I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to be impressed. If you know me, I'm all about Microsoft. I dig them, their tech, especially their people. While I've worked in Java on Solaris talking to Mainframes, I really cut my teeth on writing thunking code during the 16-bit/32-bit transition. I know I'm not an "old timer." I've never seen a punch card. (Although I've read Cryptonomicon. ;) ) I'm Generation X or Y, not Generation U or V.
I'm from a middle place. I'm younger than some, but older than others. I've coded on TRS-80s, TI99/4a, C64 and Apple. I've used 8" floppies. I've lived in DOS from >= version 3. I've run NeXT, Amiga, GEOS, CP/M, OS/2, Desqview, Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.11. I've run Snowball, Chicago, Nashville and Memphis, worked in Daytona and Cario. I love Whistler, look forward to Longhorn and really don't understand how Blackcomb fits in. I scored 60.85% on the geek test. No doubt, you and I are alike.
I was on AOL 1.0, Compuserve, GEnie, Prodigy, all from DOS. I've surfed with Lynx, read mail with pine. I ran Mosaic, I now run Firebird. I ran vi, emacs, pico, PaperClip, WordStar, WP5.1, and Office 2003 Beta.
I had 8k of RAM and now I have 1.5 gigs of RAM. I had no hard drive, then a Winchester Hard Drive, now I have 425+ Gigabytes at my desk. I had a keyboard, then a mouse, then a mouse with two buttons, now a wireless mouse and keyboard with 5 buttons and a scrolly-thing.
I remember Shift-F7 would print in Wordperfect, I'm not sure why I haven't overwritten that mental cluster with more useful information. Certainly I've at least marked the braincell for deletion with the first character as E5h or something. Now I have a GUI, which brings me the the point of this rant. I certainly haven't seen it all, but darnit I've seen some of it.
I admit it, while I'm privvy to many a Microsoft Pre-Alpha, I have not seen anything of Lornhorn's "real" UI, nor what I'm really interested in - Avalon.
If you do one thing before you go to PDC - look at the demos of Mac OS X's Panther. What I want is for Avalon to blow this away. I want to be impressed. I want a WHOLE new world. I want to see some Microsoft UI Research and Usability to really come to a dramatic fruition. I know Avalon is a next-gen graphics subsystem, but I want to see what totally new UI paradigms (read: moving past Windowing and the Start Menu) can be built on it. I want to make my 256 meg Video Card dual-head Video Card WORK.
I'm coming to PDC thoroughly hoping and expecting to be impressed with the promise of the future. Am I impatiently expecting a revolution in UI, while Avalon may be a just stepping stone on the way to...?
Will I be disappointed?