Alex Osborn, writing for IGN: When asked how Nintendo NX will stack up against Sony and Microsoft’s forthcoming hardware revisions—namely PlayStation 4 NEO and Xbox One Scorpio—Fils-Aime told Bloomberg (via Nibel): “For us, it’s not about specs, it’s not about teraflops, it’s not about the horsepower of a particular system. For us, it’s about the content.” In other words, not good. I stopped expecting good hardware from Nintendo a long time ago.
New features for Windows Phone, codenamed Mango. Impressive. It would make a great iPhone app.
Joel Spolsky: It turns out that nobody wrote the automated test to check if Vista provided users with a compelling reason to upgrade from XP.
I just started experimenting with builds in Keynote. I’m amazed at how simple it is to make fairly complex animations. Everything is attractive and slick. $20 on the Apple App Store is a steal. PowerPoint 2010 is $139. Microsoft: Where is the app store already?
The big thing touted for Windows Phone 7 as the innovation over iPhone is hubs: information aggregated into one place and viewable at a glance. It seems to me that Apple could easily add such a feature to the home screen by letting you drag downward or upward to view a Dashboard like in Mac OS X that you can put widgets on that call out whatever information you care about—upcoming calendar events, missed calls, new messages, weather, whatever.
Microsoft recently released a beta of Internet Explorer 9. I’ve used it a little and have some initial impressions. Overall, it’s a much-needed improvement over 8. It’s a cross between Firefox and Chrome, incorporating features from each, although there are some 8 leftovers. The look is simple and clean and comes off as much more lightweight. It’s a pleasure to see and to use. The address bar and tabs area were set horizontally adjacent to each other.
My place in Microsoft is within the Developer Division (DevDiv), which makes tools for programmers. Among various things, DevDiv produces a free set of tools called the .NET Framework, and the .NET Framework provides a technology called XAML (pronounced zammel). XAML is a software language that allows programmers to write down complex operations in simple text, and then it performs those operations for them. It’s what I work on. My division recently released a preview version of the next planned release of our Visual Studio product.
A week ago I called Sam Bent, another software engineer at Microsoft, twice for help. The first time went fine, but the second time I had his full name in my head when I dialed the phone, and I opened with, “Hi, Sam Bent.” It didn’t sound like, “Hi, Sam Bent?” as if I was checking if it was him. It sounded like I had used his full name like a first name.
On my flight home for Thanksgiving, I sat a seat over from a cute girl named Rae who was around my age. We eventually chatted, and I learned she studied art history at the University of Washington, she was from California, and she was going home for the holiday too. I was gauging our conversation and toying with the idea of asking for her number, but I chickened out and figured I could find her online later.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Things have been busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog. In case you haven’t heard the news, Microsoft laid off 1,400 employees today, 800 of them in the Redmond area. The layoffs reflect the worsening economy and were announced in conjunction with the quarterly financial report released today, which showed that profits are down compared to the same quarter last year.
It really came down today. I woke up bleary-eyed and tired, got up later than I meant to, and got ready. I didn’t even glance outside until I was all set to go. I tried logging onto my Microsoft mail remotely to see if there was any mention of canceling work, but the mail servers were so impacted that the web pages wouldn’t load. For a while I didn’t know whether I should try to go or not, so I decided to try and see if I could even leave if I wanted to.
Microsoft put me in touch with Angela in Seattle, a rental provider, who helped me find an apartment. (Actually, Microsoft put me in touch with Susan on the east coast, who put me in touch with Angela. Every relocation service that Microsoft provides uses multiple levels of agents who contract the person beneath them, the last person contracted being the one I end up meeting face-to-face. When I was shipping my belongings from Grass Valley to Seattle, I met the driver Boe, who was contracted by Ronnie, who was contracted by Joey, who was contracted by Chanda, who was contracted by Microsoft.
I need to find a permanent place to live soon because Microsoft stops paying for my temporary housing on December 3. For a long time I thought I would look for a place to live in Eastside, probably Bellevue, because I don’t want to deal with the traffic crossing the Lake Washington bridges and I would be closer to work. Lately, after having worked for a couple weeks now, I realize that if I live in Eastside, it’s not as likely that I’ll have the energy or time to drive to Seattle to explore the city, which I really want to do.
There’s a condition that afflicts many innocent, hard-working people around the world every day. Its victims suffer from light sensitivity, disorientation, lethargy, sleep deprivation, and depression. There is no cure, but some drugs temporarily alleviate its symptoms. Many people manage to live somewhat normal lives through proper treatment. I’m referring, of course, to waking up before 9 AM, which I had to do all this week and expect to continue doing until my body gives out.
One reason I hesitated to move to Washington was because most of my friends and family are in California. I started college not knowing anyone, but joining a fraternity facilitated making friends and filled my schedule. Once again I’m faced with starting over, and I wonder if Microsoft will play that role of friend maker and schedule filler. I moved up here expecting only to know my aunt and uncle, who live in Sequim (pronounced squim for some reason); Dan, who was in my fraternity and works here full time now; and Tom, with whom I worked on a school project and who works at Microsoft too.
I moved to Seattle! Yes, it finally happened. No, the thesis isn’t done; I’ll have to fly back when it’s done to defend it. Seattle couldn’t wait any longer. I would have written about this sooner, but I’ve felt so tired in the evenings since I moved here. Moving is always such a chore. Thankfully Microsoft made the move very easy by shipping my belongings and car here, providing temporary housing and a rental car, and connecting me with a rental agent in the area.
I was in Seattle last night. I had planned to fly home to San Luis Obispo at 7:20 PM and ultimately arrive at around midnight. But the fates had other plans. Katherine dropped me off at my hotel and I was already running late. I ran through the glass doors, up the stairs, and entered the elevator. The elevators there required guests to slide their room keys to operate them. Judging by the title of this post, can you guess if my key worked?