May, 2006

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Global Corporate Challenge : " Hall of Shame"


    The Global Corporate Challenge kicked off last week. As I posted before, we have a team in the challenge. We are team Microsoft 3359.

    Here's a summary of the performance as of 31/5/2006


    And, where are we placed?

    ccg table

    1717th place!! Oh No. We're lagging behind a lot of teams..

    I need to motivate some of my team members. I've spoken to them. I've emailed them reminders.

    Now, it's time to shame them.


    Note those who have a "Missed Step" count greater than 1. That's half the team FFS.

    Not good enough boys. You're letting the team down.

    [ Currently Playing : Super Star (Turkey) - A. Sibel Tuzun - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:01) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Interview with Michael Butler, Human Capital Magazine


    With all the excitement about my office move, I forget to post about my interview yesterday (Tuesday May 30) with Michael Butler, Human Capital Magazine.

    I first met Michael many many many years ago when he was at Microsoft Communiqué Magazine (anyone remember that)

    Anyways, Michael is doing a feature on Blogging, and he interviwed me to discuss the role and use of blogging at Microsoft. Since he is writing for a HR focused magazine, we also covered how blogging is used in a HR or recruitment context.

    Now this is a topic I have "some experience"  with, with coverage  in The Australian , The Bulletin, Computerworld , and Business Sunday.

    Now I wont spill the beans on what we covered (I've learnt my lesson).  I will leave that for Michael to do. Hopefully the article will be online at some stage.

    However, here some of the sites/blogs I mentioned during the interview

    All in all, a good interview and it was nice to catch up with Michael  (dude, where's your blog?) again.

    [ Currently Playing : La Coco-Dance (Monaco) - Severine Ferrer - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:00) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    LOVE the meme


    Hehe - gotta LOVE a meme

    Rory does my dirty work

    [ Currently Playing : Bloody Mary (Spain) - Las Ketchup - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:02) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Gary Wisniewski Proposes Microsoft Scrap The Windows Codebase


    Gary Wisniewski continues his excellent series of posts, with Windows TNG: Scrap The Windows Codebase

    It's a well thought out piece, and his conclusion :

     "Get rid of it, and replace it.  But with what?  In the next post (coming in a couple days), I'll suggest that Linux be a part of a new strategy to revitalize the product line.  It's good for Microsoft in more ways than you think." 

    is a great teaser for the next article.

    I'm also finding the banter between Gary and Ed Kaim equally entertaining. Ed is a former Microsoftie, who has gone out to do his own thing.

    [ Currently Playing : Amanbanda (Netherlands) - Treble - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:00) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Mathletics - All the kids are doing it.


    Earlier this year, my dauighter Emma came home and told me about this new thing she was doing called Mathletics. I had images of girls in classrooms doing 100s of equations against the clock. She showed me what show me what she was doing, and it was a remarkable Flash app which allowed her to do maths exercises online, while competiting with the other girls in her class, and her year.

    She was really enthusiastic about this and each evening would spend 30 minutes on line doing these math exercises, so that she would be listed in the top 10 of her year. It was so cool to watch her play online, while learning addition and substraction. She even designed her own little avatar.

    Then a few weeks later, Billy came home and told me that *HE* was doing Mathletics in class too. Huh? Is he competing against 8 year old girls too? Nope, he's competing againsts ALL Year 7 students in Australia. Now he's spend 30 minutes each night to get into the national top 10.

    Then this term, Antony, or as he likes to be know, 'Rigo, comes home and says that he is doing Mathletics too, and he is in Year 9.


    So, these Mathletics folks must have a good salesforce, because there are a lot of schools and a lot of kids online.

    I was intrigued about this, so I did a "view source" of the homepage and found the following

    Mathletics is Australia's most used educational website!

    It is the next generation in learning, helping students enjoy maths and improve their results. Mathletics covers the full Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum.

    Benefits of Mathletics

    • Students love it, becoming highly motivated to improve.
    • Phenomenal improvement rates.
    • Used and trusted by more than 700 Australian schools.
    • Weekly report emailed to parents.
    • Less than $2 a week!

    About Mathletics

    The Mathletics Curriculum

    Mathletics cover the Kindergarten to Year 12 Australian Mathletics curriculum.

    What do parents say about Mathletics?

    We asked parents what they would say to other parents about Mathletics and this is what they told us:

    "It is fantastic, it makes maths fun. My son loves Mathletics." Linda Hamilton, NSW
    "It is very good and well worth the money. My daughter has learnt things on Mathletics that she hasn't done at school yet so I think it's a great headstart." Pauline Smyth, QLD
    "My daughter has been on it now for 6 months and has come from getting 25%-30% is now achieving 80%. It's fantastic and affordable." Denis Rogers, VIC
    "Definitely a fantastic piece of software and if your school isn't using it then it should be." Susan Bainbridge, NSW

    How to get the most out of Mathletics

    • Take an active role in your child' s mathematics progress.
    • Encourage your child to use Mathletics 3 to 5 times a week.
    • Encourage a balance between the Full Curriculum section and Live Mathletics.
    • Take time to work together with your child. The Support Centre in each activity will help show how to solve a particular problem.
    • Encourage your child to do activities that challenge, rather than those he/she finds easy.
    • If the Course is too difficult or too easy, then change to a more appropriate Course.
    • Celebrate your child' s successes. Print the Certificates out and put them on the fridge!

    Minimum Requirements

    • PC or Mac that is less than 5 years old
    • Internet Connection - Broadband preferred
    • Flash Player 8
    • Pop-ups enabled
    • Javascript enabled
    • Cookies enabled


    Affordable for Everyone!

    Annual Subscription = $99

    This provides a student with 24 hour, 7 days a week access to Mathletics for 12 months.

    I did a little more investigating and discovered it's a service developed in Australia, by a company called Scaffold Education. Turns our we're paying for the software and service in our school fees.

    An interesting example of a hosted application, with a rich user interface and with an element social networking too. In fact, it's quite "Web 2.0", *AND* it's got lots of customers using it. *AND* the server platform is IIS6 and ASP.NET - Cool!.

    Why haven't we heard of these guys before?? Could this be a Aussie "Web 2.0" success story???

    [ Currently Playing : I Hear Your Heart (Latvia) - Vocal Group Cosmos - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:01) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    LinkedIn Dilemma Solved


    This morning, I had a dilemma

    Some sage advice was left amongst the comments.

    I knew what I was going to do.

    I forwarded the request.

    Ultimately, it was the only thing I could do.

    [ Currently Playing : Together We Are One (Israel) - Eddie Butler - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:06) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    The Big Office Move


    I moved office today. First move for a number years.

    I moved from an office on one side of the building, to an office to another side. I think it's about 24 steps.

    Just follow the blue line!!!


    My whole life is now contained in 10 moving boxes


    On the plus side, my desk has never been tidier.

    [ Currently Playing : Sense Tu (Andorra) - Jenny - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:01) ]

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