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Rory Rory Free Tibet While Supplies Last
  • HanselMinutes on 9 - #2 - Weapons and Debugging the .NET Runtime

    rhm wrote:
    I hope I'm not the only one that finds that pile of patent cubes disturbing.

    No. You're probably not the only one. I think it's cool, as it tells me right off the bat that the guy probably knows his stuff.

    But, the main reason I'm replying is that I realized I could have three comments in a row that ended with smileys Smiley
  • HanselMinutes on 9 - #2 - Weapons and Debugging the .NET Runtime

    littleguru wrote:
    Nice video, guys!


    More coming, littledawgg Smiley
  • HanselMinutes 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
  • HanselMinutes 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.
  • HanselMinutes 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.
  • HanselMinutes 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...
  • HanselMinutes 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...