Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    A Few Points Of Interest

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    A few interesting articles I've found on the web recently: Advice for those thinking about starting a company. From someone who did it and came back to the corporate world. If you want to read more about startups, I suggest you check out Paul Graham...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Experimenting With Scrum Part 2

    • 3 Comments
    It occurs to me that some of those reading this blog will not be familiar with Scrum. Before I go into any details about what did and didn't work about my experiments, I'll take some time to give a quick overview of the process. For more information,...
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    Making the Media Center Remote Keyboard Work

    • 3 Comments
    When Microsoft released their remote keyboard for Media Center, I was excited. Here was a wireless keyboard, including mouse and MCE-specific functionality. As an added benefit, it uses the Media Center IR receiver so you don't have to connect another...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Experimenting With Scrum

    • 4 Comments
    I recently tried using some parts of scrum with my team at Microsoft. We're a development team in test and tend to have a lot of small, independent projects rather than one larger integrated one. To make matters worse, we work with audio and video and...
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    Dual Core Media Center Goodness

    • 8 Comments
    I recently put together a new Media Center PC. The old one was running on a Pentium4 1.7 GHz and was becoming too slow for my tastes. It ran okay but was becoming slow to bring up the guide, etc. The day following Thanksgiving, I was able to score an...
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    Language Inefficiencies

    • 5 Comments
    I spent some time yesterday trying to learn Perl. I'd looked at it some a few years back but never had a use for it. I now have a need to write a tool for our build environment and so, based on what is available, I am required to use Perl. The first thing...
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    Blog Meltdown?

    • 2 Comments
    I've noticed a trend recently. Or, at least I think I have. I have certainly noticed a few datapoints that look like a trend. Blog software is failing to scale. For all the penetration of blogs and the millions of people hosting them, they are starting...
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    You Aren't Gonna Need It - Or Are You?

    • 5 Comments
    A coworker recently pointed me at this page from the C2 Extreme Programming Wiki. The basic theory is that, if you find code that isn't being used, delete it. That is fair enough. The controversy comes when the code in question is potentially useful in...
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    Objective Statements - Do You Need One?

    • 2 Comments
    I've been doing a lot of resume screening lately so I thought I'd write up a few of my thoughts. Ever since my early days as a hiring manager I've told people not to include an objective statement on their resumes. More often than not, it is worthless...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    MSN Search Getting Better

    • 1 Comments
    As a good corporate citizen I began trying MSN Search several months ago with the initial release. At first it was pretty painful. I would search on MSN, not find what I wanted, then switch over to Google. Recently, however, I have found that I almost...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Some Perspective On Vista

    • 4 Comments
    It's been quite a while since Microsoft released a new operating system. Windows XP was the last consumer OS to ship and that was 4 years ago. By the time Vista ships, it will have been 5 years. There are a lot of consequences of such a long release cycle...
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    Programming for the next guy

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    I'm taking a class this week. The subject is writing WDM drivers. The class assumes you have some understanding of how operating systems work and teaches you everything you need to know to be prepared to write a WDM driver. It isn't a cookbook class....
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    I'm back. Hopefully.

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    Wow. It's been a while since I blogged. I have a lot of ideas but I've been quite busy of late and haven't gotten to them. I was out of town for 5 weekends in a row from late July through August. Needless to say, that doesn't leave a lot of time for other...
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    OS/2 Finally buried

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    IBM finally announced the official, final death notice for OS/2. Back before I joined Microsoft I was one of those who was attempting to jump on the OS/2 Warp bandwagon. When I was in college I would read about it every week in PCWeek (now eWeek) and...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Next Gen Game Console News

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    Some interesting news (rumors are more like it) about the next generation of game consoles: The PS3 is rumored to cost $400 street and nearly $500 to make. Meanwhile, the XBox360 is rumored to cost about $300. If true, that's great news for Microsoft...
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    WMV-HD Is Now Hardware Accelerated

    • 2 Comments
    I am please to announce something I find pretty exciting. Windows Media High Definition Video ( WMV HD ) is now able to take advantage of hardware acceleration. Cards from leading vendors such as ATI and NVidia can now assist in the decoding of WMV-HD...
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    Broadcast Flag's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    • 3 Comments
    Back in February I talked about how the D.C. Circuit Court seemed to question the power of the FCC to implement the broadcast flag. The court seemed upset with the flag but there was a bit question whether they would find standing (the right to bring...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Black Box Testing

    • 5 Comments
    I attended a talk on campus yesterday discussing various aspects of testing. Part of the talk discussed the need for testers to become better versed in the formalities of testing. I'll leave that subject for another day. A portion of the talk, however...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Programming Languages

    • 9 Comments
    Interesting article this morning on CNet. It discusses language usage. Bjarne Stroustrup (the creator of C++) claims that C++ is not being overtaken by languages like C# and Java. He claims it is a matter of marketing. Java has marketing, C# has marketing...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    It's not the idea

    • 4 Comments
    I had a chance this afternoon to see one of my favorite writers and thinks, George Gilder. He came to Microsoft to speak. Anyway, he said something very interesting. He stated than patents are not all that valuable because they are open. Usually having...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Unix vs Windows

    • 11 Comments
    Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to take an Operating Systems class at a leading University. During that time, I have been once again confronted with the whole Unix (*nix, Linux, Mac OSX) versus Windows argument. It became quite apparent...
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    Western Digital Understands Warranties

    • 5 Comments
    I have a hard drive which seems to be going bad on me. It's a Western Digital SATA drive. So far, no data loss but the drive has a tendency to disappear after my computer has been on for a long time. It also tends to start making a clicking noise during...
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    Interested in being a test developer? We're hiring.

    • 0 Comments
    If what I have said about test development excites you and you want to try it, now is your chance. We are hiring. We're looking for an experienced developer to work with audio drivers and related technologies. If you want to get your hands dirty in the...
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    Sony's Cell Microprocessor

    • 2 Comments
    Things have been too busy for me to write any more articles lately. To tide you over, here is something I found interesting: The Cell Processor is going to be the heart and soul of the next Playstation. It is a joint effort between Sony, Toshiba, and...
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    Quality Assurance != Testing

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    Stuart Feldman of IBM research has some thoughts on the issue of testing and quality assurance. He contends that QA is a process whereas testing tends to be technology-based and an afterthought. He describes the difference here: "What goes into QA? Testing...
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