APICTA Awards

I know I promised to write about the APICTA awards, basically all I can say that it was a real waste of time. The final result was that none of the Sri Lankan contingent won any awards even though I and a lot other thought that some of them like the Interblocks, Emprise IT products (to name a few) deserved to win in their categories.

All I can say is that the judging, which was carried out by 2-3 judges from each member country, were not fair or balanced with some of them blatantly giving high score for competitors from their own country.

Got Longhorn!

Got my Longhorn PDC DVD’s delivered today through DHL. I didn’t expect to receive this for two reasons 1. This was free and 2. I’m in Sri Lanka so Microsoft needs to spend a lot to ship this to me. But it looks like Microsoft is really determined to get everyone hacking out code for Longhorn.

The pack consisted of two Longhorn dicsc and one for Whidbey. Since I don’t have a DVD drive I’ll need to borrow the DVD notebook from Dr. Alles and try to setup Longhorn on that. I’ll have about four days of Christmas vacation, hope I can play with this stuff during that time.

I love software testing

KC Lemson a Microsoft PM and a former Tester.

Franci pointed out an article about the future of software testing. The article has some good points, although as Franci mentions, Microsoft's testers already have accomplished some of the future goals he outlines (working in tandem with developers, spec reviewing, etc), and others are underway.

While in college majoring in computer science, I discovered (much to my dismay) that I didn't really enjoy programming, and I wasn't particularly good at it either (catch 22: I wasn't good at it, so I didn't enjoy it. I didn't enjoy it, so I wasn't motivated to improve). I wanted to be involved in technology in some way, but I didn't know what my options were; I started out in MIS but later moved to CS after realizing that my school's idea of technology in the MIS track was learning how to use Access. So I asked on one of my school's newsgroups what I could do with a CS degree other than code, and I was told "You could ask people if they want fries with that?" I very clearly remember taking this at face value, I was bummed that my career opportunities were so limited. Little did I know...

Several months later, I sent my resume to Microsoft, and landed a phone interview for a tester job on the Outlook team. I didn't really know what testers did (and I'd never heard of Outlook, although I was quite familiar with email and the relevant protocols), but the troubleshooting skills I'd learned on my previous jobs (as a sysadmin) really helped me out, and I came in for a full day of interviews. One interviewer gave me problems like “a user says they can't connect to the network” and asked how I would figure out what was wrong. I ran through the various possibilities, outlining which I would investigate in which order - after all, this was cake, every-day stuff to a sysadmin. At the end he nodded his head and told me that the “narrowing down“ was a huge part of testing. I got the offer, accepted it and spent a wonderful two and a half years as a tester in the Outlook team.

I absolutely loved testing (and still do to this day), but as a tester I ran into several of the problems that Harry alludes to in this article. Some people (inside and outside of the company) don't respect the profession. I worked with many testers who were as passionate about the job as I was, but I also worked with some folks who only saw testing as a necessary evil on their path towards being a developer. Automation improvements are great and will help us find bugs, fix them and verify the fixes faster and earlier. But I still have a big soft spot in my heart for ad-hoc testing, and I hope that the movement towards more test tools, automation and modeling still leaves room for sitting in front of the machine and going to town, trying to break it. Some of the best bugs I ever found were found that way.

Full disclosure: My interests changed and I left testing in September 2000 and moved to a program management role on the Exchange team. One of the first big mistakes I made as a new PM was that I didn't give my testers enough respect (after all, I'd been disrespected myself). I was schooled on that mistake quickly by one of my experienced long-term testers, and hopefully made up for that mistake over the next couple of years in my PM role. Since then, I've been approached several times by testers who are interested in program management to find out how/why I made the switch, and I always bring up this learning experience.


[WebLogs @ ASP.NET]

Murali Rhyme

Dammika, my BCS and MSc batch-mate wanted me to post this here.

"Throw, throw, throw the ball, gently down the seam
Murali, Murali, Murali, Murali, chucks it like a dream
Bowl, bowl, bowl the ball, gently through the air
Murali, Murali, Murali, Murali, here comes Darrell Hair ... No Ball!"

The Uncanny Disappearing Window

How do you programmatically close a browser window when you didn't open it? Of course, everybody knows you can't. If they don't know that, they're novice developers and some seasoned veteran will set them straight... gently or otherwise.

Well, this week one of my clients -- whose intranet app opens in a specially formatted window -- told me they didn't want two windows just to start one application. I had very little success removing the toolbars from an existing window, and my vast web development experience told me that I had no other option. Rather, I didn't until a suggestion from a fellow member of the LaTech JavaScript list altered my perspective and resulted in the script I'm about to show you.

All you need to start the magic is to assign a window to the opener property of the current window. If this attribute is not set, the browser will realize that the current window is not open to your manipulation and nothing will happen.

      <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
            window.opener = top;
      </SCRIPT>

[Read more]

Lara scores most Test runs in an over

End of over 120 (28 runs) West Indies 361/6 (trail by 200 runs)
RJ Peterson 13-2-76-0 - Corlett Drive End
M Dillon 4* (13b 1x4) BC Lara 178* (239b 28x4 2x6)

119.6 Peterson to Lara, FOUR, races to the 3rd man boundary
119.5 Peterson to Lara, FOUR, back over the bowler's head
119.4 Peterson to Lara, FOUR, brings up 350 runs for WI
119.3 Peterson to Lara, SIX, pulled over mid-wicket
119.2 Peterson to Lara, SIX, over the head of Nel at mid-on
119.1 Peterson to Lara, FOUR, clubbed to the boundary, at point

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Learn about moving your code and applications to Visual Basic .NET, and find out what you need to do in order to ensure a successful upgrade. In this first part of the series, learn how to upgrade code in Visual Studio .NET 2003 and how to interoperate with existing COM components.
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Migrate your skills and code to Visual Basic .NET
See how easy it is and how much more productive you can be when building desktop applications with Visual Basic .NET. Key changes to the language, runtime, data access, and deployment show how you can quickly get up to speed and migrate your skills as a Visual Basic 6 programmer to Visual Basic .NET.
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[WebLogs @ ASP.NET]

Jealous wife ‘cut off sleeping husband’s penis’ – www.smh.com.au

Yikes! Be careful about what you get on your phone.

A jealous wife reportedly cut off her sleeping husband's penis in Manila after finding a text message from another woman on his mobile phone.

Antonio Llanesiras, 30, was being treated at the Pasay City General Hospital in the Philippines.

But surgeons hold little hope of reattaching the plumber's severed organ, which was brought in by his wife carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth, the Manila Standard reported.

It was not immediately clear if charges would be filed against the woman


[FrankArr]

Nasty new IE vulnerability

Most people reading are probably aware of the common trick whereby spammers and other assorted ne'er-do-wells publish URLs with usernames that look like hostnames to fool people in to trusting a malicious site - for example, http://www.microsoft.com&session%123123123@simon.incutio.com. This trick is frequently used by spammers to steal people's PayPal accounts, by tricking them in to "resetting" their password at a site owned by the spammer but disguised as PayPal.com.

Today's new Internet Explorer vulnerability makes the problem a hundred times worse. By including an 0x01 character after the @ symbol in the fake URL, IE can be tricked in to not displaying the rest of the URL at all. Don't expect a patch for a while either; the guy who discovered the bug released it to BugTraq on the same day he notified the vendor.


[Simon Willison's Weblog]