2008 PNSQC Conference Proceedings Available for Download

I love it when conference proceedings are available online. The Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) has offered their proceedings online for some years. The 2008 proceedings are now available. However, on the page with the link to the proceedings, the following message is displayed:

Note: These proceedings will only be available for a short time to the general public. After this time, the proceedings and individual papers will be available for download by PNSQC members only (membership is free and requires registration on the website).

The current link, accessible to the public, can be found here.


WTIA Puget Sound Tech Universe – No Varolii

The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) released a map of the Puget Sound Tech Universe. This is a fascinating map. I have spent more time than I should looking at it.

My current company is on the map. However, my four prior employers are not on it. I am not surprised by the first two. Partes (developer of the FreeEdgar web site, acquired by EdgarOnline in 1999) and eSociety (a classic dot com that closed when the bubble burst in 2000) did not have a lasting impact in the region. My last employer – SiteScout – is still kicking about. My surprise is that Varolii (formerly PAR3 Communications), where I worked for 7 years, did not make the map. Varolii should be on the map.


Washington Residents – Free Computer and Monitor Recycling

On January 1, Washington state started a program promoting free recycling of computers, monitors and other electronics. Over the years, I have acquired a large number of electronics which I no longer use or that no longer work.

Details of the program can be found at the 1-800-Recycle site. The site makes it easy to find locations that will accept what you need to recycle.


How to Verify that HTTP TRACE is Disabled – Telnet Disabled

In a prior post, I described how to use telnet to verify that the HTTP TRACE command is disabled. A commenter asked:

What if telnet is actively being blocked… is there another way to invoke the TRACE request in an attempt to verify whether the potential vulnerability exists?

My immediate reaction was that I needed to research how to do this. What a fool I am…

The fact of the matter is that if an HTTP connection is able to connect to the server than the method I described will still work. Because we are using telnet to impersonate a browser – connecting via port 80 – even if telnet is blocked (usually port 23), using telnet via port 80 will still work. If the browser can connect via this way, so can telnet via port 80.


New Machine – CPU Fan Spins for Less than a Second, No Boot

For Christmas, we gave my kids a new machine. I bought a bare-bones machine from TigerDirect. We wrapped each component separately, so I did not assemble it until Christmas day. I assembled the machine without incident. Powered up. Then – nothing. The CPU fan would spin for less than a second. Nothing else. Machine did not power up.

I did some research and arrived at three possibilities for the cause. From least likely (and least expensive) to most likely, they were:

  1. Faulty power switch
  2. Improperly seated CPU heat sink / fan
  3. Faulty power supply

The first item was easy to eliminate. I disconnected the power switch from the mother board and used a screw driver to simulate powering up the machine. Same issue.

It was a long shot but an improperly seated CPU was said to cause some models of motherboards to automatically power down. I had used a spare heat sink / fan I had around. It was "new" in the sense I had never used it. However, I did not trust it since it had sat on a shelf and had probably been battered about. So, when I was able, I bought a much better heat sink / fan and installed it. Powered on. Same issue.

I bought a new power supply (actually a much better power supply) and installed it. Powered up. And it worked.

FYI – TigerDirect makes it very easy to get a return authorization.


Annual Bug – Update Copyright Statement

With the new year, it is time for me to write my annual bug. Like many products, ours includes a copyright statement of the format "© 2006–2008 Company Name" that is displayed to our users. Every year, I submit a bug to change the ending year.

The United States Copyright Office provides the following guidelines in the copyright basics PDF.

Form of Notice for Visually Perceptible Copies

The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all the following three elements:

  1. The symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word “Copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.”; and
  2. The year of first publication of the work. In the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of he compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculp­tural work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful article; and
  3. The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.

By these guidelines, the second date is not required. However, sometimes it is better to go with the flow.