BillCan's Place

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  • 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: 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: First Major Deliverable and Microsoft Methodologies

    I have just finished my first major deliverable, the so-called Vision/Scope document. This document is the first major document to be created to get a project approved and on to planning stage. This document give a basic description of what your project will do, and how it will do it. I will be presenting...
  • Blog Post: My project gets underway

    Over the past two weeks, my group has been trying to make a decision as to what my project was going to focus on. As a reminder, my group writes security guidance documents for use by Microsoft customers of all sizes. Anyway, for about two weeks, I was actually pushing two projects forward through the...
  • Blog Post: MSN Spaces (Blog Hosting) Beta

    There is a huge amount of excitement in the internal MS blogging community as MSN has launched a beta of its MSN Spaces site. This is a blog hosting site that seems to have a lot of cool features, such as image hosting, blogging via email, and so on. The link is http://spaces.msn.com . Go check it out...
  • Blog Post: Chalk talk completed...

    The first thing I had to do at Tech Ed this year was a chalk talk on the Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs that I just finished. The session was pretty heavily attended, with all chairs filled and lots of folks sitting on the sides and standing in the back. Basically, I talked about the DET for...
  • 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: Holiday Parties

    It is holiday party time at Microsoft. I went to a party at the house of my team leader on Saturday. It was really nice, and my wife and I had a great time. It’s nice to have coworkers that you like, not just have to work with. On Thursday, my overall group (Core Infrastructure Services) is having a...
  • Blog Post: Hello, Xbox Live...

    Well, I've been in the Xbox Live team for the past 3 days and my head is swimming! I had never thought about all the work that goes into keeping Xbox Live up and operational, but now that I'm here and get to see it, it's pretty remarkable. There is a large team working around the clock to make sure that...
  • 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: Popcorn Time at Microsoft

    Apparently, Friday afternoon is Popcorn Time on the south wing of the 1st floor of Building 18 at Microsoft! Generally, someone seems to fire up the popcorn popper (picture one of those big machines from the movie theater and you'll have the idea) every Friday afternoon. A little popcorn makes an excellent...
  • 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: A Wierd Microsoft Tradition

    Apparently, the tradition at Microsoft is, on the day of your anniversary of starting at MS, to bring in to work 1 pound of M&Ms for each year of service you have. A colleague of mine is celebrating his 12th anniversary at Microsoft today, and has set up a table outside his office with every kind...
  • 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: Offer Accepted!

    Originally Posted 10/23/2004 07:38:50 PM After a certain amount of back and forth with Cody, and a lot of soul searching, I have decided that I am going to go for it and accept Microsoft's offer. All I have left to do is call Cody with my answer and give my current employer the word. It looks like a...
  • 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: Envisioning Phase Complete, On to the Planning Phase!

    Well, after lots of last minute changes, I have received approval from my stakeholders that I can proceed to the Planning phase. I can say that it was a somewhat painful process to go through, especially because I needed a fair number of signatures, but I can say with certainty that the process resulted...
  • Blog Post: TechReady Presentations

    I presented yesterday and again today at TechReady 4. TechReady is Microsoft's internal conference where our field personnel come in to learn about new products, get training, schmooze with each other and HQ personnel, etc. Think of it as Tech Ed for Microsoft people. TechReady may be the toughest...
  • Blog Post: My first VP meeting

    I presented to my GM a while back, and he thought I should discuss my project with John Conners, the CFO of Microsoft. As you may be aware, John has actually announced his retirement from MSFT, so instead I will be meeting with Scott Di Valerio, the Corporate Controller, who is one of John's direct reports...
  • Blog Post: Tech Ed Accomodations

    I leave for Tech Ed in 15 days. I'll be staying at the either the Swan or Dolphin Hotel . I'm not quite sure how it works as they are two different hotel buildings but you somehow find out which you're staying in when you get there. At least that's what I think happens, I never really know for sure....