Quote of the Day

Only IT professionals and computer geeks will care about today’s quote but I thought it humorously, accurately and succinctly captures a truism:

Google has product ADD

You should read the article that served as the source of today’s QOTD if you want more context.

My blog will probably be penalized by PageRank as a result of this post. Luckily, MSN Search is getting better each day at least according to my blog stats.

So if Google has product ADD, we need a medical condition for Microsoft that prevents us from shipping on time? How about:

Microsoft has product constipation

Hey, it’s Friday, payday and the end of he fiscal year here at work so I can be a little silly. Speaking of which, I never really cared about fiscal years before moving to marketing. Previously, all I cared about was when/whether there was enough budget to upgrade my machine and my management would reply with something like, “Not until next fiscal year.” Now that I have direct budget responsibilities that has been my canned response the past 4 months.

Apologies to any ADD or constipation sufferers who find this post to be insensitive.

What’s New in Windows Vista?

I don’t work on Windows Vista but that doesn’t stop members of my extended family from thinking I am their resident expert and support representative for every Microsoft product. With that in mind, and as a firm believer in teaching people how to fish (so to speak), I submit this post to my blog.

As many people the world ’round will be replacing their computers in the next 12-18 months I’m sure several are wondering what new features and applications make moving to Windows Vista a smart and economical thing to do.

There is a comprehensive entry on Wikipedia entitled “Features New to Windows Vista” which does a great job thoroughly explaining the multitude of changes and advancements in the new operating system compared to Windows XP and Mac OS X. The article is as long as one might expect as it is written about a multi-million-lines-of-code, multi-billion-dollar software system that has required a multi-year development cycle to create.

The Wikipedia entry is written matter-of-factly (sans marketing mumbo-jumbo) and does its best to forego geekspeak whenever possible. It also explains how and why end-users — such as one’s grandmother — might use each feature covered. If you are short on time, just read the section on “New and Upgraded Applications.”

Continue reading “What’s New in Windows Vista?”

Hot & Sunny In Seattle

The weather has made a drastic change from the normal glum & gray this time of year to spectacularly sunny.  Now the main reason for us residents to be sleepless in Seattle is because it’s unusually hot.

Check out the 10-day forecast below.  Unrelenting heat and sun over several days is highly atypical and, apparently, the upcoming weather may break a few records.


10-Day Forecast for Kirkland, WA


8 Years

As of today, June 22, 2006, I have been a full-time, regular employee at Microsoft Corporation for 8 years. :party:

It has actually been 12 years since I became employee #360?? (don’t want anyone using my employee ID for mischief :razz:) after joining MSFT as a summer intern in June 1994.

I believe the company had about 17,000 employees worldwide back in 1994 — today there are about 70,000.  I also remember Redmond, WA before the RedWest, Troon, Augusta and Pebble Beach campuses (evidently someone in facilities had a fixation with golf courses).  Of course, there are people at the company with many more stories to tell who have been there since it was considered a David to the Goliath known as IBM.

What is my most memorable Microsoft moment thus far? I actually have two, one near the beginning and one very recent:

  1. The Windows 95 Launch.  It was huge.  Hey, even Jay Leno was there and The Rolling Stones provided the theme music.  For all its faults, Win95 really did change the world of computing.  I remember installing the early, pre-release versions when everyone internally referred to it by its codename, “Chicago.”
  2. BillG moving on.  I knew it was imminent and now that it has happened I am actually excited for Bill.  He’s someone who seems genuinely dedicated to using his wealth to change the world for the better and his next big area of focus is so much more important than software.  As for the impact to Microsoft?  The stock price can’t get much lower so this was a perfect time to do it as opposed to when I was getting ready for retirement myself. 😉

Imagine working at Microsoft pre-Exchange, pre-Outlook, pre-Internet Explorer, pre-Remote Desktop, pre-IM, pre-OWA, pre-wireless networking and when only a select few had access to CD burners and laptops.

Everyone remember when mice lacked wheels and contained balls, not optics?  I worked on the very first IntelliMouse (codename “Magellan”) back in the summer of 1995.  It was Todd Holmdahl’s pet project after he joined Microsoft from Fluke and I was his intern working on the microcontroller for the “wheel” mouse.  Today Todd is the Corporate Vice President responsible for the design & manufacturing of Xbox hardware.  I retired from electrical engineering and hardware and became a web guy back in the fall of 1996 when Netscape Navigator and Java were generating so much buzz on college campuses everywhere.

Ten years later and it’s Internet Explorer and .NET dominating and generating lots of buzz.  This industry is crazy where even the best technology must fight to survive and that’s why I love it.

Six Months on the Job: Keynote

I am a week late in writing this but month six in my new job came and went so quickly. I celebrated the 6th month in my new role on Wednesday, June 14. The experiences I have had at work this past month, or at least as a result of where I work and the people I work with, were so monumental compared to previous months that I wanted to make sure I wrote something complete which required time that I simply have not had until now.

Around the time of my “Month 5” post, I was presented with the opportunity to participate in my first keynote as a person responsible for driving an on-stage demo at arguably the largest developer and IT professional training conference in the world: Microsoft Tech-Ed.

Tech-Ed is an annual event run by Microsoft (with the help of numerous partners and vendors) to educate the people who develop and deploy solutions using Microsoft technologies about our current offerings and provide them with a glimpse of what’s to come. The events draw upwards of 10,000+ developers and IT professionals from around the world and Microsoft sends over a thousand of its employees to present, interact and coordinate at the massive event — there are tons of press as well. This year’s Tech-Ed was held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center June 11-16.

Continue reading “Six Months on the Job: Keynote”