Back to Profile: Rory


  • Sampy Gets Shot in the Face - A Channel 9 Exclusive

    Olav32 wrote:
     HumanCompiler wrote:  Olav32 wrote: This guy, Rory, is simply stupid. He shouldn't be making any other Channel 9 video. Scoble was soooo much better.I can't see a whole Channel 9 video since this guy came in.If you care to provide some ACTUAL feedback on how Rory could improve his videos, feel free.  I'm sure he'd be very glad to hear some constructive criticism.  If you don't have any of that, then don't bother posting.  Thanks and move along!  He has access to very interesting people and interview them but he doesn't make interesting questions. He's not smart enough to get along with these people.That's why I don't think "feedback on how Rory could improve his videos" will work, because the problem is Rory himself.Just watch the Windows Home Server video.
    OK. This is about what I expected.The "Windows Home Server" video was one of the most "coached" videos I've done so far on this team. I was instructed to keep my questions to a narrow scope, covering only certain details. The questions I really wanted to ask were there, but they got cut (you might have noticed that I was completely transparent about that - I was honest).Anyway, I'm not going anywhere. If you think that one person calling me "stupid" is the sort of thing that's going to get me fired, or moved to another position, or whatever, then I might suggest that you aren't exactly the smartest man in the world.If, then, you have some serious issues with my interviewing style, here are some suggestions (believe it or not, I'm quite content with the knowledge that some people out there will hate me, and there's nothing I can do about it):1. Be constructive by providing feedback. For example, you said, "Just wath the Windows Home Server video." Now, you clearly didn't know anything about what was going on behind the scenes, or that my questions were being limited by the product team (and this is all right - it's up to them when/if certain features are announced - I'm not going to, as Jeff might put it, "throw the company under a bus" just to get an exclusive story). Here's an example of how you could have done things differently - I'll use you as my subject:Olav32, instead of being so stupid as to think that everybody who watched that video was going to have the same reaction you did, why don't you pause to consider the possibility that some people liked it. Taken that possibility (small though it may be (after all, I'm stupid)), why don't you point out what was wrong with the approach I took so that I can work to improve my skills. I may not agree with you, as you probaby have no idea what goes into producing a video interview of an unreleased product when the product team wants to keep some control over the release of information, but I will take your criticisms into consideration - even if you are a complete (I need to watch my language).2. Filter my videos out - you don't have to watch them. Find the news elsewhere. Check TechMeme for info. Search Technorati. Check out team blogs. Read magazines. Go on IRC and watch the unsubstantiated rumors fly.3. Watch only the videos submitted by Charles.4. Watch only the archives - everything produced before I arrived.5. Go away.This last option, in your case, wouldn't bother me that much, but I gave you the first four ideas to try before you leave the C9 fold.Use this information as you see fit, my friend.
  • Sampy Gets Shot in the Face - A Channel 9 Exclusive

    Olav32 wrote:
    This guy, Rory, is simply stupid. He shouldn't be making any other Channel 9 video. Scoble was soooo much better.

    I can't see a whole Channel 9 video since this guy came in.

    I don't know if "stupid" is the right word - My IQ, at least according to the irritating tests to which I was subjected early on in school, hovers right around 162 (I've tested just above and just below that score). While I generally think IQ tests are a crock of s***, that they don't really measure raw brain power (as some test problems rely on very specific knowledge rather than the inference of rules derived from an examination of the possible answers to the question itself (what I would consider to be one of the better ways of really determining how intelligent someone is)), I still think they're a halfway decent way to ballpark whether or not someone is "stupid" (barring issues such as ADD, dyslexia, and so on, where a person might appear "stupid", but is actually quite intelligent).

    Not saying I'd want to be tested again after all of the, -ahem-, "partying" I did during my teen and early adult years, and especially since now, at the age of 29, I'm roughly four years into a process that will continue for the rest of my life, which is an overall decrease in brain volume, resulting in a loss of roughly 10% of what I started with (as a young adult) by the time I die, assuming I die around the age of 80, and that my curve follows the average (don't worry - it'll happen to you, too - all males (but not females, curiously enough) lose this mass, and it usually starts around age 25, although it can begin as late as 30, too).

    That, and, when I was tested, it was just before that magical age where the brain goes through a selective "pruning" that results in roughly half the neuronal density present throughout one's childhood (and that, by the by, is after the previous "pruning" events - it's just that the last major one takes place just before, or around, puberty).

    Oh, and, if all this silly IQ/neurology stuff is boring you, let me know Smiley

    OK. All that said, I find it crass to display one's IQ in public (particularly if it's rather high), but I've had just about enough of anonymous netzien's calling me "stupid" - feel free to say you don't like my style, and then do us all a favor by following up with an intelligent list of suggestions as to how my style could be improved, but don't simply attack me, or my intelligence, and then wander off.

    Now, since I haven't read the rest of the thread, I expect I'll find that there's a small argument going on, and that I'm going to have to respond yet again - hopefully for the last time, as this is a waste of time for everybody here - in defense of me, my intelligence, and my style.

    Regardless of how you feel, though, I was hired to do this job because it seemed I was competent. That's based on the interviewing skills I picked up during .NET Rocks, the social skills I cultivated throughout my teen and early adult years, my genuine interest in the people I'm interviewing (take the Guthrie interview I just did, for example - I was giddy to meet this guy because his brain fascinates me - or Mike Calligaro - what a gem - he's absolutely brilliant, and it was a joy to meet him), and the fact that, however you might feel about my interviewing skills, they're probably better than yours, buddy.

    It was Ezra Pound who said something to the effect of, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Do not take any criticism seriously from anyone who has not, himself, already produced a work of some notable value in the same medium."

    That's not exactly what he said, and I could certainly find the quote online, but I'm not in the mood. I'll make do with the memory I acquired ten years ago in a bookstore in Prague where I found a book on Pound and literary criticism.

    The point, sir, is that you haven't done diddly in this area, and, until you've done diddly, I won't have any problem with any ad-hominems (feel free to attack my character all you want), but I will take issue with questions of my competence and basic intellectual ability to conduct these interviews.


    I have spoken.

    Feel free to attempt to respond in kind, but don't feel pressured to. I understand that doing so would probably be very difficult (at best).

    If you do nothing more than write another "You're stupid!" comment and run away, I'll consider this to have been a success.

    Thank you for your time and patience, sir. You are a fine example of your kind.
  • Sampy Gets Shot in the Face - A Channel 9 Exclusive

    CannotResolveSymbol wrote:
    Rory wrote: 

    Hey, all.

    I'm glad that the overall reaction seems to be positive.

    There have been a lot of talks lately at 9 about what kind of content we'll be doing. My feeling is that we need to return to the shorter, more interesting videos.


    The changes are the result of everything I've observed since coming on board in late October. As a former customer of Channel 9, I think I'm right about what needs to be done, but I'm just one guy.

    What do you think?

    I'll have to agree.  There is a place for lengthy videos about things like testing and deploying IPV6 or production planning with Dynamics AX, but the really compelling videos that people want to see are interviews with interesting people focusing on those people or the topics that those people are really passionate about.  Early in Channel 9, there were a lot of these types of videos--  the first two "real" videos were with Bill Hill, about spaces after periods and about human interaction--  two things that he, working in reading technology, is passionate about.  The videos were able to focus in on one topic and they were not only informative but also showed the human side of Microsoft--  passionate people working on projects that they love and that they are passionate about.

    That was an almost picture-perfect answer Smiley

    At least according to what I was hoping to see.

    I believe you're right, and I hope that, as I browse the rest of the thread, I find that this is the overall sentiment.

    Thanks for answering, yo.
  • Sampy Gets Shot in the Face - A Channel 9 Exclusive

    Hey, all.

    I'm glad that the overall reaction seems to be positive.

    There have been a lot of talks lately at 9 about what kind of content we'll be doing. My feeling is that we need to return to the shorter, more interesting videos.

    As someone relatively new to the team, I've observed that 9 has slowly turned into a place where we post these one hour long videos that, while interesting, aren't especially compelling. They're good, they're well done, but they're also very formulaic. We haven't been looking for the human face of Microsoft - we've been making videos about products. It doesn't seem to be about the people anymore.

    Now, I'm not sure if you all would agree with me, which is why I'm writing this. I'll probably make a post on my blog as well.

    But, it's my opinion that the site needs more fun, more weirdness, and more of the eccentric types around here. We have so many interesting people - people who do amazing things here, and who did amazing things in their former lives as non-softies - but we're ignoring them.

    I want to change that. Before doing that, however, I thought I'd go for a little feedback to see what people think.

    And, like I said, I'll probably also be writing a post about this.

    The changes are the result of everything I've observed since coming on board in late October. As a former customer of Channel 9, I think I'm right about what needs to be done, but I'm just one guy.

    What do you think?

  • Sampy Gets Shot in the Face - A Channel 9 Exclusive

    raymond wrote:


    Are you having a good or bad hair day?

    Dude. My hair was awesome in that video.

    I was, however, having a bad face-hair day. I keep forgetting to shave.

    I get in the shower, start to wash my face, and then realize that I have this really awful, scraggly thing that isn't worthy of the word "beard" since a 13 year old girl could probably grow more facial hair than I can.

    I just look like an unemployed drunk, which is misleading, as I am not unemployed!
  • Patterns and Practices - A Team of Thieves

    msivers wrote:
    Enjoyed this very much and I agree Rory it is one of the your best interviews (although I've enjoyed most of them!).

    Thanks Smiley

    They were especially good talkers, though. They had their act together, you know?

    msivers wrote:
    I was particularly interested to hear how a team of architects, coders, testers and product/program managers work closely together in such a continual way and the benefits that result.

    Same - but I didn't realize it until the interview really got going. Like I said, I just wanted to hang out with Peter, but then I found out that his job is, like, freakishly interesting, and now I want to go back. Both to do a video showing their work in action, and also to interview CHRIS TAVARES (yeah, Chris - I've got my peepers on you) about Enterprise Library.

    msivers wrote:
    Really enjoyed this piece and it has convinced me that a more agile development approach can bring real benefits and productivity.

    My feelings are pretty much the same. Even though I was on the other side of the camera, my reaction is about the same as yours. I had never seen real world benefits of agile development, and I was really impressed with what I saw.

    msivers wrote:
    Keep up the good work!

    I have to, or else they'll fire me.

    Thanks, though Smiley
  • Patterns and Practices - A Team of Thieves

    DonXML wrote:
    Is it just me, or does Peter look like Kerry King from the band Slayer?  He is just missing the tattoos.




    (That's all - just excited to see you here, dawgg Smiley ).
  • Scott Guthrie - MIX07, Work, and Personal Details Revealed

    intrepid wrote:
    Did we really need so many Mac references? It only needed to be mentioned twice - wpf/e and safari, wpf on mac.

    I think I'll never fail to be impressed by the myriad ways devs/geeks have of being petty.

    To echo your comment, did we really need another comment complaining about something totally irrelevant to what was, overall, a very good interview?

    Did the repeated mentions somehow damage the rest of the information?

    Any feedback you can give us on this subject would be helpful.

    I mean, are we using the proper number of pixels for our smiley icons? Would you like a different color scheme for the site?

    Would it please you if we conducted the interviews in Esperanto?

    Here at C9 HQ, we await, with bated breath, your answers, princess.

  • Windows Home Server

    XxDesmus_MODxX wrote:
    Rory wrote: 
    You do realize, I hope, that you're basically asking that we either ruin our own reputation or lie to you.

    I find both of those options to be out of the question.

    So, I edited.

    You are right, I do apologize. I guess it was just one of those "I am so excited for this product" and then to have some of the info be left out just felt...something. Anyways, I apologize.

    Um. Wow.

    I don't think I've ever actually gotten an apology before Smiley

    Apology accepted.

    I understand where you're coming from, and I understood why you were upset. It was just the tone, you know? This job is harder than it looks, and when you join the Channel 9 team (or another JeffSand team), you're doing it because it is exactly what you want to do. So, there's this pride issue - you do your best to do a good job, and it actually hurts a bit when you get slammed for what you thought was a good decision. Criticism is understandable, but when people get mad because you had to make a tough choice... well... yeah. It hurts Expressionless

    It's hard not to get personally, emotionally invested in a job like this. Especially considering the team I'm working with - I've never gotten to work with so many "good" people (by that, I mean people who are capable, honest, respectful, and so on - those qualities, unfortunately, are rare).

    A result of that emotional investment is that you feel like the work you're doing is an extension of yourself. So, if someone slams your work, it feels like that person is slamming you.

    And then you get big, angry posts from me in the forum Smiley

    It was also an opportunity to talk about C9 and editing, though. It's a slightly touchy concept around here. We try not to cut anything, but sometimes we have to. We know it takes away from the experience, so it actually bums us out as much as it does viewers.

    This is getting to be long-winded (not all that rare for me). I just wanted to explain my strong reaction yesterday, especially in light of the fact that you totally broke web forum protocol by being mature Smiley

    (Thank you.)

    XxDesmus_MODxX wrote:
    Either way, this is a great product, but I do also think it will be a hard sell right out the door simply because "normal" people associate anything Server with complexity.

    That's a good point, and one I hope the team pays attention to.

    As geeks, it's easy for us to forget what certain words (like "server") mean to the outside world.

    Naming isn't a strong point at Microsoft. It's often mentioned by customers (when I was working as a remote employee, flying around, I heard a lot about that from the people I met).

    As someone who wants to see this company succeed, I'd like to ask that you continue to point out where such thing can be improved.

    The whole idea behind WHS is to simplify life, and you're right - if the product sounds complicated, then it might not get a chance to make it (although there's so much excitement about it that I doubt it'll have a hard time thriving).

    I guess it'll really be up to OEMs. I don't know who's going to build these suckers, but I think WHS is just the technology driving the experience. The actual product names will probably wind up being completely different.

    That is just speculation, though. This whole WHS thing is news to me just as it is to everybody else.

    XxDesmus_MODxX wrote:
    Also, do we have any kind of 100% confirmation on if this software is going to be available separately for custom builds? Their seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding this on the web. Some sites say yes, software can be purchased separately (Such as Paul), and others say no, it won't be available outside of OEMs and system builders.

    So any final definitive answer?

    I certainly can't answer that - both because I don't know, and I don't know if I'd be allowed to say even if I did know.

    But, I suspect the details behind the product will be start to be unveiled fairly quickly. I mean, it's been announced, it's real, it's going to happen - at some point, the marketing machine will start, and the answers to your questions ought to arrive.

    Just realized right now that they might be restricting the flow of information in part not to do what many tech companies do so often, which is to overhype products.

    I think we all know how frustrating it can be to hear about a product over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Or, to hear about a feature that is later removed.

    It's probably that they're just being smart.



    Yeah. That's all I have to say on that right now...
  • Windows Home Server

    dahat wrote:

    Rory wrote: I see now that this may have been a mistake. Perhaps being honest isn't the best move.

    You at least had the decency to point it out and address it... rather than leave it vague and people wonder "was that a bleep?" "did I just see an edit?" "what are the evil lawyers not wanting us to see and hear?"

    Personally, I much preferred your way of doing it over those quick edits we've seen in past.

    Do promise us though that if/when the cut content is finally announced... that you come back and post here what it was.

    While I can't promise what you ask, I can say that I'll do my best.

    The only reason I won't promise is that I don't want to unintentionally break that promise.

    I really want to be able to tell everybody about what was in those gaps that were edited out, but I just can't yet, and, by the time it's announced, you won't need me to tell you, and I'll already be on to the next round of interviews.

    What I can promise is that, with or without me, you'll find out Smiley

    And, thank you very much for speaking up about understanding the editing. I'm an honest guy - it's how I made a good living as a contractor (I didn't lie to clients - I never overbilled (this happens so often) - I did what I said I'd do - etc.). It's really frustrating to put so much effort into being honest, only to find out that people don't believe you, or think you're trying to cheat them out of some bit of info. I mean, it really sucks.

    So, your comment made my day, yo Smiley

    Thank you.
  • Windows Home Server

    Jack Poison wrote:
    Who is the target audience for this?

    Sounds overly complex for the average home user. (Looking at the On10 Video)

    For me, it's great, but it would be much easier for me to simply install an XP box and open up file sharing (which I actually do now with my media center).

    Microsoft still hasn't learned simplicity or timing. The UI is improved, it seems.. A nice start, but it isn't easy enough for the average mon/dad home user.

    This technology, from what I can determine, is nothing majorly new. The Media Center PC has been out since 2004. MP3s etc., have been mainstream since Napster v1.0 (at least 1999). Why has it taken Microsoft so long to do this? Any why will it take forever to RTM?

    When I was conducting the interview, I was also having Media Center thoughts. But, that's not what this product is for. It's not competing with Media Center - it doesn't do the same thing.

    As you probably learned in the interview, it's mainly about providing home users with a relatively simple way to deal with managing their networked machines.

    Granted, it's not for everybody - just as Media Center isn't for everybody. For it to be a value, I imagine some basic criterea need to be met:

    1. You aren't an IT Pro, and you would like to have an easy way to do backups, access your network remotely, etc. (this might not be hard for devs and admins, but for the rest of the population, some hand-holding is going to be appreciated)

    2. You care about the information on your machines, and you want an easy way to back it up (some people really don't care - or at least they don't think they care - losing your data just once, as many of us know, is enough to convince you that backing up is probably a good idea)

    3. You have enough machines that it would be a bit of a pain to perform the backups manually - sure, it could be done, but how much time is it going to take, and how much will that time have cost, say, but the end of a month? or a year? how much time could you have been doing something else instead of worrying about performing backups? is it worth a few hundred? for some people, it most definitely is (and this is ignoring the many other features of Windows Home Server - there's more going on, some of which I can't talk about because the info isn't supposed to be out yet)

    I think you definitely have a point about this not being all that compelling for certain power users, but I also think those users are the exception. It's easy for those of us who are in the tech industry to forget just how good we are at what we do. We take it for granted. But, our skills aren't as widely dispersed as you might believe.

    Even for some people (such as yourself) who could already rig a solution that performs a subset of the functionality covered by Windows Home Server, it might not be worth it, unless you really take some joy from creating your own system.

    Like most geeks, I love to fiddle and create and push buttons and wire things and take things apart and put them back together and so on. But, like a lot of geeks, I also have a day job, as well as a lot of things I do outside that day job, and it's to the point that I have to pick my projects.

    I'd personally rather spend my time playing with Windows Mobile stuff in my spare time than setting up an automatic backup solution. My spare time is very limited, and I like to get as much out of it as I can. I don't think I'm rare in that way, particularly in this industry where, for so many of us, our jobs are basically a way of life. We just don't ever pull the plug - we're wired, and we like it that way.

    But, like I said, time is limited.

    With Windows Home Server, I can just plug in a box, install some client software on my machines, and be done with it. Provided my router supports UPnP, I won't even have to fiddle with it to poke a hole into my server so that I can manage my network remotely.

    Slick, methinks.

    And, as you'll learn over the coming months, Windows Home Server is more than what we've been able to show you so far. Understandably, the team wants to hand out information bit by bit when they feel it's appropriate.

    By the time it's all out there, I think you'll have a better understanding of how this product provides value for a larger demographic than you think.

    I hate to say it, given that I work for the company and am biased (it's natural to be partial toward the company for which one chooses to work), but trust me when I say that there's much more to this story than what we've shown, and it's going to be pretty cool.

    Or, don't trust me - I'd understand. I'm not impartial at all.

    You'll still have a chance to see the benefits of the technology when it finally comes out.

    Then you'll have all the facts, and you'll have a much better idea of whether or not WHS is something that would help you out.
  • Windows Home Server

    XxDesmus_MODxX wrote:
    Peronally you killed this video for me with this censored crap. I don't think I've ever watched a channel9 video that was censored like ths...truly sad.

    There's nothing sad about it.

    Many C9 videos have been censored - there just wasn't disclosure.

    In this case, I asked some questions that revealed information which is not yet supposed to be publicly available (I didn't know at the time that the information wasn't supposed to come out - I was just interviewing, trying to get the details on a product I was learning about as the interview took place).

    These were my choices:

    1. Scrap the video entirely

    2. Do a simple dissolve transition and hope nobody thought too much about it

    3. Make it clear that I had to cut parts of the video because I asked questions which put him in a hard place (in other words, be honest and transparent about why information was cut)

    I chose option #3. It's not his fault I asked questions about something that wasn't yet supposed to be revealed.

    Just so you know, each C9 video goes through a process - we don't just toss them up on the web straight from the camera. We first have to run the unedited video by certain stakeholders to make sure everything in the video is OK. Most of the time, things are cool. But, from time to time, and especially when dealing with something that's just being announced, it's hard to know what can be said and what can't.

    The same thing used to happen on .NET Rocks when I was the co-host. We sometimes asked people questions that revealed more information than they wanted, and we obliged our interviewees by cutting the bits they didn't want broadcasted.

    If we didn't do that, then there wouldn't be any Channel 9 - Carl and I never would have had .NET Rocks. There would just be nothing. Believe it or not, people can get fired for revealing too much - whether intentionally or not. This product is not the work of one person, but the work of a team, and everybody on that team deserves respect, consideration, and the right to reveal information in a manner they see fit. If we operated differently, people very well could get fired, and C9 would disappear overnight.

    If that's what you want, then fine - complain about it. But, I think most people can see the sense in editing out portions of the video that the product group didn't want broadcasted.

    Think about it. If I had put this out unedited, then, yeah, we would have had an "exclusive" take on the information. But, we'd also lose the trust of everybody in the process. C9 would suddenly be seen internally as a threat rather than an asset.

    Censoring has been done before. The only difference here, as I noted earlier, was that I was open about it.

    I see now that this may have been a mistake. Perhaps being honest isn't the best move.

    You do realize, I hope, that you're basically asking that we either ruin our own reputation or lie to you.

    I find both of those options to be out of the question.

    So, I edited.

    Keep in mind as well that the only reason I had to cut segments was that I was asking questions that brought out details you might not have otherwise had - they may have let us get away with revealing a little more information than originally intended, asking us only to cut the most sensitive information.

    To the rest of you who seem to implicitly understand the need for controlling the flow of information when a new product is coming to market, I thank you. Seriously. Until you've seen how a product release can spin out of control thanks to bad info being released, it's hard to understand why it's so important to control what is and isn't released. Your trust in the process is much appreciated.

    Anybody who doesn't understand the reason for having to edit these videos is asking too much. The only reason product teams are willing to talk to us at C9 is that, through the work of everybody from the beginning of the site, trust and respect has been built. That's very important.

    If we did things any other way, then there would be no videos here. There wouldn't be a Channel 9. You'd never get to see Ballmer or Gates in these videos - these rather special videos (if you ask me). We're not the press, so we get to provide people with a look at the inside of the company in an unusual way - it can be very informal, and that's what's so great about it.

    Anyway, I'll stop there. If you get it by now, then good. If you don't, then I don't know how to make you understand.