Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Geek To Live: Power replacements for built-in Windows utilities


Sent to you by Musheey via Google Reader:


via Lifehacker by Gina Trapani on Aug 10, 2007

How many times have you wished Notepad had tabs, Paint supported layers or Windows Explorer let you bookmark frequently-used folders? Power users need power utilities, and Windows' default system programs barely get the job done. Over time third-party developers have stepped up and built superior replacements to programs like Notepad, Paint, Windows Explorer and the Command Prompt. Get the simple jobs done smarter, faster and more efficiently with some of the best Windows utility power replacements - all of which are free downloads.

notepadplus.pngBuilt-in: Notepad
Power replacement: Notepad++
What you get: Tabbed, multiple document windows and support for lots more beyond plain text - like HTML and other programming languages, with code and markup collapsibility and plugins. Free and open source.

Built in: Windows Explorer
Power replacement: Xplorer2
What you get: What don't you get? Three-panel tabbed interface, the folder set bookmarking and full FTP support to name a few features. See more on replacing Windows Explorer with Xplorer 2. Free version available with paid upgrade.

Built in: Paint
Power replacement: Paint.NET
What you get: Open multiple images in one window and edit image layers, remove red eye and Ctrl+Z to your heart's content with a history of undoable actions. Freeware.

Built in: Alt-Tab
Power replacement: Alt-Tab PowerToy
What you get: Dynamic window previews (versus the plain old application icon) for more informative switching. Free download from Microsoft.

Built in: Taskbar date and time
Power replacement: QuickMonth
What you get: A monthly calendar pops up directly from the taskbar just by hovering over it with your mouse, avoiding the "Adjust date and time" click. Freeware.

Built in: Add/Remove Programs (in Control Panel)
Power replacement: Revo Uninstaller or My Uninstaller
What you get: Fast one-click program removal that scrubs all traces of the software from your system. Both are free.

Built in: Start menu and Run box
Power replacement: Launchy
What you get: Start programs, web site URL's, run commands or open documents from the Launchy, er, launcher. See more on how to take Launchy beyond application launching, tweak Launchy to your liking and run terminal commands in Launchy.

Built in: Task manager
Power replacement: Process Explorer
What you get: Get more information about that process that's hanging your PC with Process Explorer, which lists which DLL's tasks use and offers a handy Google search for a process name within its interface. Freeware.

Built in: Wifi network detector
Power replacement: NetStumbler
What you get: When Windows' built-in wireless network detector is slow - or simply not seeing the network everyone sitting around you can - grab NetStumbler, which can even detect networks that don't broadcast their SSID, with signal strength and encryption status.

Built in: Command Prompt
Power replacement: Cygwin (for Unix interface) or PowerShell
What you get: More commands - and more familiar commands, for those of us who work on *nix platforms when we're not on Windows - are available in the Cygwin Unix emulator and Microsoft's own new PowerShell command prompt apps. Wanna get good with Cygwin? Check out our tutorials: part 1, part 2, and part 3. Cygwin users should also check out Poderosa for tabbed terminal fun. Both are free downloads.

Built in: Windows Task Scheduler
Power replacement: Xecutor
What you get: Manage your startup and shutdown as well as scheduled tasks while your PC is on. Free download.

Built in: Windows Explorer archive extractor
Power replacement: 7-Zip or ALZip
What you get: Windows can only handle vanilla .zip files on its own, but 7-Zip and ALZip can extract and bundle any kind of archive file you throw at it. Free.

Built in: Windows Explorer file copy operation
Power replacement: TeraCopy
What you get: Speedier, pausable, practically fail-proof file copying, especially useful when you're transferring huge sets of files between folders. Free.

Built in: Defrag
Power replacement: JkDefrag GUI
What you get: Scheduled defrags, file optimization, and the option to include/exclude directories, plus a screensaver that visualizes your defrag when your PC is idle and hasn't been defragged for a user-defined amount of time. Free.

Built in: Calculator
Power replacement: Power Calculator
What you get: Graph and evaluate functions, and perform conversions in this mathlete's dream calculator.

On a Windows tweaking tear? Check out our previous features, Top 10 free Windows downloads and Top Windows tweaks.

What are your favorite Windows utility power replacements? Let us know in the comments.

Gina Trapani, the editor of Lifehacker, wants all her toys to be power toys. Her weekly feature, Geek to Live, appears every Friday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Geek to Live feed to get new installments in your newsreader.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Testing market in Pakistan.

at Ahsan Choudry asked me about the Testing market in Pakistan.
(update: now have its own domain this thread can be seen here)
Below is my reply to him on this:

Before sharing my point of view I really want to know how do you see it?
Well it is growing as now organizations are looking for Software Tester. I am doing Software Testing for around Two years now, and I know some great developers in Pakistan but unfortunately i haven't came across many Testers. I am pretty sure that there will be(or there should be) software testers in every organization which develop softwares but i don't see them around on line and a simple googling can reveal it .
But there are people who are doing software testing see the google trends, we(The Testers of Pakistan) are just not verbal enough!
(Update Pakistan Rank 2 by that time)
for me the reason for this is we do not have many institutions teaching Software Testing. When your words are not backed up by your education you wait for you experience to back them up. I am pretty sure you will see more and more Pakistani Testers online pretty soon as our experience will become our Teacher..
The Bottom line is Market is growing, Organizations have Software Testers, They are hiring more and more Testers but we(The Testers) haven't started claiming our cyberspace yet.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

If you ask the question in this way, you're going to do bad testing. (---Michael B.)

> I need to test a parser which takes a .txt file as input (837 health
> care claim) and gives the output as a java claim object.

> Now i have to compare the content of the output against input, and
> check whether the parsing is happening correctly.

> How can I use scripting language(Perl, Ruby, Python) to automate it?
> Which one will be better to use.

If you ask the question in this way, I can practically guarantee that
you're going to do bad testing.

First, ask: What do I want to test?  What problems could I anticipate
here?  What mistake might the developers have made?  What Bad Thing
would happen if something were missing?  If something were too long?
Not long enough?  Not in the correct format?  Not following the rules
of the protocol?  Not following the correct structure for the
object?...and so forth.

THEN ask "How could tools help me to recognize a problem?"

There is almost always /some/ value in picking up a tool and trying to
use it without understanding what you want to use it /for/ (I have a
hammer; now what can I build with it?), but you're more likely to use
the tool properly if you have some kind of motivating question in mind

---Michael B.

Ahmed Mubbashir Khan

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Learning: Research something better with a schedule


Sent to you by Musheey via Google Reader:


via Lifehacker by Wendy Boswell on Aug 04, 2007

book.pngProductivity blog has written up a great post on how to really organize your research, especially from a student perspective. The best tip is to work with a schedule of tasks that you need to accomplish.

Absolutely, this was my downfall for every research paper I ever tackled. A schedule of tasks - find 5 sources by this date, gather bibliography sources by this date, etc. - is so infinitely easier to do than my preferred method, which usually ended in a few all-nighters. How do you tackle big research projects - what's your best tip for getting to done? Thoughts in the comments.


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