back in June of 2020
Sony Digital 8
One of the things that I liked to do with my PowerMac G4 series desktop computers was to digitalize VHS tapes. In the early 2000s, it wasn't easy to connect a VHS player to a Macintosh computer.
Fortunately for me, I just happen to own a Sony DCR-TRV720 Digital Video Camera Recorder. This camera has an RCA input and a Firewire (iLink) output. This means that I could use the camera as a bridge to get video into my Macintosh from a VHS player.
This diagram shows how I was able to get video into the computer.
I still have the Sony DCR-TRV720 Digital Video Camera and still use it every once in a while to get video into the computer. It won't work with the newest iMac Computers - as they don't have a Firewire port. Sure I could get a USB-C to Firewire adapter but I don't think it's worth spending $29 for the few times that I would use it. In addition, I think using a dongle Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter could impact the video quality.
I am better off just firing up the old G4 computer and doing the converting and transferring it to my desktop to do any Final Cut Pro editing.
Five Things I Learned
- The Sony DCR-TRV720 Digital Video Camera is a good video camera but only captures video in 720 dpi - not useful when most videos today are in 1080p format.
- The digital bridge works when I have the camera set up as VTR mode and have a tape in the digital camera. Not exactly sure why this is the case, but it's the only way I got it to work.
- To play the VHS tapes, I used a JVC Stereo Video Cassette Recorder HR-VP673U. Which was a pretty good system at the time. I have never had an issue with VHS tapes breaking or playing back in poor quality. I still have this on my home desk today! (Hidden but still on my desk!) You can find it on ebay for about $65.
- I found that BTV was the best application to view and capture video. The application instantly found the video from the Firewire port. Ben Software has discontinued the application. They have an alternative solution called SwiftCapture which provides many of the same features. Since I am using an old computer - I can still use the BTV.
- The camera still comes in handy today. I still use it every once in a while to get VHS recordings to DVDs or YouTube. Some friends have asked to convert old home movies so they could watch them again.
Automation is Not
Here we go...
Here are the eight things that people may think what QA Automation is - but they are so wrong:
Automation is not....
- A substitute for manual testing. It should complement the sum of all the testing done in a release cycle.
- Easy. It takes time to build a strong test foundation that can be properly maintained.
- Hard. There are a lot of "quick" hit automation tools. Make sure to have a plan. Don't create tests that just "chicken peck" functionality.
- A One and Done. Automation requires lots of regular maintenance work for feature changes and to build in complexity.
- Testing. It's only for verification of a specific predefined path. Just keep in mind that customers may not take the same approach - this is why manual testing is good.
- One Size Fits All. There are lots of automation solutions available. In the past two companies I worked at, both decided to build their own - just so they could have ownership.
- Just about Selenium. There are other alternatives available. Don't think you're limited to Selenium rules. Check out Katalon Studios, Robot Framework and CasperJS to name a few.
- Abracadabra. It's not magical and worth QA time to understand the technology behind it so they can get the most out of it.
What do you think of my list? Did I miss anything? Or am I way off base?
In 1999, I was at the Moscone Center attending the MacWorld Conference. This conference had a lot of attention around the newly announced Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White).
They had displays of the computer all over the exhibit floor so that people could see the new design and styles.
I took a picture of one of the computers in the Apple Booth:
Click on image for a larger version.
Strange Stare Effect
If you look carefully in the picture - there's a guy on the right looking at the computer.
When you look/stare at the computer the guy appears to be staring at you!
Look at the guy, and you can see that he is clearly looking at the computer. Now look at the computer and in your puerperal vision you'll see the guy looking at you.
I tried touching up the photo so the guy is a bit easier to see, but the effect goes away.
Sometimes you want to test an html form and need some gibberish text - just for testing purposes. Using the standard Lorem can be boring.
The Gibberish Generator is a good way to create all sorts of gibberish text. These are also great for those annoying text messages solicitations that you may get every once in a while
You can enter in any text as a sample, or use their prepopulated content: Hamlet, Pooh, Kafka, Quixote, Pizza Ad, Physics or Management-ese.
World-class company. Integical structure. World-class company. Humanage, and to achievels optime, and practiveness. The high leadership and promote comership and marketplace of the marketplace on the involvemental. People high levelopment and competencies a key element and to und quality, in quality, inconce possibility, teamworld-class company. World-class leaders and flexibility, company's employees a few meanies, systems, and companies: People a set of competenciencies is full designed marketplac
Buzz! Buzz! I wonder why he door in gold letters, and the middle of Sanders. ("What down at the tree, and in a forest, and in the only reason for making honey." And the tree. He climbed he sang a little song time, and then he got up, and buzzing-noise, and he came a loud buzzing-noise, and he sang a bee." Then I will go on," said I.) One day when he got up, and he climbed and he said a growly voice. "Then he was out walking, without its means somebody's making honey?
Launch Bar is a great Macintosh productivity utility. It makes using the Macintosh so much easier.
One of the cool features is the ability to quickly enable a search action. With a couple of keystrokes, you can instantly open up your browser to whatever search results that you want to see. Potentially saving a lot of time doing it the old fashion way.
Use LaunchBar to Search
Here's a quick way to search for something on Twitter:
First you'll need to add a new Search Template. This is done by opening the LaunchBar Index, and selecting the Search Templates (UTF-8):
- Trigger the LaunchBar Action (Command Shift)
- Open the LaunchBar Index: Option-Command-I
- Select the "Search Templates (UTF-8)" in the left panel
- Click the '+' button at the bottom left of the main window.
Now Your Ready!
Now your ready to create your own search templates. The key thing to remember in a search template is to grab the URL from search results and replace the keywords that you used with a '*'.
A basic example:
If you had the following URL from a Bing Search for GusODog:
Your Search Template might look like this:
I filtered out some of the text in the URL that I didn't think was important.
You can now search Twitter for what people are talking about:
For Twitter Templates:
Google Photos Search
If you have a lot of photos in Google Photos, now you can quickly search for the one you're looking for.
Name: Google Photos
Now when you want to search for something on twitter:
- Command Space
- Type: Twitter
- Click Space
- Type in your Search Term and then click the return
On Commonwealth Avenue, there are a lot of special homes. The Ayer Mansion is one such place that is overlooked by tourists.
Tours of the home are available on very limited bases. They are held one Saturday and one Sunday a month. Visit their website for tour dates and time.
The stain glass above the door at the Ayer Mansion
The stain glass above the door at the Ayer Mansion
Five Things I learned
- The house was built between 1899 - 1902 for patent medicine and textile entrepreneur Frederick Ayer. It was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
- The Ayer Mansion sole example of a house designed from its inception by-[Louis Comfort Tiffany](http://www.biography.com/people/louis-tiffany-9507399). This is the only surviving house over which Mr. Tiffany had complete control, which allowed him to integrate themes and details both inside-and outside.
- Listed on the National Historic Mansion. This is the only house on CommmonWealth Ave that is listed on the National Historic Landmark.
- When Ayer died in 1918, at the age of 95, the Boston Globe described him as New England's richest man, and the New York Times sketched his rise from a poor shopkeeper to a titan of industry.
- There is a missing Tiffany Vase from the Ayer Mansion. It may have been missing for decades and a collector may have it without knowing that it is stolen from the Ayer Mansion. The vase is supposed to be in the hands of a Tiffany collector from the MidWest. The Ayer Mansion preservation believes the previous owner of the house took it when it was sold in 1964.
Finding The Ayer Mansion
The Ayer Mansion is located at 395 Commonwealth Ave - between Massachusetts Ave and Charles Gate East.
Someone that took the tour in 2018 recorded it. It might be interesting to watch to learn more about the house and a chance to see the inside.
Erikson's Ice Cream
One of our favorite local ice cream stand is Erikson's Ice Cream. The classic ice cream stand is located at the border of Stow and Maynard Massachusetts.
They have a large selection of fresh ice creams to select from. They have Gluten Free cones too!
Some of the flavors they are featuring in 2020. They have a list of flavors on their website, this is my list from a recent visit:
Black Raspberry Oreo
Gram Central Station
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Oreo
Roasted Butter Almond
Toasted Walnut Fudge
Salted Carmel Choc Pretzel
German Chocolate Cake
Rockin' Rolo - Chocolate Caramel
Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Pretzel
Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Chocolate Mint Oreo
Maynard Black Bear
Cinnamon Granola Crunch
Strawberry Cheese Cake
Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup
Vanilla With M&M
Strawberry Cake Crunch
Sea Salt Caramel Truffle
Finding Erikson Ice Cream
Erikson is located on 12 Great Road in Maynard, MA. It's located about a mile and a half from downtown Maynard on Route 62 and 117.
SCSI Hard Drives
Back in the day, if you got a Mac, your computer had a SCSI hard drive. For many years it was the only hard drive option that the Mac supported.
Fun Facts about SCSI Drives
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) is a fast reliable storage solution.
For external SCSI drives, you need to make sure they had to have a SCSI termination.
They were more expensive than the IDE drives and had less storage space. Basically you're paying more per MB.
My Power Mac G4 400 Series (M7891LL/A) had SCSI support on the Motherboard. (72GB Ultra160 SCSI (10K rpm))
I still have several of these drives in my basement. Unfortunately, I don't have any means to read them on the latest iMacs. Ideally, I would have to get my old PowerMac G4 up and running to access whatever data I stored on the drives.
In some companies they have an internal company-wide product show-me - otherwise known as Product Palooza.
What is a Product Palooza?
The Product Palooza a chance for Product and Engineering to showcase all the upcoming features that are being worked on. This is usually an internal showcase for Sales and CS teams. It's a good way to communicate upcoming changes.
QA Should have a similar type of event - named Bug Bash. The event would showcase some of the unique bugs that QA has found.
Bug Bash target audiences would be for the Product and Engineering teams.
Some Example Exhibits:
- Most Complex Bug Found
- Tools that QA Uses to Find Bugs
- Tips and Tricks on Testing your own code
- Testing Technology and Techniques
- Testing Challenges and Ways They are
A Bug Bash can help QA educate the engineering team of the various testing challenges. It can be used for the Product team to help understand planning and test time allocation.
Final Cut Pro
I have decided to take the plunge and purchase Apple's Final Cut Pro. This means that I won't be using Wondershare Filmora for Video editin.
Filmora is a great application, but I have been playing around with Final Cut Pro and found that its a much better application for my needs. I like the text editing capabilities and I find that it is much easier to align videos from multiple angles.
Over the next few week's I'll share some of the cool features and highlight techniques that highlight the advantages of using Final Cut Pro.
Easy Unit Converter
Everyone has to do unit conversions at some time or another. Some examples: How much mulch to add in a playground space. How long is a 5k in miles? How many days are in a decade? When it's 100 degrees Fahrenheit, what is it in Celsius?
EasyUnitConverter is your one stop shop to get your conversions. There are a lot of really cool calculations:
Our Unit Converter will convert the length units Meters (m), Kilometers (km), Centimeters (cm), Millimeters (mm), Micrometers, Nanometers, Miles (m or mi), Yard (yd), Foot (ft), Inch (in), Light Year to vice versa from imperial to metric system with a metric conversion table. It specially designed to convert cm to inches, inches to cm, mm to inches, inches to mm, km to miles, miles to km, cm to feet, feet to cm, inches to feet, feet to inches, meters to yards, yards to meters.
Advantage of Snagit 2020 over MonoSnap
If your a frequent user of MonoSnap, you should consider upgrading to Snagit. It's a much more powerful application that offers a lot more capabilities. It's certainly a step up to making screen captures.
While MonoSnap might be an attractive solution because MonoSnap is free. For some, Snagit seems a "bit pricey" at $49.95 (one-time fee). However, when you see the overall features it becomes clear that Snagit is the screen capture for champions.
MonoSnap Editor Window
Snagit 2020 Editor Window
Five Reasons to Upgrade to Snagit 2020
There are a lot of reasons to use Snagit. Here are just some of the ones that I have come up with:
Better Annotate Tools - A lot more annotate tools. MonoSnap has 11 tools, while Snagit has 19 - including Stamp, Step, Simplify, and more that are not in MonoSnap. The nice thing is that you can create your own theme. This means that you can create company color styles for any arrow or shape tool. In addition, you can share those themes with other Snagit users.
Advance Editor - Ability to combine screenshots, add effects and more. Basically the editor has everything you need to modify a screenshot so that you can communicate your message. You can even combine screenshots into a video and dictate over it.
Snagit Full page Capture with Chrome - Snagit makes it easy to capture a full page in Chrome. Simply click on the arrow for Scrolling Capture. If the scrolling capture doesn't work, you can always use the Panoramic Capture to capture full web pages, long documents and more.
Time Delay Captures - You can set the record to start whatever duration you want. In Monosnap you can only do a 10-second delay for full screens. Snagit allows you to set a delay in any capture type - Image, Video or Panoramic.
Advance Video Functions - You can record your WebCam and/or Microphone while recording videos. This makes it easy to talk over the video and explain more about what is going on.
There has been a lot of talks lately of a famous Lincoln Statue near the Boston Commons. This statue featured President Lincoln and a slave.
Many people think the statue is racist and suggest taking it down.
Emancipation Group Statue (Courtesy of Google Maps)
Note: I don't have a personal picture in my collection and resorted to a picture on Google Maps.
Four Things I Learned
The official title of the statue is: Emancipation Group
Statue was created by Thomas Ball. He created many other statues in Boston such as the Equestrian Statue of George Washington, Josiah Quincy, and Charles Sumner.
Statue was created in 1874
This casting of the Emancipation Group the City of Boston in 1877 by Moses Kimball of the Boston Museum.
The head of the slave is modeled from a photograph of Archer Alexander, the last slave to be recaptured in Missouri under the Fugitive Slave Act.
The original casting of the statue is in Washington DC. It was commissioned by the Freedman's Memorial Society in Washington D.C. It cost $17,000 ($389,462.51 in 2019) raised by Washington D.C. black community.
Charlotte Scott, a former slave from Marietta, Ohio, gave the initial donation of five dollars - her first earning as a freed person to help commission a statue for Lincoln.
A plaque near the statue in Washington DC reads: "Freedom's Memorial, in Grateful Memory of Abraham Lincoln: This monument was erected by the Western Sanitary Commission of St. Louis, MO, with funds contributed solely by emancipated citizens of the United States declared free by his Proclamation January 1, A.D. 1863. The first contribution was made by Charlotte Scott, a freed woman of Virginia, and consecrated by her suggestion and request on the day she heard of President Lincoln's death"
The statue in Boston was last restored by the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers.
Staute Resolve and Order
The City of Boston resolve for the statue in 1879:
Whereas, a communication has been received from Hon. Moses Kimball, in which he tenders to the City of Boston the gift of a colossal group in bronze, emblematical of Emancipation, upon conditions that it be placed upon the lot of land at the junction of Columbus Avenue, Park square and Pleasant street, and that the city will cause the area to he suitably enclosed and annually cultivated with flowering plants and shrubs; it is therefore hereby
Resolved, That the thanks of the City Council, in behalf of the citizens of Boston, be conveyed to the Hon. Moses Kimball for the public spirit displayed in his costly and substantial gift to the city, which is hereby gratefully accepted upon the conditions attached to his offer.
Ordered, That the triangular lot of land situated at the junction of Columbus avenue. Park Square and Pleasant street be and the same is hereby assigned for the location of the group.
Ordered, That the Committee on Common and Public Grounds be requested to take such action as may be necessary to cause the said lot to be put in order and enclosed with a suitable fence, in accordance with the terms of the gift.
Historic Deerfield Massachusetts
If your traveling through I-91 in central Massachusetts, one of the towns you'll be driving through in Deerfield Massachusetts. Most people stop at the Yankee Candle flagship store - located just off of exit 24 on I-5.
Did you know that just down the road is Old Deerfield Village Historic District? It's a fun place to learn more about Old New England. A few years ago we accidentally discovered this place when we took the wrong exit off of I-91.
Some Characters you may see around Deerfield
Things I Learned About the Historic Deerfield
The outdoor museum was founded in 1952 to teach people about the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley.
Admission tickets to all the buildings is $18 for adults and $5 for kids.
The Old Deerfield Village is a subsection of the actual Deerfield town. The village has one major street with several cross streets. The main street is called "The Street."
What's interesting is that the street was a real street at one time. In 1670 a surveyor laid out the mile-long road, the village and the surrounding meadows for farming, a town plan that survives perfectly intact today.
There are twelve preserved houses to tour. The oldest house is from 1730. You can tour three centuries of American History and discover how things have changed over the years.
Twenty-four of the house that is on "The Street" were standing when the Revolutionary War began in 1775, and 42 houses predate the Civil War.
Guest can check out authentic furniture, silver and other historic decorations.
The Henry N. Flynt Library is a special collection library perfect for people researching early New England life. You can learn a lot more about the lives of people in the Connecticut River Valley.
This unique old houses and layouts are a perfect place for photographers looking for the ideal New England town.
Iomega Zip Disks
Back in the late 1990s I was doing a lot of multimedia work and needed some storage solution. CDs and DVDs weren't a viable solution since the disks were still expensive. Plus burning a CD was so permanent. If I made some changes then I would have to create a new CD.
I started buying Zip disks at Fry's Electronics as a solution to my storage. The 100 MB in size was perfect for my needs. At the time, I was thinking that I could just get a bunch of disks and just organize my collection.
Zip Disks - Awesome Idea
I got disks for work, audio files, games, mail back up and website content.
It was so easy to organize the disks and change the content whenever I needed it.
The disks were strong enough to carry around in my office bag - even though there was no need to since I didn't have a zip drive at work. But still, it was sturdy and strong that I didn't really have to worry about them.
Iomega started making color zip disks. Now things got cool. Now I could have red disks for my important documents - yellow disk for images and green disks for work (green for money!)
In the 2000s data CDs and DVDs became more affordable. That's when I decided to make the switch. My first data CD was made in 1997 - and I still have that disk.
CDs became more of a fun storage device. They actually held more data - 700 MB vs the 100 MB in a zip disk. I figured that I could get more creative about what I should be backing up. In addition, I could be creative and create colorful labels.
Re-Writable CDs were a thing, but I didn't really see the need for that. Using a CD as a simple backup solution was all I needed. There wasn't a need to constantly rewrite files on to a CD.
Not long after - DVDs became more popular for me. They hold a lot more data - 4.7 GB. They are just as easy to burn. In addition, media prices were coming down. Places like MeritLine were selling unwrap spindles for around $50.
They were a great solution for backing up work files and my personal audio collection.
Its been a long time since I took out my external zip drive and plugged it into one of my old computers. The drive was a SCSI format, which is long outdated to today's computers.
The last time I connected the drive to a computer, I heard the dreaded "click of death."
Iomega Click of Death
"Click of Death" is the term for the distinctive sound that a Zip drive's read head makes when it becomes misaligned and cannot read a Zip disk. The sound is caused by the head repeatedly hitting the end of its range in an ineffectual attempt to find the first track of the disk.
Looks like the drive I have is no longer good. The good news is that it doesn't mean that the disks that I have are bad. I simply have to get a new drive to read some of the data I have on my old zip disks.
People are selling Iomega zip drives on Amazon for $279! Wow! Are you serious? Why would anyone want to pay that much for a legacy system?
There are places on eBay that are selling them for around $90 - still a bit pricy in my opinion but a bit reasonable. The only problem with these is that there's no guarantee that you won't end up getting the click of death.
If you do buy one of these drives, just remember that they may not work on the latest macOS. I would recommend trying them on a much older system.
Managing Testing around furloughs and layoffs
Many companies are cutting expenses and implementing short term furloughs and layoffs. This means that QA has to balance testing with smaller teams.
Some ideas to make this process less impacting to the team
- Documentation - make sure that everyone update their smoke testing and regression test steps.
- Schedule - if the team is going on furlough on different weeks make sure that everyone knows who going to be out and when.
- Regression Testing Test - make sure that the test case repository is updated with the latest test. Particularly make sure the test steps are up to date.
- Ticket Testing - Make sure testing steps are clear if tickets are being released while the tester is out. If there were any new discovery while testing a ticket - it's critical to make sure that it's well documented.
- Wiki Page Update - Make sure that project base QA Reference pages are updated with the current contact and release plan. (More information on QA Reference Page in a different post. )
- Product Review Meeting - After layoffs occur it's a good idea to meet up with the Product team and go over regression planning. With a smaller team, it's time to rethink testing priorities. The product can help lay the groundwork on what areas should get the most focus. In some businesses, it might be good to include customer support as they may have ideas on areas of the product that gets the most attention.
Here's the latest update on the four major professional sports.
National Basketball Association
The NBA will tentatively resume play on July 31 with 22 teams in the field. Games will be played in Orlando Florida.
Players will have to be in "lockdown" in Orlando as they finish off the postseason with no fans in the stadium. The idea is to isolate the teams to prevent any exposure to COVID-19.
The New York Times is reporting that not all players are happy about the Orlando option - especially with the Black Lives Moment in full swing. Some players want to continue to have a voice in the movement and may sit out the season.
Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19. He tested positive on March 13, 2020. Got to love this tweet:
National Hockey League
Training camps for the 24 NHL teams resuming play will open July 10. The 2019-2020 season will resume with only Stanley Cup qualifying teams.
One thing complicating the comeback is that an unnamed Boston Bruin player has tested positive for COVID-19. (This is the first know case among the Bruin's team.)
The Boston Bruins have the best season record when all play was stopped on March 12th because of COVID-19.
The NHL plans to have 24 teams return with a chance to win the Stanley Cup, eight top clubs playing each other to determine seedings while the bottom 16 meet in eight playoff qualifying series.
Major League Baseball
The 2020 season is uncertain - players rejected the latest contract negotiations as they wanted more pay for the short season. The league office has said that asking for more with no fans in the stadium is not realistic.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has asked MLB to go ahead and schedule the start of the MLB season. They have asked for plans by June 15th.
Once an official schedule has been announced, players will return to "spring training" to get ready for the 2020 season. The season would start at least 3-weeks after the spring training.
The MLB has publicly reported that multiple players have recently tested positive for the virus. The league has not filed any reports on what baseball would look like once play has resumed.
National Football League
NFL season is currently scheduled to start on time. There are rumors that they plan to have fans in the stands during preseason games.
Back in May, Dr. Anthony Fauci has publicly stated that it's possible for the NFL season to start on time. He said it's possible to fill the stadium as long as people are social distance. Which means that the stadiums would be about a third full so that people would be about six feet apart.
He said that one key thing is that the NFL would have to do an abundance of testing and be willing to sideline key players if they test positive.
If you spend a lot of time working with websites, you know that colors are important. Knowing the right colors is critical to any projects.
Color Combos makes it easy to find the primary colors that a website uses. Now you can have the right swatches set up in Photoshop or Affinity Photo.
Simply enter in a website URL and get the popular color schemes being used on the page.
The website color extraction tool is used to grab colors from a website.
Simply enter the URL of the website you want to grab colors from, then press the Get the Colors button. This tool will then attempt to read that websites HTML and CSS files to find all of the HEX color codes.
If colors are found, you will be redirected to the color combinations tester page where you can see all of their colors. From there, you can build and test color schemes and palettes with those colors.
Rotate Images in the Finder
A cool hidden trick in the MacOS Finder is the ability to rotate an image or video without having to open up an application. There are 2 hidden keyboard shortcuts - rotate right and rotate left.
- Select any image or video.
- Type in Command R to rotate the file 90-degrees to the right.
- You can Command R several times to keep rotating the file.
Note: Using this method will change the modified date of the file, it won't change the Created date.
Queen Elizabeth II Plaque
In Boston's Old North Church, there is a plaque to commemorate when Queen Elizabeth II said a prayer during her visit to Boston in July 1976.
Thousands of people came to watch the Queen visit sites around Boston on her Bicentennial visit to the United States.
Fun Facts about the Queen's Visit to Boston
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, her Mistress of the Robes, her Lady-in-Waiting, her Equerry-in-Waiting, her secretaries - a total of 52 arrived in Boston on July 11, 1976. She arrived on her royal yacht HMY Britannia escorted by the USS Constitution.
The Queen's visit to Boston was the first time a reigning monarch visited the city of Boston.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth first stop was a morning prayer at the Old North Church.
At the Old North Church on April 19, 1975, President Ford lit a third lantern dedicated to America's third century of freedom. Upon seeing the lantern, the Queen remarked, "May the light never be dimmed."
After the Church they headed over to the Old State House where 200 years earlier the Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of Boston.
Queen Elizabeth was quoted saying, it was here "that it all began."
The queen was dressed in a white and red print dress and a white and red straw hat.
They started the historic Bicentennial visit in Philadelphia on July 6 on her boat the Britannia. She attended a state dinner at the White House, toured the nation's capital, spent a day in New York, visited Thomas Jefferson's home near Charlottesville, and had a special dinner party on the Britannia in Newport Rhode Island. Boston was the last stop on her Bicentennial visit to America.
The queen was given a tour of the city by Gov. Michael S. Dukakis and Boston's Mayor Kevin H. White.
She left Boston late in the day on the HMY Britannia heading North to Nova Scotia.
Newport Wave Sculpture
When your walking around downtown Newport, Rhode Island you may see the Wave statue near the waterfront. This is a popular tourist photo spot for selfies and family photos.
Some people bring socks to put on the statue for a bit of humor - mostly during the cold winter months and late-night visits.
Four Things I Learned
- Official Name is "The Wave."
- No one knows who's feet it is supposed to be in the wave.
- The bonze sculpture is 7 and half feet tall and 8 feet wide.
- The sculpture was requested by the nearby marketplace - Perry Mill Market. It was don by Kay Worden in 1983.
Classic Mac Posts
This is the start of a new series on cryan.com blog - Classic Macintosh. Over the next eight week's I'll be featuring some of the classic applications and hardware around Apple's Macintosh computer.
These will be items that I have in my collection. For the most part, these are just collecting dust in the attic and basement.
Let's kick off the series with Firewire, a technology that I enjoyed using for many years.
Picture of my G3 Desktop in my basement.
Picture of my G3 Desktop in my basement.
Firewire was first introduced to the public with the introduction of Apple G3 B&W Desktop.
Here's a promotion that ran during MacWorld San Francisco in 1999. The promo was called, "The Look of Love."
After the promo ran, Steve Jobs went on to explain the FireWire technology and why everyone will want to embrace the technology.
I really like the FireWire technology - also called IEEE 1394. I purchased several external disk drives using the Firewire port because it was a faster way to store data.
I also purchased a video camera - Sony DCR-TRV720 - simply because it had a FireWire port. (More on this in a future blog post.)
End of Firewire
After 13-years Apple decided to pull the plug and move to the more popular open-source USB3 solution. It made sense since it was faster and there were a lot more devices supporting it.
Firewire first met its demise in 2012 when Apple released the new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. It was the first product to feature USB3 instead of Firewire. The writing was on the wall for anyone with Firewire devices.
QA Tag Lines
Everyone once in a while I encounter a situation where we need a good QA tag line. It might be for a marketing event or just something to spice the mood up around the office.
My coworkers will come up with some creative content, and some are good and some need a little bit more creativity. At the end of the day, I appreciate the thoughtfulness and work that they put in each submission.
Creative Tag Lines
Here are some suggested tag lines for any QA team. Some of these are based on classic commercial tag lines.
- It Matters
- Good Enough is not Good Enough
- Quality Up
- Question Everything
- Quality is Job 1
- What could possibly go wrong?
- A little science...a little magic...a little quality.
- Say "No" to bugs.
- Make it Right - Mike Holmes
- It's time to get serious with QA
Got a Tagline?
If you know of any other tag lines, please share. We are always looking for something new.
The Doggie Dooley is a way to turn dog poop into fertilizer. Basically you no longer throw poop in a bag and into the trash - now you scoop poop and place it in the Doggie Dooley - which is buried in your yard. It works let a mini septic system.
Five Things I learned
- It was really easy to assemble the main Doggie compartment. You get five extra screws.
- You need to dig two holes. One hole that the Doggie Dooley sits in. The second hole is 10' wide where the poop actually goes when you place it in the Doggie Dooley.
- The problem is that the second hole has to be 42' deep. This is in addition to the 16' from the first hole. There aren't many shovels that can go that far down.
- I ran into lots of roots while I was digging. I found that using hedge clippers help cut through some of the bigger roots. We knew that we would run into roots and selected a location where it would be a minimal issue.
- After digging for a while, I ran into lots of rocks. It made it difficult to continue digging a deeper hole. I decided to stop and see how it works out.
Hope for the best
Looking forward to seeing if the Doggie Dooley works out. We do have to put a lot of water in the hole.
The hole is far away from any plants so I don't think we'll see any ground nutrient improvement.
Every once in a while it helps to play games to keep from being stressed out. A simple game of match play is a good way to stay focus and keep the mind sharp.
The visualchallenge.com has a simple match game - 16 cards. To test your skills. The website can track your progress and you can see if you can beat your previous game. It's a lot of fun and a good way to break down some downtime.
If your really good you can try the "expert mode" with 60 cards. I would recommend starting slow.
Installing legacy Font Suitcase files
Do you have any old CDs/DVDs of old fonts? Wonder if it's still possible to use them? Are they in the legacy Font Suitcase format.
Good News! You can still use them in the latest version of macOS (macOS version 10.15.5). When you double click on the file it won't be discovered by any application in the system.
How to import Fonts in legacy Font Suitcase into your computer
- Open the Font Book application
- Go to File > Open
- Find the file that you want to import
- Select it and click Choose
I have found that my Fontographer fonts work well in any application. I was able to use them in Affinity Designer, Swift Publisher and OmniGraffle.
Alexander Hamilton Statue
Alexander Hamilton was a politician, military commander, banker and one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury. During the five years in office he help built the foundation that is still being used today.
Many Bostonians felt a statue was needed so that people would always remember his contribution to the country.
The statue was put up four years before the Equestrian Statue was put up at the Boston Public Gardens.
Six Things I Learned
- Placed on the pedestal on Commonwealth Ave on August 25, 1865. There was no formal inauguration ceremony. The statue was put up 61 years, 1 month, 13 days after he died.
- Created by William Rimmer based on the bust of Alexander Hamilton by Giuseppe Ceracchi which is located in the Boston Athenaeum. The bust was done in 1791.
- Made with Quincy granite. (Some media report at the time had Carlisle granite or Concord, NH granite.)
- There are three portraits on the base showing Hamilton, John Jay and George Washington.
- The statue was paid for by Tomas Lee, a wealthy merchant. It is maintained by the Public Park commission.
- At one time there was a small fence around the base, then there were some bushes. Today the base has simple stones.
"MEN ON THE MALL."-Boston Globe (1960-1988),-Oct 04 1970, p. 5.-ProQuest.-Web. 4 June 2020-.
The Lobster Claw in Orleans, Massachusetts is one of our favorite summer tradition. For many New Englanders the summer Cape Cod trip isn't complete until we visit the Lobster Claw.
I can remember enjoying steamers with the family when I was a kid. I remember getting a bakes stuff lobster and enjoying dipping the lobster in the butter.
On some really busy summer nights, we had to wait upstairs at the bar and enjoy some appetizers before we could go back downstairs and have a meal.
Then there was this summer night when we ate during a really bad rainstorm, and the back doors swung open. It was scary. But we still got our food and it was still yummy.
I remember when they didn't have a gift shop - ya we been going there for a long time.
The seafood seems to just taste better here.
Five Things I Learned About the Lobster Claw
- Opened in 1962 by Don and Marylou Berig
- They still own the place, and chances are you'll get a visit by Don asking you how your meal is. Wow-what a great restaurant! After 58 years he still wants to know how things are going.
- The summer of 1999 might have been the best summer they had. Cape Cod traffic was at its peak and Don Berig told the Cape Cod Times that his sales were up 15 to 20 percent over the previous year. (I couldn't find any other reference to higher year over year sales.)
- In 2016, the Lobster Claw opened on April 1st with a short staff because of Visa delays. According to the Boston Herald, in 2016 the restaurant employed 40 people. About 13 of them come from Jamaica as part of their summer help. The owners worked really hard to keep the restaurant open while other places had to close until the Visa delays were settled. They were working 14 hour days!
- In 2019, the Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, stopped in as he was enjoying a weekend on Cape Cod.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the business to focus on take-out orders. They are using DoorDash to deliver the food to customers - no word if they will deliver to Nauset Beach.
Check out the Lobster Claw
The next time your driving through Orleans, Massachusetts be sure to check out the Lobster Claw. I recommend trying a bowl of New England Clam Chowder with some Steamed Little Necks.
Enjoy the afternoon, and go have a beer and a Cup of Clam Chowder. Enjoy the Cape Cod charm
If you're celebrating something special you'll want to try the New England Clambake - 1 1/4 lbs Boiled Lobster, Steamed Clams, Corn, French Fries, and Coleslaw. You can forget about going to Sundae School after eating this.
2020 Boston Marathon Canceled
Last Thursday the organizers of the Boston Marathon made the tough call and canceled the 2020 Marathon. In March, the marathon was rescheduled from April 20th to September 14, 2020. (147 days delay)
This is the first time in the 124-year history that the marathon was canceled. The yearly event ran during the great depression, World Wars, snow and rainstorms.
Essential this means that any large events that are being held in the summer of 2020 are not going to happen.
Boston politicians were worried about the pandemic spread with the large gathering of spectators. They wanted to avoid a "second wave" much like what happened in the 1919 pandemic.
Spring Police Protests
Over the past five days there has been protesting all over the country - including in major cities around New England. Local media have been showing the large crowds gathering in front of the Massachusetts State House.
When I look at the footage, I wonder what the impact will be of the mass gathering. Will, there be a spike in COVID-19 cases or is such a gathering not going to be an issue since a majority of people are wearing masks.
If there is no spike reported in the next seven days, it could be a positive sign of a return to normal. Maybe it's simple enough to have masks on to help reduce the spread.
Boston Offices Are Open
Companies that have office space in Boston were allowed to open up this past Monday.
Wouldn't you know it.. traffic reports returned to the local media stations - radio and tv.
However, a lot of companies are encouraging workers to continue to work from home. There are two main reasons:
Children- Anyone with children are having to help with the distance learning. In addition, daycare is still closed forcing parents to take care of their infants while working from home.
Public Transportation - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is still running on a reduce schedule. When possible, many buses are limiting the number of riders to help maintain social distance.
It will be interesting to see what Phase 2 will bring and how the mass gatherings impact the regular numbers.
Enable Reader Mode in Chrome
There's a little known feature in the desktop version of Chrome - the ability to see only the text on webpages. This has been available in Safari for years. Google finally has decided to bring it into Chrome.
The feature is "neat" because you can basically eliminate ads from articles, which can be a distraction some times. In some cases, you can bypass the paywall and see the article that is blocked using the conventional way.
Enable the Feature
To enable the feature you need to open Chrome and go to this URL:
This is what you should see:
Use the pull-down menu on the right of the "Enable Reader Mode"
Then click on the blue "Relaunch" button and Chrome Browser will restart.
Toggle Reader Mode
Now when you visit some websites, you'll see a new icon to the right of the URL, now click on it and you'll have the same reader mode as you get in Safari.