User Interface Standards And Why They Are Important (Not Just Computers)

Toyota Prius Versus Chevrolet Volt This morning, I stood hopelessly trying to get into our Prius by pushing the button on the door.  The car kept beeping but I could not get in.  The reason is because our new Volt has trained me recently that pushing the button opens the car.  Finally, after the fog cleared in my head I remembered that I had to touch the inside of the door handle to open the prius (something the Volt does not support). Anyhow, though the cars are manufactured by car companies thousands of miles apart separated by oceans, they still should subscribe to one set of standards.  Can you imagine what would happen if the brake and gas peddles were on different sides?  Just sayin… VOLT … Continue Reading

Quickbooks – Intuit Customer Support Awesome!

I think I've probably blogged this already in previous years but I'm doing it again because I'm just so darn pleased.  As almost everyone who has every called customer service knows, when someone on the other end answers and you likely know which country they are in ("apply your own prejudice"), you have that sinking feeling of "this is going to be a miserable call".  Well, when I call Intuit QuickBooks support, I do know when the person answers they are from far far away, but I'm confident they will be able to solve my problems. My Problems For me, I'm an S-Corp, which in American means I have a corporation that I own myself that basically does all my business transactions.  That includes all my customers, expenses, business hobbies, … Continue Reading

How To Disable Microsoft Lync At Startup In Windows 8

Update From @JonGalloway "Lync Options / Personal / Uncheck" removes Lync from the startup list.  Thanks  Jon!" On Thursday this week I had a Lync meeting I was invited to so naturally, I had to install Lync.  When I rebooted my computer later I discovered that Lync was starting on it's on.  I'm not sure who at Microsoft made the decision to set Lync to auto start once it has been installed, but I'm quite disappointed.  Then, when I tried to figure out how to make it not start, I discovered that in the tools menu there is no such option I could find.  Again, even more disappointed. I hunted around the internet for a solution and I found lots of discussions around this (surprisingly, not much criticism). Most the discussion was … Continue Reading

Unit Tests In VS2013, When It Makes Sense

Introduction Many people will answer the question "what should you unit test in your project" with the flippant answer, "everything".  My answer to those people is that's great if you have infinite budget and time.  Unfortunately, I never seem to have either of  those things.  Especially building web sites, it's hard to test everything (though I agree completely possible).  In this article I'm going to show an example of a problem I had and how unit testing was clearly the right solution. I'll first explain the problem, then talk about how I refactored my code to allow for unit testing, then I'll show the actual tests.   The Problem The problem is this.  We are building a new conference web site with Visual Studio 2013 and … Continue Reading


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