Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • 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

    • 1 Comments
    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.

    • 0 Comments
    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

    • 1 Comments
    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...
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    Next Gen Game Console News

    • 1 Comments
    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...
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    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...
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    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...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    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

    • 0 Comments
    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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    Why building software isn’t like building bridges

    • 23 Comments
    I was having a conversation with a friend the other night and we came across the age-old “software should be like building buildings” argument. It goes something like this: Software should be more like other forms of engineering like bridges or buildings...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Recommended Books On Testing

    • 3 Comments
    Another question I was asked via e-mail. "Do you know of any good books that explain the testing process in detail? I noticed you mentioned Debugging Applications for .Net and Windows, but I am looking for a book that really explains the basics of 'I...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    FCC Broadcast Flag has a bad day

    • 1 Comments
    In 2003 the FCC ruled that digital television signals could carry a flag which, when set, required specific protections be in place in all hardware/software that handled the signal. This flag has become known as the broadcast flag. Recently, several members...
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    What is a Test Architect?

    • 2 Comments
    I was asked a few questions via mail. Here is the first of some quick answers to these: What is the role of a Test Architect? There is not a single definition of the test architect role. A test architect is an advanced test developer whose scope is larger...
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    TDD - First Impressions

    • 6 Comments
    I spent the last two days in a class covering test driven development, unit testing, and refactoring. I hope to provide a more detailed discussion of what I learned at some later point but for now I thought I'd post my initial impressions. I've read a...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Information Technology Leaders

    • 0 Comments
    There is a local cable television station run by the University of Washington. On it there airs a show called Information Technology Leaders hosted by a woman named Laura Shildkraut . On the show, Laura spends an hour interviewing, you guessed it, leaders...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Too Much Test Automation?

    • 10 Comments
    There was a time when testing software was synonymous with manual testing. Now with the rise of test development and the advent of unit testing, automation is becoming more and more prevalent. Test automation has many benefits but it is not a silver bullet...
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    Language Choices

    • 6 Comments
    It has been asked several times which language is better for a test developer at Microsoft, C# or C++? The answer really depends on what group you will be working in. Different groups require different skills. It is my perception that C++ is by far the...
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    Disclaimer - Please Read

    • 0 Comments
    These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. This site contains my personal opinions and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of my employer, Microsoft Corporation. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are...
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