Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Topics

In the future I'm hoping to cover a few new topics including life working for a software startup and my trials and tribulations working with selenium and web driver. Here's to the future!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Prototype called Google

The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine is a paper by Sergey Brin and Larry Page on their prototype search engine called Google. This link is to the short version of their paper (written while they were PhD students at Stanford) describing how they can use their prototype search engine to dramatically improve search engine results. 

It's a little long but worth the read. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Google Maps Street Car

Ever seen a Google Maps Street View car driving around your neighborhood? We'll I noticed this weird looking car behind me one day, it was green and yellow and had a lady bug on a long pole sticking off the roof. When it parked at a nearby Jack in the Box I snapped this photo:

At least Google is being obvious about taking those street view photos.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Randy Rice's Free and Cheap Test Tools

Randy Rice is one of the people giving a tutorial for STAR West 2011 on Monday October 3rd. His tutorial is called Free and Cheap Test Tools. Since I'm enrolled in a different tutorial and not going to make it, I was curious to see if some of the tools he would be talking about were already posted online. Sure enough they are.

Unfortunately his site hasn't been updated in years: (February of 2009 was the latest). Some of the software programs and/or websites have been shutdown like

I'd say at least 85% of the list is still worth looking at if you want to broaden your "testing tool horizons".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Unrecoverable build error in Visual Studio 2008

A few months ago I was having problems with Visual Studio 2008 when I was trying to compile:

I was getting "unrecoverable build error" and a .tmp file was giving me 'Access is Denied'. At first I thought it was because Microsoft Office was Breaking Visual Studio as I posted here. Then I did some research and according to Microsoft VS 2008 displays the "unrecoverable build error" when it can't determine the exact reason for failure. This meant it was probably related to the previous error.

When I would browse to C:\Users\name\AppData\Local\Temp and delete all the files, that still didn't help. Another coworker said they turned off our backup software (CrashPlan) and it worked! Somehow CrashPlan was constantly checking the same files that Visual Studio was trying to access and created a ownership conflict.

Now before I doing any compiling in VS 2008 I set my backup software to sleep. Problem fixed!

2012 International CES free registration

For those of you wanting to check out the International Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2012 now is your chance to sign up for free. Just go here to register. If you register before August 31st you can avoid paying money to get in.

I went to CES 2011 (last year) which occurs yearly at the Las Vegas Convention Center and I had a last walking around checking out the latest gear / advancements the world had to offer. CES offers a wide range of technologies from computers, monitors, to tablets, to 3D TVs, cars, connected homes, charging stations and pretty much every else in between.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Future of Web Based and Mobile Dive Planners

Originally posted to on July 1st, 2011:

When I got certified as a scuba diver I thought it was a little weird we recorded our dives in paper logs (circa 2006) so I went searching for web-based dive logs/planners to replace it. I was disappointed in the few I saw. Then I got a smart phone (an iPhone) and assumed it was only a matter of time before I’d be using it to fill out my logs. A few apps were available for dive planning but none were (are) amazing. Then came the release of mainstream tablet computers and still no great options.

At the Long Beach Scuba Show this year (2011) there were no companies or divers using the web or mobile devices for dive planning. Weird. What year is this again?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Designing a Web App

This is a really cool video from Ryan Singer who demonstrates how he and his company (37 signals) design web applications.

Ryan Singer at Future of Web Apps, London 2010 from Ryan Singer on Vimeo.

They follow a few simple steps to make it all happen: model, screens, designs, html/css and live code. In his demonstration, Ryan makes it look incredibly easy to get something up and running. It's worth a watch if you want to learn to how rapidly design and prototype a web application.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exploratory Software Testing for Cheap [Kindle]

Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design by James A. Whittaker is now available on the Kindle for cheap - $14.15 as of today. For $14 this book is worth it.

As is typical James Whittaker style this book offers numerous test methods you can apply immediately to your test design. In fact I should leave my feedback / review on Amazon now that I've read it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

STAR West 2011

It's official I've registered for STAR West 2011 (also know as Software Testing Analysis and Review for the west coast) in Anaheim, CA. I'm only going for Monday and Tuesday, the tutorial days, but I'm excited for the ones I've chosen:

A Rapid Introduction to Rapid Software Testing with Michael Bolton. It's a full day course. Hopefully it's interesting so I can stay awake the entire time!

The quality of the courses on available on Tuesday is far below Monday's so I went with two half day classes. In the morning I'm taking Using Visual Models for Test Case Design with Rob Sabourin. In the afternoon I'm taking Testing Web-based Applications: An Open Source Solution with Mukesh Mulchandani. I'm hoping it will broaden my understanding of automation since the full day automation tutorial from Monday isn't available.

James Whittaker from Google will be there Monday morning as he mentions on Google's Testing Blog here. Google has two people presenting on Monday: James Whittaker in the morning talking about How Google Tests Software and Ankit Mehta on Testing Rich Internet AJAX-Based Applications.

If I had more time I'd check those two tutorials out but I don't. Bummer. Hopefully Google's Testing Blog will recap some of the things they covered.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jimmy Fallon Interviewing Sean Parker

This interview appeared on TechCrunch courtesy of the NExTWORK Conference in New York. I usually find Sean Parker's interviews pretty intriguing because of his background and his inside work with a number of technology companies.

With Jimmy Fallon interviewing Sean Parker, there's a lot of pointless jokes and most of it's not funny. A few are good. The rest is interesting. Sean talks about MySpace's collapse, the monetization of Spotify and a few other random tidbits about his personality.

It's worth a watch: