Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year New Design

I thought I'd change the look of My Technology Fetish for 2011.

This change was made possible by Bloggers template designer. Compared to WordPress, Blogger has definitely dropped the ball on customizations / features but that's what happens when you get lazy!

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Google Test Analytics

I just watched this video from Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC) where Dr. James Whittaker (a Engineering Directory from Google) talks about / shows screen shots of a new tool called Google Test Analytics. In the actual screen shots the program is called Testify but it looks almost like a test coverage tool but in describing it he calls it a testing planning tool. A tool that contains and maintains all the important information that should be included in a test plan without being a test plan.

Dr. Whittaker talks about investing in early cycle testing and how this new program can help identify all the capabilities, components and attributes of a specific target. The goal (as he alludes to) is to create something that is entirely reusable and isn't, like most test plans today, throw away.

Check out the video here:

To see the screen shots of (I'm assuming it's a prototype) of Google Test Analytics or Testify check out the slides here. The screen shots start on slide 27. Slide 32 and beyond show some of the views a user can take to identify the different elements defined.

All I can say is hopefully this becomes a free (or cheap) application available soon!

It's also worth noting and/or viewing that Dr. Whittaker and his team at Google appear to have created a "heads-up display". He demos/ shows screen shots from GTAC 2010 and it looks pretty cool. The HUD pulls all existing bugs from the related app you are testing so its easy to find if a bug has already been issued, etc. Very cool tool as well.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gadget Prices from 2010

Stat Attack: What your favorite Gadgets Really Cost from Men's health Techlust.

This was a pretty interesting article because they list the the cost of materials and production for each gadget and then provide an estimated profit margin. Of course the problem is they don't account for R&D, marketing, distribution, retail, etc. so the costs are a little far off. Also they got the profit margin completely wrong for the iPhone 4 (16GB). They assume that since the phone sells for $200 with a 2 year contract that Apple is only getting $200 per phone. That of course is untrue. Apple is getting around $650 per iPhone, the rest is paid by AT&T which is why the require 2 year contracts to begin.

Check out the costs for your favorite gadgets: (I left out the profit margins)
  • Apple iPod Nano (8GB)
    • Materials and Production: $45.10
  • HTC Droid Incredible
    • Materials and Production: $163.35
  • Nokia N8
    • Materials and Production: $187
  • Blackberry Torch
    • Materials and Production: $183.05
  • Apple iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi)
    • Materials and Production: $257.65
  • Slingbox Solo
    • Materials and Production: $83.60
  • Amazon Kindle (2nd gen.) (older model)
    • Materials and Production: $185.49
  • Apple Mac Mini
    • Materials and Production: $387.14
  • Apple TV
    • Materials and Production: $63.95
  •  Apple iPhone 4 (16GB)
    • Materials and Production: $187.51
  • PlayStation 3
    • Materials and Production: $33

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Helping Small Businesses

It's a fact: small businesses power our economy. They create the majority of jobs, spend more money as an aggregate than larger companies and yet when it comes to software quality they are probably the least adept. I can't say I blame them. I'd imagine that most software companies fit into the small businesses category (the definition of which varies so lets say under 20 employees) and as an employee of one I can say that most of the quality processes and tools are out of reach.

Why is that? Quality initiatives started in the defense industry and eventually filtered down into smaller (but still massive) businesses. The truth is most of the companies that can afford to invest in improving quality via tools, people and/or processes are businesses with lots of resources. That puts small businesses like mine in a bind. We can't afford to purchase large (co$tly) tools when we only have one person in the whole department. Why hasn't anyone exploited this market? (My excuse is that I'm not a coder.)

Small business quality tools for:
  • Automation - regression testing, web application testing (selenium is very limited)
  • Bug Tracking (actually there are a few)
  • Manual testing - all kinds of options here
Microsoft came out with Visual Studio Test Edition but you have to have Team Systems which is very expensive. Bug tracking software is pretty cheap these days but automation software and most other testing tools are either expensive or non existent.

Just imagine how much quality would improve if we could design tools and processes for people who work in small businesses. Think of how much we'd be helping small businesses!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Associate SQL Server user with login after db restore for SQL Server

This post was borrowed from Computer Cabal and expanded upon:

After you've restored a backed up SQL Server database instance you may find the user logins are no longer associated with the users. You can't make this fix via SQL Server Management Studio but you can run the commands below to fix it. Note: It only works for SQL Server 2005 SP2 and later, so the first thing to do is check what version of SQL Server you have.
  1. Log into the Management Studio for SQL Server 2005 run:
  2. SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('productversion'), SERVERPROPERTY ('productlevel'), SERVERPROPERTY ('edition')
  3. Or if you are using SQL Server 2008 run:
  4. SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('productversion'), SERVERPROPERTY ('productlevel'), SERVERPROPERTY ('edition')
  5. In the second column you should see a table with a row name you should see "SP2" or "SP3", if you see something like "SP1" or "RTM" or don't see a second column then you need to upgrade. Here's the link to download SQL Server 2005 SP3
  6. Once you've got at least SQL Server 2005 SP2 run:
  7. alter user [user_name] with login=[login_name]  
  8. Now you should be all set.
For more information on How to Identify SQL Server versions and editions go here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WikiRebels - The documentary of WikiLeaks

One of my coworkers forwarded this to me. It's an hour long documentary on the history of WikiLeaks and it's founder and is interesting if you want to know more about the site website. It's interesting to note in the documentary they mention the new competitor OpenLeaks who hope to provide the same transparency as WikiLeaks but without the political agenda of Julian Assange and today there was an article in the Wall Street Journal featuring that new site and it's founder who was Mr. Assange's right hand man.

If you'd like to read the WSJ article on OpenLeaks go here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chrome OS Pilot Program

Today I signed up for Google's Chrome OS Pilot Program hoping to be one of the few testers that gets a "Cr-48" Chrome Notebook. After filling out the form online (took about 15 minutes) and skipping the option to create a video pleading my case, I can say I probably won't get one.

I signed up under business use because technically, as a software tester, I'm not a developer. (Maybe I should have chosen individual?) However I pleaded the case that as a tester for a small software company I'd be using the laptop everyday for a number of web applications that we use internally and externally and that as a software tester I have a unique ability to make things go boom! By that I mean crash. Plus I basically live on the web. (I'm at home right now, done with work and I'm writing a blog post. Ha!).

Now is it just me or is it a little discriminatory to Software Testers (like me) that we weren't included on the list of users? I mean you've got Business, Education, Non-Profit, Individuals and Developers but no Testers!

To sign up for yourself go here.