started with awk.



Online Text:  Software Engineering for Internet Applications

This is a complete online text for a college course in software engineering.  It is easy to read and follow and focuses on development of Internet applications.



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Career Development/Miscellaneous

Site:  Susan Ireland Resumes

Susan Ireland is a widely published and referenced resume expert.  Her site provides a wide variety of tips on preparing resumes, writing cover letters and other matters related to job searching.



Report:  100 Best Places to Work in IT

This annual report by Computerworld based on survey of over 17,000 IT workers discusses the factors that make these companies the best places to work for IT folks.



Site:  IT Conversations

IT Conversations (ITC) provides interviews, presentations, etc. from well-known industry figures, conferences, and events.  The stories can be delivered as streaming audio or your can download them (MP3 or iTunes formats) to listen to offline.  Some of the featured presenters include Steve McConnell, Bruce Schneier, Tim O'Reilly, Phillip Greenspun, and many more.



Article:  Who holds the responsibility for morale?

Often, workers and managers differ on their roles and responsibilities for developing and maintaining workplace morale.  This article examines how these should be balanced and what each person can do.



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Telecommunications/Networking Industry

Report:  The 411 on voice over IP

Series of articles on the readiness of VOIP for replacement of traditional PBXs in the enterprise.



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Useful Utilities

TaskArrange (Free – Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP – 21kB)

TaskArrange is a tiny utility which does one thing and does it well:  It allows you to rearrange the order of items on the task bar.  This is handy when you like to group related applications for easy access.



Recall Toolbar (Free – Internet Explorer 5.0 or later – 724kB)

Recall Toolbar calls itself "a better browser history".  It creates local (on your PC) index of visited Web sites and associated keywords.  Later you can search within this index.  The utility can be turned off when desired to avoid excessive index size.  Likewise, you can set an expiration period like with the regular browser history.



WeathAlert (Free – Windows 2000/XP – 427kB)

WeathAlert is a small single-file, Microsoft .NET-based utility for retrieving weather information and alerts.  It will display the temperature or conditions (or switch between the two) in the system tray and provides detailed conditions and forecast information from the Weather Channel.  You can specify primary and secondary locations.



YouSendIt (Free – OS Independent Web Service – N/A)

This free services allows you to send files (up to 1GB in size) to any number of recipients without filling up their mailboxes or exceeding their (or your!) attachment size/type restrictions.  The file is stored for 7 days on the YouSendIt server available for "pick up" by recipients after which time it is automatically deleted.  No sign-up or activation is necessary.



Lookout (Free – Outlook 2000/2003/XP – 860kB)

Lookout is an add-on for MS Outlook (not Outlook Express) which substantially improves performance when searching e-mail, calendar items, contacts, notes, etc. in Outlook.  Likewise, you can use it to search for files on your computer or network drives.



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Productivity Tips

Move paragraphs with keyboard in MS Word

If you want to move an entire paragraph in MS Word, you don't have to use the mouse to select the whole thing and then drag it around.  Instead, place the cursor in the desired paragraph and press and hold <Shift>+<Alt>.  Then simply use the up and down arrow keys to move the paragraph to the desired position.


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Just For Fun

Nerdity Test

Take this "test" to determine just how much of a nerd (Doesn't the term nerd seem passé, now?!) you really are.  The test is substantially oriented toward computer nerds, but other categories are well represented.



Political Philosophy Selector

This site provides a 25-question survey of political views and then displays your political position on a 3-dimensional grid called a vosem chart to show how your views relate to other political philosophies.  The three axes (dimensions) are cultural issues, fiscal issues, and corporate issues.




This stylish interactive site shows the relative usage rankings of over 86,000 words in the English language.  Look up your favorite word and see how popular it is.  Some of the adjacent words make for some interesting pairings!



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