Technology

ISTQB Certification Acquired

Posted by Alex Grantz on Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 @ 11:27 am EST

This morning I took the ISTQB Foundation certification test and passed with a 95% score. It’s a good certification to go for if you’re wanting to start a career in software testing since it’s internationally recognized and has additional expert levels after the foundation level. It’s pretty easy and painless to study for. The test is only 40 multiple choice questions, which was incredibly simplified compared to the CSTE test I took in 2011. That test required almost 4 hours with 2 parts multiple choice and 2 part essay!

It’s been awhile since an update, and I apologize for that! A lot has happened since the last post – a presidential election, the holidays, meteors exploding in Russia… I’ll try to get back on it and post more often.




More than a Decade of Gadgets

Posted by Alex Grantz on Sunday, September 16th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm EST

I’m not sure why, but today I got very curious to see what old hardware I still had laying around in boxes. I forgot I had a few of these gems, and they certainly bring back a lot of memories. I would like to thank these gadgets from the past decade+ for keeping me entertained and happy. Even if I slammed them to the desk or ground multiple times in frustration, they never truly failed on me. Sure, most of the mice lost their feet or double-click on a single click, but for the most part you have to hand it to these companies for making products that withstood the abuse I threw at them.

Here’s the info on these gadgets starting from top left:

Mice:

  • Logitech MX500 – This was my first true gaming mouse that got me through thousands of hours of Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty, and many other FPS games around 2002-2004. This is really the mouse that started it all. The current generation of Logitech mice have the same shape and button layout because nothing really ever got better than this. It still functions, but it’s been through too much abuse to use as a primary mouse anymore. I keep it around for an emergency backup.
  • Logitech MX510 – The 510 was the first upgrade available after the huge success of the 500. I jumped on it quickly, and it served me well for a couple years. I never did like it more than the original 500 though. The slippery grip didn’t agree with my hand as much as the textured feel of the 500. This was the mouse that helped me move up the ranks in the competitive UT2003 and early UT2004 scenes though, so it will always be a special one. I estimate that I used this mouse from 2004-2006.
  • Logitech MX518 – The 518 was the next upgrade in the series and I jumped on it again. This one unfortunately didn’t last nearly as long as the previous two. I can’t remember exactly what went wrong with it, but it was a basic feature like a right click not registering from time to time. I think this was the first mouse I had that allowed me to change the DPI on the fly with buttons on the mouse. That was supposed to be a big thing for FPS games, but I never really used it and I don’t think this feature has ever really been used DURING games. Most new gaming mice still have a DPI switch feature though, so it must have been the right decision. I estimate that I used this from 2006-2007.
  • Razer DeathAdder – In 2007 I finally deviated from the Logitech series after being disappointed a bit in the MX518. I made the correct choice in getting the DeathAdder as my first Logitech replacement. This thing is still going strong today and I might actually switch back to it for my main gaming mouse until I get a new mouse. It’s a brilliant mouse. The only thing wrong with it is that it is a magnet for the dirt and grime from your grubby hands. It’s very hard to keep this one looking new and clean, but it’s still truckin after almost 5 years. To be fair, my gaming time dropped off dramatically during the past 5 years so perhaps it wasn’t used as much as the previous mice even though it’s been longer in time.
  • SteelSeries Ikari Optical – Last year I got this mouse and fell in love immediately. I’ve never had a mouse that fit my hand more perfectly. The weight was right, the tracking was phenomenal, and the build quality is great. The only thing wrong with this one now is that it double clicks on a single click if you press the left button on the side. I’m surviving with this for now since I still prefer it for gaming, but I’ll probably replace it soon.
  • Logitech G400 (not pictured – currently using at work) – I made a triumphant return to the same Logitech shaped mouse when they released the G400 earlier this year. It’s a fantastic mouse and I have no complaints. It isn’t quite as comfortable for my hand as the Ikari, but this one might last me for several years of work usage.











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