The Galactic Patrol

Saving the Universe from Boskone and Bugs

August, 2003

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    I use NewsGator; and love it!

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     I use NewsGator to aggregate blogs so I can read them in Outlook (where I spend much of my time), and also to post to this blog.  It is great!

    ...
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    characteristics of testing

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    A new PM just joined my team, and he scheduled time to come talk to me about the role of testing in our product development.  While thinking about what I would tell him, the following (possibly unrelated) question popped into my head: "What...
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    If a metric falls in the forest, did it make a sound?

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     I heard a comment today that really struck home with me: "If you aren't willing to act on a metric, you might as well not measure it." This makes sense to me, and also strikes a nerve.  I know I've seen any number of metrics over...
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    Howdy

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    Ah, the first post on my public blog.  I’ve had an internal blog for a couple months now, and I’m ready to break out of my cocoon.  <grin>  Quick bio: I’ve been at Microsoft for about 7 years, pretty much always on the same team...
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    An example of Test-Driven Development

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    A fairly long description of a project using TDD can be found at:

    http://redsquirrel.com/dave/work/babySteps/#200306

    I've skimmed it, and look forward to perusing it in more depth when I have time.

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  • The Galactic Patrol

    I hate cancer

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    I’m not sure how useful it is to hate a genetic flaw – but I found out recently that my mom has cancer.  Earlier this year I found out that my cousin Ben does too.   It really leaves me breathless, and asking myself those...
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    Closing the cycle between test and customers

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     I was thinking about the role of test this morning.  We measure the quality of the product - but in some sense we have to take an educated guess what "quality" means.  In the end, the customer determines if it is a quality product, and...
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    What is 6% of $250,000?

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     I read this blog entry from Chris Sells recently, describing his thoughts about real estate agent fees.  Having just sold one house and purchased another, I am completely sympathetic.  6% just seems like too high a vig to pay, just...
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    What dinglehopper are you?

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     I've seen a plethora of web sites recently that give you a small personality quiz, and use the information to associate you with some amusing object or feature.  Anyone take the "What OS are you?" quiz?  (I'm Win9x - bummer.)  ...
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    Athens PC and my phone

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    At the recent WinHEC conference, a prototype PC dubbed 'Athens' was unveiled.  One of its features is an attached phone; the computer is supposedly smart enough to mute its other sound output when the phone is in use. This seems very backward...
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    Is test listening to customers?

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     I believe the ultimate arbiter of quality is the customer.  In my imaginary world, I wish I could get a list of all the bugs customers will find in our product, go back in time, and fix them before release.  Needless to say, there are...
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    "By Design" a desirable resolution?

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    Keith Stobie (a test architect on my team) made a comment recently, along the lines of: "If testers aren't getting some bugs marked 'by design' and 'no repro', then they are probably being too conservative in their bug filing." This intuitively...
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    BBC: "Microsoft has announced that new versions of its mouse will be fitted with wheels that tilt as well as roll."

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    BBC: "Microsoft has announced that new versions of its mouse will be fitted with wheels that tilt as well as roll." Seems like the mouse is more and more turning into some kind of generic “hand tool” – someday it will become...
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    Taxes: a six-course meal, or a-la-carte?

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    Ok, I admit it - I'm a control freak. (Like you aren't. <grin>) What I really want is for the government to give me an itemized reciept at the end of the year saying "here is all you paid in taxes, and here is where each piece went." I don...
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    Contacting me

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     If you would like to contact me, my work e-mail is bwill@microsoft.com, my home e-mail is domanite@hotmail.com (use that one for spam, please), and you can also IM me at domanite@hotmail.com.

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    Hosting visitors to Microsoft

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     I ran across this interesting post: “This upcoming week is shaping up to be one the most memorable in my young life. I'm taking a trip to geek mecca: Microsoft HQ. I get to meet Scott Guthrie, Rob Howard, Don Box, et al. And if that weren...
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    Strange new virus rumored

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     Seen recently at http://trademark.blog.us/blog/2003/08/19.html#a789 : "You have just received the Amish virus. Because we don't have computers this virus works on the honor system. Please delete all the files from your hard drive and manually...
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    Its a girl!

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     Gina and I went to Evergreen Hospital today for our week 20 ultrasound – you know, the one with legs and arms and toes.  * She * is quite an active little tyke, rolling around in her comfortable little cubby!  Yes, that’s...
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    my bank account as an RSS feed?

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    You know, logically, the following idea has so many flaws – security, privacy, is it even really useful… and yet, I find it mysteriously alluring.  To watch in real-time the ebb and flow of my finances; to see how long it takes the...
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    fun with consumer electronics (and the perils of the super-remote)

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    So, I’m on vacation here at my in-laws, and I’m blogging of course.  It seems to be my new morning ritual, instead of reading the newspaper.  Anyway, there are hordes of kids running around everywhere, so to keep them entertained...
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    EverQuest: It's not just an adventure - it's a job

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    Here is a guy who ‘professionally’ makes real money off of virtual artifacts – apparently a good living!  Wow.

    http://www.juliandibbell.com/playmoney/ 

    ...
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    on vacation...

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    Starting today, I am on vacation, going to that * fabulous * vacation destination – West Virgina.  Maybe I can get a tour of the coal mines.  <grin>  Seriously, you can expect the blogging output to decline over the next...
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    Howard Dean blog - revisited

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    The shine on the Howard Dean blog is wearing off for me.  Most of the posts aren’t by Dean himself, and seem pretty much boiler-plate rah-rah stuff.  (This seemed exciting at first, but is now getting a little old.)  The ones that...
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    Adam Smith and the Navy

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    Looks like the U.S. Navy is thinking about taking a more “market-based” approach to operations: “…To keep skilled sailors in the service -- which entails keeping their families happy -- Navy officials put some of those...
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    "Alex, I'll take 'Foreign Relations' for $200, please..."

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     In the “truth is stranger than fiction” department, this article claims that five gubernatorial hopefuls in California will be appearing in a debate, game-show-style.  I’ll be the first to say that one shouldn’t take...
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