April 19, 2018

Quaker Lane

Quaker Lane is one of the few streets in Boston that is U-shape. For a 100 years, it was center of the Quaker Cemetary

Quaker Lane

Eight Things I learned About Quaker Lane

  • Quaker Lane is called it because at one time it was the location of the Quaker Meeting House and Cemetery in downtown Boston.
  • The Quakers built a meeting house on Quaker Lane in 1708. The Church was severely damaged by the Great Boston fire in 1760. (The Great Boston fire of 1760 destroyed 349 building in downtown Boston)
  • The Quaker rebuilt the Meeting House and continued to worship there until 1808 when membership had declined and they decided to sell the property.
  • In 1826, the remaining members thought it was best to move the Quaker cemetery to Lynn where the Quaker society was thriving.
  • 109 bodies were moved to Lynn. Two bodies, who were sisters, were kept in Boston and reburied at the cemetery at King Chapel. (Mr. Joseph Hussey)
  • It wasn't until the 1930s that it became Quaker Lane - it has always been known as Congress Square. Paul Townsend put in a request to rename Congress Square to Quaker Lane. It officially became Quaker Lane on February 19, 1930.
  • Today Quaker Lane is closed due to construction. For many years it was an ugly service ally behind many historic buildings in the area. The new owners of the building are working to clean up Quaker Lane and make it an inviting venue with restaurants and festive lighting. The street will be closed to vehicle traffic.
  • Boston Landmarks Commission is currently consider it as a designation as a City landmark.

Locating Quaker Lane

Quaker Lane is located just a few steps from the Old State House.

The Quaker Lane Map
Map of the Area around Quaker Lane.

April 18, 2018

Palm Beach, Aruba

The Palm Beach area is famous for calm waters and white sandy beachfront. It is located right in front of the luxurious stretch of high-rise hotels. This is where the Aruba Marriot, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, and the Radisson Aruba Resort are located.

Palm Beach Title

Seven Things I Learned about Palm Beach

  • The beach is two miles in length. You can walk the entire length of the beach in roughly 20 minutes.
  • This area is commonly called the "High Rise" area because the properties get lower to the ground as you head south.
  • It’s a 20-minute cab ride to Oranjestad.
  • The Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino is the largest resort in Aruba and is located at the heart of Palm Beach.
  • The largest pool on Aruba is at the Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club.
  • The first hotel to be built on Palm Beach was in the 1950s. It was called the Hotel Base-Ruti. The hotel today is part of the Riu Resort.
  • The 2017 Condé Nast Traveler has Palm Beach / Eagle Beach rated #6 best beach in the world. In 2012, it was the #2 Best Beach Destination in the World - According to TripAdvisor’s Travel Choice (2012).
  • The sea levels are pretty good. As you walking about 50 yards it only gets to about 5 feet deep. There are no rip currents concerns anyplace along Palm Beach.

List of Hotels Around Palm Beach

Talk of the Town Hotel and Beach Club, Palm Beach Retreat, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, Holiday Inn Report Aruba - Beach & Casino, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, The Mill Resort Hotel Aruba, Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, Barcelo Aruba, DiVi Aruba Phoenix, Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spec Boutique Hotel, Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba, Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino, Blue Residences Aruba, Caribbean Palm Village Resort, Playa Linda Beach Resort, Palm Aruba Condos, Royal Club Grand Aruba Resort, MVC Eagle Beach Resort Aruba, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba.

April 17, 2018

OCR in Evernote

One of the nice things about Evernote is the ability to search through images and PDF documents. Anything you put in Evernote automatically can be searchable.

Evernote Description of the Process

When a note is sent to Evernote (via synchronization), any Resources included in the note that match the MIME types for PNG, JPG or GIF are sent to a different set of servers whose sole job is performing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the supplied image and report back with whatever it finds. These results are added to the note in the form of a hidden--that is, not visible when viewing the note--metadata attribute called recoIndex. The full recoIndex node is visible when a note is exported as an ENEX file.

Everyone gets OCR!

This is a service that available to everyone - you don't need to be a Premium customer to get your Images/Documents searchable. However, there is a waiting queue and premium subscribers do get a "fast pass" to get their documents processed first.

Everyone Gets OCR

Get all Your Documents in Evernote!

This is a good reason to get your important documents in Evernote. That way you can easily find the documents when you're looking for something.

Real Life Example

I like using the Scannable App and take pictures of restaurant receipts. This way I don't have to clutter my wallet with my personal copy. Unless you're expensing the meal, there's really no reason to have to save a restaurant receipt.

With Evernote and Scannable, those receipts are automatically OCR. Scannable makes the receipt white which makes the OCR process more reliable. This makes it easy to find when the last time I visited the restaurant and what I had to order. I can simply search for the restaurant name - or the location.

April 16, 2018

Negative Test Cases

In QA testing, Negative Tests are used to make sure the application behaves when actions are performed outside of expectations.

Negative-test-cases-are

An example would be to enter Unicode characters in a phone field. Sure you may test for alphanumeric values - but what if someone accidentally typed in a Unicode value?

Negative Tests are a good way to see how solid the code is written. Did the developer think of all the edge cases? An example did the Developer account for not allowing a single space in a required field (users do this so they don't have to put in information - such as phone numbers.)

Thoughts About Negative Test Cases

In your Test Case Repository, you should have a lot more Positive Test Cases than Negative test cases. You should be testing more than a positive outcome will happen than negative ones.

When testing a new product, you should have more Negative Test Cases than Positive ones. QA should be making sure that there are no bad surprises when the product is launched.

You won't account for all the scenarios but can learn a lot from past projects and the way that certain developers write the code.

Most companies have done a very poor job of identifying and documenting negative test scenarios.

A good source of Negative testing data is the Bug Magnet browser extension.

April 15, 2018

Turtle Mania Song

Back in the 1980's we visited the Cayman Islands for a wonderful family vacation. On that trip, I purchased a record album that contains a couple of songs. One of those songs was a catchy song that I heard being played around the Cayman Islands - Turtle Mania.

A few weeks after the trip I bought the album to WIQH, the Concord-Carlisle High School radio station. I wanted them to play the song over the air. I left the record in the mailbox slot and never saw it again.

Fortunately I did tape the album before dropping off the album at WIQH. Here's part of the song, I don't know who the artist is - so I can't give full credit.

Turtle Mania

If you know who sings this song, let me know.

April 14, 2018

MockPhone

There are lots of choices when it comes to using mockups to showcase your design. The nice this about MockUPhone is there's a lot of device options including TV screens.

Website Description

MockUPhone is a free tool that helps developers, designers, project managers and consultants wrap app screenshots on different mobile devices. Developers and designer can use the provided PNG files to make mobile screenshots and mockups for mobile application websites or advertisements. While project managers and consultants can embed the screenshots in keynote for their client projects. MockUPhone right now supports iPhone mockup, iPad mockup, Android mockup and TV mockup.

If you want to create screenshots for App Store submission, you can also check out one of our developer suite - ShotBot (http://shotbot.io/). ShotBot is screenshots makers for iOS platform. It helps you wrap screenshots and implements screenshot device art effortlessly.

Mockup Phone
https://mockuphone.com/#ios

Five Things I learned Using MockUPhone

  • You have to use an image, there's no pointing to an existing URL for the image to rendered by the device.
  • In order to get the final image you have to put in a valid email and then download the file from the email link
  • The mockup images are in PNG format with transparent backgrounds.
  • MockUPhone have a lot of designs and will tell you the best format to use.
  • You get a preview of one of the layouts, to see if you want a final version.

Phone Site Mockup2

April 13, 2018

LaunchBar Actions

LaunchBar is a very powerful tool that puts instant access to all sorts of actions at your fingertips. You can open applications faster, get to documents, set reminders and so much more.

There are a lot of very useful LaunchBar built-in actions - 152 of them to be exact. They expand the capabilities of LaunchBar to be way more useful than the standard Spotlight search.

Here are three example actions that are very useful. Granted it takes some time to get used to the new process, but you will see how it can improve your computer productivity time.

Searching using Google

The typical method to search using Google requires opening up a browser, typing a search term and hitting return. That's great if you're already working with the browser open, but if you're doing a paper it's a lot of extra steps.

Using LaunchBar, you can quickly get things moving by passing the search parameters to the browser. After doing this a few times, you'll see how using LaunchBar method is so much easier than a typical method.

Search Google

  • Type: Command Space
  • Type: Google
  • Click Space
  • Enter Your Search Term and then click Enter

Join Lines with a Comma Separator

Whenever I have a list that I need to join, I usually end up opening up BBEdit and then pasting the text and then do a simple search and replace. After the search, I have to remove the last comma in the list. No so fun, and very time-consuming.

Using this trick in LaunchBar, I am able to work much quicker. Now I can quickly sort the list. There are other list tools in LaunchBar, but this is one that I use the most.

Join Lines With Comma

  • Select some text and drag and drop it onto LaunchBar
  • Click Tab
  • Search for 'Join' and click Enter
  • To paste it in the front most window with Shift Enter or using Command C

Copy as Tiny URL

Tiny URL is a great service to make URLs really shore, especially when the URL has a lot of parameters. This is useful when you want to post something in Slack or in a Jira. There's no need to have a huge paper trail link

The nice thing about Tiny URL is that it never expires, so you can keep using it for a long time.

Copy Tiny U R L

  • Command Space
  • Type: Tiny
  • Scroll to where you see 'Copy as Tiny URL'
  • Type in or Paste in a URL
  • Click Enter
  • Now Your Clipboard has the TinyURL version of your URL. Paste it in where ever you need it.

Go Faster

You can make the process go even quicker by using custom abbreviations. The actions will appear quicker with abbreviations that you are more familiar with.

Abbreviation Change

To make Searching Google faster, change the Google Abbreviation to search:

  • Type: Command Space
  • Type: Google
  • Click Command Option A
  • Enter your custom abbreviations, such as 'search' and click

April 12, 2018

King Chapel Memorial

Next to the King Chapel is the King Chapel graveyard where some of Boston's most famous are buried.

Between King's Chapel and the graveyard is a special monument that many tourists may not notice - The Chevalier De Saint Sauveur monument.

This is a special monument in honor of Chevalier St. Sauveur, a French officer that was killed in Boston during a riot during the early days of the American Revolution.

Chevalierde Saint Sauveu

Some of the Things I learned about the Chevalier De Saint Sauveur Monument

  • After a treaty of alliance was signed between France and the United States on February 6, 1778, France sent a fleet of twelve ships and 5 frigates under the command of Count d'Estaing to aid the Americans in their fight against the British.
  • Chaevalier De Saint was a lieutenant on the boat named "Tonnant." His brother-in-law was Count de Breugnon one of Count d'Estaing "Chefs d'escadre." Chevalier was the first chamberlain of Count d'Artois, the brother of Louis XVI.
  • The fleet arrived in various cities, including New York and Philadelphia. On the way to Rhode Island, several vessels were damaged in a huge storm. They went to Boston to get the boats fixed.
  • On September 9, 1778, there was an attack by rioters at the fleet bakery, which was near the boats, Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was wounded by a blow to the eye in the face while trying to maintain order.
  • He died a week later on September 15. The next day, the Massachusetts Bay general council voted to put a memorial - They feared that the French would send back all their troops home because they were not welcome.
  • The French government refused any formal burial and accepted the offer to build a monument. They accepted that the death was not a threat to the remaining troops there.
  • D'Estaing drafted the inscription for the monument -- dated September 28th in the log book of the "Languedoc" -- and caused copies of it to be distributed in the fleet that every one of the words to be put on the monument.
  • He was buried in the basement of Kings Chapel in a private ceremony attended by his fellow officers.
  • Col. Thomas Dawes, a cousin of William Dawes, was in charge with the duty of erecting a monument.
  • The monument was completely forgotten until a researcher in 1912 discovered the Massachusetts Bay offer in a journal.
  • A monument was finally approved in June 1, 1916 for $1,000 monument in Chevalier De Saint Sauveur at the Kings Chapel.
  • The Text on the monument was written by Charles Henri Hector d'Estaing, French General, and Admiral. The next on the memorial is the same text the was written on September 28, 1778, by D'Estaing. (The top part was translated into English so the locals can read it.
  • Mr. A. W. Longfellow was the Memorial architect and was inspired other monuments that were popular when Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was alive.
  • The monument is made of concrete granite, fourteen feet high, and was made by Emerson & Norris of Boston
  • There are four cannon balls and green slates on all sides, only 2 sides have text. (Originally there was to be a full transcript of D'Estaing inscription, but that didn't happen.)
  • The monument is placed directly above where Chevalier De Saint Sauveur is buried in the basement of the King Chapel Church.

Memorial Text Translation

This officer, aide-major of the French squadron and Lieutenant [on the Tonnant] after having Had the happiness of risking his life for the service of United States, fulfilled its duty when it was the Victim of a tumult caused by malicious people: Death [15 September 1778] with the same attachment For America, the bonds of duty and inclination who are attaching his compatriots to the city of Boston in Have been more tight. May be so fruitless For all efforts what would dare to try to separate Frances and America. This is the prayer that will In the centuries to come to Almighty God, all French and all Americans who will cast their eyes on The mausoleum of a kidnapped young man has friends who do not Can console themselves for having lost. What about Like funerary flowers spread over his tomb.

This inscription has been prepared by the COUNT OF E STAING The admiral commander of the first French squadron Envoy speaks Roy from France to the United States of America

Celebration Toast of Friendship

A few days after the burial the men in command of the new country invited the men of the French Fleet to a celebration of friendship at Faneuil Hall. On September 22nd, 1778 the following toast was made:

The Memorial to the America.
The King of France.
Congress.
The French Fleet.
Gen. Washington and the American Army.
The Independence of America.
The alliance between France and America ; may it never be broken.
The French Minister to Congress.
Franklin, the American Minister at the Court of France.
Liberty and the Friendship of France.
Commerce, Art, and Agriculture.
M. d'Orvilliers and all his Army.
The Count d'Estaing and all the Officers of the French Fleet in Boston Harbor.

d'Estaing Toasted

The President of the Council and all Americans here present.
Monseigneur, the Duke de Chartres.
The Queen of France.
M. Du Chaff ault.
The Marquis de La Fayette.
American Ships and Sailors.
All the Women and Young Girls who have lost their Husbands and Sweethearts in the Good Cause.
The Duke de Choiseul.
M. de Sartine.
M. de Maurepas.

April 11, 2018

Jeep Tours in Aruba

Aruba is most a desert country, and most of the side roads are dirt roads. If your going to tour the island might as well do it by Jeep.

Jeep Aruba Tours

There are a couple of companies that offer Jeep tours of Aruba:

Aruba 4x4 Half-Day Jeep Safari Tour - Starting at $85.

  • Five Hour Tour
  • Each Jeep seats 4 people, Guest drive their own jeeps with a lead tour guide
  • Children under 12 travel for $64.
  • Visit California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, Baby Natural Bridge, Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins and Ayo Monolithic Rock Formation.
  • Free pick-ups at your hotel or at the cruise dock.

ABC Tours - Island Ultimate - Starting at $108 + tax

"Aruba’s #1 Jeep Tour Company"

  • Full Day Tour (9.5 Hours)
  • Children travel for $70 + tax.
  • Lighthouse, Bushiribana Gold Mills Ruines, Natural Bridge, Natural Pool at 'Conchi' Aruba's Arikok National Park, Baby Beach

April 10, 2018

iMessage in Evernote

Did you know that you can share Evernote’s Notes in iMessage? If you have Evernote installed on your iOS device, you can share notes in iMessage.

On the bottom of the iMessage window is an Application icon, when you click on it you have access to various applications to interact with whomever your messaging.

i Messenger Tip

When you select the Evernote icon, you have access to all your Evernote files. You can send any file to the person that your messaging.

You can also add an optional comment before sending - why they should open the document.

Few Notes about this Feature

This isn’t something new, it’s been in Evernote since September 2016 - when iOS 10 came out.

You have to be online to use Evernote. If you don’t see any notes when you go to the note section, you may have turned off cellular data for Evernote.

You can’t share entire notebooks, just one note at a time.

Each Note that you send is a public note Url, so it doesn’t matter if they are using iOS, Android Bada or Palm OS.

April 9, 2018

Happy Path Testing

Happy Path defines the success of every QA test - the user should be able to run through the functionality without having to encounter any errors.

Wikipedia Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_path

Defining the Happy Path

The QA Project lead should start out building out a test plan that defines the happy path. While the path may seem obvious - it does help identify risk area.

Only One Happy Path?

Some QA Experts will say that there’s only one Happy Path in a project. I’ll argue that many paths may exist, for example in eCommerce you may have a Happy Path for existing customers and one for new customer.

Real World Example

A good real-world example of a happy path is going to the grocery store and getting everything on your shopping list.

Can you think of ways that a Happy Path would not be accomplished?

Some things that could cause an unsuccessful Happy Path

  • Store isn't open
  • Department is closed (Deli or Bakery is closed)
  • Product isn't available
  • Product is hard to find or not reachable
  • Shopping is taking too long
  • Checkout can't accept Credit Card transactions

Figuring out all the possibilities that could prevent someone from having a Happy Path is a good way to build test cases.

When starting out testing a new product, QA brainstorm ways that could prevent users from successfully completing their tasks.

Release Day

On release day, all new products should have a successful Happy Path.

April 8, 2018

Palmco Energy

Palmco Power keeps calling me via (888) 269-7397 and (978) 523-1013. They are trying to get me to switch the energy supplier to Palmco.

Their high-pressure sales tactics haven't convinced me to switch. I never give them any account information.

For a while I thought it was Tomco that was calling, a London based energy provider. A caller did clarify the correct name.

Voters Wanted this Change

In 2005, Massachusetts voters approved deregulation of energy sources. Consumers now have the choice to where their electricity company should get the energy for their home.

Read up on the Massachusetts Energy Deregulation.

All Fun and Games until you do the Math

They claim to have the lowest price, but data from Eversource says they are one of the most expensive energy providers.

As of today, NStar/Eversource default cost is $12.888 (cents/kWh). So if you do nothing that is how much it will cost you. It's a good base number to understand.

Palmco says it can provide cheaper energy - it does for about a month. When you go to their site, you see a nice promotion for 10.100 (cents/kW)

However if you go to page two, the story changes a bit. That 10.100 (cents/kW) was a teaser rate. The second month it jumps to 13.9 (cents/kWh). Now you're paying more for energy than the standard rate.

Palmco Energy

While there's no cancellation fee, they are probably hoping that most new customers will forget about the switch.

Now you ended up paying more for no reason. So why would you switch?

One More Thing

On the call, you might be asked to give your Electric Provider account information - don't do it. They may use the information to switch your account over the phone.

Think it won't happen? MCI did this is the 1980s. A market firm, acting on MIC behalf, changed the long distance provider of thousands of customers without them knowing. (Read up on that story.)

Cold Calling

Next time PalmCo calls you, tell them:

Thanks for letting me know about the deregulation. I'll do some research and if you're the best option, I'll certainly switch. (Click)

Oh if they call back - and they will...

We did our research and made our choice. (Click)

If you still get callbacks...

Is this xxx? (Any Company that bothering you - might be a different energy provider.)

Well.... my neighbor switched last month and since the switch, they had nothing but horror stories about the whole process. So no thank you! (Click)

April 7, 2018

Glitter Text

GigaGlitters.com is a cool way to add some glitter to text. Simply put in some text and select the style that you want and then share the GIF file. You can use various GIF tools to combine the text.

Description from their site

GigaGlitters.com is super easy and fun tool to create glitter texts. It is FREE! With GigaGlitters you can instantly create glitter texts! Start right now, just enter the text you want to glitter. Place your glitter text anywhere you like: MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, Facebook, HI5 and many others.

Glitter
http://www.gigaglitters.com/

Some tips/tricks

  • Text can only be 15 characters long.
  • There are 176 different glitter colors/styles to select from. You get a preview of all the styles.
  • There are 101 different fonts to pick from. The only problem is that you don't get a nice popup to show the different font styles, you pick it based on the name.
  • If your unsure, or in a rush, select the 'random' button and a style/font will be selected with your text. Keep clicking randomly until you find the perfect match!
  • Once you find the perfect match, you can drag and drop the style to your desktop, or use the various code text provided.

Example Images

Now What

welcome

thinkfast

April 6, 2018

File Juicer

File Juicer is a cool program that extracts images from Powerpoint and PDF documents.

Description from the site:

With File Juicer you can

  • Extract images from a PowerPoint slide show or presentation.
  • Extract images and text from PDF files.
  • Recover images and video from erased flash cards
  • Recover text from damaged files
  • Extract the images and HTML files in Safari's cache.
  • Extract attachments from email archives.

and more...

I find this useful when I want to extract images from an old Powerpoint slide and use it in other presentations. I have a lot of old PDF documents that have images in them.

File Juice Documents

Eight Things I learned while Testing File Juicer

  • Not all PDF documents will have images. Some graphics are encoded into the PDF document that File Juicer can't identify it as an image object.
  • When File Juicer extracts data from a document it saves similar types in folders. (example JPG, Gif, TIFF)
  • A index.html file is generated as a quick reference guide to all the images in that folder.
  • In the File Juicer Preference section you can set up what type of objects should be extracted
  • Can't extract Stuff-it archives
  • This helped me identify some old files. I was able to determine some old files were PageMaker documents.
  • You can extra Browser Cache from the File menu. This might be useful to do before deleting out the cache.
  • You can also extract images from Messages (iChat). Very helpful if you want to keep a copy of photos people send you.
  • When using the Message extraction, the extracted object will maintain the original file Modification Date, which makes it easy to sort images by date.

Good Application. But...

It was fun playing around with File Juicer but right now I can't seem to justify paying $17 for it.

I found the ability to extract Browser Cache and Images from Messages is way cool. The extracting messages are nice, was wondering how I could get a copy of images.

File Juicer will be placed on the short list of applications to buy - maybe this summer.

April 5, 2018

Endicott Statue

The John Endicott statue is located on Forsyth Way between the Fens gardens and the Museum of Fine Art.

John Endicott Statue

Six Interesting things about the Statue

  • Unveiled on June 15, 1937
  • Funded by George Augustus Peabody, a descendant of John Endicott
  • John Endicott Statue is Eight-feet tall and the backside is 10 feet wide and 17 feet wide. The entire statue is made in granite.
  • The original granite block weighed 12 tons, and after the statue was created it weighed 10 tons.
  • Ralph Wed Gray was the Architect
  • Carl Paul Jennewein was the sculptor - who's other worked include the Two Panels inside the White House and 50+ separate sculptures in the Justice Department Building
  • Quotes on the Statue

    Strong valiant John wilt thou march on, and take up the station first, Christ cal'd hath thee his soldier be, and faile not of thy trust. Edward Johnson 1654

    Bequest of George Augustus Peabody, Esquire of Danvers, Massachusetts.

    On a separate plaque:
    "Ralph Weld Gray, architect/Carl Paul Jennewein, sculptor/1936."

    Eight Interesting things I learned about John Endicott

    • John Endecott is regarded as one of the Fathers of New England. He was the longest serving Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
    • Born on March 15, 1588, in Devon, England. He came to the New World (Salem Massachusetts) in 1628 to help bring some order to the New World
    • There isn't much known about John Endicott life in England.
    • John Endecott and John Winthrop, were the first two governors of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Between xx and xx they alternated governorship responsibilities.
    • In 1636, John Endecott lead a group of colonial volunteers against the Pequots on Block Island - Part of Rhode Island. This military action started the Pequot War. The resulting war killed 700 Pequots - virtually extinguished the tribe.
    • He gave the final orders to have Mary Dyer executed because she didn't listen to the court. The court had asked her multiple times to stay away from Boston.
    • Died March 15, 1665 (Age 77) and is buried in tomb 189 in Boston's historic Granary Burying Grounds.
    • For many years people thought he was buried at the nearby Kings Burying Grounds. It wasn't until xxx that the records were set.

    Finding the Statue

    The statue is located on Forsyth Way near the Museum of Fine Arts. If you take the Green Line and get off at the Northeastern University stop.

April 4, 2018

DiVi the most photographed tree in Aruba

One of the most famous photos from Aruba is that of the Divi-Divi tree by the ocean:

DiVi Tree

The famous tree is located at the very north end of Eagle Beach (where Eagle Beach ends) across the street from Amsterdam Manor.

What is a DiVi Tree?

A Divi tree is scientifically known as the Caesalpinia coriaria. This is a leguminous tree or large shrub native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.

Other Common names include Cascalote, Guaracabuya, Guatapana, Nacascol, and Watapana.

Five Things I learned about the Tree

  • Caesalpinia Coriaria is a shrub or a small tree with a rounded, spreading crown
  • The tree can grow up to 30-feet in height.
  • Flowers on the trees attract lots of bees.
  • India likes the pods from the DiVi-DiVi as they are powerful quick-acting tanning materials.
  • Local say "follow the bend of the divi-divi trees and they'll lead you to town"

Get Your Own DiVi-DiVi Tree

US Customs laws prevent bringing back any trees back to the United States. However, you can buy seeds online and grow your own. Just remember the tree likes warm weather - all year round.

You can buy Divi-Divi seeds from seedvendor.com, they have 20 seeds for $10.

April 3, 2018

Classifieds and eBay

One creative way to get more value out of an Evernote subscription is to save information from external sources. This is helpful with the IFTTT (If this than that ) service.

craigslist Header

You can sync up with Craigslist and eBay and have a new note created when new product get listed.

You can use any source to be notified, such as email or SMS. What makes Evernote unique is that getting notified won't distract your day-to-day operations. In addition, you can save the notification for future reference - for example, if you collect Disney Haunted Mansion memorabilia you may want to know what the current value of some of your items.

Getting Started

It's easy to get started, I recommend doing this on the computer since it will be much easier to perform these actions.

To get this working on Craigslist, you need to get the URL:

  • Goto Craigslist.com and search Craigslist for an item. (See below for creative ideas)
  • Doesn't matter if there's any results
  • Copy the URL
  • Goto ifttt.com in another tab
  • Click on My Applets then the Services Tab
  • Search for Classifieds, and select Classifieds
  • Use the "Get a notification whenever a new Craigslist post matches your search." Applet
  • Paste in the URL and follow the steps.

Repeat these above steps for any other items.

Ebay is a bit easier to setup

  • Goto ifttt.com
  • Click on My Applets then the Services Tab
  • Search for eBay, and select eBay
  • Use the "Automatically get a notification when there's a new item that matches your eBay search."
  • Enter in a Search term, and a Max Price (Optional) and follow the steps

Repeat the above steps for any other items.

Set it and Forget it

Take a few minutes now and create a bunch of actions. If you get too many notifications, simply modify the action to use a strict search query.

Creative Ideas

Some ideas that make this a useful tip.

  • Lightning cable - Someone updated their iPhone might be “giving away” quality Apple lightning cable. They cost about $25 each. Worth getting!
  • Disney Yard Sale - Be alert when someone is looking to unload their collection (Disney, American Girl etc)
  • Outside Bin - Someone moving might be looking to declutter some outside
  • Rakes, Shovels - Someone moving might not have the need for these.
  • Epson. stylus cx7800 - Any USB printer. (If your looking for parts)
  • Haunted Mansion rare - Get an alert whenever a rare haunted mansion collectable is listed. (Or any other product)
  • USB thumb custom - Discover some cool custom USB thumb drive
  • Twas the night before christmas popup book - Any classic book you had as a kid that you may want to give to your child
  • Boston September 1968 - Is their a 50th anniversary / birthday coming up? Be notified about magazine or news papers for display.

Having the search item in your Evernote Inbox keeps you informed of the availability, and if not interested, you can move the note to a notebook for future reference. (So if you are looking to sell that Disney item, you know how much to sell it for.)

April 2, 2018

BrowserStack Screenshot

When working with the product team, it's helpful to share how a particular site looks in different browsers. Getting a screenshot can help confirm or raise display issues that may be unique to a certain browser configuration.

Browserstack Screenshot

That's when Browserstack Screenshot comes in handy for QA.

Website Screenshot
www.browserstack.com/screenshots/

Browserstack's Screenshot website is a useful tool to create screenshots of websites on different platforms. You simply enter the URL and in minutes see what the site looks like in 30 different possible settings.

There are plenty of browser configuration to choose from - 11000+ browser combinations. However, you can only select 25 browser combinations at a time. (Seriously why would you need more than 25?)

When you first arrive at the site, your automatically selected the most popular browser configuration available. So, in most cases, you simply put in a URL and then go.

After the images have been completed, You can download the collection and attach it to a Jira Issue. The filenames have the OS, Browser Version, example: macelc_firefox_45.0.jpg

Technical Notes

This is useful for non-login testing, basically to make sure the general site loads.

You can't configure if you want an only the visible part of the page or the full page. In my test, the page size was 1024 - 9819.

The Local Testing functionality works really well, you simply run a small program that you download from their site. Then browse around like normal.

April 1, 2018

A-Z Challenge - 2018

It's April, and that means that it's time for this years A-Z Challenge.

This is the third year that I have participated in the challenge. Check out all the past A-Z posts on a special page that I have set up.

What is the A-Z Blogging Challenge

The A-Z Blogging Challenge is to have bloggers post something related to the letter of the day. Most bloggers don't post every day so this can hard to balance life and quality blog posts.

In addition, it can be tricky to come up with topics for certain letters - q, x, y, and z.

Topics This Year

Here is the weekly topic schedule:

Monday QA MondayPractical Tips/Information with Quality Assurance Testing.
Tuesday EvernoteTips and Tricks with the popular Evernote productivity tool
Wednesday ArubaWe'll be vacationing in Aruba soon, thought it would be good to learn about the country before our trip.
Thursday BostonLearn some detail information about sites in Boston, Massachusetts.
Friday MacintoshVarious tips and tricks that I have learned related to Macintosh Hardware or Software.
Saturday Internet ToolsProfile of some useful Internet tools to make your job easier.
Weekends Anything GoesOpen topic! I usually find something interesting to post.

My Personal Challenge

Here's what I am committed to delivering this month:

  • Orginal Content - Most of the content is already exclusive to this site. I will continue to seek to have orginal content and also focus on finding challenging topics that people have written about.
  • On Time Delivery - All post should be live by 3pm EST.
  • Creative Graphics - Come up with some cool graphics that engages people into the topic.

I already have much of the month content mapped out - something different that I haven't done in the past.

Getting Topic Ideas by Letters

Some of the resources where I got topic ideas:

  • Boston Public Library - great books on whats going on in Boston.
  • Tumblr Search - Easy to search for topics.
  • Twitter Posts - people asking questions
  • Google Autocomplete - Type in a topic in the search bar and a letter to find interesting ideas.
  • Personal Collection - lots of ideas that I gathered over the year.