Friday, March 30, 2012

Darth Vader says...

Darth Vader says:

I find your lack of tests disturbing.
Ha! What does the Dark Lord of the Sith know about testing? I mean sure the Death Star was a large, complex project and he was the Project Manager but that whole thermal exhaust port snafu. It caused a catastrophic failure in the system, people got hurt...

Happy Friday!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

James Cameron's Dive to the Mariana Trench

It's a pretty amazing technical achievement to be able to dive to the deepest part of the ocean and today James Cameron did it. A dive to the Mariana Tench's Challenger Deep! As a scuba diver and a software tester I'm pretty amazed.

I bet there was a lot of testing of the submarines equipment and software, talk about a high-pressure assignment. I'd take it!

Congrats to James Cameron as he tweeted:
"Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you "
Read more:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Are Testing "Schools" a Good Idea?

There has been some controversy with Cem Kaner announcing the Context-Driven School of Testing ( will no longer be called a school. Cem believes (as I understand it) calling something a “school” is too divisive resulting in an exclusionary system that might possibly ignore people with great ideas who don’t necessarily identify themselves as being in the school.

Division for classification purposes seems to have worked for numerous scientific branches and to me doesn't seem like something to worry about. I understand how those placed in a school might find it offensive but that doesn't mean the classification should change. It might change how one talks to other testers (i.e. not making it a divisive issue) but I personally don’t feel like I’m trapped in one school and am blind to other peoples ideas.

I’d prefer to hear a debate between James Bach and Cem Kaner but instead a video has surfaced between James and Doug Hoffman called “Are Testing “Schools” a good idea?” from CAST 2011:

HP Officejet 6500 e710n-z driver download

If you want to download the printer or scanner driver for an HP Officejet 6500 e710n or in my case a e710n-z printer all you have to do is go here:

What does it say about HP's website when a quick Google search only returns the forums (aka problems) and no driver download page for this search query?

This particular HP printer software is horrible. The full feature software for Windows 7 64-bit wouldn't extract, it just gave an error. I tried twice with no change. When I installed the basic print and scanner software it runs a wizard which can't find my printer even though I give it the exact IP address of printer. Worse yet if the software can't detect the printer it just doesn't install anything which means I'm left with a printer that Windows can detect and install basic drivers for but I can't use for scanning.

I understand HP is a very large organization with hundreds if not thousands of products but this lack of usable software makes me wonder if they have or use any software testers?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Windows 8 Start Menu - A Usability Problem?

After the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview I downloaded and played with it for a while. On the surface the Consumer Preview is much like the Developer Preview however underneath there were supposedly over 100,000 code changes. One major change that is of most concern to every-day users like myself: the Start Menu redesign.

As a long-time Windows user I can attest to the declining usefulness of the Start Menu, in fact these days I prefer to search for the application I want instead of scrolling through the menu. Search is much more efficient than browsing as long as you know what you want. There are a few times where I'm brain dead and are left to browse the list.

The Start Menu user interface is going to change in Windows 8 into a "ribbon" or "tile" like display listing all of the applications on one page that scrolls left and right. At first this concept seems like a natural progression since most of us use tiles or icons to represent applications on our mobile devices. Yet from a desktop or laptop stand point this seems like a less desirable layout. The main input devices for desktop and laptops are still going to be keyboards and mice (touch-pads) and with the new layout you have the same problem: a slow method of locating your applications.