Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Contemplating ViM

    • 3 Comments
    A conversation with a colleague got me interested in ViM once again. I've used ViM on and off for a few years now but never gotten really adept at using it. For those that don't know, ViM stands for Vi Improved and Vi is one of the two dominant text editors...
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    Mac Users Respond To Vista

    • 5 Comments
    I have heard several Mac users talking very kindly about our new OS. This is encouraging as these are a bunch that are pre-inclined to view Vista in a negative light. Impressing them is a hard task. It appears that, at least in some cases, we have done...
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    History of Programming Languages

    • 0 Comments
    I saw this on someone's wall a while ago but just now ran across it on the web. This is a chart of all major programming languages, how they are related, and what years they were around. It's an interesting view of where we have come from. Two of the...
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    Recommended Reading for New Test Developers

    • 1 Comments
    I've previously written about how to teach yourself to be a test developer. That post included an extensive reading list. It assumed that you were a tester and wanted to learn to be a test dev. What if you are a new CS grad and you just got hired as a...
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    How Much Memory Does Vista Need?

    • 32 Comments
    With Windows Vista coming soon to a retail channel near you, one of the important questions to ask is, "How much memory does it really need?" There are the official minimum requirements of 512 MB, but we all know that minimum requirements don't translate...
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    Back To School

    • 0 Comments
    When I'm not trying to deliver the next great operating system or spending time with my family, I'm working on a masters degree in computer science. It makes for a busy life. As I'm doing this on the side, I'm only able to take one class a semester. Last...
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    The Fat Man Speaks

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    George Sanger, aka "The Fat Man," is interviewed by The Escapist . George is the founder of Project BBQ which I mentioned a few weeks back. He's also a well-known game music designer whose credits include Wing Commander, Loom, and Master of Orion. In...
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    Hiring Great Testers - Tester Roles

    • 14 Comments
    In my mind, there are basically three roles on a test team. These three roles are: developers, scripters, and those who execute the test cases (runtime testers). In reality there is a spectrum of capabilities on any team but I think most roles will be...
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    Hiring Great Testers - Series Index

    • 1 Comments
    I'm going to be doing a series not on testing but on the people that carry it out. This will be a post on the subject of the testers themselves. I plan to describe what the various roles in testing are, what to look for in a good tester, what sort of...
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    Duplication of Effort Is Good?

    • 1 Comments
    I was in a meeting the other day deciding what to do next in our testing efforts. Several times during the meeting someone made a suggestion which was countered by a statement something like this: "Shouldn't we let the centralized team handle this?" or...
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    Letting Test Drive the Process

    • 1 Comments
    When I read the term "test driven development" I usually think of the process of developers writing the unit tests before writing the code. Richard Collins, a Development Strategist, uses it to mean something different. He advocates that test be heavily...
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    Printer Problems on Vista x64

    • 14 Comments
    I've decided to take the plunge and I'm running Vista x64 on my primary home system. So far things are going well. I haven't found any x86 programs that don't run yet. I'm sure they are out there but I haven't run across them yet. The driver signing thing...
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    I'll save you some typing...

    • 0 Comments
    If you are one of those who read this blog directly in your browser and not through an RSS aggregator, I have added a new URL which can save you some typing. http://steverowe.net will bring you to http://blogs.msdn.com/steverowe/ now. I have had the domain...
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    Interview With Office Test Director

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    Tara Roth, the newly annointed director of test for Office, was recently interviewed by Channel 9 . She talks about her role, what drew her to test, the attributes of good testers, the testing product cycle, etc. It is an informative interview about how...
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    Project BBQ Reports Are Available

    • 0 Comments
    In October of last year I flew to Texas to attend what is called Project Bar-B-Q. It is promoted as "The premier interactive music think tank" and that pretty much sums it up. It is a gathering of 50 people from the computer audio and music industries...
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    Welcome to 2007

    • 0 Comments
    Just a quick note to say welcome back to work. I'm sure, like I did, that many of you had some time off at the end of the year but that time is over (or will be soon). I hope that you all had a good year in 2006 and that 2007 treats you at least as well...
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    Functionality Over Elegance

    • 4 Comments
    I'm reading Where Wizards Stay Up Late which is a book about the people that invented the internet. It's the story of ARPA and BBN and the creation of essentially the first computer network. I ran across an interesting quote from one of the programmers...
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    Merry Christmas

    • 0 Comments
    By now you're all probably stuffed full of food and staring at a pile presents not to mention wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and boxes. I hope you all had a great day. Enjoy your time away from the regular routine for a while. Take the time to do something...
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    Secret Santa is NP-Complete

    • 12 Comments
    Every year my group of friends undertakes a Secret Santa gift exchange. When we started we each drew names from a hat and bought a gift for the names we drew. Being budding programmers, we soon dispensed with the hat and wrote a program to do the work...
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    None of Us Is as Dumb as All of Us

    • 1 Comments
    That's the subtext on the "Meetings" inspirational poster from Despair.com . What it means to me is that you'll never get a great design out of a committee. When designing a piece of software, you want to get input from many people but how do you keep...
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    The State of PC Audio

    • 1 Comments
    One of the things I own at Microsoft is test development for audio in Windows. For Vista we did a lot of work to rewrite the audio system and make it more stable and enable more features. Just recently ExtremeTech published an article on the State of...
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    New Vista Sound

    • 3 Comments
    This is a bit dated but it's worth mentioning anyway now that Vista is officially launched for businesses. Each major release of Windows comes with a startup sound. Vista is no different. It has a sound created by Robert Fripp. I was lucky enough to be...
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    What To Unit Test

    • 0 Comments
    Several months back I wrote about unit testing. Following that I received a question from a reader about how to actually carry out writing unit tests. What should be tested? How much is enough? There is no single answer to these questions but I can give...
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    Bug Taxonomy

    • 1 Comments
    When you get toward the end of a product, you have to make the tough calls about what gets fixed and what doesn't. Most bugs fall into one of two obvious buckets: Must Fix - Something is really bad here. We cannot ship the product without fixing it. Won...
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    Vista Goes Gold!

    • 0 Comments
    Windows Vista--the product I've been working on for much of the last 5 years--has finally shipped . Hopefully that will give me some more time to actually blog here. It has been a long haul and a lot of work--especially over the past few months--but it...
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