December 16, 2010 12:13 am

Purchase price different from Advertised price?

Interesting to see the purchase price different from the advertised price on the same site between two pages…

This company has put up a front page banners saying 80% off on 100pk DVD spindle that turns out to $9.99/- . Proceed further to place an order for this item, the item results page shows $14.48.

Now proceed further to check out page or the shopping cart, it shows the $14.48 and other summary of delivery charge etc…

Amount inconsistency? Where might this have gone wrong?
data Configuration?
latency in price points?  so the images for advertisement did not have this price?




Looking at the coupon page, i realized if the offer was In-Store only, and went back to the home page to check if it was available online too. Well, it looks like it does the advt shows “in store and online” .

#WhatIsWronghere #PricingBug #AmImissingSomething

ps: i am not posting this to pin point an issue on the site here. The intent is to probe other software professional visitors here to think what might have happened and how such scenarios can be prevented in their work situations.

Tags: Software quality, User Experience

December 11, 2010 7:31 pm

Great learning on TFS2010 and warehouse ….

I have been playing around the TFS2010 (Team foundation Server) and the way it manages the data between the operational database and its counterpart Data Warehouse. It has been a long time since I had ever tried the warehouse concepts and learning some of those concepts…

At the same time Microsoft Team Foundation Server also offers the Client side of the tools like Test and Lab Manager and they are part of the Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional SKU. Being a v1.0 of this client utility, obviously we can say there are some limitations, but on the positive side there are great features to leverage with Source control, work item associations, work item management overall and several others…

December 9, 2010 2:39 am

Computer account trust relationship – Excel to Analysis Server


This issue popped up on my computer several weeks ago on my Excel instance when  connecting to the SQL Analysis services. Enquired several people and searched several blogs.

Here is how I had installed the applications on my machine .

Client config
                Windows 7   [7600]
                Office 2010 
                VS 2010 ultimate

Sequence of installation, if that matters:
     Windows 7 –> Office 2010 –>  VS2010 –>  uninstall/reinstall Office 2010.

This is pretty straight forward, right? I don’t see any conflicts here of course, and the add-ins that were required were still in place. And I thought i didn’t have to reinstall VS2010 at this time.

Here is how i would connect the Excel instance to an Analysis services

1. Launch Excel
2. Data –> from other sources –> Analysis services
3. Provide the server name on data connection dialog, and connect if you are connecting with windows authentication
4. takes a while and boom – gives this following error message:

“The following system error occurred: The Security database on the server does not have the computer account for this workstation trust relationship”


5. well, apparently i tried logging in with the same user account but via providing UserName and the Password.
6. it would go through the first level ok and gives the list of cubes and perspectives available
7. select one of those and proceed to create a Pivot –> now again, gives the same error message as above….

It is at times frustrating when the message doesn’t say exactly what is wrong and how it can be fixed. It gets more frustrating if the issue wasn’t resolved for longer time.

Well anyways, finally found the solution – who would have thought the issue was something completely *repeat* completely unrelated in nature with an Excel application connecting to a SQL Analysis service, and where did Live ID assistant come into picture.

Yes, thanks to the following MSDN forum post – http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sqlanalysisservices/thread/b058635f-6d3e-4240-a555-1dbd945ae25a – that said three options
1. to update the kernel on the Server
2. check the windows Live ID assistant on client
3. connect as NTLM from the client machine

…and recommended #1. Well, why should I be looking at the server level configuration when i know another person could connect to  the same server and i was unable to. Well, I was also able to connect to the same server from different client machines and not from this current machine…  So, i chose option #2..

yes, uninstalled the Windows Live Id Sign in Assistant:
1. Launch Control Panel –> Programs and Features
2. look for Windows LiveID sign in Assistant
3. right click and uninstall
4. if cautions close all the applications suggested (Outlook, Visual Studio, etc)
5. Restart the machine
6. go over the Excel –> Analysis service connection process
7. wow! connects through and able to retrieve the data..

ufff! this hard just because the message was not that friendly and the event log didn’t have the right message?

November 23, 2010 5:58 pm

Let it snow Let it snow Let it snow…

Filed under: Weather — ramsblog @ 5:58 pm

oh yes, we have been snowed since yesterday. It was beautiful sunny day with temperatures at its teens today. My 5yr old and I went out for a few minutes to take some pictures. was it cold, oh! it was freezing. My fingers taking pictures were frozen within few minutes. daughters feet were frozen and literally ran home after some time staying out taking pictures.

some kids had fun sledding around the streets. It was a great walk though.




image image image

image image image

hope it all melts away tonight, but with the lower temperature till later tomorrow, wonder it gets icy before it melts.

Seeds Vs Grapes

Filed under: Children,gen,General,JustforFun — ramsblog @ 4:22 pm

In conversation with 5yr old on grapes and seeds, and how the grape seeds are planted to get the grapes while she was eating red grapes and how she didn’t like those because of seeded grapes. and asks, if these seeds are planted to get the grapes, how are seedless grapes planted when there were no seeds. … and so also seedless Oranges, seedless Pomegranates, etc?

October 27, 2010 6:16 pm

our daughter at the apple store…

Filed under: UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 6:16 pm

We had stopped by an Apple store over the week end. Out of all devices, my daughter caught an iPad section and went straight over there. She figured out using the device in terms of getting the Games, puzzles, and book shelf etc…


It is amazing the device is designed for the market where that side of the community get so well-versed in using it without any guidance or help.

DVD a fresh produce?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ramsblog @ 6:10 pm

This was at the back of a truck. How is DVD considered a Fresh produce?


August 16, 2010 12:57 am

Market Place

Filed under: Fun,General,People — ramsblog @ 12:57 am

It has been a long time since I had been to any crowded market place – like farmers market, etc. Though a bit cloudy last weekend, we went to a market which we always wanted to go visit but had never made that time to go over.

Weather has been interestingly off and on. We had about 70 minutes before the shops would close for the day. My wife was keen on looking for flowers and vegetable section. My daughter was just enjoying the walk around the crowded place, and to me, I was going around taking several pictures. It was a great walk there. Although it was not as crowded or interesting as the markets i had been to in Bangalore (India) :) – In a way they are two extremes.

IMG_9424 (Medium)IMG_9371 (Medium)   IMG_9368 (Medium) IMG_9372 (Medium) IMG_9425 (Medium)IMG_9372 (Medium) IMG_9426 (Medium)  

Flowers are one of the greatest attractions on this part of the world during the spring summer. We don’t get to see many of those once the fall/winter starts. we bought this beautiful bouquet of flowers from one of those stores

IMG_9376 (Medium) IMG_9480 (Medium)

Fish Market
This market is also popular for fish section, although i couldn’t find where that sections was, and i wasn’t interested to go over there either. However, from what i have heard, the fish merchants or store keepers are almost always so energetic and enthusiastic about sharing the details about fish, asking questions, answering questions – and more importantly the Team Building. People often say, you’ve GOT TO learn the skills of team building and one-ness (working towards the common goal) from industry perspective, from teams perspective. That is something I wanted to see.

While walking around there, I did hear someone commenting, it is so smelly to go around the Fish market. Well, it is ought to be. However, that is probably why I didn’t dare exploring that side. I might even faint seeing those things and the smell in that area.

for the rest, yes it was great place with lots of activities.

This guy was playing an instrument made out of a tin tub and a string tied to it with a bamboo stick. It sounded very well. There was a huge crowd watching this mini-concert  there.


Looks like I didn’t capture, but a guy from blown glass articles store was packing those glass arts with bubble wrap and tied with a transparent duck tape so well, and one could carry the item without worrying about breaking them. I don’t know the price of those articles, must be expensive enough, but I guess the amount of tape and wrap he used for each item he packed could be of around 5 dollars. Talk about the Customer Experience aspect of it, I am sure is fantastic. I noticed people bought things just for the packing, although they know they are going to rip open the package when they get home. several of those people took pictures with the shop keeper. The packing skill was very much APPRECIATED.

at the end of 70minutes, we stepped into one of the cool joints and yes, it was time for a lovely ice-cream. We enjoyed the ice cream in that rather quiet ice-cream store.



By then most of the stores were rolling down the shutters and it was time for us to leave the place. and noticed some sunshine too around the end of the day.

IMG_9491 (Medium)

It was a great afternoon after all. We will probably go over again in next few weeks. And this time we should probably make it earlier in the day instead of later in the afternoon.

July 25, 2010 12:31 am

WTANZ 07 – Web page automation with Ruby / Watir

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing,Weekend Testing — ramsblog @ 12:31 am

As usual, I was not sure if I was going to login tonight. However, just made it somehow. The first question I was asked was if i have done the homework. For not looking at the mission completely and not being sure of joining, obviously I had not done my homework.

Oliver got me started with links and pointers right away. I had to do the following:

1. Download Ruby and Install http://watir.com/installation/#win
2. go over the wiki for some details to update and install further components
3. install Watir.

Mission for this session can be found here: http://weekendtesting.com/discussions?vasthtmlaction=viewtopic&t=126.0 

it took a while with several glitches to get through, but got back to track with the session. Oliver walked us through basic commands to navigate the page, locate the page controls, etc. and put the exercise for the team to put the learning into practice. hmmm.. great approach, the lessons have to be applied immediately to get better at it and theoretical knowledge is not good enough.

as we went along, we tried several commands and controls to get hand of it.

What I learned:
> certainly a great start learning another tool/language
> teamwork in helping each other getting upto speed
> got some hang of ruby/watir which i had never used before
> while following the chat, i tried copying the commands so i could get upto speed and worked well at the same time.
> I still couldn’t get the regular expression search working, i need to try it over again.
> attend  another similar session :)

my sample code:

>> b = Watir::Browser.new
>> b.goto("http://weekendtesting.com")
>> b.text.include?"Forum"
>> b.link(:text,"Forum").click
>> b.text.include?"Next weekend Testing Session"
>> b.text.include?"Forum"
>> b.text.include?"Next Weekend"
>> b.text_field(:id,"log").set "<username>"
>> b.text_field(:id,"pwd").set "<password>"
>> b.checkbox(:id,"rememberme").click
>> b.button(:value,"Login").click
>> b.text_field(:id,"s4").set "comments via Watir on july 24 WTANZ 07"
>> b.button(:value, "Submit Comment").click
>> b.link(:text, "Next Weekend Testing Session").click
>> b.link(:text, "WTANZ session #07 – Test Automation with Watir").click
>> b.text.include?"Reply"
>> b.link(:text, "Reply").click
>> b.text_field(:name,"message").set "Reply WTANZ 07 message via Watir on july>
>> b.button(:value, "Submit").click

What would have helped me in this session:
> a little homework would have helped, but with the team’s sharing all through the session, helped get back on track
> when working on Web page automation, getting to know the control properties
> using home computer, i didn’t have the IE web developer add-in or fiddler tool  installed, and having those would help get the control properties sooner.
> the posts, and search worked well on this session, I need to venture into validating if the actions really took place in addition to visual verification.

There was a great debriefing / retrospection session after the learning and applying tasks. There were conversations around Watir, Cucumber, Selenium, and other tools. No, i haven’t used any of these. It would be interesting to know how these several tools scale up to the robust web automation.

There is always a challenge of changing the Control IDs and Names in regular coding cycle. How would a tool cope up with such changes. We had once taken an approach of keeping these in configuration / resource file, so we wouldn’t have to change the code with any of those controls changes.

Overall, it was a great session. Thank you Marlena (@marlenac), Oliver (@Oliver_NZ) and the team.

July 1, 2010 11:01 pm

Ah! my favorite icon on this application…

Filed under: Communication,Software,Tech,Tools — ramsblog @ 11:01 pm

What does it mean when a speaker presenting a tool says “ this part of the feature is my favorite” pointing to the help/report problems icon and goes on saying “it reports all the required information and I have seen a lot of people using this feature on this product”

Does it mean:
1. This product is so clever and collects all the relevant information to troubleshoot further?


2. Tool isn’t intuitive enough that makes users to seek help often?

Would I still buy that product?


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