BillCan's Place

Life at Microsoft

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  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2005: Wow!!!

    I am no developer, but I've been playing around with VS2005 and it rocks! I am not much of a programmer, but I've been able to create some pretty cool web pages using VS2005, with very little coding. I strongly encourage you to check out the new Visual Studio, even if you aren't a hard-core developer...
  • Blog Post: Lunchtime Conversation: Tivo vs. Microsoft TV Foundation Edition

    Just to give you some idea of what goes on here, I had lunch with a five people in my team today and we spent the entire time discussing (and arguing about) the relative merits of Tivo vis-a-vis Microsoft TV. Apparently, Tivo has Linux at the core (is this true?), so that was one strike against Tivo...
  • Blog Post: Unchained Melodies

    It is so nice being able to listen to music (or whatever) without headphones! At my previous employer we were I lived in a cubicle and could only listen to music with headphones. It was like a leash that chained you to your PC. What a pain in the neck that was, with the cord getting caught on things...
  • Blog Post: Cross-Group Collaboration Training Tomorrow

    With everyone back from vacation, my project has kicked into high gear. I've not been as good as I should be on posting, but things are a little crazy. I will fill you in on a training session that I am going to tomorrow. It is called "Cross-group Collaboration" and is apparently one of the hottest classes...
  • Blog Post: Back from vacation

    Well, I'm back from a nice trip to visit family in beatiful Scottsdale, Arizona. I lived in Scottsdale for about 5 years prior to moving to the Seattle area. The Valley of the Sun is about the nicest place on earth this time of year, with high temperatures in the low 70s and lows that get down into the...
  • Blog Post: Wow! Microsoft Surface looks pretty cool!

    There's been a lot of buzz around Microsoft regarding the Microsoft Surface announcement today. I had seen this a while back at TechFest, the internal event put on by Microsoft Research every year. At the time I thought it was really cool. But I've got to say, checking out the videos at http://www.microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Welcome to BillCan's Place

    Originally Posted: 04/23/2004 02:28:52 AM Welcome to BillCan's Place (working title only). This blog will chronicle my life here in the Pacific Northwest, primarily focusing on work and professional issues. I am starting this blog now because I am in the middle of a full court press to become an employee...
  • Blog Post: Bill's Xbox 360 Strategy

    Last year we got a really nice new hi-def TV . Unfortunately, we have an old non-progressive scan, non-up-converting DVD player. So, we need a new DVD player anyway, so how about getting an Xbox 360 to fill in as DVD player? In addition, the DVD player can also act as a media extender, and can: ...
  • Blog Post: Last post of the year

    This is my last post this year, and as such it is a good time to reflect on the last roughly two months at Microsoft. Here's what I've learned so far: Relationships are extremely important, and you should never burn any bridges. People move around here a lot, so just because you are leaving a group to...
  • Blog Post: What's a PM do to unwind?

    I consider myself a pretty typical PM, and like most PMs at Microsoft, I like to unwind by playing bass drum in a bagpipe band. You can see me doing just that with my band, the Keith Highlanders Pipe Band , in this photo .
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista just keeps getting better and better!

    I've been running more and more recent versions of Windows Vista, and each one just gets better and better. At this point they are putting in a lot of the fit and finish things that really make the system nice to use. I suggest that you keep an eye on http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/rc1/en...
  • Blog Post: My first Microsoft CXO Sighting

    Today I was at the Pro Club in Bellevue, a gym to which almost everyone at Microsoft belongs. I arrived at around 7:15am and as I walked into the locker room I saw Steve Ballmer (or someone that looks remarkably like him!) pulling on his pants! In case you don't know, Steve Ballmer is the CEO of Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Do you IM? Make it count more!

    If you IM, you can make it count more by using Windows Live Messenger. Basically, Microsoft will share a portion of the advertising revenue with one of several major charities. Participating is a breeze, just change your display name in the Live Messenger client. Visit im.live.com to learn more about...
  • Blog Post: Technical Snafu! Please Repost Comments!!!

    I was wondering if anyone was reading my posts, because I hadn't received any comments in well over a week. I was actually thinking of writing a post entitled "Blogging To Myself", since no one seemed to be reading or responding to what I was posting... Well, it finally dawned on me what the problem...
  • Blog Post: New World Cup Blog

    Some guy is blogging about his planned trip to the World Cup next year...
  • Blog Post: Patent Cubes

    One of the cool things about working at Microsoft (a lot of my posts begin this way, don't they?) is that they encourage you to file patents on cool ideas that you've had. I've had lots of (I think) great ideas throughout my life (haven't we all), but since I've been at Microsoft, I've filed two of them...
  • Blog Post: Another Microsoft blogging milestone

    Well, that's two milestones out of the way: I've already been linked to by Robert Scoble ( http://scoble.weblogs.com ), and now I've gotten linked to by the Moon Gals, Gretchen and Zoe( http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog )! I'm on a roll, baby!
  • Blog Post: Coolest device of the show (so far?)

    On the way to lunch today, I was approached by someone with a small black device just a bit too large to fit in your shirt pocket. It turns out that it is an OQO , a device she billed as "the smallest Vista PC in the world". This thing was pretty amazing, featuring 1GB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive,...
  • Blog Post: Tech Ed Bound!

    I will be going to Tech Ed again this year. I'll be working at our "Security & Compliance" booth, and presenting a chalk talk on the first day of the show. I'm also conducting a side meeting to discuss problems related to secure collaboration that our customers are having. I love going to Tech...
  • Blog Post: The D-ILA has landed!

    This weekend I picked up a new 52" JVC D-ILA television. It is an 3-chip LCoS microdevice reverse projection tabletop television, similar to the DLP TVs that have taken the market by storm. The difference with LCoS is that there is no spinning color wheel, and thus no possibility of seeing the color...
  • Blog Post: A little clarification...

    I think it is important to provide a little clarification about the time frame for my postings. I migrated the posts prior to this one from a private blog that I had been keeping for the past 6 months or so. I chose the most interesting posts that fit the topic area for this blog, and entered them here...
  • Blog Post: Comcast DVR box gets MS Logo

    I just noticed today that on my Comcast DVR box, when you go to the My DVR menu, there is a little Microsoft TV logo up in the right top corner of the screen. I think this is new, because I had heard that they had done no Microsoft branding on the box when it was launched. I had never noticed it before...
  • Blog Post: My new Microsoft TV cable box

    Well, yesterday was the first day that Comcast was making the new Microsoft TV-based DVR available to customers, so of course I rushed over there to pick one up. So, how do I like it, you ask? I'd say my initial impression is very favorable. Pros: You can flip through the channels much faster than the...
  • Blog Post: Not work related, but still cool...

    I am in training to run a marathon. I will (hopefully) be running the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon on April 15th of this year. I'm 9 weeks into my training program, and am blogging my program at http://2020program.blogspot.com .
  • Blog Post: Have you heard about CodePlex?

    If you are familiar with SourceForge, you might want to check out CodePlex. According to their website, CodePlex ( www.codeplex.com ) is "Microsoft's open source project hosting web site." It has a lot of the features that SourceForge provides (issue tracker, discussions, source code distribution, etc...