Archive for September, 2005

Happy Birthday, Billg

Posted: September 23, 2005 in Uncategorized
Microsoft turns 30 today… big bash in Redmond… happy birthday, Billg! 
Regardless of all the stuff flying around these days, what an amazing achievement. 
In the biggest understatement of the year, guess you already know that it’s something to be really proud of. <g>
UPDATE:  Microsoft rented out Safeco Field (home of baseball’s Seattle Mariners) to hold its annual company meeting. 
About 16,000 Microsofties showed up, filling the stadium from the first base side all the way around to the third base line. 
But — I couldn’t resist — I snuck into the dugout and watched from there. 
Anyone that has ever dreamed of playing major league baseball would have to agree:  Could there ever be a better seat in the house?!  Was awesome!
As for the company meeting, the major themes were pipeline, pipeline, and pipeline. 
With Xbox, Office 12, and Vista queued up for the next 12 months — plus a huge dose of everything else (like a killer new Hotmail, new Messenger, new Alerts <smile>) splattered in between — 2006 really does look like something to pay attention to.
Maybe most surprising — and for the first time in a long time — I was actually wowed by an application demo:  The new interface on Word looks slick… and I already need the new Powerpoint, some very bitchin’ new features.

The Roomba Rocks!

Posted: September 22, 2005 in Uncategorized
Wanted to wait until I had a little more usage under my belt… but I can’t contain myself: 
The Roomba — that robotic vacuum cleaner that Brad Feld and Dave Hodson have bragged so much about — absolutely rocks!
It’s a kick to watch… almost mesmerizing.  It’s now even my daughter’s favorite toy.
And go figure this:  I like cleaning out the dust bin because I get to see all the work that we’re not doing.
When was the last time you got excited about a vacuum cleaner?
Guess that’s the point of this post, though… maybe it’s not the Roomba per se, maybe it’s the thrill of taking the first step into the future.
George Jetson, here we come!
P.S.  Anyone have any experience with Robomow?  That’s next on my hit list.
UPDATE:  My wife just put a curfew on my Roomba activities!  Can you believe that, getting accused of vacuuming too much?!

Thread Hell

Posted: September 14, 2005 in Uncategorized
One of the hardest part about being in a big company is getting "looped in" to a very long email thread.
Since email is probably the most significant way large teams share information, this happens a lot.
I mean a lot.
I can’t even tell you the big chunk of time I spend getting up to speed with unnecessary details of other people’s electronic conversations.
While the benefits far, far outweigh the deficiencies, getting stuck in "thread hell" is an unfortunate and inevitable consequence of the modern enterprise.  Either a new feature — or new email etiquette — is sorely needed here.

9/11 Remembered

Posted: September 11, 2005 in Uncategorized
Hard to believe American was attacked four years ago today.
Seems like just yesterday.
But then, it’s hard to forget… there are constant reminders — repercussions — everywhere we go.
While no where near extreme, I imagine that’s how folks felt in the years after Pearl Harbor.  Or young adults feel when they become responsible for another person for the very first time. 
It’s a sad — but inevitable — loss of innocence.
Welcome to the real world, eh?
But in all facets of life… all struggles and set-backs and crises… good people move forward.  Regardless of today, there will be a better tomorrow.
Bless the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Bless America. 
Bless us all.
Here’s another great 10-year cycle:  The Phenomenal "5’s".
It seems that the stock market has absolutely killer performance in years ending in "5".
Check it out:

     Year    Dow Jones   Yr/Yr
               Close    Change

     1905:     96.20     38.2%

     1915:     99.15     81.7%
     1925:    156.66     30.0%
     1935:    144.13     38.5%
     1945:    192.91     26.6%
     1955:    488.40     20.8%
     1965:    969.26     10.9%
     1975:    852.41     38.3%
     1985:   1546.67     27.7%
     1995:   5117.12     33.5%
             Average:    34.6%
Hmmm.  The data would suggest that there is either something financially critical and all-important about mid-decades… or researchers have too much time on their hands.
Far be it from me to question this kind of data!
Since the Dow Jones Average Y-T-D is down about 1.4%, looks like we’re going to have quite a ride in the next 3 months and 3 weeks just to reach the low water mark. <smile>