I have selected Murach’s Visual Basic 2010 by Anne Boehm as the textbook for CSC-300 for both the fall semester and the BDP winter term.
Here’s a quote from an excellent article by Andrew Pollack about the importance of going beyond the simple capturing of requirements:
When I'm brought in to work on a significant development project as the lead, the first step is to sit down with the client and understand not just the requirements, but the goals behind the requirements and how the work they're asking for will impact the people using system. My job, at this stage is to use my experience to anticipate the unseen requirements, the potential problems, and the unintended consequences of the changes they're requesting. I do this through asking questions and getting them to walk me through both the current process and the updated process. If we have the right people in the room -- not just the project managers but also representatives of people who use the systems daily -- then during this phase they realize how the real world use differs from the project plan paperwork. We're able to adapt the plan and build what they need. Spending the right money up front on this kind of analysis prevents the kinds of disasters Cringley is pointing out.
The full article is not about requirements capture per se, but the quote above is relevant to my classes in Systems Analysis and Design and Visual Programming.
A friend of mine from the University of New Mexico offers a writing tour of Italy each year. Here are the details. Visit tlcwritingtours.com for more information.
TLC Writing Tours of Italy are a unique combination of writing classes, workshops, and cultural experiences over a nine-day, non-stop adventure. From our headquarters in Bolsena, just north of Rome, we immerse you in Italy and Italian culture by alternating writing with visits to local towns, photography workshops, cooking classes, a sail on Lago Bolsena, visits to Etruscan ruins and local authors’ homes, wine tastings, home-cooked Italian meals, and much more; essentially we offer a full-immersion Writing and Italy experience designed to make any writer, of any level, feel at home.
For my upcoming CSC-300 students in the Fall 2013 term:
I haven’t yet completed the new syllabus, but I thought I’d share the one I used last year so you can get a sense of what we’ll cover in class, nor have I selected a text book yet.
There will certainly be some changes to the syllabus because my previous classes were one night a week for four hours instead of two days a week, but I’m sure you’ll get the idea of the rough schedule.
I use and recommend the following tools for web development.
- CSE HTML Validator Professional provides an easy way to validate web for compliance with web standards, thus making your pages more likely to render cleanly across many different browsers and devices. I use it as my code editor as well because it’s easy to use while still giving me the low-level control I demand.
- Easy Thumbnails is a free tool for creating thumbnails from Fookes Software. I like it because I was able to make custom batch files to process huge collections of images in one shot AND have the tool create a web page from those resulting thumbnails at the same time. The downside is that it doesn’t work with PNG files.
- Goodsync is a valuable tool for synchronizing data, including web data, across multiple devices and hosts. I use it for managing several web sites via FTP, as well as a file synchronization and backup tool so that I can duplicate selected files on multiple computers. This way I can develop information, including my CLU presentations, on a laptop, desktop, or external drive, and keep the others synced up.
- Iconico provides provides clean, simple, elegant tools used like ColorPic and ScreenCalipers to help match colors, measure layouts and so on, and some of their tools are free.
- I use Advanced Renamer for giving my pictures and videos more meaningful filenames, as well as performing date/time stamp operations and case conversions, but this only scratches the surface of what the tool can do.
- For a free, basic text editor that nonetheless offers a lot of great, advanced features, I use conTEXT. It supports templates for many types of files, but if you don’t see or like the ones that are available, you can add or customize them to your taste. For example, I tweaked one for use with IBM Notes (formerly known as Lotus Notes). I use this a lot for examining SQL files too.
- Batch Purifier is an easy way to strip unwanted data from your image files, such as camera information, location, and date/time. The “LITE” version is free but works only with JPGs.
- Background images can be generated by tools found on grsites.com.
- freecsstemplates.org is one of may web sites that offers free CSS templates you can adapt for your pages.
A while ago (a long while ago now!) I played around with creating a database for storing my iTunes tracks. The reason behind it was simple: I wanted to be able to synchronize playlists and last-played data between copies on different computers.
More importantly, I wanted to learn more about working with external COM interfaces.
To that end, I built a Notes application and wrote the attached script library.
One should never apologize for their code, especially if it works, but I will point out that I never polished it up, so you may see some clunky bits. You’re welcome to play with it, adapt it to your own needs, or ignore it!
Anyway, attached is a LotusScript file that walks through your collection of tracks and creates or updates matching Notes documents. It requires the iTunes SDK version 7.7 or later (available from Apple),
Code is offered, of course, without warranty, guarantee, or support of any kind.
NOTE: For some reason I’m not allowed to upload text or lss or zip files, so the code is included in plain text below.
I support the efforts of many, many people and organizations, who oppose the SOPA and PIPA legislation now pending in the Senate. These organizations include Wikipedia, Firefox, and Google, to name just three of the big hitters.
My personal web sites, including the Widget Rally Team site, have been blacked out to show my support.
The issue of content theft (“piracy”) is of great importance to the country, but these bills go much too far and will cost our citizens far too much.
Check out AmericanCensorship.org for more information.
In addition to my Systems Analysis class, I have been invited to serve as faculty advisor for students seeking the completion of their capstone projects.
This will be a new experience for me, but with the able assistance of senior faculty members like Drs. Peng, Klassen, and Reinhart, I’m sure I’ll be able to help the students successfully meet their objectives.