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About Scotto

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    Mac Geek

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    Central UK
  1. Scotto

    A virtual tour of Microsoft's Mac Lab

    Good point.. i will add the url now
  2. Scotto

    A virtual tour of Microsoft's Mac Lab

    Sorry Jason.. I beat you to it http://www.maccast.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=6582
  3. Scotto

    Question.. plz help.. it concerns google

    Google seems to have brought up a few results Google Results
  4. I think I could be tempted to work for Microsoft, but only in this lab http://davidweiss.blogspot.com/2006/04/tou...ts-mac-lab.html We start with the door. The Mac Lab is about 2000 square feet of solid computers. The calendars you see down the side of the wall we use to mark team birthdays as well as special events. The CD on the door is an old Apple Software Restore CD from the last beige Mac Apple produced, the Power Macintosh G3. The first area in the Mac Lab is what we call the Sandbox. This is where we keep all significant hardware configurations Apple has released that run our products. We'll use the Plasma display to, watch DVDs and play games, uh er, I mean, do important training presentations. ;-) It's actually very useful because everyone can be in front of a computer and still see the main screen and follow along. Often other groups at Microsoft (the games group, hardware drivers group and even the Windows media group) will come and schedule time in the Mac Lab to test their software on the different hardware configurations. You can see here the old colorful iMacs along with some of the old iBooks. You can also see two of our Lab Technicians working on the backup systems, but more about that later. Up until a few months ago we had every significant hardware revision Apple has ever released since the dawn of time. We even had a section of the Lab we affectionately called the "Mac Nursery" where we kept all the older Macs going. We even had an old SE/30 and IIci and super expensive Mac II all connected via PhoneNet running Spectre, just for fun. It's always super fun to boot Word 1.0 or Excel 1.0 on these old machines and see how much things have changed. Due to lack of space in the Lab we had to put all of these older machines into storage and recycled the following: Macintosh (original) Macintosh SE Macintosh SE/30 Macintosh Classic Macintosh Centris 610 Macintosh IIci Macintosh IIsi Power Macintosh 7100/66 Power Macintosh 7100/80 Power Macintosh 7500/100 Quadra 650 Power Macintosh G3 Duo Dock with Powerbook Duo 2300c Power Computing PowerCenter Pro 210 May they rest in peace. One of the realities of working with computers is that things fail. More often then you might think. We've used different backup robots, but ever since we moved to ADIC we've never had a robot failure. They just make great stuff. We have 3 robots and use Veritas Backup Exec. It works pretty well, as you can see: We also do offsite backups just incase "The Big One" hits, but for regular use these tapes work just great, except when they don't. Recently we had a failure and lost 400 GB of data! We restored it from the tapes and then discovered that the Mac version of the Backup Exec agent had a corruption bug causing the restores to be compromised! Veritas folk were super responsive and they should have a new Mac agent out soon. Backup software and file systems are in the class of software that simply must work, all the time. Alas, this is not always the case. I'm going to skip the "Build Lab" section of our Lab since it's very much in transition. Maybe I'll post about that later. For now, on to our automation system! Mac Office is one of those "software in the large" projects. There's really no way a team of our size would be able to adequately test all of Office without the use of automated testing. Every day we get a new build of Office from the build machines, we copy it to our Xserve RAID connected to our dual G5 Xserve for access by our 249 automation machines. We then run thousands and thousands of tests on the new build. Typically we get 4 builds of Office each day: English Ship, English Debug, Japanese Ship and Japanese Debug. We run our entire battery of tests against all the builds and then report any failures to testers via email. The testers investigate the failures, log any bugs and then move on to their other duties as testers. This turns out to be very effective, if used properly, and over time it allows testers to focus on things humans do best, while letting computers verify the repetitious and mundane, but necessary, testing. It all started with our Blue and White G3s years ago. At first when testers would upgrade their test machines, instead of recycling the machines, "The Lab" would get them to add them to our automation machine pool. I think we had about 20 machines to begin with. Then Apple give us a special gift. :-) You'd be probably be very surprised at the cost of running all these machines. There's the obvious electricity costs, but also cooling costs and even the physical space costs. Additionally, our system scales, not with CPU horsepower, but with quantity of machines. Most of the tests we run don't run significantly faster on a dual G5 vs. a single G4. So when Apple announced the Mac mini it wasn't minutes before we were considering how to use it for our automation system. The Mac mini has all the perfect qualifications: 1. Low power 2. Low heat 3. Small 4. Easy to pack together 5. Inexpensive So we got a few to test things out... 150 Mac Minis These work extraordinarily well. You might wonder how we control all these Macs. We use two methods: KVM switch box and Apple Remote Desktop. Thanks to our Lab Manager's great relationship with the IOGear folk we have a very reliable solution these days. It seemed like it took for ever to find a USB KVM switch box that didn't leave the machines "headless" after random reboots. The 8 port USB KVM from IOGear has been rock solid. So what does it look like to sit in front of 64 Mac minis? Like this:
  5. Scotto

    Feedback appreciated - New Site

    Yeah, that is a option in the theme.. I will see what it looks like what the page is complete. Thanks for the feedback though
  6. Scotto

    Feedback appreciated - New Site

    no frames are being used. I am using rapidweaver, pretty certain its CSS
  7. Shameless attempt to get some feedback on my site layout. It is no where near finished yet but I would really appreciate your feedback. http://homepage.mac.com/scottomacuser/test/index.html if you were thinking about it, don't bother to pick up the rss feed, the url will be changing..
  8. Scotto

    Menu Bars

    He enabled 'Fast User Switching' found in Sys Prefs > Accounts
  9. Scotto

    Menu Bars

    you gotta tell us what those are.. reading from left to right number 1, 2, 3 & 7
  10. Scotto


    jeez cfsporn, just click the link is above you.. it takes you to the developers site
  11. Scotto

    How to burn MP4's to DVD?

    i don't use a intel Mac but what ever system I have used over the years Roxio Toast has been rock solid, it has never let me down.
  12. First of all.. Welcome to the MacCast forum. If i am honest i don't like your design, I tend to like the full screen mock ups that are knocking about. Nice work in PS though
  13. Scotto

    Anything is worth a try...

    You are note serious... are you?
  14. Scotto

    How to burn MP4's to DVD?

    Do you have Roxio Toast v7? If you just select the Video tab at the top followed by DVD Video from within the draw (either left or right of the app). Drag your movie file into the Toast window and select burn. Toast will look after all the encoding and burn the project to dvd
  15. Scotto

    Google Calendar

    yeah.. really usefull