Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday - September 30, 2006

This has been a good month - and a good week.

In the last few weeks, I've taught two workshops for a client:

Introduction to Use Case Diagrams (2.5 hours, ~90 slides)


Requirements Analysis with Use Cases (3 hours, ~90 slides)

I first taught Use Case techniques in 1996-1997 while a management consultant with the Systems Integration Practice of AT&T Solutions. These recent training classes offered a good opportunity to update my approach to the material and integrate some of the practical experience I've gained over the last 10 years.

Lots of good feedback from the students.

These were very short, intense, and practical hands-on workshops with several exercises for the paricipants to work through. However, these two classes could easily be combined and expanded into a full week class - which would provide participants with a much better opportunity to absorb the material.

I really enjoy opportunities to teach.

As I worked to prepare some of the sample solutions for the workshops - I was a bit constrained by the client's desire (and budget limitations) - to adopt Visio as the organization's UML modeling tool.

Eventually (after quite a bit of pain working within the limitations of Visio), I came to the conclusion that the organization really needs to consider a tool truly designed and suited to the task of creating UML design artifacts.

My recommendation: Enterprise Architect - which offers very resonable pricing for single user licenses (~199.00 USD) - and even better volume discounts. I'm using the latest release (6.5) - and have been very pleased with the value it offers.

Tonight I worked on preparing an old HP Pavilion N5450 laptop (850mhz Pentium III cpu, 20GB hard-drive) - and installed Redhat's Fedora Core 5 on it. I stopped by CompUSA and picked-up a pack of DVD-R - and burned an ISO image - and used the Fedora Core Rescue CD ISO image to boot the laptop. The next step was to swap out the CD with the DVD containing the full Fedora Core 5 ISO image. The installation was painless and quite simple.

On my next trip to CompUSA I need to purchase a secondary simple network hub to take with me on the road, so I can network the Linux laptop with my primary development laptop (HP Pavilion zv6000, running XP). This will allow me to test some Enterprise Architecture technologies in a true heterogenous environment.

I've made some very good progress working late nights this week continuing the design of the ITV CORE framework, and the ITV CODE GENERATOR and ITV UTILS products. But those three projects are still in stealth mode - so that's all I'll say for now.

I also created a simple backup script to simplify the weekly backup of my laptop to my AcomData 120GB external hard-drive. You can now buy a 320GB version: