I found Assassin's Creed I & II for PC in the $5.00 bin at my local store. I go home and install it and with my current PC confguration, I should be able to max out the graphics settings. Graphics rendering stutters everywhere! D: Did some reading and discovered the game would be phoning home to Ubisoft periodically for statistical purposes. After I disabled my network connection, the game runs flawlessly. Mind-Blown! @.@

This video from YouTube makes me laugh. Laughing


Gallery Setup

Published 7/5/2012 by Theo Hua in Computing

Discovered that setting up Gallery3 on my server which uses Windows 2008, IIS7, and SQL Server; is a non-starter. Cry I have to go back to Gallery2. This is not a bad thing, but still a little disappointing that the Gallery Team has decided for Gallery3 they will no longer support a Windows Server and IIS installation.

I'm finally done with the updates to my blog. Yay! Smile

Updating from BlogEngine 1.3 to 2.6 plus the customization work for the DarkBlog theme took a bit of time.

As an added note, I found that if one chooses to use the DbBlogProvider as the blogProvider and blogSystemProvider fields of the Web.Config; verify that the applicationName in the membership and roleManager fields match the entry in the dbo.aspnet_Applications table in the BlogEngine database. Otherwise, logging into the blog after an upgrade will fail. I found that out the hard way. Cry

But, the blog is finally up and operational. I just hope my posts will be helpful to somebody.


Solar Dynamics Observatory

Published 4/22/2010 by Theo Hua in Computing

I found this article on NASA's website about the first few images of the Sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The article and the photo of the sun are simply amazing. The amount of data being sent down to earth is a mind boggling 1.5 terabytes per day! Surprised 

SDO First Light Composite Image from March 30, 2010

More and more software development projects are using the Agile Development Model as opposed to the Waterfall Development Model. Agile does help Designers and Developers deliver software projects on time with higher quality code, but where does that leave the Software Tester? I came across a whitepaper written by James Lyndsay entitled "Testing in an agile environment" from his website that would shed some light on the subject.

Of the many benefits that the Agile Model has, a cornerstone is its insistance on Test Driven Development (TDD). The Designer will have the scenario or user story that the software will address.  From that, test cases are written to validate each step in completing the user story, then code is written to satisfy the test. One of the points stressed throughout the paper was the use of unit tests in the code that both the Developer and Tester would have responsibility to maintain. This would increase the amount of communication and collaboration between Development and Test because Test would not have to wait for Development to finish first before looking at the code; such is the case in the Waterfall Model. By having Developers and Testers working so closely on a project, the Designer has an easier time of ensuring the customer's expectation are still being met, lest the project follows this path.

The Software Development Project

In addition, security design decisions can be implemented from the beginning and verified as the code is being written. As stated before, there is a reduction of documentation, but that fact may be a benefit as counter-intuitive as that may sound. The test documentation instead of living separately from the code, it lives with the code in the form of unit tests. Tests outside of the unit test do need to be documented and recorded, but they should live as close to the code as possible.

There are caveats to this approach, but one that stood out in my mind is the concept of "decision fatigue". That is, since the Tester is involved early on in the development process and the Tester does have the ability to voice and direct change in the product, the Tester may feel overwhelmed at the weight of the consequences of decisions being made. Before, all Testers had to do was follow a specification from the Designer to verify the Developer's work. Now, that same Tester can directly influence the Developer's work or make a change in the Designer's plan. A solution offered by Lyndsay is for the Tester to keep the big picture in mind and what the primary business case the customer wants to solve with the software to direct the decision making.

Home Network Design

Published 1/12/2010 by Theo Hua in Computing

Has anyone really thought about what their home network must look like logically? After taking a network and telecommunications course as part of my degree, I began to think about how I have designed my network for my family’s use and how that compares to other setups.  To that end, I made a logical network diagram below.

After making the diagram, I was surprised how similar this design must be to a small business. I actually had fun making this diagram. Yes, I am a geek. Who else would have fun making logical network diagrams? Laughing

I am reading the following two books.

  • Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions
  • XNA Game Programming

I'm reading the former so that I can be better prepared for the virtualization of my home network.  As for the second book, my wife has been interested in game programming and after thumbing through it, I want to give this book a read too.  I better read it quick before we have to return it to the library. 

No, I don't work for Aperture Science. Laughing 

I just felt like posting that this blog is still alive and I have stuff to talk about.  My goals this summer range from geeky to mundane.  I plan on writing about the more geeky topics; the mundane ones are, mundane.

The short list of projects this summer include restoring a Neo-Geo arcade cabinent, a Star Wars pinball machine, and writing about the planning that I have doing for the home network.  In addition, I want to write about my experiences with bringing a lightweight photo gallery online for this site.  I am moving away from having the photos and pictures I have embedded in this blog and giving them a separate gallery for them to live in.  I decided to use the Gallery2 engine and I will write later how I came about to using that engine from the many others out there.

In addition, if I was not busy enough, I am going to write up entries about programming topics.  I need  to refresh my programming skills and I figured writing up lessons and explaining the topics will help me solidify my understanding.

This will be a very busy summer. Cool

Still here...

Published 7/26/2008 by Theo Hua in Computing

So my ISP, www.avvanta.com, had it out with Verizon, the DSL backbone provider, over the past couple of days.  According to Avvanta, Verizon had a faulty DS3 card that needed replacement.

So I'm wondering what is a DS3 card?   So I popped the term into Live Search and found the Cisco documentation on replacing a DS3 I/O card.  The following figure is a what a DS3 I/O card looks like:

Cisco DS3 Card


I should say that I'm no network engineer, so please do not take the information here as being completely accurate. 

But if my research is accurate, oh the irony that a little 12 cm piece of fiberglass and resin would bring the network to its knees. Laughing

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