Steve Rowe's Blog

Ruminations on Computing - Programming, Test Development, Management and More

April, 2007

Posts
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    The Purpose of Coding Standards

    • 4 Comments
    I'm involved with a group at work crafting the coding standard for test developers across much of Windows. As part of this exercise, it became necessary to discuss what the purpose of a coding standard is. Here are my thoughts. There are two major camps...
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    Why Windows Can't See 4GB of Memory

    • 0 Comments
    Interesting post by Hilton Locke about why installing 4 GB of RAM on a 32-bit box doesn't actually give you 4 GB of RAM. Instead it gives you something like 3 GB of RAM. A 32-bit operating system should be able to access 4GB. Worse, a 64-bit operating...
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    Windows Media for Firefox Users

    • 1 Comments
    Microsoft just released a Windows Media Player plugin for Firefox. This will allow people who use firefox to view web videos being broadcast in WMV format. I'm not actually a firefox guy but I know many that are. This is a cool development.
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    Redfin: Real Estate Revolution?

    • 6 Comments
    Ever since I sold my first house, I've thought that the real estate business was in need of a shakeup. The typical cost of buying or selling a house is 6%. The buyer's agent gets 3% and so does the seller's agent. On a $100,000 house that's not a big...
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    How Much Better Is High Definition Video?

    • 3 Comments
    Moving to HD is expensive. You have to buy a new TV, new DVD player, and possibly a new receiver. If you've ever wondered if HD-DVD (or BluRay) is worth it, this demo I found may be interesting. These are a series of pictures taken from the DVD and the...
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    It's Difficult to Grow a Test Developer

    • 6 Comments
    A lot of testers begin life as software test engineers. That is, they execute tests but don't do any (or much) programming. The dream of many testers is to become a test developer or a developer. Reciprocally, the dream of many test managers is to grow...
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    Top 10 Most Influential Amiga Games

    • 6 Comments
    I have a soft spot in my heart for the Commodore Amiga . It came out 22 years ago in 1985 and was way ahead of its time. It had a GUI, ,stereo audio, hi-res color graphics, hardware-accelerated graphics, etc. It had all this years before the PC. I didn...
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    Fred Fish Dies

    • 0 Comments
    Those of you who owned an Amiga were probably aware of the Fred Fish disk collection. For those that weren't, this was a huge collection of shareware and freeware software for the Amiga. It was organized into a series of disks which became known as Fred...
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    Teaching Yourself To Program

    • 1 Comments
    Following up on my last post, I'll give some instruction for those testers who want to become programmers. As I said, last time, don't expect to learn everything you need to at work. The forces in play will almost certainly conspire to keep you from being...
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    Teaching Your Team To Program

    • 2 Comments
    The world of testing is becoming a lot more technical than it once was. While there is still a need for strong exploratory testing, the need for test automation is increasing dramatically. Test automation requires programming at some level. Good test...
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    How We'll Avoid the Animated Cursor Bug Next Time

    • 0 Comments
    Michael Howard provides a very insightful look at how the animated cursor bug bypassed the numerous security measures in Vista. He dicusses the -GS flag, address space randomization, static analysis tools, and fuzz testing. He also talks about the steps...
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    Breaking Down the Test/Dev Barrier

    • 3 Comments
    Similar to the solution I consider in my post on single-function roles , the Braidy Tester has a provocative new post entitled, " Let's Go Bust Some Silos " wherein he asks what happens when you get rid of the test/dev silos and have everyone work together...
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    Agile Testing Netcast

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    I tried a new netcast today. It's the initial netcast from Jason at Parlezuml . I believe the weekly show will be about agile development in general but this first one is all about the concept of agile testing. There are several interviews. The topics...
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    My New Addiction: Puzzle Quest

    • 0 Comments
    I don't do a lot of gaming. Once upon a time I did, but now that I'm married and have kids, my gaming time is pretty restricted. Last week I was carpooling with a friend and he handed me his Nintendo DS and said "Try this." It was running a new game called...
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    Getting Real In Software Development

    • 1 Comments
    At the recommendation of one of our designers, I just finished reading the book Getting Real by the people at 37 Signals . This is the company that created Ruby on Rails and several web tools for managing business. This book distills their philosophy...
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    Death of the Floppy Drive

    • 8 Comments
    The floppy disk has been dead for a while now. It's just too small and too slow. I haven't really used them for anything other than a boot disk for years. Even network drivers don't fit in 1.44 megs anymore. USB Flash drives serve the purpose of floppies...
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    Can Code Be Truly Self-Documenting?

    • 4 Comments
    I know I'm stepping into the middle of a holy war here but I've been in some conversations on this subject lately and thought it might be worth laying out my thoughts. Recently a coworker in another part of the company told me that they are not allowed...
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    Do CS Schools Encourage Sloppy Coding?

    • 3 Comments
    I'm currently pursuing a Masters degree in Computer Science. I'm a little over halfway through the program so I've had exposure to several different classes. To date I've not seen a class which required programming where I got a sense that the code I...
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    A Crack In the DRM Wall?

    • 1 Comments
    ...More like a gaping hole. To date there has been a unified face put on major digital media assets. Whether TV, Movies, or Music, Hollywood et al have not released them without DRM. Sure, there have been some independent labels and even artists who...
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    Real Numbers In the Next-Gen DVD Battle

    • 1 Comments
    Finally some real numbers showing how the two sides compare. In the first quarter, BluRay sold 830,000 titles and HD-DVD sold 335,000 according to Home Media Magazine. Those numbers look pretty bleak for HD-DVD but they are both so small in the overall...
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    Do You Have Golden Ears?

    • 1 Comments
    Here is an interesting demo I heard about on This Week in Media. It contains 2 audio clips in both 128 kbps and 256kbps mp3. One clip is Mozart and the other from R.E.M. The Mozart clip has a lot of strings in it. The R.E.M. clip has background vocals...
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    Yet Another Way To Connect Your PC and Your Screen

    • 1 Comments
    First it was VGA , then DVI , then HDMI , now we add DisplayPort . Engadget is reporting that DisplayPort was just ratified by VESA. DisplayPort is apparently compatible with DVI which is also compatible with HDMI. Why do we need yet another connector...
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    April Netcast Update

    • 1 Comments
    About time for another update of my netcast list. It's changed a little and some have moved locations. It's still fundamentally the same list though. This Week in Tech - Leo Laporte hosts a roundtable discussion of the news of the week. This Week...
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