Monday, 9 November 2015

Notable testing blogs

I'm continuing from last months quick post on the Software Testing club challenge.

The challenge is to comment on software test blog or forum posts in ways that add value or help you and others to learn and internalize.
(A #MOVEMBER update)

  • Excellent article about the need for Test to be given a tank-you for doing what is essentially a depressing job.  (
  • Why we are Automating the wrong tests (but not what that actually is, but still good validation) (Dorothy Graham)

Monday, 2 November 2015

Dead computer

So last week I finally grabbed the cake and upgraded  to Windows 10. I did this slightly by accident, and ended up doing a clean Windows 10 install the next day anyway. Not because the upgrade failed, but because in retrospect a clean install would let me get rid of all the dodgy registry keys and malware scripts and binaries scattered about.

Windows 10 upgrade is surprisingly smooth - even o na large old hard disk. Just leave overnight to cool and welcome to new desktop in the morning. It is really quite slick.

But my real problem was a motherboard with bad I/O channels which have been slowly creeping up on me in the last few months. So tomorrow I'll be compiling a list of PC parts and building a fresh machine.

Hardware research notes follow:

Omitting graphics, power supply and case - will try re-use those from my existing box, since they are in good nick still or recently bought.

CPU £167.97 amazon
mobo £65.41 dabs
RAM   £60.87 amazon
all-in : £294 
sounds good?

Friday, 2 October 2015

Software Testing club community challenge

As usual I only find something I want when it's already sold out. Does this happen to you too? Last week it was a fund raiser walk I wanted to join, which unfortunately has already closed it's entries. So because it's actually going to be on this weekend, and, well I'd still have to raise some sponsors as well. But instead of waiting for next year, I'll use this timing as a warm-up for next year's Cambridge Starlight Walk in May 2016.

Why is this relevant to Testing?

I spotted an August challenge put up by @rosie, but it's already mid September.

Challenge = Post on 5 test related blogs.
I have done so randomly myself, and with mixed success, but aside from twitter sources, here is a starting list with an automation bent to it.

Post 1:
Post 2:

Post 3:
Post 4:
Post 5:


David Burns is not taking any interactions/comments :

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

More Art and Movie creation tools

I really wish I could find more time to spend on creating stuff. I actually went to proper art classes as a kid. honest. I really did, although I used to deny it at the time. And no I'm still crap.
But my mom is not, so there is hope for me. And she painted the pics on this page and sent them to me over whatsApp.

But if you are not artistic, there are some tools that will make you look like Picasso, honest.

Gimme free tools  (not so convinced about this one)

Since my 2 boys are the real internet free tools gurus, I'm going to be consulting with them. so expect an update on these.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Six Thinking Hats

Last night I joined a couple of software test engineers to discuss the Six Thinking Hats in a pub, in Cambridge. As you do, or at least we do on semi regular evenings as an extension of a Meetup which occurs monthly in the mornings. Now the evening meet is not an excuse to combine better software validation with alcohol, but rather to dive deeper.

If you are a Software Tester, based near Cambridge, you will only get to the office slightly late, on the last Wednesday morning of every month. And instead, get to meet early with us, grab a cuppa (hence the name lean coffee) and a croissant or other appropriate pastry. We meet before the day begins, and although not always fully awake, we cover many of the basics, have a very structured and lean/agile topic discussion format that feels more often like hot potato. The format is highly accessible, not everyone has to come with answers or even expertise. Beginners especially benefit, and we can all network, and grow. OK , so enough about the lean coffee morning, I hope anyone reading this with interest, well you should just in fact get there and try it.

Six Thinking Hats

Is a lateral thinking technique used to solve not just problems but also to analyze working solutions. Based on the book By Edward de Bo ISBN 0-316-17791-1 , it is also the source of the mystery third binary state Po. Po is the third thinking state. But since this was a serious meeting, we had some hats and an exercise which was awesomely driven along (although I talked and interrupted a lot as usual) by Karo Stolzenberg  who is our current chair. If you are keen to dive deeper as a software test engineer, join our meetups and grow. Follow Cambridge Software TestingClub @CambridgeSTC.

 I'm not going to go into what I took away from the Lateral Thinking and Six Hats as we covered them, there are a few good tips in it at any rate or source.

For your entertainment, here are the hats.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Use FFMPeg to concatenate mp4 files

# ffmpeg -i input1.mp4 -c copy -bsf:v h264_mp4toannexb -f mpegts intermediate1.ts
# ...
# ffmpeg -i "concat:intermediate1.ts|intermediate2.ts" -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc output.mp4
$ffmpeg = "c:\tools\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe"
$s = ("MAH00383.MP4|MAH00384.MP4|MAH00385.MP4|MAH00386.MP4|MAH00387.MP4") -split "\|"
# yes a list of files with '|' char separator is bizarre, but it's what I had at hand.
$s | % { & "$ffmpeg" -i $_ -c copy -bsf:v h264_mp4toannexb -f mpegts "$((ls $_).basename).ts"}
$inputs = ($s | %{"$((ls $_).basename).ts"}) -join "|"
& "$ffmpeg" -i "concat:$inputs" -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc output.mp4

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Overtired middle aged hacker. Seeking a stunt double

Spotted this earlier in the week, to create your own, just click on the link or on the images.
The Pulp-O-Mizer, is the world's most advanced customizable pulp magazine cover generator.
It creates retro well-worn covers from the future that never was, almost steampunk, almost 70's, not dull, never dark.

Here's what they say.
"        Cards, Postcards and Flyers can be customized with your own messages and images on the inside (for cards) or on the back (for flyers and postcards). Just click through to the product page and select "Customize It"."