Steve Rowe's Blog

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

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  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Metallica's Death Magnetic Poorly Mastered

    • 4 Comments
    Metallica's new CD, Death Magnetic, is pretty good.  Certainly it is better than St. Anger although I suppose that's not setting the bar very high.  This CD is closer to And Justice For All than anything Metallica has done in the last decade...
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    Not Everyone Has the Same Definition of "Done"

    • 11 Comments
    Years ago I had an employee, let's call him Vanya (not the real name). He was struggling a bit so I was watching his work closely. Every week we discussed what he needed to get done the next week and what he had done the previous week. I kept a list of...
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    My PAX08 Experience

    • 1 Comments
    Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is an annual gaming convension in Seattle put on by the guys at Penny Arcade . It covers all aspects of gaming from consoles to PC games to roleplaying and tabletop games. It is big. Very big. 40,000 tickets pre-sold kind of big...
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    Code Review Options

    • 2 Comments
    There are many ways to conduct a code review.  Here are a few ways I've seen it done and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Over-the-Shoulder Reviews Walk over to someone's office or invite them to yours and walk them through the code. ...
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    Code Review Rights and Responsibilities

    • 2 Comments
    Code reviews are an important part of any project's health.  They are able to find and correct code defects before making it into the product and thus spare everyone the pain of having to find them and take them out.  They are also relatively...
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    The Company You Work For Matters

    • 2 Comments
    In an episode of Stack Overflow Podcast, Jeff Atwood made an interesting point.  He spoke of the difference between companies that deliver code as their product (like Microsoft) and companies who use code to support other business interests (the...
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    Test Code Must Be As Solid As Dev Code

    • 1 Comments
    All good development projects follow certain basic practices to ensure code quality.  They use source control, get code reviewed, build daily, etc.  Unfortunately, sometimes even when the shipping product follows these practices, the test team...
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    Cause of "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet Site" found

    • 1 Comments
    Perhaps you, like me saw a rash of sites giving the error "Internet explorer cannot open the Internet Site" yesterday. At first I thought one of my machines was messed up. Then I saw it on another machine. This one running XP. A virus perhaps? I can't...
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    Loving My Eee 1000H

    • 6 Comments
    I was attracted to the "netbook" market with the release of the initial Eee PC from Asus. The laptop was cheap and very small. Unfortunately, it had a really small screen and an even smaller keyboard. Then the next generation of netbooks was announced...
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    10 Pitfalls of Using Scrum in Games Development

    • 0 Comments
    Interesting article about using scrum to manage game development. Many of the pitfalls are true beyond games development. The article is well balanced and has advice for how to overcome the pitfalls. I don't agree with all of the advice, but it is thought...
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    Becoming a Manager: Losing Direct Control

    • 1 Comments
    When my wife was expecting our daughter, someone gave me this advice, "When you have your first child, you lose all your free time.  When you have your second, you lose all the free time you didn't realize you still had."  Becoming...
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    Get Out of E-mail and Walk Down the Hall

    • 3 Comments
    I was about to write this article anyway when XKCD posted this comic which reinforces my point.  People act differently in email than they do in person.  Everyone knows this to be the case, but they often don't act like it.  Usually when...
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    Vim Tip: My .vimrc File

    • 0 Comments
    .vimrc is the config file for Vim. It can be stored in the Vim directory or in your user directory. With greater protection of the Program Files directory on Vista, I've gotten into the habit of keeping it in my user directory (c:\users\steverowe on most...
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    June Netcast Update

    • 4 Comments
    By popular demand (seriously), here is an update of the netcasts I'm listening to on a regular basis. Audio: This Week In Tech - Round table discussion of technology topics. Sometimes should be known as This Week in Twitter. This Week In Media - Round...
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    Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 Beta Is Available

    • 1 Comments
    At long last, there is a preliminary fix for the corruption issue that has dogged WHS since its release. The WHS team released the fix with its Power Pack 1 beta. See their blog post for details and a link to download it. In addition to the corruption...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Vim Tip: Better Searching

    • 0 Comments
    Two things I discovered about searching: * will search forward for the word under the cursor. No longer do I have to type /WordUnderTheCursor. # does the same thing, but goes backwards. It's like ?WordUnderTheCursor. g* will search for any...
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    Better Writing

    • 1 Comments
    The Manager Tools podcast has an interesting series on better writing. This isn't a management-specific topic. Rather it is something everyone can benefit from. In a day and age where so much communication is via e-mail, having the ability to communicate...
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    Test For Failure, Not Success

    • 3 Comments
    We recently went through a round of test spec reviews on my team. Having read a good number of test specs in a short period of time, I came to a realization. It is imperative to know the failure condition in order to write a good test case. This is at...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    What Won't Our Kids Ever Know?

    • 5 Comments
    A friend of mine just posted an interesting anecdote about the difference in the world we grew up in and the one our kids are growing up in. In his case, his son didn't know what a stereo was. He'd never seen one. Music in his world comes from an iPod...
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    Refactor To Make Immediate Change Easier

    • 3 Comments
    Jeremy Miller gives his reasons for refactoring . He gives two over-arching reasons. The first is "To remedy a deficiency in code, design, or architectural quality" and the second, "To make a forthcoming change to the code easier." I'm very much in agreement...
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    Taking Advantage of Vim

    • 1 Comments
    Once you have mastered using Vim to replace Notepad.exe , it is time to starting taking advantage of what Vim has to offer. Doing so can increase your productivity. Below are most of the commands I use most frequently. It is important to note that Vim...
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    We Need A Better Way To Test

    • 10 Comments
    Testing started simply. Developers would run their code after they wrote it to make sure it worked. When teams became larger and code more complex, it became apparent that developers could spend more time coding if they left much of the testing to someone...
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    GVim As Notepad

    • 5 Comments
    When I first encountered Unix in the early 1990s, I needed a text editor. I tried Emacs but the meta key and double control keys struck me as wrong. I tried Vi but couldn't figure out how to type anything. I came across Pico and for years used that as...
  • Steve Rowe's Blog

    Are Audiophiles Going Extinct?

    • 6 Comments
    This article says that they are. More importantly, it says that people do not care as much about their music or the quality of their music-listening experience as much as they once did. That's very interesting if true. I wonder if this is a permanent...
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    Get Rid Of Your Security Blankets

    • 2 Comments
    A while ago I took a class on Scrum and Agile Project Management. During the discussion on Scrum, it became apparent to me that there are several unchallenged assumptions in many peoples' minds that make accepting Scrum difficult. People assume that Scrum...
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