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  • Blog Post: Microsoft etiquette: calendar appointments when going out of office

    A common convention within Microsoft when going out of office is to create two calendar appointments in Outlook: An appointment which allows people who are trying to schedule a meeting with you to know that you're out of office at the time Attendees: just you Show As: Out of Office ...
  • Blog Post: Even if someone's signaling right, they still have the right of way

    I was driving to work this morning and I had an experience which vindicated my paranoia, and may even have passed it on to someone else. I was heading East on NE 80th St approaching 140th Ave NE in Redmond . This is a two-way stop; drivers on 140th have the right of way and do not stop. Drivers on...
  • Blog Post: Translating Ada Lovelace - mathematical science is an instrument

    Lady Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace is credited with being the first computer programmer. The short version: her associate Charles Babbage gave a lecture on his Analytical Engine in Italy; an Italian engineer wrote up a report on his lecture, in French; Lady Ada then translated the report...
  • Blog Post: Rules for making change

    It happens a million times a day. Somebody pays cash for something and gets change. But there are rules, and Raymond's friend seems to like to break those rules . Luckily for Raymond's friend, one of the rules is the customer is always right ... or as Mr. Krabs would say, the money is always right ....
  • Blog Post: Forcing Windows to install on a single partition

    If you're installing Windows via a boot DVD, and you choose Custom, you have the option to rearrange partitions. I like use this to have each drive be one big partition. Windows 7 wants to set aside a 100 MB partition for something-or-other. I'm sure there's a very good reason for this but I am too lazy...
  • Blog Post: Tweaks I make every time I install Windows

    As preparation for moving one of my machines from Vista to Windows 7, I'm compiling a list of all the little tweaks I like to make to machines that I use a lot: Boot from the Windows DVD. Delete all partitions; make each hard drive one big partition. (Hmm... apparently Windows 7 really wants a second...
  • Blog Post: The more experience I get the more I like to try new things

    There is a general pattern in professional people. We start out idealistic and adventurous, and as disasters inevitably accumulate we become more circumspect and pessimistic. (Pre-emptive snarky response: "you say that like it's a bad thing.") While pessimism is invaluable to a tester, it should be tempered...
  • Blog Post: If you see a fact, try to see it as intuitively as possible

    Insight is a tricky thing. To a certain degree people are born with it (or without it) - but if you are gifted with a measure of it, you can develop it (as though it were a muscle) by working at it. The late mathematician George Pólya had a number of helpful problem-solving mottos, one of which is the...
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