Thursday, April 28, 2011

Summary: How Google Tests Software

As a software tester I try to learn as much as I can about how other companies test software. It just so happens that through Google's testing blog James Whittaker has taken steps to outline just how Google does it.

If you're interested in learning more I'd recommend reading through the five part series by going to the Google Testing Blog directly but feel free to check out my summary and the things I found interesting:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stop Database Transaction Log files from growing too large

This method applies to any database that uses SQL Server Management Studio (including SQL Server and Windows Internal databases).

Transaction log files are by default allowed to grow automatically and if left unchecked these files can grow to be tens of gigabytes in size. If you don't have a lot of allocated space it can be quite nerve racking to learn a single transaction log has eaten up all your available space.

To stop database log files from growing too large and later having to truncate them you can set a Maximum File Size or even turn of Autogrowth per database. To set these attributes:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to your database server
  2. Right click on the database you want to adjust and click Properties
  3. Click the Files page and in the table there should be a column called Autogrowth. 
  4. Select the row for the file you want to stop growing (like the log file) and click the ellipsis (the ...) 
  5. The Change Autogrowth window will appear
  6. From here you can Turn off Autogrowth, adjust how quickly file growth is allowed or set a restricted file growth in MB (which is what I recommend)
This post is a follow up to my prior post on How to Compact or Shrink a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Databas. It also applies to shrinking transaction log files in SQL Server or Windows Internal Database. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Compact or Shrink a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Database

After a lot of searching on this particular topic there are a couple of things to note first:
  • Windows SharePoint Services (WSS)) 3.0 uses the Windows Internal Database. It installs on a Windows machine as SQL Server (folder name) but doesn't appear in Add/ Remove programs. 
  • The Windows Internal Database can be accessed using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express 2005. Download it here.
  • It's usually not the database that grows too large (WSS_Content.mdf or any .mdf) it's usually one of the log files (like SharePoint_AdminContent_xxxxxx_log.ldf). Mine grew to 7GB.
  • In order to fix this problem we want to shrink or truncate the SQL Server Transaction Log and we can do it without using any separate queries or commands like DBCC SHRINKFILE.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Men's Health Meat Matrix

This has really nothing to do with technology but I was surprised when I couldn't find this helpful chart on The Meat Matrix is a comparison of various types meats based on the following metrics: 0 to 4 points for protein-to-fat ratio, 0 to 3 points for the density of 10 essential nutrients, 0 to 2 points for percentage of saturated fats, 0 to 1 point for total cholesterol.

Personally I like the idea of having a cheat sheet for eating healthier despite not knowing the exact details for the grades.

The scorecard is broken down like this:
6+ points Eat regularly
4.0 to 5.9 points Eat occasionally
0 to 3.9 points Eat rarely

Thursday, April 21, 2011

uTest + Mozilla = New Test Case Management System

Looks like uTest will be partnering up with Mozilla to build a new test case management system. uTest will host a version for their use which will support distribution of test cases, something most Test Case Management Systems lack. Mozilla will release the software as open source, which means testers should be able to get it installed and running - assuming it's not a pain to install. It is unclear from the article if anyone will be providing a SaaS option for those small to mid-sized companies that don't want to deal with it themselves.

My hope is that someone, Mozilla or otherwise (me?), sets up a test case exchange of some sort so it's easier to build and exchange test cases or smaller test case pieces. The problem with most existing test case management systems is once you spend all this time building out your test cases, you execute them once or twice and that's it. Most of the effort is then lost because re-usability is limited.

An open source system does present a lot of possibilities including new and exciting tool development. Hopefully it also doesn't mean no support for Windows. =)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nagios Nagwin StartService FAILED 1069

I was trying to start Nagwin_Nagios and I was getting the error "[SC] StartService FAILED 1069: The service did not start due to a logon failure."

I had recently removed Nagwin (the Windows distribution of Nagios) and when you uninstall Nagwin it doesn't remove the users nagiosadmin and svcNagwin from the computer. To fix the problem just delete these two users from Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer > Management > Local Users > Users and you'll be good. I'd also recommend deleting the rest of the directory, not all of it is removed during uninstallation.

Friday, April 15, 2011 Chatter

A month ago I was sent a invitation to sign up for Salesforce's new real time "collaboration" platform at called Chatter. Not knowing what it was and always willing to try out something new I signed up. Turns out most people have probably seen a Chatter commercial, one featuring played during the Super Bowl XLV, however most of the ads I've seen are irrelevant so you probably had no clue what it was about (I know I did). Plus the best super bowl ad was clearly the little kid dressed as Darth Vader starting the Volkswagen. It was just priceless!

So what exactly is Chatter? It's a Facebook rip off that you use for work instead of for personal use (aka no pictures of you at parties, hitting on "friends", posting NSFW stuff). The main "Chatter" page looks just like the Facebook wall with threads, in thread comments, a like and a delete button. You can update your status, view your "People" (aka friends), share links, etc. Take a look at a picture of my "Chatter" page: 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Revenue and New Site Design

I subscribe to a blog called The Startup Foundry which talks about everything startup-wise. In one of their posts they mention the site 99designs and how they are an easy way for startups to get nice website / blog designs on the cheap.

After looking around on their site I think I could get a custom Blogger template (they list Wordpress templates for about $495 and I figure Blogger would be similar). Through 99designs I’d get several dozen offers or mockups and from those multiple offers I could choose the best. Plus I could probably get a pretty cool My Technology Fetish logo designed – something I’ve always wanted as well.

Now I just need to generate some more revenue from this site – Google Ads to pay for it. Last year I got my first AdSense check from Google for $102.27 so hopefully this year I make enough to reinvest in the site design.

What do people think? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

VMware ESXi Conversion Steps

If you have existing VMs (virtual machines) on your computer, made through VMware’s Workstation or downloaded appliances, you can import / convert them so they work with VMware’s ESXi server. If you are unsure of the difference between ESXi and VMware Server go to our previous post.

To get virtual machines onto an ESXi server you need to import them via VMware Workstation and export them to the exact server. To do that:

Monday, April 4, 2011

VMware Server vs. ESXi Server

These days I run both VMware Server and VMware’s ESXi server but when I was first looking into using virtual machines I didn’t quite understand the differences between them. Here are some of the good and bad with both VMware Server and VMware’s ESXi server as I see them:

Friday, April 1, 2011

ACPI\ MAT0021 Driver

I was installing Windows 7 on a Panasonic CF-F8 laptop computer when I had a missing driver with a hardware id of "ACPI\MAT0021". Turns out it's the Panasonic Misc Driver.
  1. To install go to: 
  2. Scroll down to Operating Systems and Others
  3. Download the Pansonic Misc Driver (at this time it is ver. 1.2.1100.0)
  4. Once it's downloaded, run the file and the drivers will be placed in C:\util2\drivers\newmisc
  5. Go to Hardware Manager, choose to manually update the drivers and give it the path listed in the previous step
  6. Driver installs correctly!
This should work with Vista as well. If this helped you out please let me know!