Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    I'll save you some typing...

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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!

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    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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    Liveblogging Woz

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    He's talking about his childhood. How his father managed to get him transisters and diodes because he worked at Lockheed Martin. He did a lot of electronics. He didn't know was a computer was for a long time because he was afraid to ask. Eventually in...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Waiting for Woz

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    Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple for those of you in Rio Linda) is on campus to promote his new book iWoz. The room he is scheduled to speak in hold about 100 people. The speech is supposed to start in 15 minutes and it is standing room only already...
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    Is the Internet Really That Powerful?

    • 6 Comments
    About 2 weeks ago Serenity won a Hugo award. If you haven't seen this movie or watched the TV series that inspired it, Firefly , you should. It's arguably some of the best TV of recent years. It's certainly some of the best sci-fi to come down the pipe...
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    What does "RC1" really mean?

    • 14 Comments
    With the recent release of Windows Vista RC1, I have seen many comments on places like Slashdot and various blogs which demonstrate there is a lack of understanding of what we mean when we say we have "Release Candidate 1". I will attempt to explain what...
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    Management Styles

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    Joel Spolsky, of Joel On Software, has a series on management styles. He details three styles of management: Command and Control , Econ 101 , and Identity . Command and Control is where management dictates everything that happens. Econ 101 is where management...
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    Cool Live.com Search Feature

    • 2 Comments
    I was watching an internal presentation about Live Search today and ran across this really cool feature. Live and Google have supported searching within a particular domain for quite some time. However, it has always required remembering the correct syntax...
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    Interview with Clayton Christensen

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    The Innovator's Dilemma is an eye-opening book that everyone in the technology industry should read and understand. I recently ran across an audio interview with the author, Clayton Christensen. In it he gives a brief explanation of the main thesis of...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    LSharp Discussion Group

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    I've been playing a little with Lisp lately. Unlike many other single-sourced languages these days (Python, Ruby, to a large extent C# and Java), Lisp comes in a myriad of flavors and implementations. Even with the Ansi Common Lisp standard, each one...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Back From Vacation

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    I spent the past few weeks on my Grandparents' farm in upstate New York. When I think of New York I always think of the city and suburbia. After spending 2 weeks in the upper part of the state, I'm amazed how wrong that view is. There are hundreds of...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    HD-DVD Looks Better Than BluRay

    • 14 Comments
    I was in Circuit City the other day and they had a beautiful Sony SXRD television set up playing some BluRay content. I thought I was going to be blown away. I wasn't. The disc playing was a demo disc featuring snippets of lots of movies. Each one was...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    HD-DVD Podcast

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    Our Vice President, Amir Majidimehr, gave an interview to XBox Live's Major Nelson . He and one of the program managers for HD-DVD talk about the market, the discs themselves, scripting, interactivity, codecs, and what makes HD-DVD better than BluRay...
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    June Monthly Podcast Update

    • 2 Comments
    It's been a busy month (thus the last listing and the sparse postings in June). No new podcasts were added for the month of June. The regularly-scheduled programming is the same as it was in May . I tried a few new podcasts but didn't get into them. ...
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