PictureRobert John "Mutt" Lange
AC/DC began there career in Australia in 1973. 1975 saw their first album, "High Voltage" as well as their second, "T.N.T." They continued releasing albums produced by Harry Vanda and George Young throughout the '70s. They were able to capture their raw sound on vinyl and tape with these first albums, but they never found any real commercial success (in the U.S.) until Mutt Lange took the helm.

In 1979, Robert John "Mutt" Lange took AC/DC into the studio to record "Highway to Hell." He polished up their sound but still held on to their edginess. Arguably, the most notable change would be the addition of melodic choruses. After its release, Highway to Hell cruised up the charts in America and became the first AC/DC album to break the top 100 in The States.

Mutt's signature is all over this album and it becomes obvious when you pair it next to some of the even bigger hits that he helmed. Namely, Def Leppard's High 'N' Dry album (1981).

These two songs wouldn't sound out of place on the same album.
 
 
No matter what you are using to keep track of defects that you find in your software, there are certain things that you should keep in mind when you are documenting a defect.

  1. A CLEAR AND CONCISE SUBJECT LINE / TITLE 
    This might be the most important part of creating a good defect report.  With this, the people responsible for fixing the bug/defect and quickly group several similar or identical problems into one investigation.  A good description will have at least 2 elements:  An action taken and a result

    EXAMPLES: 
    Bad:  The website isn’t working. 
    Good: Clicking on ‘Home’ link takes me to a “missing page” error page

  2. CLEAR AND CONCISE STEPS TO REPRODUCE THE ISSUE 
    More often than not, a majority of the time it takes to fix a defect or bug occurs in the “trying to reproduce it” phase.  Even if we track you down to have you give us a demo of the problem and that demo only takes 2 minutes, the time it takes to actually catch up with you and get that 2 minute demo stacks up quickly.  So, in the body of your defect, you should give developers more information than you think they could ever use.

    EXAMPLES: (We’ll continue with the bug started in step 1) 
    Bad:  I clicked home and was taken to a blank page. 
    Good:
    1. I opened up a browser and navigated to our live site (http://www.ourdomain.com )
    2. I logged into the site using the “Login” link
    3. I clicked on the “Message Boards” Link
    4. From Message Boards, I opened up the article “Summertime fun spots”
    5. I clicked on the “Add Comment” button
    6. I typed in a comment, but didn’t hit [submit]
    7. I clicked on the “Home” button in the menu bar of the site
    8. I saw a blank page that stated the page was not found
    9. In the address bar, there was this URL: http://joedeveolper.dev.ourdomain.com/home.html
    10. I’m using Firefox for my browser on Windows 7.

  3. A RECORD OF REPRODUCTIONS 
    There is an old and sometimes joked about adage that states “It’s not a problem if was can’t reproduce it.” While this may seem rather flippant and careless, there’s also a huge grain of truth in it.  Sure there may have be an actual problem, but in the terms of prioritization, I’m sure it’s easy to see that a defect that is either un-reproducible or difficult to reproduce is less important to fix than something that happens all the time.  Of course, this is an over-simplification as a bug that wipes out all of your data, even if it is almost impossible to reproduce is pretty damn important.

    EXAMPLES: 
    Bad: I think I heard someone else had this problem 
    Good: I was able to reproduce this on Internet Explorer, too. 
    Best: I was able to reproduce this on Internet Explorer too.  I also got Sally and Jim to reproduce it on their computers, as well


  4. SCREENSHOTS OF THE PROBLEM 
    If the problem is visual in nature, it’s always a good thing to include a screen capture of the problem.

    EXAMPLE: 
    “The background color for the Name and Description columns do not match on the albums listing page.” 



  5. ADVANCED TECHNIQUES: Recording a macro to reproduce the problem automatically 
    There are many tools out there that will allow you to record all the clicks and typing you do on your computer.  Recording these actions could prove to be very helpful to the people trying to fix your defect.  Even if you list all of your steps as accurately as you believe is possible, there might be something that you do, thinking it’s insignificant, that the developer will catch on and realize exactly what the problem is.  Perhaps you clicked on the graphic of a button rather than its, text.  Perhaps you submitted a form by hitting the [Enter] key on your computer rather than clicking the [submit] button on the web page.  Another major benefit of recording your actions is that your recorded actions are now documented, and it might be possible to create an automated test from them.  With an automated test, your defect might be caught next time before it ever gets to a production environment.  Keep in mind, these tools record your actions ( move mouse here, click here, type this ).  It does not record a video of what you see.

    SUGGESTED SOFTWARE:

    Bad Boy a very nicely done tool that is, unfortunately, a windows and Internet Explorer only tool.

    Selenium IDE:  This tool is also a very good program.  It sits on your system as a Firefox Plugin.  So initial recording of a defect will be done in Firefox only, but it can be played back using several different browsers.


These techniques and suggestions are not the be all and end all of ‘best practices’ for reporting a bug or defect, but they will certainly get you further down the road in being a productive partner when it comes to making sure your company produces the highest quality software.



 
 
There are many easy to use testing automation tools on the market.  There are many powerful testing automation tools on the market.  There are, however, rather few that are both.  Selenium is one that stands out, though and it is the tool that I most often use.  In this tutorial, I’ll demonstrate a quick way to create simple tests using the tool.

  • Download your Selenium IDE from Selenium HQ
    • This IDE is actually a plugin for FireFox.  While you can play your tests back in multiple  browsers
    • You can also install the plugin by opening FireFox and installing the Extension “Selenium IDE”

 

 OK, those are the parts, let’s get busy with an actual test.  We’llkeep it simple and start with a single testcase.*For the following instructions, things in RED should be steps that you take in FireFox. Items in BLUE are steps that you’ll take in theSelenium IDE window.

  1. Open Firefox to www.google.com
  2. Open Selenium IDE by going to “tools” and clicking on “Selenium IDE”
  3. Verify that your Base URL is set to “http://www.google.com”
  4. In the search bar, type “Eddy Jones” and hit [ENTER]
  5. Click the first link that will take you to estevenjones.com
  6. Highlight the title “The Blog” on the estevenjones.com home page
  7. Right click on the highlighted text and select “VerifyTextPresent The Blog” (this is one of the new Context Menu items that was added when you installed the Selenium IDE
  8. Click “Hubble Space Telescope” link in the story about the Hubble Space Telescope (or any other link on any other story)
  9. Right click on one of the images and hover over “Show All Available Commands >”   and from there, select “AssertElementPresent <some identifier here>”
In order to play back your tests, simply press the green arrow “play buttons” on the toolbar.

WHAT???  Why did my tests fail??

Well, your tests probably failed here, but that’s ok.  This really demonstrates the speed of Selenium.  Your test most likely failed because Selenium tried to move on to the next step before the web page finished rendering.  So it tried to click on your next link before the link was actually on the page.  There are two ways to handle this.  The quick but bad way would be to adjust the speed of your test by adjusting the slider on the toolbar.  This would allow the web pages a chance to render prior to Selenium trying to act on it.  The better way to handle this would be to change the “click” commands to “ClickAndWait” commands, though.  This way, Selenium will wait for the page to completely render before moving on to the next command.  One thing to note about this method, however, if you are testing a page that has frames, you might run into problems withFireFox.  FireFox says the page is completed once the Frameset is complete rather than waiting for the contents of the frame have completely rendered.

Also before I sign off for this first tutorial, I’ll mention the difference between Assert and Verify

When you ASSERT that an element is present, you are telling Selenium to stop the test and proceed no further if the assertion is not valid.  So, if I assert that an image is present and that image is NOT present, Selenium will not move on and all testing will stop.  The test will be marked a failure.

When you verify something is present, you are looking for something that is not terribly important enough to stop the entire test if it’s not.

An example of when I might use assert versus using a verify:

If I loaded a web page displayed a render time, I might want to verify that the render time was under 5 seconds, but I wouldn’t necessarily think that it’s a total failure if it took 6 seconds to render.  I would want to use an assert to verify that it didn’t take longer than 10 seconds because 10 seconds is way past my threshold for acceptable render times and there is no point in continuing my tests if it takes longer than that.

 
 
He sat, perched precariously, on the back of the park bench.  The sun had long since set, but he could still make out the object of his obsessions in the dim lighting of the street lamps.  This thing had been bothering him for a week now, and he’d finally built up the courage to do something about it.  He looked to the left to make sure nobody was strolling down the path.  There was one street lamp, casting its pale glow upon the sidewalk.  The cracked and uneven pavement was free of pedestrians.  He looked to the right, toward the pond where, during the day, the children screamed in delight at the ducks geese chasing them down for handfuls of cracked corn.  Nobody was there.

He did hear a scream, however.  But it was off in the distance, and it was most definitely not in delight.  Probably just another stupid tourist out in the park after dark getting mugged.  No, there was no threat there to his plans either.

He took a moment to feel around in his pockets, checking for the tools he would need to do this job.  Both items were there.  The knife.  And that other thing, the thing he’d spent the last two day scouring the park and nearby city streets for.  It had to be exactly right, or this wouldn’t work.  He’d finally found what he was looking for in a pile of broken wood and cork at the east end of the park.  It was sharp, very sharp, and it was red. With a nod of resigned satisfaction, he hopped down from his perch.  The tattered hem of his trench coat momentarily getting caught on the arm of the bench.  A small tearing sound ripped through the night and he froze.  Glancing quickly around to left and right.  Was that heard?  Would someone know what he’s about to do and run to stop him?

He heard no onrushing footfalls and with a sigh of relief straightened himself.  Slowly, he pulled the knife from his pocket.  It was only an old rusty pocket knife, but it was certainly up to the task.  It would probably be easier with something larger, something sharper, but this will do the trick.  Slowly, and with deliberation, he unfolded the blade.  With a soft audible click, it locked into place.  He took another step forward.

Then, with a resolve that surprised even him, he crossed the remaining space between him and it in three quick strides. One!  Two!  Three!! The knife came up in a blur.  This job had to be done quickly or he would be seen and then all would be over.  With impressive precision, he placed the tip in exactly the right spot. The hours of practice he’d spent this afternoon paid off.  A deft jerk of his wrist sent the staple flying from the board.  Before the edge of the poster could droop, he dropped the knife and caught hold of the faded paper.  An audible sigh escaped his lips as he raised that corner half an inch, making the top edge of the poster even with, and parallel to, the edge of the bulletin board. His other hand reached into his pocket and pulled out the red push pin he had found.  He placed its tip perfectly, he noted, into the corner of the poster and into the cork behind it.  Then he let go, took a step back and appraised his work.

“There,” he thought, “now it is right.”

 
 
Inspired by the Grass Roots Song:  Midnight Confessions

She saunters to the table, wearing that little black dress that she knows I love to see on her.  Her smile tells me that the drink in her hand isn’t her first.  It’s comfortable, relaxed, happy, and not just a little flirtatious.  The music in the background is soft, but evident and her hips sway unconsciously to it’s rhythm.

“Are you just going to sit there all night? Or are you going to get up and join the rest of us?” She asks me.  I wonder if she has any idea of the effect that she has on me?  I almost groan aloud, but catch myself in time as I watch her put the straw from her drink to her lips.

I manage to keep my voice friendly and nonchalant. “Oh, I dunno. I’m having plenty of fun watching all you drunks making fools of yourself out there dancing,” I joke.

“Drunk?!?!” she asks, her smile tells me I must have just unknowingly challenged her. “You haven’t seen anything yet.” My heart aches as she reaches for my arm to drag me away from the safety of the table.  A jolt of electricity jumps through me as her skin contacts mine. “C’mon,” she tells me, dragging me to my feet, “You’ve been the playing the recluse long enough.”

I’m hoping that she doesn’t notice the melancholy smile on my face as I reluctantly rise.  I can’t help but stare at the little gold ring around her finger, wishing I was the one who put it there.

For the rest of the night I have to watch her dancing with the rest of our group.  We’re all out here tonight after finally closing the deal with our biggest client to date.  Too many hours we’d all spent at our tables, making little changes requested to the facade, the landscaping, the lighting of the office building for a ‘to be named later’ law firm.  But the deal was done, and now we’re all out at this “intimate” little jazz club she’d gone to a while back.  I know that I’ll be having the same dream tonight that I’ve had almost every night since all these late work nights started.

It’s a simple dream, really.  I’m walking down the street with her on my arm.  Sometimes it’s just the two of us, sometimes we’re with a group of friends.  Sometimes I’m quiet when I tell her, sometimes I’m shouting it out to the world.  But the words are always the same.  And as I watch her on the dance floor now, they still are the same and I want to tell her, “I love you.”

I stagger into work the next day, having slept very little.  And of course she’s there.  With a ready smile and a cheerful “Good morning.” My heart flutters at what I think is a one of those “meaningful stares” that I hear so much about.  But I fall back again from my reverie, almost immediately.  She reaches up her hand to brush a gorgeous strand of hair that has fallen over her eyes.  Her left hand.  The hand with that blasted little gold ring.

I resign myself to the rest of the day I have ahead of me. I try to bury the thoughts rushing through my mind, the electricity coursing through my body.  I know that she’ll never be mine and that all of my “I love yous” are going to have to remain my secret, and all of my dreams and desires are going to have to remain my hidden midnight confessions.



 
 
The first punch landed with a splat against my cheek.  I barely felt it.  I think I was grinning so maniacally at that point that my cheeks were already tensed up, absorbing the blow without much damage.  It caught me off guard and staggered me back a step or two.  I didn’t take my eyes off of the object of my fixation though.  Well, at least not until the second blow landed.  This time in the gut.  My breath left me in a gush and I bent over, nearly double, cradling my stomach.

For a moment, I lost sight of my prize.  I saw only the rocks and grass at my feet.  Struggling to catch my breath I stood up straight again and smiled as my vision locked again just over the shoulder of this behemoth that was pummeling me.  This time the punch to the face hurt.  I’m pretty sure I heard the loud crunch of my nose breaking as his fist connected.  I know I tasted blood.

Picture
This blow actually knocked me off of my feet.  I sprawled backward into the bushes that lined the side of the house.  Groaning with the fire that seemed to be consuming my face.  WOW!!! That hurt like hell!!  The behemoth was yelling something at me now, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying.  Having rebounded off of the bushes, I was lying on my stomach inches from his feet.  Lord, please don’t let him be pissed off enough that he’s going to kick me…

As the ringing in my head began to taper off, I’m was able to make out what he was shouting, “Get up you little bastard!!” or something to that effect.  He moved to the side of me and kicked me hard in the upper thigh. “Get up!!”

With a Herculean effort, I pushed myself up, unsteadily rising to my feet.  I glanced back at what had been holding my rapt attention in disappointment.  The moment was gone, time to retreat.  I tried to find my way around this bruiser,  tried to find my way to the street so I could get home and nurse my broken face.  He shoved me, roughly.  I hit the side of the house with a sickening thud. My head slammed against the paneling with a sickening crack.  I prayed that it was the wood and not my skull that split.  The sasquatch grabbed the front of my shirt, holding me upright so he could deliver another punch to my face.  “I’ll show you!!” he bellowed, “You fuckin’ pervert!!”

We were both startled by a scream from above us.  “STOP IT!!!”  The shrill voice came from directly over our heads, from the bathroom window.  Cyndi was leaning out of it, her face filled with horror and a bit of fear.  “What the hell is wrong with you??”  The light behind her shimmered on her wet golden hair, creating a nimbus of light around her. Her robe was pulled tightly around her now, I guess she’d finished drying after her shower before sticking her head out the window to see what the commotion was about.  Despite my blood spattered face and probably already swollen nose, despite the pain in my gut, and the pounding in my head, I managed a weak smile.

Jared, her older brother still held me, his fist ready for that final blow. “This little perv was watching you!!”  he yelled, much too loudly for my throbbing head.

She looked down at me then, perhaps a slight flicker of recognition in her eyes.  I could see that she was torn, emotionally.  Angry at having been spied on.  Embarrassed she had just stepped out of the shower, and I’d probably seen her drying off and putting on her lotion before the pummeling began.  Concerned, because I’m sure I looked a mess.  Hopefully I didn’t look as bad as I felt.  After an appraising second, she said, “Let him go Jared, he’s just a kid.”

“But..” Jared began, obviously wanting to pummel me a bit more.

“Let him go, you’ve beat him up enough.  He’ll never do it again.”  With a pointed look at me she asked, “Will you?”

I was a bit miffed at being called “just a kid.” She was only a few years older than me after all.  She’s a senior though, and I guess we’re all kids to her.  I shook my head in a silent promise that I’ll never peep on her again.

“Let him go,” she repeated with finality.

With reluctant glare, Jared gave me a hard shove in the direction of the street. “If I ever see you around here again, you’ll get worse!” he promised.

I made my way toward the street, toward home.  Jared was making his way back into the house through the side door and was quickly out of sight.  Cyndi was still leaning out the window, watching me leave, a curious expression on her face.  If you asked me today, I would still swear there was a slight smile on those lips as I walked away.

So was it worth it?

Yeah..  It was worth it…


 
 
An Attempt At the Completely Absurd:

The glumblefilch sauntered into the room.  He was full of vim, vigor, and veracity.  His three blandlybulches protruded from his torso, nearly touching the floor and he admired them.  They were long and elegant.  Fragile looking but he knew they were sturdy.  The purplish hue they emanated set off the radiance of his six yellow eyes.  Most glumblefilches only had five eyes, but he had six.  He was quite proud of that, even if the other glumblefilches looked at him askance for his audacity, he had just one more eye that he could roll at their ignorance.

This glumblefilch was named Snodgrass. That was not something he was particularly proud of, but it was his name.  He bore it with resolution and aplomb. He honestly didn’t care what the other glumblefilches said about it.  It was better than Steve, Victor, and Roger. And it was miles above Roderick.  Roderick only had 3 eyes, Snodgrass mused, shaking slightly in his mirth.  A low chuckle escaped his lips.  Normally that would be fine, but tonight Snodgrass was with his boy at dinner, and a glumblefilch’s low chuckle was actually quite a rumble.  His boy gave him a warning glance over his shoulder and Snodgrass settled down.  He didn’t want to get his boy in trouble again. Last time that happened, Snodgrass wasn’t allowed to come out from under the bed for a whole week.  That was torture.  Glumblefilches aren’t known for there ability to handle solitude.  They need constant attention and reassurances or else they disappear.  By the time the week was over and his boy again came looking for him, Snodgrass had faded to near invisibility.  A couple hours later though, fueled by the laughter of his boy and the games they played together, Snodgrass was back to his three limbed, six eyed purpley self. 


 
 
Picture
“Who is that?” 
“That’s not the girl…” 
“What happened to the girl?”
“How long has it been?”

The man and woman stood in the doorway of the second bedroom.  Its bare white walls and softly carpeted floor held so much promise.  “This will be his room,” the soon-to-be-Mother told her husband, her hand lightly touching the roundness of her belly.  “We’ll put the crib in the corner there.  The changing table can go there …”  and in her mind she continued decorating the space.  The soon-to-be-Father put his arm around his wife, lovingly.  “Once we sign the papers, it’s ours,” he mused.

“Where’s the boy?”
“What happened to the boy?”
“He’s just in school, he’ll be back…” 
“But it’s been so long”
“It’s only been the morning.”

The Mother stood in the doorway, looking at the mess the was the boy’s room.  Toys scattered everywhere and his favorite trucks and Hot Wheels taking a prominent place in the middle of the room.  Just in the right spot to be stepped on and cause a fall.  The whispering wind outside made her imagine her inner thoughts were given voice.  How can he be in kindergarten already? She wondered.  What am I going to do with my day now? She stopped her idle gathering of vehicles and sat down on the edge of his bed, running her hand over its well made blanket.  He takes such pride in this bed, she thought.  The Father had declared that since he was going to “big boy” school now, he needed a “big boy” bed.  The three of them had spent the weekend putting it together.  And with only three leftover unidentifiable parts, she only worried a little about him taking a tumble out of it. With a sigh, she stood up and moved on.

“Where’s the boy?” 
“What happened to the boy?”
“How long has it been?”

The quiet susurration could almost be heard as she passed by the boy’s room with her basket of laundry.  The boy, she mused to herself smiling at how how she still considered him a child.  He’s away at college now and ‘a grown man’ according to him. She paused briefly beside the door to his room, with its walls full of car posters and its ceiling full of stars the she and the Father put up when he really was just a boy.  She vowed to call him this afternoon and make him promise to come home some weekend soon for a visit. She moved on.

“Where’s the boy?
“What happened to the boy?”
“How long has it been?”
“It must be years now!” 
“It’s only been days…” 
“I don’t feel right without his posters.” 
“I still feel the same” 
“That’s ‘cause you are the same.” 
“Quiet, she’s waking up…”

The Mother stirred in her chair, her book having fallen into her lap. She looked around the boy’s room. A small smile on her face as she did so.  The boy’s room. It hasn’t been his room in years, she chided herself.  The three lilac walls with their paintings of cottages and Kinkaide-esque landscapes softened the feel of what is now her “sitting room” as the father describes it. The fourth wall, though…  That wall she left the same.  That was his wall.  Something to show him that even though he was grown and long ago moved out, this was still his room.  Her husband often gently teased her about it, telling her the lime green Lamborghini didn’t go well with the pastel foliage and warm cottage window glow of the paintings.  She didn’t care.  She wanted the reminder of him and wanted to feel as if he were here instead of a thousand miles away in Chicago.  She picked up her book again and dozily continued reading, letting the flow of words and the whispering walls send her back to sleep.

“Where’s the boy?”
“What happened to the boy?”


 
 
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Private Rizzoli:
“Sgt. Stipholz was the kinda of guy who was always jokin’ around.  He was always trying to win the rest of the guys in the squad over by telling jokes, buying rounds of beers, stickin’ up for us if the captain was comin’ down too hard.  You know, stuff like that.  He was a pretty good guy.”

Private Fontaine:
“I remember one time..  damn, I couldn’t stop laughing … the sergeant was trying to walk the barrel of one of the 109’s like it was a goddamn balance beam.  He was kinda a klutz so, of course, he slipped and racked himself real good.”

Specialist White:
“I remember one time..  damn, I couldn’t stop laughing … the sergeant was trying to walk the barrel of one of the 109’s like it was a goddamn balance beam.  He was kinda a klutz so, of course, he slipped and racked himself real good.”

Specialist White:
“Yeah.  So we were all out last night, celebrating the last day of maneuvers.  We had been out in the field for a couple of weeks and we were pretty antsy.  Sarge had a group of people around him laughing loudly.  This was pretty much normal for him.  He liked to be the life of the party. I think that he was doing some card tricks or something.  Anyway, he must have been doing pretty good because everyone was clapping and laughing and pretty much having a good time of it.”

Sergeant Vasquez:
“Last call came at about 1:45 and Steve called everyone around for one last trick.  Someone called out and yelled to the bartender for one more round. One last beer for the road. While we waited Steve jumped up on his chair and started in with his showman routine.  Getting everyone all revved up for his last trick.  ‘Here ye! Here ye!’ I think he was yelling. ‘Watch in amazement as I stupefy and astound!’  He was waving his hands about and everyone in the place, pretty much, was watching him.

Sergeant First-Class Nixon:
“After we downed those last beers, Stipholz called out for three of the mugs.  Said he was going to juggle them.  A bunch of people groaned at that.  Someone said that his kid sister knew how to juggle and it wasn’t all that impressive.  Stip had a plan though.  He just smiled and said he was going to juggle these three mugs and one at a time people could toss something new into the mix.  If he couldn’t keep eight things in the air (he said this was his personal record), then the bar tab was on him. Of course, this brought a huge cheer from everyone.  He began to juggle.”


First Sergeant Exeter:
“I was sitting near the bar.  I was just sorta watching things to make sure they didn’t get too out of hand. The boys tend to get a little rowdy coming off a two week bivouac. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I saw Sgt. Stipholz on the chair attempting to juggle three mugs.  At first he had a hard time getting the new objects in the mix because the fellows didn’t know how to toss anything to him so he even had a chance.  But they got the swing of it and it was on.”

2nd Lieutenant Donavon:
“A salt shaker…  I think he had a hard time with that one since it was so small compared to the mugs, but he got it. Next came someone’s keys, an ashtray, a shot glass…
I don’t know where it came from or who had it, but after the shot glass, that’s when it got tossed in.  It didn’t have it’s spoon or pin.  Most of the people in the front were too drunk to notice.  Some of the others did and tried to scramble back.  Luckily, I was near the back and hadn’t really been drinking all that much. When it blew, he had it in his hand. Some bastard near me, I couldn’t see who it was, said something like, ‘I guess, grenades and magic don’t mix, to they Sarge?’