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Software Engineering Proverbs courtesy:

Software Engineering Proverbs

collected by Tom Van Vleck

cartoon, building tower from top down

Drawn by Angus Macdonald

A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it.

-- Einstein

André Bensoussan once explained to me the difference between a programmer and a designer:

"If you make a general statement, a programmer says, 'Yes, but...'
while a designer says, 'Yes, and...'"

No matter what the problem is,
it's always a people problem.

Jerry Weinberg

Wexelblat's Scheduling Algorithm:

Choose two:

  • Good
  • Fast
  • Cheap

Craziness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Tom DeMarco, rephrasing Einstein, who said

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

"There's no time to stop for gas, we're already late"

-- Karin Donker

Deming's 14 points

  1. Create constancy of purpose.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy.
  3. Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality.
  4. Minimize total cost, not initial price of supplies.
  5. Improve constantly the system of production and service.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Institute leadership.
  8. Drive out fear.
  9. Break down barriers between departments.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and numerical targets.
  11. Eliminate work standards (quotas) and management by objective.
  12. Remove barriers that rob workers, engineers, and managers of their right to pride of workmanship.
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  14. Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

We know about as much about software quality problems as they knew about the Black Plague in the 1600s. We've seen the victims' agonies and helped burn the corpses. We don't know what causes it; we don't really know if there is only one disease. We just suffer -- and keep pouring our sewage into our water supply.

-- Tom Van Vleck

When somebody begins a sentence with "It would be nice if..." the right thing to do is to wait politely for the speaker to finish. No project ever gets around to the it-would-be-nice features: or it they do, they regret it. Wait for sentences that begin "We have to..." and pay close attention, and see if you agree.

-- Tom Van Vleck

The Troops Know

  • The schedule doesn't have enough time for maintenance in it.
  • A lot of bugs get past the tests.
  • Most old code can't be maintained.

To go faster, slow down. Everybody who knows about orbital mechanics understands that.

-- Scott Cherf

Everybody Knows:

  • Discipline is the best tool.
  • Design first, then code.
  • Don't patch bugs out, rewrite them out.
  • Don't test bugs out, design them out.

Everybody Knows:

  • If you don't understand it, you can't program it.
  • If you didn't measure it, you didn't do it.

Everybody Knows:

If something is worth doing once, it's worth building a tool to do it.

Your problem is another's solution;
Your solution will be his problem.

Everybody Knows:

  • If you've found 3 bugs in a program, best estimate is that there are 3 more.
  • 60% of product cost comes after initial shipment.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

-- Albert Einstein

On the radio the other night, Jimmy Connors said the best advice he ever got was from Bobby Riggs:

  • do it
  • do it right
  • do it right now

It is not enough to do your best: you must know what to do, and THEN do your best.

-- W. Edwards Deming

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists.
Less good when they obey and acclaim him.
Worse when they fear and despise him.
Fail to honor people, and they fail to honor you.
But of a good leader, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
they will say, "We did this ourselves."

-- Lao-Tzu

You must be the change
You wish to see in the world

-- Gandhi

Experiment escorts us last,
His pungent company
Will not allow an axiom
An opportunity.

-- Emily Dickinson

when the cart stops
do you whip the cart
or whip the ox?

Q: How many QA testers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: QA testers don't change anything. They just report that it's dark.

Kerry Zallar

Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one. But the house falls down.

Andrew Siwko

One test is worth a thousand opinions.

"If you didn't write it down, it didn't happen."

This saying is popular among scientists (doing experiments), but I believe it applies to software testing, particularly for real-time systems.

--Larry Zana

We reject kings, presidents, and voting.
We believe in rough consensus and running code.

--Dave Clark (1992)

I am a design chauvinist. I believe that good design is magical and not to be lightly tinkered with. The difference between a great design and a lousy one is in the meshing of the thousand details that either fit or don't, and the spirit of the passionate intellect that has tied them together, or tried. That's why programming---or buying software---on the basis of "lists of features" is a doomed and misguided effort. The features can be thrown together, as in a garbage can, or carefully laid together and interwoven in elegant unification, as in APL, or the Forth language, or the game of chess.

-- Ted Nelson

Software is Too Important to be Left to Programmers, by Meilir Page-Jones.

"If you think good architecture is expensive, try bad architecture."

-- Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder

... while we all know that unmastered complexity is at the root of the misery, we do not know what degree of simplicity can be obtained, nor to what extent the intrinsic complexity of the whole design has to show up in the interfaces. We simply do not know yet the limits of disentanglement. We do not know yet whether intrinsic intricacy can be distinguished from accidental intricacy.

-- E. W. Dijkstra, Communications of the ACM, Mar 2001, Vol. 44, No. 3

About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.

-- E. W. Dijkstra

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said that, given eight hours to chop down a tree, he'd spend six sharpening his axe.

-- TidBITS 654, quoted by Derek K. Miller, via Art Evans

You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.

-- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) " The Man who was Orthodox", via Paul Black

Here is a great page about some kinds of management actually observed, and some insights on quality processes, by Joseph Koshy, via Robert Watson

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

-- Antoine De Saint-Exupery

What to recover a lost files(shift+deleted) in windows

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.PhotoRec is free - this open source multi-platform application.

For more safety, PhotoRec uses read-only access to handle the drive or memory card you are about to recover lost data from. Important: As soon as a pic or file is accidentally deleted, or you discover any missing, do NOT save any more pics or files to that memory device or hard disk drive; otherwise you may overwrite your lost data. This means that while using PhotoRec, you must not choose to write the recovered files to the same partition they were stored on.

PhotoRec runs under

  • DOS/Win9x

  • Windows NT 4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7

  • Linux

  • FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD

  • Sun Solaris

  • Mac OS X

and can be compiled on almost every Unix system.

File systems

Photorec ignores the file system, this way it works even if the file system is severely damaged.
It can recover lost files at least from

  • FAT,

  • NTFS,

  • EXT2/EXT3 filesystem

  • HFS+

ReiserFS includes some special optimizations centered around tails, a name for files and end portions of files that are smaller than a filesystem block. In order to increase performance, ReiserFS is able to store files inside the b*tree leaf nodes themselves, rather than storing the data somewhere else on the disk and pointing to it. Unfortunately, PhotoRec isn't able to deal with this - that's why it doesn't work well with ReiserFS.


PhotoRec works with hard disks, CD-ROMs, memory cards (Compact Flash, Memory Stick, SecureDigital/SD, SmartMedia, Microdrive, MMC, etc.), USB memory drives, DD raw image, EnCase E01 image, etc.
PhotoRec has been successfully tested with various portable media players including iPod and the following Digital Cameras:

  • Canon EOS300D, 10D

  • Casio Exilim EX-Z 750

  • HP PhotoSmart 620, 850, 935

  • Nikon CoolPix 775, 950, 5700

  • Olympus C350N, C860L, Mju 400 Digital, Stylus 300

  • Sony Alpha DSLR, DSC-P9

  • Pentax K20D

  • Praktica DCZ-3.4

Known file formats

PhotoRec searches for known file headers. If there is no data fragmentation, which is often the case, it can recover the whole file. Photorec recognises numerous file formats including ZIP, Office, PDF, HTML, JPEG and various graphics file formats. The whole list of file formats recovered by PhotoRec contains more than 390 file extensions (about 225 file families).

How PhotoRec works

FAT, NTFS, ext2/ext3/ext4 file systems store files in data blocks (also called clusters under Windows). The cluster or block size remains at a constant number of sectors after being initialized during the formatting of the file system. In general, most operating systems try to store the data in a contiguous way so as to minimize data fragmentation. The seek time of mechanical drives is significant for writing and reading data to/from a hard disk, so that's why it's important to keep the fragmentation to a minimum level.

When a file is deleted, the meta-information about this file (file name, date/time, size, location of the first data block/cluster, etc.) is lost; e.g., in an ext3/ext4 file system, the names of deleted files are still present, but the location of the first data block is removed. This means the data is still present on the file system, but only until some or all of it is overwritten by new file data.

To recover these lost files, PhotoRec first tries to find the data block (or cluster) size. If the file system is not corrupted, this value can be read from the superblock (ext2/ext3/ext4) or volume boot record (FAT, NTFS). Otherwise, PhotoRec reads the media, sector by sector, searching for the first ten files, from which it calculates the block/cluster size from their locations. Once this block size is known, PhotoRec reads the media block by block (or cluster by cluster). Each block is checked against a signature database which comes with the program and has grown in the type of files it can recover ever since PhotoRec's first version came out.

For example, PhotoRec identifies a JPEG file when a block begins with:

  • 0xff,0xd8,0xff,0xe0

  • 0xff,0xd8,0xff,0xe1

  • or 0xff,0xd8,0xff,0xfe

If PhotoRec has already started to recover a file, it stops its recovery, checks the consistency of the file when possible and starts to save the new file (which it determined from the signature it found).

If the data is not fragmented, the recovered file should be either identical to or larger than the original file in size. In some cases, PhotoRec can learn the original file size from the file header, so the recovered file is truncated to the correct size. If, however, the recovered file ends up being smaller than its header specifies, it is discarded. Some files, such as *.MP3 types, are data streams. In this case, PhotoRec parses the recovered data, then stops the recovery when the stream ends.

When a file is recovered successfully, PhotoRec checks the previous data blocks to see if a file signature was found but the file wasn't able to be successfully recovered (i.e., the file was too small), and it tries again. This way, some fragmented files can be successfully recovered.

online guitar tuner


Step by step tuning:

  • Requirement – You need to install Flash 10.1 or later.

  • Choose microphone – To be able to tune your instrument you need to allow access to your microphone. Just press the green “Allow-button” in the popup window to use the built-in microphone. To use an external microphone click here. At this link you can also make your settings if you plug in your guitar to your sound card.

  • Pluck the string – The tuner will tell you the current pitch.

  • Start to tune – To be in tune the needle should be vertical. If the needle is on the left side of the center you need to tighten the string. If the needle is on the right side of the center you need to loosen the tension. Remember to just make small changes while tuning.

  • Start playing – Start playing and tell your friends about this free guitar tuner site.