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December 25, 2007

People holding a CA checking account can’t apply a WA savings account in Washington Mutual

This October, I was surfing the website of Washington Mutual and suddenly I found if you have the existing WaMu’s checking account, you can link it to a new savings account with the rewarding interest rate 4.75% APR and without minimal balance. This rewarding deal attracted me to apply for a new savings account.

At that time, I had one thing in my mind: I opened my checking account some years ago in California; my current billing address is in California, but I live in Seattle now. Can I open a new savings account and let WaMu send my ATM card to my apartment in Seattle ? Therefore, I wanted to give it a try.

During the process of applying a new savings account, I was informed that I couldn’t apply because I have more than one residency. I called the customer service center and one of the representatives told me that I couldn’t use California’s checking account to apply for a Washington state’s savings account because they are in the different state. She told me that I needed to change CA address to WA address first and then I could apply.

According to WaMu’s MIS system, I can guess some points as follows:

1. Every state has their own database for customers.

2. People can withdraw money in 50 states, but they can’t apply for another state’s checking account or savings account online unless they change their addresses first.

3. WaMu’s employees in Washington State can’t have the permission of requesting the new debit card which was open in California.

America is the “United” States of America. I don’t know why Americans can’t apply multiple accounts in the same bank , but from different state. Is it related to the state law or does it only happen in WaMu?

Do you think it is an interesting issue?

October 19, 2007

Google Adsense-I don’t care!

Many people want to use Google Adsense to make money, but I don’t care. If you want to click ads here , welcome. If you don't want to click, I don't care. I only use it to know what kind of ads are in my blog. When I post some articles , I find that some ads are very useful. I can just enter URL by myself and know more information.

Why do people want to use Google Adsense to make money? Is the return of investment good? I don’t believe so. If you don’t click your ads but Google says they are invalid clicks, what should you do? Do you want to have any argument with Google? There is no such thing as a free lunch.

The best way for you to do is go with the flow. You should find another way to make money. Using Google Adsense to learn useful knowledge is my besy way.

October 10, 2007

The quality of Google Talk is getting worse and worse

In the past 2 weeks, I have found that using Google Talk to talk to people online always delays voice transmission. It is not reliable now. I can even hear my voice echo when talking to my friends online after 5 seconds. When this issue happens, I don't want to talk online any more because it wastes time and also lets people feel annyoed.What’s wrong with Google Talk now?

Google Talk provides the better quality than Skype in my mind. When a lot of people are using it and network traffic is so heavy, do you think Google Talk needs to increase its quality too?
If not, the loyalty of customers will be disappeared.

I really hope the quality of Google Talk is getting much better than ever.

October 8, 2007

Using Virtual PC to run Adobe products on Windows Vista

Christine and I have an idea of buying a PC to run Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. She also wants to learn Adobe products on Windows Vista. When I told her yesterday that only 3 Adobe products can support Windows Vista, she felt so disappointed.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. We can have 2 ways to do it.

One way is to install Adobe products on host PC with Windows XP and install Windows Vista on Virtual PC. If you want to use Windows Vista, just connect to that Virtual PC to have fun.

The other one is to use Windows Vista as the host PC and use MS Virtual PC to create many different PCs with different Adobe products. For example, if you want to learn Adobe Indesign, just connect to that machine with that software.

Now that Adobe is trying their best to let their products support Windows Vista, at least I can think of 2 ways now.

But when can all of the Adobe Products support Windows Vista? I think it should take a long time.

Other Articles:
Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 as my test machine

October 1, 2007

A BVT is an important concept in modern QA field

A build verification test (BVT) is a very popular and an important concept in modern QA field. Many test cases are based on BVTs. Therefore, they can let you verify if all of the unit test cases can be run in your latest build. If your BVTs fail, it means your build is not reliable. You need to create another build as soon as possible.

For example, if you have Adobe Indesign CS3 now and you want to test the install and uninstall, what are your BVTs? “Installing all components, verifying all components, uninstalling all components, and verifying all uninstalled components,” are the basic BVTs. If it fails, it means your latest build has some problems.

Recently when I installed and uninstalled Adobe InDesign CS3, I had one thing on my mind: Does their test team have BVTs and UI tests? If yes, how come the UI is not so user-friendly for me? I should say their UI team didn't do it well . When I clicked Add or Remove Programs and wanted to uninstall Adobe Indesign, it showed me that I needed to insert a CD again. Is it by design? If it is by design, I want to ask: why do they want to design like this?

In the future when you get a chance, you can ask your test team to see if they know BVTs or not. If not, tell them to use it.

Adobe Indesign User-Expereince:
Comments on installation of Adobe Indesign and Illustrator

September 28, 2007

Using a script to install IIS on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

If you want to do the full install of SQL server 2005 or SQL server 2008 on Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, before you install Reporting service, you need to install IIS first. This is the prerequisite.

Now you can use a script to run the following command in the command prompt.

start /w pkgmgr /iu:IIS-WebServerRole;IIS-WebServer;IIS-CommonHttpFeatures;IIS-StaticContent;IIS-DefaultDocument;IIS-DirectoryBrowsing;IIS-HttpErrors;IIS-HttpRedirect;IIS-ApplicationDevelopment;IIS-ASPNET;IIS-NetFxExtensibility;IIS-ASP;IIS-CGI;IIS-ISAPIExtensions;IIS-ISAPIFilter;IIS-ServerSideIncludes;IIS-HealthAndDiagnostics;IIS-HttpLogging;IIS-LoggingLibraries;IIS-RequestMonitor;IIS-HttpTracing;IIS-CustomLogging;IIS-ODBCLogging;IIS-Security;IIS-BasicAuthentication;IIS-WindowsAuthentication;IIS-DigestAuthentication;IIS-ClientCertificateMappingAuthentication;IIS-IISCertificateMappingAuthentication;IIS-URLAuthorization;IIS-RequestFiltering;IIS-IPSecurity;IIS-Performance;IIS-HttpCompressionStatic;IIS-HttpCompressionDynamic;IIS-WebServerManagementTools;IIS-ManagementConsole;IIS-ManagementScriptingTools;IIS-ManagementService;IIS-IIS6ManagementCompatibility;IIS-Metabase;IIS-WMICompatibility;IIS-LegacyScripts;IIS-LegacySnapIn;IIS-FTPPublishingService;IIS-FTPServer;IIS-FTPManagement;WAS-WindowsActivationService;WAS-ProcessModel;WAS-NetFxEnvironment;WAS-ConfigurationAPI

After a while, IIS features will be installed and you can move on to installing SQL Server.

It is a very useful command.

September 10, 2007

Windows Live Writer is still not reliable for Blogger Acount

In the blog world, I haven’t found a useful tool where you can easily add your own texts, drag and drop your photos from any location, and publish your articles to your blog successfully. When I heard that Microsoft wants to release a new product, Windows Live Writer many months ago, suddenly in my mind, it will be an excellent product in the future.

My expectation is so easy. It should be user-friendly. It can let users launch Windows Live Writer and add an existing account in, or whatever blog it supports.
Only you can do is to use Windows Live Writer as follows:

1. Add/modify texts.

2. Drag and drop multiple photos from your PC.

3. Modify your photo size that fits your blog.

4. Click “Publish”. Finally you can publish one article with many photos to your blog successfully.

Today I downloaded Windows Live Writer and tested it.

1. The first test: Add some texts, drag and drop one photo. Click “Publish” . Pass!

2. The second test: Add some texts , drag and drop 5 photos. Edit the photo size (width =400). Click “Publish”. No-ops! The following errors show up:


I think the main problem in my test is the photo size. I enter width=400 and it is not in the dropdownlist. But finally I still can't publish one article with multiple photos using the default setting.

I really hope Windows Live Writer Team can make users easily publish articles with multiple photos soon.

September 9, 2007

Google blog search engine is not reliable.

Everyone knows that Google is very famous for its search engine. But I want to mention one fact: Why is the search engine in not so reliable?

Just imagine the situation: After Mary posts a new article in her blog in, she wants to search her article. Therefore, she goes to the Google’s official blog search ( and enters the key word; unfortunately, she can’t find it. After one hour, she still can’t find it. Even after 1 week, she still can’t find it. Is that user –friendly?

You can also add another search function in your own blog. Just go to , copy the codes to your own blog. But in your blog, when you enter the key word to search your articles inside your blog, sometimes it doesn’t work.

What happens to the search engine? Many people will say: you should go to another website to register for your information or you need to wait until people click your articles. That’s the joke!!

User-friendly! User-friendly! User-friendly!

I really hope search engine in will be reliable soon!

September 2, 2007

Choosing a cursor strategy

This is my key note of choosing a cursor strategy when I studied Microsoft 70-442 exam. Hope it can be very helpful for you


August 30, 2007

Error 1721: Installing AdventureWorksDB 2008 is not working

Today I went to the following website to download the AdventureWorksDB databases. I wanted to attach it to my SQL Server 2005 in my windows XP with SP2. Finally it was not working for me.

When I installed, it had the following error.

Error 1721. There is a program with this windows Installer package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor. Action: InstallDatabase, location:..\AdventureWorks_log.ldf) FOR ATTACH;”

After the install, the sample files were really under C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100. They were not useful because when I opened SQL Server 2005 and tried to attach it, it didn’t work. There is nothing to do with windows installer package. It proves the latest AdventureWorksDB is only for SQL Server 2008.

If you really want to use it in SQL Server 2005, just download AdventureWorksDB of SQL Server 2005 as follows:

You can finish your task.

August 29, 2007

SQL Server 2005 Issue: ERROR 1706 Setup cannot find the required files.

If you have office 2007 in your PC, and you want to install SQL Server 2005, you may have the following error:

ERROR 1706 Setup cannot find the required files. Check your connection to the network, or CD ROM! For other potential solutions to this problem, see c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\1033\Setup.chm

You must download Office 2003 web components first and then you can install SQL Server 2005 successfully.

August 23, 2007

Comments on Using Picasa- One interesting issue!

2 months ago, I read one of the articles in PC Magazine that introduced one of Google’s free software, Picasa. I found it was so interesting and useful that I told Christine to download and gave it a try because she likes to try some useful software such as Photoshop, InDesgin , Photo Impact, etc.

After she downloaded and launched Picasa, she followed its instruction. Finally she regretted. Picasa made her PC down. She swore that she will never use it in the future. What happened to her PC?

This is a good interesting issue I like to mention here.

When you use Picasa for the first time, it has the small dialog box which lets you scan your photos. You cannot say no. But when you click “yes”, it will automatically scan all of your pictures in your hard drive. If you have many pictures in different folders, but the total storage is more than 40 GB, do you think it will finish scanning as soon as possible?

If you have many digital photos in your hard drive like Christine, will you use Picasa as your tool in your PC? I don’t believe so.

I don’t know why Picasa wants to scan all of the pictures in the beginning. Why not add another function to let users add directories later?

I hope they can improve this function in the future!

August 21, 2007

How to Use Auto Logon in Windows Server 2003?

Why do we use auto logon in Windows Server 2003? People will say: It is not secure, and I don’t want to use it. I will say: This function is so useful, but only for the specific purpose such as testing and some automated jobs.

Just imagine that if you want to run some automated jobs, but they will cause the reboot, will you spend time waiting in front of your PC in order to manually logon to your PC and move on to the next step? Probably not.

What if these jobs cause the reboot many times? Do you still want to wait? Therefore, the best way is to use auto logon!

How do we configure the function of auto logon? It is so simple as follows:

1. Click Start, run, and enter regedit.

2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. You can see AutoAdminLogon and DefaultUserName.

3. Just create a name DefaultPassword and add your password.

4. Just set AutoAdminLogon=1.

Next time when you restart your PC, it will automatically logon to your PC.

The only disadvantage is that when someone logons to your PC, he can know your password in the registry key. So be careful when you want to use this function.

August 19, 2007

Do we really need a foreign key in the table?

If you worked on database design before and now I ask you a question:
Do we really need a foreign key in the table?” , you will definitely say: Of course!
Foreign keys are important in database design. We need to follow normalization(First normal form, Second normal form and third normal from).

If you get a chance to ask Database Administrators in large companies, they might tell you: we don’t want foreign keys.

Is this the big conflict between SAs and DBAs?

Just imagine one situation:

If ABC Company has a famous website that sells many products to customers, their network traffic is very heavy. When customers place orders and want to receive their orders as soon as possible, how can ABC Company handle it?

ABC must have many database servers, but the data on the main server needs to be replicated to other servers quickly. Only 3-5 minutes, the data must be updated automatically and they can ship the products quickly. If the network traffic is so heavy and many tables have many foreign keys, the replication will be very slow and might cause failure.

Just imagine another situation:

Many companies have the daily build or weekly milestone build for developers and testers to test if their products are reliable. If there are so many tables including so many foreign keys in the database, how can DBAs setup the new build as soon as possible? If they can’t set it up immediately, many people will say: they block my task. No wonder that many DBAs say: Foreign keys are the burden of replication.

In the real world, you can have many chances to see if my opinion is right. Do we really need a foreign key in the table? Obviously, it depends on the situation.

I will say:

No replication, need foreign keys.
Need replication, no foreign keys.

August 14, 2007

My ideal —user friendly functions are the best. seems very popular now. Many people want to give it a try.

When I use it, I should say: doesn’t provide user-friendly functions for users. Some special functions need time to search; some are in other domain websites. They assume that users are professional and will find the functional answers by themselves. Do they really spend a lot of time searching the information and just add those functions to their blogs? Probably not.

My ideal is just simple. Blogger .com should collect useful user-friendly functions and users can add them directly. They don’t need to know HTML/JavaScript. They don’t have to worry about those functions so much.

What are people’s useful functions now in their blog?

1. Provide many useful templates of 2 columns or multiple columns directly.

2. Provide functions of showing visitor counts, recent posts, recent comments, and recent articles.

3. Provide functions of showing article categories, article search, my subscriptions and horoscope directly.

4. Provide functions of calendar, weather, google map, oil price..etc.

5. Provide the function of uploading multiple photos to the blog one time. Copying texts and photos from Microsoft Word or Google documents to the blog is also the best way.

Are these functions basic?

I want to mention: User friendly! User friendly! User friendly!

No HTML/JavaScript.Users have no time to search.

I really hope that can know what users need and what they want.

I really hope those basic functions should be realized in the upcoming days.


August 11, 2007

Garbled Characters in English Windows Operating System

If you have the English Windows Operating system and want to install non-English software in your PC, you may suffer from one situation:During installation, you see garbled characters, make you feel frustrated and want to cancel the installation.

When you open the notepad written by non-English characters, it shows garbled characters too. How do you solve the problem?

Go to control panel, click regional and languages option. You can solve the problem. But many users say: I clicked that and installed languages I wanted already. But I still can't make it.

You need to configure 3 parts: Regional Options, Languages and Advanced .

Select the languages you want like these 3 figures and reboot your PC. You will solve the problem. Is that easy for you?

Comments on uploading multiple photos to

Today I wanted to upload photos to my tour blog in, and I found I couldn’t find a way to upload multiple photos to my blog. I felt very disappointed. doesn’t provide a good way for users to get the job done as soon as possible. Therefore, I used my ways and searched many ways online as follows. I also want to make some comments here.

Solution 1: Login to and use dashboard to upload one photo one time.

Comment: A very stupid way. If you have 100 photos, do you think users will upload 100 times? Who will do it like this?

Solution 2: Download Picasa and click BlogThis!

Comment: I tried it and found it didn’t work. Finally I know BlogThis! doesn’t support the new blog in A very bad function now.

Solution 3: Copy photos and paste them to

Comment: It doesn’t work. doesn’t support copy and paste functions for photos.

I feel so disappointed about the function of uploading multiple photos. Finally I find a new way by myself. I would like to share it with you.

1. Login to your

2. Click settings --> email --> add the email address you want in Mail-to-Blogger Address

3. Open your Picasa, sort by file name, select many photos, and click “Email”. It will pop up the small window. Please add the email address you mention above.

4. Click send. It will send all photos to your blog quickly.

5. You can edit this post and add some text you want.

Do you think provide a good way for users to upload multiple photos? can ask me to test the functions for them.


August 8, 2007

Adding a Resource File Is So Good!

If you need to create an xml file or a text file in your project, you might want to use it all the time. How can you know its complete path? Is it in C drive or D drive? Do you need to hardcode the path? Probably not!

The simple idea is that we can create a new resource file, and add a text file or an xml file in it. When we run the program, the file will be under the folder of bin\debug. Later we can use C# function to get the complete file path and load the data as follows:

string CurrentDirectory = Directory.GetCurrentDirectory();

string resourceFilePath = CurrentDirectory + @"\" + "test.xml";

Is it a piece of cake?

August 3, 2007

Create a new folder and a new file using C#

If you need to create a new directory under the folder of program files, how do you know it is in the path of C or D drive? Can you write C# to create a new folder? You can use ExpandEnvironmentVariables to get the path:

public string DataPath = Environment.ExpandEnvironmentVariables(@"%ProgramFiles%\TestData");

If you want to create a new folder , you can use this key word: Directory.

if (!Directory.Exists(DataPath))




If you want to add a new file, you can use this key word : File

File .Create(DataPath + @"\test.txt");


July 13, 2007

Good coding standard

Every programmer can write good programs quickly using different languages such as C#, VB.NET, C, C++ or Java. Everyone has their own coding style and it is hard for them to follow the good coding standard in different companies.

If you worked for many companies before, your supervisors might ask you to follow their coding standard when they did the code review. You should get in the habit of following their instructions and try to get the task done soon.

When my previous supervisor, Eric Johannsen in San Diego did the code review, he read source codes line by line carefully. His basic points are as follows:

1. Follow the test cases written by SA in Enterprise Architect (EA) and use C# and NUnit to write your own source codes.

2. Code reuse all the time. Make the test cases run quickly.

3. Remove the source codes you commented out before if they are not used any more.

4. Make the source codes clear and clean.

When Jeff Papiez, a senior test developer I report to directly at Microsoft, has the code review , he reads source codes very carefully. His basic points are as follows:

1. Every class needs a header comment block where you must describe why you need this class.

2. Function names should be pascal-cased.

3. The arguments inside the function should be camel-cased.

4. Function names should be meaningful and make sure the spelling is correct.

5. If classes contain only static methods, make the class static as well.

6. Code reuse all the time.

7. Make the source codes clear and clean.

It is smart for you to collect their coding standards and let them become yours. Your coding standard will be much better than ever.

July 12, 2007

Comments on installation of Adobe Indesign and Illustrator

When I installed Adobe Indesign CS3 and Illustrator CS3 in my Notebook some days ago, I found installing 2 products is the same, but I need to make some comments now.
When I inserted the CD in my CD ROM and the program was launched automatically. It initialized my installation environment. After that, I only followed its steps. The installation was finished! Nothing happened.

But Adobe forgot one fact: what if users don’t want to install?
After CD initializes the installation environment, you can’t find the “cancel” key to cancel the installation. Only you can do is to use task manager to stop the installation. Next time if you insert the CD again, you will be told that please insert CD in your CD-ROM, but your CD is already there.

How do you solve the problem?

If you go to control panel, click “add or remove Programs’ and uninstall Adobe Indesign / Illustrator, you will get the error. You still can’t install it later.

Only you can do is to insert the CD again, and then you can try to remove the components in the later installation screen and uninstall it. After that, you can try to reinstall it! The problem will be solved!

Do you think Adobe provides a good user experience? I don’t believe so!

July 8, 2007

How can you send a file with more than 200 MB to your friends?

If you currently have the important files that need to send to your friends, how can you do that? Maybe you will say: Just send email. What if the file size is more than 200 MB? How can you send to your friends immediately?

Many IT persons will say: Why not set up a FTP server which can let them download? I will say : it is so slow.

Now I would like to recommend you some free websites which can let you upload files quickly and let your friends download them easily. Those are totally free as follows:

I like to use sendspace because I don’t have to register. Only I can do is to upload the file from my PC and enter my friend’s email address. After you click " Upload File", one file will generate one URL and send to your friend's email. If you have 5 files, you need to submit it 5 times. Your friend will have 5 URLs in his email. You can give it a try!


Use CCleaner and Uninstall Tool in your PC every day

Last May, I came across a woman in Starbucks, Fremont, CA and I knew that she lives around there. One day, she asked me: I always see you here. Are you a computer person? I said: Yes. During the discussion, I understood that her mouse in her PC didn’t work well. I told her maybe you haven’t cleaned your temporary files and Internet cookies for a long time. She didn’t get me at that time. I told her to download CCleaner ( for free and gave it a try. It would show you what file size was after you deleted.

Ten minutes later, she came back and said: Ray, thank you. My mouse is working now. The file size I delete is more than 700 MB. What happened to my PC? I told her: when you surf the website, download some software, install them, or open Microsoft Office every day, your temporary files and Internet cookies become larger and larger every day. You should schedule the time to delete them.

I also told her if you wanted to uninstall your program, you could try to use this free software, Uninstall Tool, to give it a try. It was also free and quick. (

July 7, 2007

Finding a bug about the program of balance transfer in Citibank

Last year Citibank offered customers 0% APR on balance transfer with no transaction fee for one year. I was very glad to apply for it last April, enjoyed one-year benefit, and needed to pay off the balance transfer this April without any financial charges.

However, in this early Feb, its website still offered me the same deal for one year. I had one thing in my mind: If I paid off last year’s balance transfer first and started a new balance transfer later, what would it happen next? Therefore, I wanted to give it a try.

I paid off last year’s balance transfer this Feb and started a new balance transfer in the late Feb. I really received the confirmation letter of one-year balance transfer from Citibank. Before April 30, nothing happened. In May, Citibank charged me financial charge. I found this was really a big bug for this program. If customers are not happy, Citibank may cause some troubles.

I called one of customer service representatives and explained it was the time gap between old balance transfer and new balance transfer. I mentioned that your program only calculated the due date. Finally they recognized it was the problem and removed the financial charges for me.

Citibank can ask me to work as a test developer for them.

July 5, 2007

Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 as my test machine

I am the contractor who works as the Software Design Engineer in Test (SDET) at Microsoft. I got the chance to run the test cases of SQL Server 2008 (code name: Katmai)

Jeff Papiez, a nice senior test developer at Microsoft, kindly taught me how to use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 as the test machine. I find it is so powerful. Most importantly, it is free to everyone. As an IT person, I should say it is so convenient for IT people to run different operating systems in Virtual PC.

When I worked as a .NET developer, I needed to maintain VB6 Programs of accounting using windows server 2000 as my operating system. But my users still used Windows 98 to run these programs. When I finished modifying the source codes and put the new dll file in MTS, the programs on user’s PC were not working. Therefore, I needed to use my colleague’s PC with Windows 98 to do this process again. Finally, everything went smoothly.

If you have the similar situations as mine, don’t forget to try Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 as your test machine.

July 4, 2007

Data Error (cyclic redundancy check)

Today, I tried to install QuickBooks, but unfortunately it failed. I thought it might be the CD problem. Finally I found if I wanted to install it, only what I could do was to copy 2 folders to my local drive and clicked setup.exe. The installation setup should be working.
Unfortunately, there was one file that I couldn’t copy to my local drive. The error message is as follows:

Data error (cyclic redundancy check)

I had 2 things in my mind at that time. One was CD problem and the other one was CD-ROM problem. Therefore, I asked Christine to use her laptop to copy that file from CD to her local drive. It worked.

Therefore, I copied the file from her laptop, pasted to mine and the installation setup was working in my laptop.

Next time if you suffer from this problem, just check if there is something wrong with your CD and CD-ROM. You will get the answer!