Ken Levy

Ken Levy Ken Levy

Niner since 2005


  • Doug Hodges: The history of Visual Studio ​Extensibili​ty

    At Microsoft, we allow anyone to call in and be transferred to a particular person. This means we often don't know who the caller is. If it is a call from within Microsoft, the phone display shows woh the call is coming from. In the U.S., it is not common to answer the phone and say we will call you back. Instead, when we are busy or prefer to talk later, it is most common to not answer and have the caller leave a voice message for the call to be returned. In fact, most people in the U.S. would find it negative to get an answer but then have the person say that they will call you back, and people here would prefer to just leave a voice message if the person cannot speak at that time. This obviously varies in different cultures. What should have been done is to turn the phone ringer off before the video started. Smiley

  • Sean O'Driscoll: General Manager for Community Support and the MVP Program

    In case any of you didn't see this news from last December, Sean O'Driscoll is in the process of leaving Microsoft after 15 years, see his blog post about it below:

    15 years at Microsoft, coming to an end…mixed emotions
  • MQ = Milestone Quality. MQ also equals Carol Grojean, program manager ​extraordina​ire in the develop

    I posted a blog entry on the topic of DVDs about Sir Ernest Shackleton, for those who might be interested...

  • MQ - The Quality Milestone

    You can use the free program called Movie Maker 2 with Windows XP SP2 to convert a WMV video file to a WMA audio file. Drag and drop the WMV into the Collections, then drag that icon to the Audio/Music track (not the video or audio track), then run the Save Movie File wizard from the file menu and it will prompt you for what type of audio file to create in .wma format. Of course that is not the same as having some RSS feed for podcasts auto download and manage it, but this is an easy way to convert Ch9 WMV videos to audio files manually.
  • Ken Levy - In the field in Switzerland

    To answer the question posted about why Microsoft software products are sometimes priced different in the U.S. compared to other countries, I asked someone on the international product management team to provide me with some details. Here is the response, I would call it unofficial in the sense that it is not a formal statement but how we would answer if someone asked us in person:

    I don’t have an official answer, but my understanding is that Microsoft prices are the same world-wide. You need to understand that the price for Microsoft is the COGs (cost of goods) price, meaning the price we charge to a distributor. Then you have to add the cost of shipping, customs, distributor margin, etc. Microsoft doesn’t sell directly to customers so we don’t control the retail prices. The only cases I know were Microsoft doesn’t have the same prices for a product in a specific country is because we offer a lower price because for competitive reasons.

    Prices are generally set the same or lower in other countries, but I think the costs of customs, shipping, distributor market-up, and other import taxes can all add up for some countries to sometimes make the price higher.

  • Ken Levy - In the field in Switzerland

    About the rules mentioned. I didn't start the video with "Who are you" since it was not planned and I just basically turned on the camera while we were talking. In fact, I didn't even plan for the video I recorded to go on Channel 9, but then after I reviewed it later and after Charles reviewed it, we realized it would be good to post since it adds some information and transparency about Microsoft people who work outside of Redmond, in this case Europe.

    The "Look at me, not at the camera" was because I was holding the camera right in front of me, again not even thinking of a formal Ch9 video but just something for fun, maybe even something to delete later. But as the conversation got going, some interesting stuff was discussed about what they do in the Zurich offices that relate to other external field offices at Microsoft.

  • Ken Levy - In the field in Switzerland

    Tip: Since this video is short, I recorded it in 640x480 resolution using my Sony M1 digital camera. 640x480 WMV is what you get when you download the file by right clicking Save Target As on the Download button (32MB). Watching the video in the window or full screen streaming online is 320x480 - normal on Ch9.
  • Channel 9 Behind the Scenes

    In converting MPEG4->AVI->WMV, no video quality is lost that is noticeable at 320x240, you can't tell the difference from the WMV and the original MPEG4. Windows Media Encoder does not support reading MPEG4 which is why the extra step is needed, and I don't know the plans for possible future support for it.
  • Jay Schmelzer - Working on the VB Core Team

    Most of the Channel 9 videos use the same resolution, 320x240 pixels, although a few short ones have used higher resolutions.
  • Paul Vick and Erik Meijer - Dynamic Programming in Visual Basic

    Hey JChung2006 , thanks for the detailed comments and feedback. Your points are very well taken and useful for my upcoming efforts, I will be sure to apply them going forward. I record a video later this week with a member of the VB team on the new Code Snippets in VB 2005, which also applies to other areas of VS development. For the XLINQ topic, I'm thinking of a topic combining XLINQ in VB and the topic of XQUERY, showing and discussing the relations and differences between them in usage, code, etc. The two people to interview would be Erik Meijer (XLINQ) and Michael Rys (XQuery).
  • Paul Vick and Erik Meijer - Dynamic Programming in Visual Basic

    The goal of the interview was to educate people on what dynamic programming is and what the benefits are, for those who do not already know what it is - so the questions were asked in a way that someone might ask if they did not know or care about dynamic programming but should if they knew more about it. If someone has experience or knowledge of dynamic programming already, then they may be a little frustrated with the introduction level questions asked. I have noticed that most of the people here adding comments who have negative feedback do not include their email or blog in their profile and are posting anonymously. It would be useful for some people to post what questions they would have liked to have heard asked in the interview or what additional topics were covered for future related Channel 9 interviews.
  • Paul Vick and Erik Meijer - Dynamic Programming in Visual Basic

    Hi JChung2006. I was the interviewer (Ken Levy, VS Data Product Manager) and I have many years of experience with dynamic programming and know in depth what it is all about. But for the interview, the goal was to educate views on what dynamic programming is, what the benefits are, and why developers should care - all in the context of Visual Basic today and tomorrow. So yes, it was totally designed to be a 100/200 level video/interview/demo and not an advanced one. We can consider doing an advanced dynamic programming Ch9 interview in the future. Feel free to list what features (examples) you would like to see demos of, what questions you would like asked, etc.
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