Scott Hanselman

My Weekend

February 2, '03 Comments [0] Posted in TechEd | Speaking | Gaming
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My buddy Ramesh, a TS at Microsoft Malaysia and one of the organizers of the now legendary TechEd Malaysia was in Redmond this weekend and took the train down to Portland to hang out with my wife and I.  Here's a picture of us at Ski Bowl up on Mt. Hood.  This was his first time seeing major snow (a few flurries in Redmond once) but this was serious snow (for Oregonians).  There was a couple of guys who were filling the back of their truck with a snow man they were planning to transport to Portland's not-at-all-snowy Westside. 

We hung out, played XBox Live, bought a copy of Unreal Tournament for a ridiculous $25 at EBX, went to Fry's.  You know, standard geek stuff.  :)  Happily my wife Mo was very supportive of the whole overly techie weekend. :)  We also went to a go-cart track and played some putt-putt golf.  Generally a fabulous weekend. 

Monday, I'm off to the Campus in Redmond for meetings Monday and Tuesday.  Now that I've got Radio (sucks) running at home on a mirrored drive (which offers scarce little comfort) I'll be able to blog remotely by VPN or mail-to-blog.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Revolutions don't always start at the hardware transport layer...

February 2, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Web Services | Gaming
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ExtremeTech: "Microsoft's SPOT smart objects might indeed be tomorrow's technology -- if you were living in the 1980's. That's because the technology used in SPOT, FM subcarrier transmission, was originally used as a last-gasp effort by the Atari 2600 to distribute games wirelessly over the radio." [Brian Jepson]

This is a short-sighted comment from ExtremeTech.  NTSC (the television spec) has been around at LEAST since 1941, and even though we're still waiting for HDTV to replace it, technologies like ReplayTV and Tivo have revolutionized how people use a 60+ year old transport standard. And I italicize transport standard because it's just that. 

Sure, FM subcarrier transmission is an old technology, but so is TCP/IP.  Revolution doesn't always happen at the hardware transport layer.  TCP/IP in some form will be with us in 25 years. No question. Moreover, we don't need to resort to using the 3G spectrum to revolutionize data transfer.

I think Microsoft is going to win with SPOT.  I never forget my watch.  I misplace my cell phone, my PocketPC, my Blackberry, all the time.  But 99% of the time, my watch is on.  Arguably, my watch IS as physical part of me as my wedding ring.  We're not going to start carrying cell phones on necklaces (although they've started in Asia) anytime soon.  So, what valuable information can be delivered to the device I already carry with me?

<sarcasm>Of course, another (failed) idea would be for me to completely change my dressing habits and buy a pair of Dockers Mobile Pants.  Right, because the problem isn't too many devices, it was not enough pockets.</sarcasm>

A watch has an awfully low signal-to-noise ratio.  I mean, it takes up a lot of space (and it sure is shiny) , just so I can tell time.  But, somehow, I continue to carry it around with me, even though the time is all over the signs on the street, my office, my car, my cell phone.  Adding information to a device I'm already carrying with me is a much better example of an IdeaVirus than the proliferation of small devices that came out during the e-Nineties.  I mean, how many devices with a battery, screen and buttons do I need? 

SPOT will work.  It's an innovative use of: an existing device with an existing transport layer.  Just you watch.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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High on Life

February 2, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Musings
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"I used to get high on life, but pretty soon I built up a tolerance.  I used to seize the day, then I started seizing two days, three days, then I was a seizing a week, just to get the same buzz." - Arj Barker

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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The Friday Five 1 As A Child Who Was Your Favorite Superheroheroine Why I Always Dug Nightcrawler Could Telepor

January 31, '03 Comments [0] Posted in TechEd | Speaking | Africa
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The Friday Five 1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why? I always dug Nightcrawler (could teleport) and Shadowcat (could walk through walls). Certainly there's no need to read into the depths of standard computer-geek-four-eyes-zip-face-pre-teen angst that can be written in these choices. ;) 2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got? A non-awkward day. 3. What's the furthest from home you've been? As the crow flies? When my wife and I visited her parents in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; that was pretty far. I felt far away when the dichotomy of the situation hit me. I was boiling the hot water for my bath and checking the values in my insulin pump at the same time. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was also pretty far. 4. What's one thing you've always wanted to learn but haven't yet? I've always wanted to learn an African Language FLUENTLY. I used to be OK and could converse in Ethiopian Amharic, but that's fading. I'm working on learning isiNdebele (part of the Zulu sub-family of Bantu languages), my wife's native tongue (clicks and pops and all), but I won't be able to really focus on it until August. 5. What are your plans for the weekend? My friend Ramesh, a Microsofty, and an organizer of TechEd Malaysia is coming to stay with us for the weekend.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Groove - Got Memory?

January 30, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Web Services
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Um...this is a little disconcerting (from Groove 2.5)...anyone have a thought on this?  Mr. Ozzie? Any other Groovesters?

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.