"diff" utility for Windows

12/12/04 | by Clarise | Categories: Technical FAQ

I have been asked what utility is good to use in the Windows environment that performs a similar function as the Unix command "diff", i.e., compare files line by line. My answer is: WinMerge.

WinMerge http://winmerge.sourceforge.net/ is an excellent tool that provides "visual text file differencing and merging tool for Win32 platforms. It is highly useful for determing what has changed between project versions, and then merging changes between versions."

I highly recommend it.

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Car Donation Tips

11/20/04 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

Tax deduction was one of the considerations I had for donating my car. To avoid tax trouble, I did a fair amount of research. Here are some tips:

1. Read the IRS Publication 4303 - A Donor’s Guide to Car Donation. This can be downloaded from http://www.irs.gov

2. Choose and Research on eligible charities. Read Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This provides list of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. One can also search the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96136,00.html
If you are unsure of the charity, call the IRS Customer Account Services division for Tax Exempt and Government Entities at (877) 829-5500. From my experience, the IRS Customer Account Services representatives were very helpful in giving tips once you have explained that you are donating your car and want to make sure that you are following the IRS guidelines.

3. Contact your chosen charity. In my case, the charity sent me the paper work to fill up. They arranged for a tow company to call me to arrange for a pickup.

4. On the day of the pickup, write up something that the tow company driver can sign for that the car was picked up and that all the filled in documents that the charity sent you are in the car. This is for your documentation purposes.

5. Send in to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the DMV Notice of Release of Liability (REG 138) - DMV Form REG 138. I did a Post Office Certified Mail Delivery for my records.

6. The most important of all tips are: Photocopy and keep all your documents for your records. Photograph your car to show the IRS, if you are audited. If your deduction is for $250 or more, you must obtain a written acknowledgement from the charity. You don’t have to include it with your tax returns, but keep it in case the IRS has questions. If your deduction exceeds $500, you must fill out Section A of Form 8283 when you file your tax return. If your deduction tops $5,000, you must obtain a written appraisal from a qualified appraiser.

I took pictures of my car, Mitsi as we fondly call it, as it was being towed away. I felt a little sad to see it go, as I have been attached to that car. It served me well. I hope contributing Mitsi, can make a difference and assist my chosen charity Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation, help children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, fulfill their wishes this holiday season.


New Clean URI (URL) for Our Blogs

11/14/04 | by JAdP | Categories: On the web, General Thoughts, TIA Life

This is somewhat of a sitewide announcement for The TeleInterActive Press. We've reconfigured a bit to get the cleanest URL/URI possible for our blogs. You may need to delete your current subscription from your RSS/Atom reader or news aggregator and resubscribe. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The TeleInterActive Lifestyle is now


Yackity Blog Blog is now


The Cynosural Blog is now


And, if your a member of this Bunkey's blog



Techniques to Capture and Analyze Business Requirements

10/23/04 | by Clarise | Categories: Techniques

An application system, whether custom developed or bought as a custom off-the-shelf (COTS) or packaged application software, is not useful if it does not meet the needs of its users. The key to a successful project requirements analysis is not just examining business processes with a focus geared towards technical concerns such as system design, architecture and data modeling. It should be balanced with the effective analysis and modeling of the business problem and business process dynamics.

One technique to capture business requirements is to create Use Cases. Use cases describe a way in which the users interact with the system. A well designed use case is complete and uses the point of view of the users and their corresponding roles in relation to the system as well as their interaction.

Another technique is creating a business process flow diagram or sometimes called Process Flow Diagram. It enables the understanding of and the analysis of business activities through a graphic description.

There are other techniques to capturing and analyzing business requirements. The important key to remember is: The ROI of the system is achieved if the project team creates the technical solution that truly meets the needs of the users.


Writing a Design Document

10/17/04 | by Clarise | Categories: Techniques

Creating a design document is one of the tasks in a software development project. A Design Document is a comprehensive plan for the project. It should present both a high level and a detailed design for the application. The high level design should provide an overview of the approach. The detailed design should provide all the information that is needed to implement the solution.

There is no single approach in documenting a design. However, when I develop a Design Document, I always ask myself these:

- Can one develop the envisioned application with this Design Document and its corresponding Requirements Document?

- If this Design Document is given to several teams to implement, would the resulting application work the same way?

I believe, if a Design Document is well written the answer to both questions will be "Yes".

A sample outline could include the following:

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Project Background
Brief Description of the project including the system owner.

1.2 Document Objectives
Briefly describe the objectives the Design Document; Explain that the design document is a living document during the project life cycle

1.3 References
Identify sources of information used to develop this document; this could include the Requirements Document, Design Decision Documentation and other Requirements Traceability Matrix.

1.4 Glossary
Define the terms used in the document and in the project

2.0 System Overview
2.1 Business Process
Describe the business processes that will be modeled by the system.

2.1.1 Logical Process Flow
The logical process flow is meant to visually describe the logic and flow of an application process. The purpose of the Logical Process Flow document is to communicate and confirm expected functionality.

2.1.2 Business Process Model
This model should define every business rule that needs to be implemented. Use the logical process flow to help group all the business rules.

2.2 System Users
Identify the potential system users and levels of expertise needed by the various user types; Indicate how each user type will interact with the system

2.3 Dependencies and Limitations
List any dependecies and limitations of the application

3.0 Overall Architecture

3.1 Structure
Decompose the system into design entities that will interact with and transform data

3.2 Data Design and Control
Identify specific data elements and logical data groupings that are stored and processed by the design entities in 3.1

3.3 Security
Describe the application Security

4.0 User Interface
Describe the user interface and the operating environment, including the menu hierarchy, data entry screens, display screens, online help, and system messages.

5.0 Database Design

5.1 Data Flow Diagrams

5.2 Data Model

5.3 Data Mapping

6.0 Requirements Cross Reference
Tie back the document to the requirements


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This blog contains thoughts that range from non-technical to technical. Its name is derived from "Yakity Blah Blah" a column I once had that discussed a cornucopia of ideas. Who am I? I'm Clarise Z. Doval Santos, providing Project Management and Technical Leadership for data management and analytic, data science, IoT and sensor analytics ecosystems 37.652951177164 -122.490877706959


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