Andy Pennell's Blog

See me blather about software development, Gadgets, Technology, Fatherhood, plus anything else that gets me going.

Browse by Tags

Tagged Content List
  • Blog Post: Running a Family with Food Sensitivities

    Gratuitous post time: my wife has been doing a great job dealing with various food sensitivity issues in our family for a while now, and she has her own blog that includes recipes and tips that should be of interest to anyone else in a similar position. Check out Rubik's Food for more information.
  • Blog Post: Celebrating the first Apollo Moon Landing

    In a matter of days it will be the 40th anniversay of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, a seminal moment for humanity, at least as far as I am concerned. Less than a hundred years since man figured out he could fly, three men travelled to another celestial body and came back to tell us about it. It bugs...
  • Blog Post: Who doesn't take credit/debit cards in 2008? Washington State Licensing, that's who

    Normally I renew my car tabs online with a credit or debit card, but that wasn't possible this week so I visited an actual License Office. Much to my amazement there was a sign stating "We do not accept Debit or Credit cards". When my turn came to speak to an employee, I asked why. She said "we don't...
  • Blog Post: My First Program (circa 1980)

    I recently discovered my first real program(*): from 1980, it was my attempt at Space Invaders for the RML 380Z. This was the government-subsidized computer for schools, my school ( Chatham House Grammar School ) was lucky enough to have one. One, yes, for the whole school. The Research Machines 380Z...
  • Blog Post: Time to change some American holidays I think

    On July 4th the tradition is to have fireworks. However, as it is July in Seattle, it doesn't get nearly dark enough until 10pm. Try keeping young kids awake/entertained until then. On October 31st the tradition is to traipse the streets dressed as someting fun in search of candy. However it is October...
  • Blog Post: BBC America: Why Do You Hate Me So?

    I'm sorry but I have to rant about BBC America's Guide Data that my Tivo uses. My TV enjoyment is determined entirely by how well or otherwise my TiVo works. In my seven years of using TiVo, only once has it not recorded something I wanted. However, in order for it to do its job well it needs accurate...
  • Blog Post: See my early work: X-Debug from 1992

    I recently discovered a floppy containing the source to a program I wrote in 1992: X-Debug, a debugger for the Atari ST. Coincidentally I also received an email via this blog from someone asking if I had the source and rights to the Atari version of HiSoft Devpac, which I wrote in the late-80s. I couldn...
  • Blog Post: An Inconvenient Truth: You Must See This Movie

    I have literally just returned from watching this, and am compelled to ask everyone I can to go and see this extraordinary movie . If you care about this planet, or you have children who you would like to have a chance of a decent future, you must see this. And afterwards, act on it. For other people...
  • Blog Post: Wanted: Power Strip with Switches

    It shouldn't be this hard, but all I want is a power strip with switches on each outlet. In my garage I have no less than six different chargers, and I don't want or need them to be on all the time. If I still lived in the UK, I could find such a device anywhere . However, as I live in the USA, the concept...
  • Blog Post: Gas IS Cheap: It's Official

    As a Brit living in the USA I've always been amused by Americans complaining about gas (aka petrol) prices: they complained when it hit $2/gal and are complaining again now its $3/gal. The US govt. has a great table that shows the US price compared to Europe, starting a few months after I got here...
  • Blog Post: Crazy Digital Dates

    A certain VP pointed out that early this morning it was 01:02:03 04/05/06 (US date format), which reminded me of my youth: I can clearly remember standing in the school playground at lunchtime, all looking a our cool digital watches as it became 12:34 5/6/78 (UK date format). Yes, digital watches...
  • Blog Post: Find new music with Pandora

    I am very bad about finding new music: I'll buy new albums from artists I know I love, but that's about it. However that has all changed now I have discovered Pandora . Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project, which is basically a huge music database indexed by aspects of the songs themselves. Pandora...
  • Blog Post: Class Action Lawsuits: What a Waste of Time!

    I just got an email announcing a settlement for a Netflix class action lawsuit. If I sign up, I get one extra DVD in my rental queue, for one month. Woop de woo. I'm dancing in my chair. If I read the settlement right, I see the defendent gets $2000, and the defendent's lawyer gets $2,528,000. ...
  • Blog Post: What am I working on? iHD, that's what

    So what have I been working on that I haven't been able to blog about? iHD, that's what! Its the interactivity layer for the next generation DVD format, and I'm really excited by HD-DVD, with its greatly improved picture quality, capacity, and of course interactivity. Now that Microsoft has officially...
  • Blog Post: Places where software should never fail: Your Dentists

    There are certain places where software should never fail. Obvious ones like aircraft, missile control systems etc. Well here's a new one: when you are lying in a dentist's chair, mouth wired up, with a tooth freshly dremeled away, and the dentist and his assistant are staring, speechless, at their special...
  • Blog Post: 10 Years at Microsoft

    I started at Microsoft the day after Labour Day, 1995 (which I soon learned was spelled Labor Day). This was about a week after the Windows 95 launch , so things were still pretty crazy on campus. It took years for the football (er, soccer) fields to recover from that, and in recent years the turf was...
  • Blog Post: 10 Years in the USA

    When I arrived here, ten years ago today: I was single I was childless I had lived in tiny house in Milton Keynes, England That house contained no actual PCs, but it did have a computer with a 1200 baud modem I had two email accounts (on BIX and CIX) I had recently owned a right hand drive car I had...
  • Blog Post: My Vonage Story

    A few months ago we switched at home to Vonage VOIP, and we’re loving it. Even without dumping our phone line, we’re still saving money, over $250 a year before we even make a call! Why We Switched Our local phone service and DSL is provided by Verizon, and long distance was provided by AT&T....
  • Blog Post: Moving on from the Debugger Team

    Here is a (slightly redacted) email I sent to the C# team recently: I have accepted a dev position on the Windows Media team, on the the "Professional Content Group". I have worked on the debugger for over nine years (my entire time at Microsoft excluding the first 3 months), so I hope you will appreciate...
  • Blog Post: The Da Vinci Code: Fantasy Movie Cast

    Here my wife and I are in Mexico having a super-relaxing holiday, and we both just finished The Da Vinci Code, a truly awesome book. Over some find food we were discussing who should be in the inevitable movie, and here are our choices: Langdon: George Clooney was a reasonable choice by us, but a better...
  • Blog Post: Introduction

    My name is Andy Pennell, I am a dev lead in C#. I own the debugger and along with my team of eight developers we are responsible for the Visual Studio debugger as used by C++, C#, VB, Script and SQL. Outside of work I love messing with audio/video stuff and my home network. I think everyone should...
Page 1 of 1 (21 items)