Cool Campaign

This SQL Server and Visual Studio (2005) campaign has been getting some attention -- and with good reason. It's a really enjoyable experience -- not just a boring flash animation or ad. If you haven't seen it yet, head over and check it out: I hate to call attention to it, but I really disliked the recent Office campaign -- the whole "dinosaur head" motif just didn't work. So, it's quite refreshing to come across this ... even if you're not a developer, you're likely t... [More]

The Speed of Light

This is just too funny. So I'm at work when my buddy Tom (who cheerily posed in front of the WinHEC x64 sign here) brings to my attention a bit of irony in an MSN ad. The truth is I've seen this kind of thing before (Google or MSN -- neither is immune to these contextual faux pas) but for some reason this one just stood out as particularly amusing -- perhaps because it involves echinacea and just smells of late night infomercials. The ad is for echinacea, but the story is explaining that echinacea has n... [More]

Comcast Just Doesn't Get It

Perhaps some of my old colleagues will remember the infamous "slow network" problem we experienced that created such bottlenecks in our applications that it just drove us insane. We'd lose replication packages, have timeouts, file transfers seemed like they were on a 56k connection. I'm reminded of these good times thanks to Comcast, who, for the past 2 months, just can't seem to see the forest for the trees. I have a whopping 8mbps download (with a tolerable 768k upload -- a bit low with today's Optimum... [More]

I'll throw, you catch {}

Every few months I see this topic re-emerge in some fashion, and lately it has done the same internally here at Microsoft. So, I thought I’d share some various pearls of wisdom on some exception handling characteristics and best practices. Many of this below summarizes the opinions of others internally, including thoughts of various individuals on the CLR and VC# teams. So the specific question is: what is different in the following code blocks? (Look at the throw statements.) try {    ... [More]

Google Countersues Microsoft

By now most people have heard about Microsoft suing Google and Kai Fu-Lee because Lee, a former exec at Microsoft, went to work at Google at a new research and development office in China. The lawsuit cites that Lee signed a noncompete agreement in 2000, preventing him from working for a competitor within a set period of time of leaving Microsoft (1 year, I believe). Apparently, Google has filed a countersuit (in California) stating that the non-compete contract violates California laws giving workers the... [More]

The Illusion of Choice

Remember when the Merovingian (The Matrix 2) said something like, "Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without." Ah, the good ol' college days of arguing "consumer" philosophy. So being a reality TV junkie, I'm hip to all the new shows and will usually watch at least the premiere and finale of any show. This new show just started called "Rock Star: INXS." It's by Mark Burnett (Survivor, Apprentice, et. al.) so you figure it's got at least decent production quality and, b... [More]

Etch A Sketch - Not the same on a cell phone

I’ve always been one to enjoy it when someone puts out some piece of my childhood in a newer and more computerized way. However when I saw this article a couple of weeks ago, about moving Etch A Sketch to a cell phone something inside me just said “why bother”. The ability to think far enough ahead in a creative way, that one line would end where the other would begin, and the ability to retrace your lines was the challenge. Then the ability to draw those particular shapes by turning the knobs just t... [More]

Wake-On-LAN Utility

Presenting the Wake-On-LAN Utility, a cheesy app for the those that don't want to get off the couch to turn on the PC in the other room. Last year I was on my couch and I stared at the PC in the other room. None of the normal "bling bling" (the blue LEDs, cathode lights, etc.) was present. My machine was off. I really needed some files off of it, and I was faced with the "lazy man's remote control drama" ... basically, do I spend the 30 seconds to get up and turn on the machine, or do I spend more time ... [More]

Grammar Tidbits

I thought of this lightbulb category for this blog because I was thinking this morning that sometimes, we carry with us these little tidbits of information that we remember forever. For whatever reason, someone says something (or we read something) and it just "clicks." So I thought I'd blog about that. This one goes back to eight grade for me (and why it took me until I was 12 or 13 to learn this is beyond me, but kudos to the teacher). I believe it was the very first day of class -- she made it cle... [More]

Setting the IE View Source Editor

This information might be old news to some of you, but I just found out about it recently and was tickled to find the answer. You can find this same information elsewhere on the Internet, but I thought it was worth relating my experience... Have you ever used the View Source option in Internet Explorer and been frustrated by its affinity for NotePad? NotePad is okay for a quicky look at a random text file, but it does a pretty crappy job of displaying HTML. I decided that I'd rather use my favorite text ed... [More]

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