It's been a while since I've posted on the blog - as I moved to more internal teams, I haven't had as much to talk about. That's all about to change. Below is an email I just sent out. You can find my new blog (actually, my old personal one) at http://yalangriver.wordpress.com/. Hope to see y'all there!
In keeping with Microsoft tradition, I’m writing to all of you to let you know that December 2nd is my last day at the company.
I’m going to be taking a COO position at EC:Wise, a 100+ person consulting company that specializes in business intelligence, analysis and data services as well as a position in an associated startup that is providing automation, analytics and social networking for the casino industry. As most of you know, I’ve always been interested in helping companies attain their goals and enable better focus on their customers – whether thru transactional systems, data analysis or social networking. This allows me to hit many of these things at once. Additionally, it has the added bonus of working with some people that I’ve known for over 20 years, including
someone that I used to work with in my own company back in my New Jersey days. Finally, I get to spend some time working not only in the .NET world, but the open source world as well.
My nearly 10 years at Microsoft have been an incredible learning experience – you’ve all been part of that. I’ve been involved in the creation of some amazing software, some incredible teams, and I respect the
fact that this has been one of the few large companies that encourages you to speak your mind. If I can leave anything with y’all it’s to keep fighting to do the right thing by customers – both internal and external – even if you have to be creative to get there.
Please keep in touch.
Pretty cool. I have my XBOX 360 playing Hulu, YouTube and other videos via MediaMall's PlayOn software. Channel9 posted the source code to a plugin that lets you watch C9 videos, screencasts, etc., via the TV too. The video is pretty clear - I could see the VS code really well.
Joe Homnick has an awesome blog entry on keeping your VPCs on a USB key (your undo drive on your hard disc). He says that he's getting great performance, and it's easy to keep your VPCs with you wherever you go. Great for training classes.
Check it out!
Jim Wooley just posted a great entry on his ThinqLinq site. It involves using Linq to XML and VB9's XML Literals to query Shakespeare's plays. He first joins all the plays on his drive together into one big XML file and then gets the top 50 characters by the number of lines they speak. Head over there to see the code. Very clean, IMO.
Those of you who know me know that I'm a Shakespeare fanatic and a pretty big fan of Linq also <g> - this post just made my day. Great way to (almost) start the weekend. Thanks, Jim!
Many years ago I saw Jill Sobule do a show - and I enjoyed her sense of humor and stage presence. Bought a few of her CDs to check them out. Anyway, was looking around today and found this site. It's called Jill's Next Record! and asks the community at large to help her produce her CD. She offers various things for different levels of support - and keeps a tally on the site (currently at around $26,000). Some of my favorites:
Heck, for $10,000 you can sing on the CD or play cowbell - your choice. <g> Never too much cowbell...
Anyway, just a data point for how things are changing in this more connected society.
Erik Meijer and I have discussed Volta a number of times - very exciting to see it released on Live Labs.
A few links that should be interesting:
- Erik's announcement post on LTU.
- The Volta team blog
- Wes' blog - with a "Hello, World" walkthrough
- HarishK's blog
- The Volta forum
We've figured out the Vista border issue (we think). We couldn't reproduce it here, but Jim Slater noted that it happens for him when he changes the bordertype in the init. As Calvin mentioned in these blog entries:
Vista doesn't allow you to change the border type after the window is created unless you are running as administrator (in fact, he duplicates this in C++). He discusses ways around this - but this is not an SP2 issue - there's nothing we can do about this in our SP.
I've been reading the comments here and on some sites about SP2. I wanted to give my point of view about it and ask for a few things from the community.
Milind, Calvin, Aiwen and I have been going thru the reports and trying to reproduce them here on multiple OS' and on SP1 and SP2. We haven't been able to succeed. Tonight I heard from John Koziol that he and some former VFP testers were testing SP2 (on XP) as well and they came to the conclusion that it is stable as well.
So, that leaves us in a bit of a bind. One thing that occurred to me over the weekend is that some folks that are seeing problems may have installed SP2 over the beta - which is not supported and may have left files in a strange state.
So, if you are having issues (let's start with the Vista ones), can you please be sure you installed SP2 over a plain vanilla VFP9?
For instance, on VFP9 SP2 fixed the following bugs reported here on my blog:
The intellisense bug: try to use arrow up/down to select the items show from intellisense got multi-selection
Windows Vista Aero BorderStyle paint bug as Calvin talked in his blog.
We tested both of these in multiple combinations and kept getting correct results.
Oh, and for Bernard Bout's DateTime bug - we think that happened due to another fix for DateTime (kinda like what happened when we fixed the GROUP BY in an earlier version of VFP), but we need more info to repro it. One workaround to please try is to use methods (rather than properties) that return DateTimes.
Feel free to leave comments here if you've reported something, or even better, via Connect.
As some of you have noticed, we had a bug in our SP2 release. We forgot to update the file with the splash screen in it. Nice getting back online to messages about it. My thanks to those of you who mentioned it nicely. <g>
Anyway, Milind and I have already started putting together the files and process needed to get a new version out there. Hopefully it will be out tomorrow. Sorry to everyone about the restart...
Now that SP2 is out, you can go ahead and download the free ActiveX controls being made available by our friends at DBI. The controls include the following:
|ctTray||Offers developers direct access to the standard Windows System tray for presentation of application icons for example|
|ctDEdit||The perfect masked edit control for date and time entry|
|ctContact||Outlook-style contact list with find and in-line item editing|
|ctToolBar||Full Windows XP styling of the ToolBar and ToolBar menus|
|ctListBar||The only multi-column ListBar control outside of Visio|
|ctDays||A fully modifiable Outlook-style single column DayView control|
|ctDropMenu||A drop-down, pop-up menu control with individual item image and text/sub-text features.|
|ctFrame||Manage an array of components within a single component. ctFrame makes it easy to create boxes, title bars, and container objects with a variety of border effects.|
I'll be speaking on Silverlight at Devteach in Vancouver the week of November 26th. Devteach is an awesome conference - and this year has a full track on XNA - which should be interesting. And improving on things this year, Jeff Palermo is throwing one of his "Party with Palermo" free parties at the conference! The one he put together here in Seattle at the MVP Summit last year was a ton of fun. Hope you can make it
The source code to the VFP and VB.NET components will be made available next week.
My thanks to everyone on the team that worked so hard to make this happen.
I'll be speaking at a conference in Frankfurt, Germany on November 8-10. I'll be keynoting the VFP conference and doing a session on VB.NET (including things like LINQ, Silverlight and future releases). This is one of my all time favorite conferences - Rainer really focuses on the attendees - great food, lots of chances for 1:1s with the speakers and other attendees, just an overall wonderful time. Click on the pictures to go to the website for the conference.
Here's a great post about blogging and its usefulness in corporations. The quote I wanted to point out:
What did Microsoft do? I don't know if they had it before, but it takes certain organizational cultural values. It's not about process, or rules. In fact, it requires acceptance of uncertainty and ambiguity, tolerance of risk, openness to criticism, and a degree of confidence. These are not things that can be proceduralized, but instead come from how the organization is, uh, organized, and simply the underlying values.
My first month or two at Microsoft I was in a meeting with Steve Ballmer and other VPs. We were talking about blogging, responding on Newsgroups, Forums, etc. The thing I remembered most about the meeting - and what made me so happy to be here was around the discussion of written standards. Steve (and Eric Rudder if I recall correctly) basically ended the conversation with "we hire smart people, let's trust them to be smart about what they do".
Like Gerald says, this comes from the underlying values...
Anyway, they've included support for a number of social networking sites - to help get the word out and to use some of the capabilities to improve the game. So you can add the main character (Lt. Bennett) to your Facebook friends, and follow along on his adventures using Twitter, for instance. Pretty cool.
Main Site: http://zerogravity.terralever.com/
Digg It: http://digg.com/playable_web_games/Rich_Silverlight_Game_help_me_find_my_ship
I'm here in Prague, have to head back to the conference for the Q&A session, but spent some time reading my RSS Feeds. Bernard Bout has a "How To" article on using the VB Interop Control Toolkit with VFP. I showed this in my keynote here, using a similar example. I also used the kit to create a control that can host WPF in your VFP form. If you want another example, check out Beth's blog entry on the toolkit.