I am a developer at Microsoft and work in the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) team. For the last 4 years I have been working on virtual machine technologies on a variety of form factors including desktops (Windows, Linux), tablets (Win8), gaming-consoles (Xbox 360), mobile devices (Windows Phone 7, Windows CE, Symbian).I have worked on various core pieces of the runtime including Garbage Collector, memory manager, platform abstraction layer, runtime-performance, etc.Before working on .NET I worked on Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio Team System, Adobe Framemaker, Adobe Acrobat, Texas Instrument's Code Composer Studio.
I have been involved with Windows Phone 7 from the very beginning and worked on delivering the CLR for the GA version and all the way through Nodo and Mango.
All this while I was busy working on one of the lower layers and seeing bits and bytes flying by. For some time I wanted to try out writing an app for the phone to experience how it feels to be our developer customer. Unfortunately my skills fall more on system programming than designing good looking UI. I had a gazillion ideas floating in my head but most were beyond my graphic and UI design skills. I was also waiting for some sort of inspiration.
Over the last school break our local King Country Library System which earned the best library system of the year award run an interesting effort. Students received a sheet which they filled up as they read books. On hitting 500 minutes and 1000 minutes of book reading they got prizes. One of the prize was a Kaleidoscope. Not the one with colored glass pieces like I had as a child, but one through which you could see everything around. This was the inspiration I was waiting for and I wrote an WP7 Mango app that does the same. Interestingly the app got a lot of good reviews and is rated at 5 stars (something I didn’t expect). It’s free, go check it out.
Get the app here, documentation is at http://bonggeek.com/Kaleidoscope/
Like many engineer I am partially fueled by the engineers angst. I am not always able to vent it in code and sometimes resort to sending really dumb emails :).
I figured out that I can tolerate delaying sending my emails over having to smack my face every other day. Basically all emails I send is delayed by about 5 minutes and that makes a huge difference. Somehow you always know you’ve sent something you shouldn’t have in the first 2 minutes of sending that email.
This is how you set this up on Outlook 2010… Bring up the new rules UI from the ribbon (Home > Rules > Managed Rules and Alerts)
Next you’d get another UI just hit next and yes on the following warning.
After that choose the delay duration. I use 5 minutes
In case you want to pretend that you are hard at work when you aren’t then you can also use the timed email feature in Outlook. In the new email window use the following.
Unfortunately if you are an software engineer your work is measured by the amount and quality of code you check in and not emails so sadly this doesn’t work