Disaster and Recovery Plan for Your Windows 8.1

Having windows 8 is wonderful. it is stable, great, and fast. However, your hardware might be not as stable as your Windows. When it’s happen, here are five ways to revive your Windows 8 from the cause of the death.

Time Machine with System Restore

System restore is effective when you accidentally do something that change the configuration system. Install bloat ware, get virus attack, or slow drivers issue can be solved through system restore. System restore can be visited through system protection (Windows Logo + Pause Break) and choose system protection


System restore will use your hard disk space and restore it in case something bad happen.






Backup your Files using File History

File history is a seamless way to backup your documents and files. File History can be accessed through search menu. File History will use external or other partition to backup your files. Therefore, it will be good if you use external disk, USB flash, or SD card to create history


File history will backup your files on specific time such as hourly or daily. It will create a version of your files and replicate it into external disk. In case of failure, you can restore the specific version of your files.





Snapshot Your System using System Image

Sometime you want to take a picture of your system when it is already stable. System image will help you snapshot your system. if something bad happen like bad hard disk, you just call the images and restore your system into the new hard disk. System image can be accessed via File History and select System Image backup


You can choose what to backup including your windows, data, and additional files





Reinstall Your System using Refresh Feature

Windows has an automatic features called automatic repair, it also has a good reinstall features called refresh, Refresh means reinstalling the operating system without erasing your files and configuration. just like a reinstall you will lost your installed software except the windows 8 software.


Refresh also has a features to remove anything including your files (reformat/recycle). this feature will be valuable when you want to recycle your notebook 





Third Party Software

If you never feel enough below is recovery software that you might need. Although personally i recommend you to use windows built in features or your PC built in software 

ALM Learning Plan (Chapter 2)

The fundamental aspect on ALM already discussed on Chapter 1. This article continous and dedicates the people who want to become software architect by adopting ALM strategies.

Chapter 2 – Build The Software Right

Chapter 2 focuses on the development practices, project monitoring, and deploying approaches. Therefore, this chapter is divided into three session which are: Sotware Development Practices, Project Monitoring Practices, and Deployment Practices.

Session 1 – Software Development Practices (6h)

Session 2 – Project Monitoring and Release (4h)

Session 3 – Deployment and Configuration (2h)

As usual, please refer the references for further guide and learning


ALM Learning Plan (Chapter 1)

Software architect is a good role, but need a lot preparation. If you have 24 hours learning time and you need to ramp-up your knowledge on software engineering / application lifecycle management. This resources can be used for your learning plan. The copyright of the course materials is owned by Microsoft and ALM Rangers.

Chapter 1 – Build The Right Software

The focus of this chapter is to build the right software based on the requirements. It also focused the right process to capture requirement and to create model

Session One – Introducing ALM as Software Engineering Framework (2h)

On this session participant should understand two concepts. The first one is software engineering and the second one is ALM. You can finish this session for two hours

Session Two – Requirements Engineering (4h)

On this session participant should understand how to create bullet-proof requirements using Agile process and method

Session Three – Project Planning (4h)

On this session participant should understand the key of the planning. it is includes how to create adaptive planning, creating a priority, and adjusting the changes into the plan.

So it’s 10 hours to learn about the topics. If you need more detail about the session please see these book as a good references for the sessions


A Must Have Windows Phone Application for Mobile Worker

Having Windows Phone?

Many people will choose Android over it, but if you a trully a mobile worker you will like Windows Phone endurance in term of Battery and Stability. In this post, I will share about several Windows Phone software for your mobility workforce.

Software for Business and Mobility

Office Lens

Need a portable scanner, this application will help you scan a document or whiteboard using your phone camera. You can download it here

Pocket File Manager

You want to bring your document on your SD Card, Caching several file from your Cloud Storage provider, or even upload a file to FTP. Pocket File Manager will help you. Download it today

Nokia Cloud Xpress

Having a lot of web visit such as news or report. This application will help you to compress your browser communication using patented technology from Nokia. You can download it here

Here maps

Need to find your client? or need to find the best route for your journey. This offline map application will help you navigate properly. a must have for Nokia users. Download it here.


The best note taking application on Windows Phone, if you love EverNote you will love the OneNote better. You don’t need download it, since it comes by default on Office mobile

Connectivity Shortcut

If you are a mobile user that always turn off and turn on Bluetooth or Wifi. You can download the Tile Shortcut here.

Office Remote

Presenting a PowerPoint, Sharing an Excel, or Giving notes on Word. This application will help you remote your Microsoft Office on your Laptop. it is more than a Clicker. Download Here.

Nokia Beamer

Have a something to share on your Lumia? Nokia Beamer will help you to share your Lumia screen on others devices such as web browser, smart tv, and many more. Download here

PDF Reader

It is alternative way to read PDF. You can share the document using OneDrive using this App. Uou can download here

FlashLight X

Flashlight X helps you to convert your flash camera into flashlight. It will become a good tools when you get a blackout on your office or even on your car. Download here

Business and Mobile Ready

The list will be long enough, feel free to add it on a comment and I will update this post for you.

Web Services Getting Started Book

Although web services is and old technology on 2000’. The need to understand web services is still exist and important. The idea of web services doing a communication mechanisms, standardization of syntax, and distributed architecture will help you to design the future services. There are several book that I recommend you to learn about web services.

Book 1 – Web Services essentials

If you want to quick review the web services architecture, needs a refreshment for your master degree thesis as theoritical background. This book is for you. It has a lot of theoritical and practical issues on a web services.

Book 2 – Sams Teach Yourself Web Services 24 hours

If you want to learn step-by-step, focusing on how to develop a web services on any web platform this book is for you. This book is  good for your starting point when you want to build your own web services.

Book 3 – Web Services, SOA, and Cloud Computing

This managerial like book is a good starting point for non-it people like manager, stakeholder, or newbie student that want to know the global evolution of web services. This book has plenty information about web services and others technology.

Measuring Requirement Changes on Visual Studio Online

Changes always happen. although you have a good client in the world, changes always happen. Requirements will change anytime, so the good practice to limit the changes is by finishing the project as soon as possible. If you can’t finish your work as soon as posible, you should monitor the changes so that it won’t hurt your team, your financial, and your mood.

Visual Studio Online has a good ALM feature to manage the changes using Work features on the web site First of first you should create project on visual studio online and choose Agile or Scrum template. For this post, we will use Agile template.

Understanding Estimation

Estimation is a way to estimate the workload and to calculate the budget that need to be invested for the project. On Agile template on Visual Studio you can set it on the story point as shown on the Figure 1.




You estimate your effort by simply adding story point on Visual Studio Online

Understanding Actual Work

Actual work is an effort that really happen for such a task. In this concept, a story has several tasks. each task will have estimation and actual. The estimation each task should be a total of a story point.

For example, if we have 24 story points and 12 tasks, so each the total story point should have 24 story points. However task has hour unit not the story point unit. Therefore, you should convert the story points unit into hours

imageThe big question is 1 story points = .. hour?

The answer is depend on your team velocity. You can get the team velocity by understanding team performance on the past. One of the technique to calculate the relation between story point and hour is by doing a three points approaches.


Three points approaches

The basic idea to get team velocity is to understand their real performance. This approach can be done by collecting the real experience of the team on a project. For example, on a project a team do 10 iteration. Based on the iterations,you should

  • Choose the three best performance (high velocity, more story points on the same time)
  • Choose the three average story points
  • Choose the three worst story points
  • Calculate the average for the story points
  • Divide the story points with the length of iteration

You will find the average of your team velocity. However, the technique is applicable if:

  • You do the similar project (i.e. web vs web)
  • You have same team
  • You have similar working condition


Agile Estimation? The Story of Kano Model

Kano Model

This article will cover you the basic uderstanding about the Kano Model. Kano from the name of Dr. Kano, is a quality mode or estimation model based on the user requirements. Model Kano works suitable with CTQ (Critical to Quality) characteristics. CTQ will remember you what the Agile principles said “YAGNI” – You aren’t gonna need it. YAGNIS is a principle when we want to develop a software feature for the tomorrow requirement without the need from the user. CTQ has three categories

  • Must be / Essentialy Needed / Basic
  • Deliver Performances / Business Value / Performance
  • Delighter / Nice to Have / Excitement

Please beware that the priority is different than story points on a user story. it justifies a feature based on priority. Some peoples also use M-L-E-I-R-Q model (please the reference for more information about this). it gives you a wide selection of priority and it will be great if you use questioner for this approach, whereas the three categories above is great when it is implemented for observation or interview.

Quick Steps on Agile Estimation

  • Choosing the right model of requirements approaches (interview, observation, or questioner).
  • Choosing the right model for priority model (Kano, MOSCOW, simple numeric, etc)
  • Sort out the story based on its priority
  • Give the story its story points.
  • Measuring the release length and iteration length.
  • Filling the user story into the iteration release. you can put the story based on several technique such as normalism techniques (gaussian), important thing first, or equality technique


For example, I have questionere the potential users. and use KANO model with M-L-E-I-R-Q. I got

3 story M, L, E

7 story I

3 story R, and Q

Let’s make it simple, if M, L, and E category has 20 story points so that I have 60 points (3 x 20), if I story has 10 points therefore I will have 70 points (7 x 10), and if R & Q has 5 points, I will have 15 points (5 x 3). It has 95 points.

If my team has velocity of 30 story points, and the contract is based on cost scope on two months. Therefore it will have only 60 story points / realease. It shows that the project doesn’t cover the 35 points (95 – 60 points). It means you should select only 40 points from the I classification feature.

In order to select the I features, you should re-priotize or do others requirements process to sort the I features based on the user need. You should remove 30 points and pick only 40 points from release plan


Development Activities on Visual Studio Online

After estimating and planning, it is time to develop the software. Visual Studio Online provides you a set of tools to improve the team collaboration. This article will cover several features that van be used for collaborate, codes, and test.


Visual Studio Online provides the team room. Team room is a IM based model that not only provide IM features but also track and audits the codes and checks in. You can read the description of this feature here “Collaborate your Team with Team room on Visual Studio Online”

Links to additional team rooms on Rooms page






Codes Review

Pair programming on ALM minimalist can be done through the feature of Visual Studio such as codes review. Codes review is a way to implement manual code quality review through Visual Studio. Please read “Code Review on Visual Studio”

Submit request button on the filled out new code review page in the team explorer












Unit Test

Unit test is “strange” but usefull. You might be hear test driven development (TTD).  TTD is a way when developer create a test first and after that create the codes. You will remember the concept of test first design. In Visual Studio Online, the developer can easily create unit test and run it just like before. You can read this article “Creating Unit Test On Visual Studio Online”

Unit test project template












Get Feedback to the Stakeholder

After an iteartion of a project. It will be good idea to request a feedback from the stakeholder. ALthough, you can send an email and tell them to test it. Visual Studio Online through Microsoft Feedback system can get more detail on the feature feedback from the stakeholder. You can read “Get feedback from your customer”:

Start the feedback session











Automated Build

On traditional development, you might build the codes before the codes is commited. On Visual Studio Online, the build will be automatically done when the user checked in. You can to automatic build by reading this “Build Check In”

Go to builds page









Creating Test Plan

There are several resrung that can be done in Visual Studio Online. You can read the how to create test plan on Visual Studio Online.

  • Test Case. small unit of test
  • Test Plan, several test case that combined into a scenario or features.
  • Test Suite, is a combination of test plan and others test that can be happen outside the Visual Studio.

New button in the test plan explorer pane and then choose requirement-based suite











Good Book To Read

Estimating The Project on ALM MInimalist


If customer ask you how long this project will take? or how the software will be deliveres. The ALM Minimalisr provides you several ways to estimate the project.

In Visual Studio Online, you can do that by filling the story point on the stories or tasks. This article will cover you several ways to estimathe the project using Agile and ALM Minimalist

Story Points

Story point is the default way to estimate the project. Story point is specific and subsjective based on the team. Story points is not related directly with the time but it’s related directly with the effort. it estimated by the developer.

Story Point = Effort

On a release, each iteration should have same numbers of story points


Estimating by relating between stories. For example, we have two stories. One story has 4 points, and the others has 6 points. If the third story is larger than story one and smaller than story two it might be 5 points.

Theme and Epic

Here are the simple way to understand

Theme = simple stories that can be combined

Epic = a huge stories that should be separated

Theme and epis is a cacual way when you heard that the user story is to large for example story A has 20 points, if we separated into 5 stories, the total sum should be 20’

Planning Poker

Estimating the stories by discussing with the client and the developer. Planning poker discuss the stories length by using a short workshop and poker game model.

Good Book to Read

Contract on ALM MInimalist


Contract is something common that happen on a project. Ideally contract will cover resources, budget, and time constraint. It covers the features, the time, and the budget is needed. Contract is fragile on a project. Sometime, client want a new feature, a team has limitation to solve problem, or even client can pay the cost on time.

On ALM minimalist there are two type of contract which are

  • Optional Scope. Optional scope means the scope will flexible with fixed developer resources and fixed developer time 
  • Cost Scope. Cost scope means the scope will fix on cost and time. This contract will good for a specific deliverable date and fix time but flexible resources.

The contract should be prepared on initial planning before the iteration. It covers several points such as

  • Project background. The background problem of project (Why)
  • Mission Statement. It should clear show what to do on the project. It inspires to stakeholder and inspires a framework to make decission making. (What)
  • Methaphor. It should show a simple analogy of the project features. (How with ‘Simplicity’ on mind)
  • The time boxed. The time needed to implement the features. (When)

On DSDM (Dynamic Software Development Model) the good way to validate contract with customer is through a term called Blitz Planning. Blitz Planning is rapid planning to propose the non technical aspect of the project like Resources, Budget, and Time

Good Book to Read

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About @ridife

This blog will be dedicated to integrate a knowledge between academic and industry need in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), ICT tips, and Software Engineering Research. Enjoy this blog and let's get in touch in any social media.

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