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  • Hansel​Minutes on 9 - #2 - Weapons and Debugging the .NET Runtime

    Bas wrote:
    Is that a sterling engine on his monitor?

    Who knows.

    I mean, the guy has a frikkin' trebuchet on his desk. Who knows what else is in that room or on his machines Smiley
  • Hansel​Minutes on 9 - #1 -

    waltal wrote:

    Please accept my apology for posting before seeing the video.  I got the idea that Scott was a "silent partner" (so to speak) from the text.  My bad...

    No harm done - no apology necessary Smiley

    I just wanted to make sure Scott got the credit he deserves.
  • Hansel​Minutes on 9 - #1 -

    DenvilleSteve wrote:
    If it is true that MSFT is patenting the software methods used in the .NET framework, I will be very upset.

    I don't know why you'd be upset, but it's really up to you how you'd like to react to the news (not really news, actually - like any other corporation, we take out patents on a regular basis and have been doing so for a long time).

    DenvilleSteve wrote:
    The thing I enjoy most about programming is that so often after coding applications, working out the problems, writing reuseable code, .... I feel like I have invented something new.  I am under no illusion that what I have created is unique or cant be duplicated.   But I do feel that I own what I have created and I can use it without having to get the permission of someone else who came up with the same idea and was able to obtain a software patent.


    How many times have we stopped you from writing code?

    DenvilleSteve wrote:
    Do I have to submit the software that I create to MSFT to find out if I am entitled to use my own code?

    I'm not a lawyer. I'm not going to play lawyer.

    Just as it's your choice to be upset about the news, my guess is that it's also up to you to make this choice. If you really think we're going to try and bust you, then my recommendation would be to submit your code to the legal department of the company you work for (if you work for yourself, then hand the code over to your own lawyer).

    Next, your legal team can contact ours. It'll probably be really expensive to do this, and it'll probably take a really long time, so be prepared for a hit to the wallet and a long unpaid vacation.

    I haven't heard of any other individuals submitting their code for review, but if it's what you want, then you can give it a try.
    DenvilleSteve wrote:
    Does channel 9 have any independence within MSFT?  How can you be celebrating developers and then turn around and tell them they cant use the code methods they create independent of others?

    Those are great questions. If I should ever find myself in the position of "celebrating developers" and then turning around to "tell them they can't use the code methods they create," I'll let you know what I think.

    However, since that hasn't happened yet (not sure how you even got on the subject), I'm afraid I have no further comment. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

    This is another case where you should consult your legal representatives.
  • Hansel​Minutes on 9 - #1 -

    cbilson wrote:
    One observation: I am a little suprised that developer's at Microsoft aren't more familliar with the larger universe of .NET (i.e., Monorail, Hanselminutes, Scott's book, etc.)

    I used to feel the same way. What I've learned from getting to spend a lot of time walking around the halls here is that most devs are too busy to get that involved.

    It's my job to know about what's going on Out There and In Here. It's a dev's job to create the stuff we put on 9.

    Looking at it another way, I don't have time to code anymore. I can do little projects on the side, but nothing big, and it's because I spend so much time writing posts/comments/etc..

    Something else we forget is that the "community" is actually quite small when measured against the number of devs in the world (MS or otherwise). I meet tons of people who don't know what 9 is, who don't know anything about certain blogs, who don't know what Scoble does (or did when he was here), and so on. They show up, do their jobs, and then go home.

    Not too surprising, either, when you think about it. The dev stereotype is someone who lives in a basement, has never seen the sun, and is only passingly familiar with the concept of Other People.

    The type of geek who hangs out here is probably someone who is much more social than the geek norm. We're all much more likely to know what's going on.

    Just my opinion...
  • Hansel​Minutes on 9 - #1 -

    waltal wrote:
    This is a great idea, and I look forward to more stuff along this line.

    Given the comments so far, it's safe to say we'll definitely be doing more of these.

    I'm rendering the others right now. Don't know how many there'll be total (some of the stuff can't be released until Mix), but we'll hopefully be able to post enough to make you people happy Smiley

    waltal wrote:
    One suggestion: Call it RoryMinutes or whatever, just modify that branding!  Scott's podcasts are highly individual and so are yours.  And I think the objectives are different as well...

    The video was pretty much all Scott. I was behind the camera, and I added some comments here and there, but he drove the interviews, and did a fantastic job.

    For that reason, I'm keeping the HanselMinutes brand. The guy deserves as much credit and attention as we can give him.

    On a slightly different subject, I'm hoping this'll start a trend around here of inviting various personalities to be guest hosts on 9. I like what happened by involving Scott.

    I'm a pretty technical guy, but my interest in the videos lies mostly in the human angle. Scott is interested in that, too, but he's much more likely to dive into the subject than I am.

    I think of myself as being halfway between a Scoble and a Torre.

    Scott is closer to a Torre, but with his own thing going on.

    Wow. I'm rambling Smiley

    Point being, Scott rocks, and I want this series to reflect that.
  • Microsoft Research TechFest - XNA, a ​depth-​sensing camera, an LCD projector, and some genius

    Bas wrote:
    That... is.. awesome.

    Next step: combine this with robotics studio and have one player control the virtual car, while another player tries to destroy it with a real robot.

    I love that idea.

    As cool as all the tech was, I have to admit that the best part was getting to reach in, pick up the car, and toss it.

    Over and over.

    There's something odd about the experience. I don't know why - maybe because it's what my brain expected - but I had the impression that I could feel what I was seeing.

    All I was doing was lifting my arm, but I felt like there was resistance on it, as though the terrain was heavy.

    It's just fun.

    Even without an objective, it's fun.

    Adding the car-killing-robot would give the activity that objective, and I imagine it would become even more fun.

    'Course, a decade from now, Andy's probably going to hack something together that'll make this look like pong, but... well, pong was fun when it came out, too.

    OK. I don't know what I'm talking about now.

    It's hot in here (the office). I think it's making me crazy.

    I think my point was that I agree with you.
  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Using P2P to speed up multiplayer gaming (and other things)


    It was working before I left Redmond (in Portland now).

    Argh, argh, argh...

    Is it working for anyone?

  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Intro, DynaVis, and FastDash

    Bas wrote:
    That was pretty neat. At first I was wondering what practical use DynaVis had, but then I realised that it's exactly what I need: whenever I watch different types of charts, I'm always spending a lot of time figuring out how it relates to the other type of chart I just saw. This helps a great deal.

    What I'm wondering about is what all that hammering early on in the video is. Especially after all those error-message sounds started sounding. It made me switch to the desktop from full-screen view twice to see what had failed in the background, before I realised the sounds came from the video. 

    I was talking to Chris Sells a couple years ago about data visualizations. He speaks beautifully, and paces himself well, but it was still a little tough to understand him that day...

    He was talking about WPF and DirectX. Having been the de-facto Windows Forms guru, he had spent a lot of time with the APIs. Nice as they are, they were for the most part a v1.0 design for a managed abstraction of Win32 calls.

    I'm not sure if he was more frustrated with Windows Forms or more excited about WPF and DirectX, but the net of the conversation was that he saw the potential in both technologies for cool new ways to perform data visualization.

    Honestly, I'm not the kind of dev who gets excited about stuff like that, so I had a hard time sharing his enthusiasm. Through my life as a contractor, I avoided doing reporting work. I got hit with it occasionally, but on those occasions, I kept myself busy and had some fun by writing my own charting stuff instead of using some other baked product (Crystal, etc.). For me, reporting was an obstacle I had to get past so that I could do the coding I wanted to do, and the only way to tolerate it was to make it fun for myself.

    With the stuff I saw while conducting this interview, I finally started to see what Chris was so excited about.

    I think I hated reporting because I didn't find it very useful. I don't have a lot of patience (if that isn't already obvious with my reactions to criticism as of late), and I get frustrated as numbers about things I don't really care about sail past my face.

    Chris was absolutely right about needed improvements in the area. This DynaVis stuff is nicely representative of that.

    It reminds me of the first time I saw a relevance aware tag cloud. I thought it was hideously ugly, but what it lacked in appearances it made up for in functionality. Being able to see what the most talked about subjects were for the site (I forget where I first saw one) without even having to read the tags was pretty cool.

    I get frustrated easily by having to sift through large quantities of information. We need new tools and new ways of displaying data or else the me's of the world are going to go nuts...

    What I liked so much about DynaVis was that it was such a tasteful application of technology to an old problem. It wasn't flashy. A lot of devs have problems with either going overboard (let's port this chart to the Unreal engine!) or doing next to nothing (here's your text file dump of the database contents - feel free to sort through the 800,000 records manually).

    DynaVis was right in the middle. It's clear (to me at least) that a lot of care went into making it. It can be hard to code something cool without indulging oneself and adding all the fireworks available, but it can also be hard to come up with the motivation to do the thing in the first place. It strikes me as the product of a real coder. Someone who derives pleasure from elegance.

    I wish more of this stuff bubbled up to the top and made its way into the world. My understanding is that Microsoft Research is all about testing and planning for the future. My experience is that the future's already been pretty well constructed. It'd be nice if it all made its way into the wild.

    But that's another subject entirely, and one I'm going to write about soon.

    I'll just end this comment by saying that getting to meet all these MSR people was a real eye-opener. I'm still collecting my thoughts and making sense of how MSR fits into the big picture.

    It's all so bloody cool...

  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Intro, DynaVis, and FastDash

    Massif wrote:
    Y'know, there comes a point when you need to be less paranoid (not really the correct word, but close) about criticism and Beer.

    I can kinda see Bazul's point, because you've used the line "I'm new to this thing" or variants, a fair bit. It probably only makes an impact if you watch a bunch of your videos one after another. Aside from that you're seeing criticism where there isn't any! We all like your content, but you'll see a disproportionate amount of criticism because that's the way forums work.

    Oh, and you don't need an account to watch videos, so there's no reason to doubt the claim that they've watched a stack before deciding to comment.

    I said I'd "file it" under Beer28 - I can tell a genuine Beer post from a non Beer post. He does have a certain style that gives him away (not just talking about content).

    The reason I saw it as a troll was that we've been hit by someone who's creating accounts with which to troll. It's hard not to be suspicious when I find negative comments posted with brand new accounts.

    As for the annoying stuff... I've been public speaking/blogging/podcasting/whatevering for so long now that none of this stuff requires any kind of conscious effort. I have to watch these videos as I'm editing them, and I have no idea what Bazul was talking about.

    Again, if someone's going to provide any kind of feedback about something specific (and it sounds like there's a specific complaint here), it helps to point me to what is offending rather than just telling me that I've got a "shtick" and that it's irritating.

    When I critique something (or flat out complain), I do the object of my critiques the favor of specifying exactly what it is I'm talking about. I don't just say "You stink" and then walk off. That's not helpful.

    There's also been so much negativity around here in recent months that it's getting harder and harder to tolerate. I hope to have a "breakthrough moment" when I suddently decide to stop caring about it, but it hasn't happened yet because I'm still in the stage of caring about my job and how well I do it.

    In my last job, I read thousands of comments from customers. The vast majority were extremely positive.

    The few negative comments usually fell into one of these categories:

    - Personal Preference: These were the people who didn't like my style and kept the comment simple, down to a few general adjectives and adverbs from which I could learn absolutely nothing

    - Insane: Some people would leave a few comments in Klingon amid grease stains left by their unwashed hands - I didn't pay a lot of attention to these

    - Experience: You'd be shocked at the number of times I got rated down because someone didn't like the muffins

    - Ignorance: Some people just didn't know any better and left scathing complaints to make it look like it was somehow my fault their IQs were in the low double-digits

    - Valuable: These were the rarest complaints, but I dd get them every now and then - From them, I was able to improve what I did, and avoid making certain common mistakes, but it required the effort on behalf of the audience member to come up with something specific to say - Without specifics, it was right back to the "Personal Preference" flavor of complaints...

    After getting so many insulting comments, I got a little tired of it.

    But those interactions were one way. I collected the comment sheets, read them, and couldn't respond.

    Now I can respond, and I think that what I initially said to Bazul was entirely valid:

    If you have a problem with how I do my job, then your comments will get a lot more attention and respect if they're specific and respectful - I don't respond well when someone calls my personality "shtick" - it may prove that this is the case and that I'm the wrong guy for this job, but I know absolutely nothing more about how to do my job well after having read Bazul's comment than before.

    That, and with all the mud-slinging I've been seeing here (there's a reason I stopped frequenting the Coffeehouse), it's hard to tell the real comments (yours) from the bait.
  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Intro, DynaVis, and FastDash

    Bazul wrote:
    A general Rory video comment (there may be a better place to post this), I may be the only one but I'd like to see him lighten up on the shtick.  Not really "new to this thing" anymore and it's approaching Bevis and Butthead level.

    I like the videos, like Rory and like the friendly banter but it's getting a little old.  I guess the reason I post this is due to the fact I watch a lot and over many videos it gets annoying. If this is Rory in real life I'd suggest spending time watching the videos and trying to polish on-air presentation skills. 

    P.S. Love the content!

    Never mind.

    I just saw that you only joined today, so I'm assuming "Bazul" is just another alias for someone who's already had accounts here (you claim to watch a lot of these videos - even over and over - so I'm guessing you already had an account).

    I'll just file this away under "Beer28".
  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Intro, DynaVis, and FastDash

    Bazul wrote:
    A general Rory video comment (there may be a better place to post this), I may be the only one but I'd like to see him lighten up on the shtick.  Not really "new to this thing" anymore and it's approaching Bevis and Butthead level.

    I like the videos, like Rory and like the friendly banter but it's getting a little old.  I guess the reason I post this is due to the fact I watch a lot and over many videos it gets annoying. If this is Rory in real life I'd suggest spending time watching the videos and trying to polish on-air presentation skills. 

    P.S. Love the content!

    It's not a "shtick" - I'm just being myself.

    If you don't like it, you're at the wrong place.

    I don't even know what you mean by "shtick" - I've seen so many critiques this week from so many people who don't even bother to explain what they're talking about.

    As for polishing my "on-air presentation skills" - do you have a site I can visit? A book to describe how? A set of motivational DVDs I can buy? An informative pamphlet?

    I'm assuming that you know a thing or two since you're questioning my skills.
  • Microsoft Research TechFest - Technology on the Wall

    NETallica wrote:
    Actually, this is my personal request and it's not related to the topic. I understand that C9 is the site with tech resources for the developers around the world. Some of us might not catch all the words from the videos here.



    I give you a 1/9 for tact.

    (What is it with people lately?)