May, 2006

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    TechTalkBlog's new Host Blogger gets the Vista Vibe


    One lesser appeciated element of Tech Talk Blogs is the guest blogger section.

    We kicked it off back in February with Rocky Heckman, Security MVP, who did a great job over the past few months.

    Now, the baton has been passed.

    Over the weekend, we saw our next host come online - Darren Neimke, who will be focusing on Windows Vista.

    Darren is one of the speakers from the upcoming Innovations 2006, as well as Vista Touchdown and User Group Events, Over the coming weeks, he will be sharing his experiences in getting ready for these events, as well as what is happening once he goes on the road. He gets the conversation going with a series he calls Vista Vibes, and guess who he first victim guest is? Yup, it's me!!

    So, if you are interested in Windows Vista, and wantt to get the "real skinny" from folks who are using it in anger, make sure you subscribe to the feed.

    [ Currently Playing : Hard Rock Hallelujah (Finland) - Lordi - Eurovision Song Contest-Athens 2006 (03:02) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    15 years at Microsoft


    Today is the anniversary of when I started my career at Microsoft - 15 years!

    As I said last year, I've been really lucky, as I have done lots of different things, been exposed to different parts of the business, and seen it from different parts of the world. I have been very fortunate to work with some amazing people within Microsoft, as well as some outstanding organisations & people outside of Microsoft.

    Quicky chronology:

    May 1991 Sep 1993 Microsoft Canberra, working as a Systems Engineer
    Sep 1993 Aug 1994 Microsoft Corp, @ Executive Briefing Center
    Aug 1994 Oct 1995 Microsoft Corp, in the Advanced Technology Group, working on Interactive TV
    Nov 1995 May 1997 Microsoft Australia, MSN Technical Director
    Jun 1997 Jun 1999 ninemsn CTO
    Jun 1999 May 2001 Microsoft Region, Digital Media dude
    May 2001 now Microsoft Australia, Developer & Platform Evangelism

    For more details, you can look here, as well as read some of the stuff I've said in the press.

    During the week I got an email from the President of Microsoft International - Jean-Philippe Courtois


    - 15 years at Microsoft -

    Dear Frank,

    This is a special month - you have been with Microsoft for 15 Years! I wanted to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude for your contribution and your continued commitment.

    As an important member of the Microsoft team you have helped the company grow and deliver innovative products from Windows 95 to the Xbox 360. You have been, and continue to be, an integral part of our success. 

    Looking back since 1991 we've significantly expanded our portfolio of products and have grown to be a company with more than 60.000 employees.  Today, I see so much future potential for the company. Every day, I'm continually impressed by the great work and progress we're making.

    I want to thank you for your hard work and innovation, for your willingness to take on big challenges, and for your commitment to driving real value for our customers.

    Microsoft is a great company because of you, and Im proud to be part of it with you. I sincerely hope you will celebrate this special occasion with your team.

    Best Regards,

    Jean-Philippe Courtois
    President, Microsoft International
    Senior Vice President, Microsoft Corporation


    I also got nice little award.

    15 Year Service Award

    So where to now for me?

    I'm looking after all the technical folks within the team and the team is growing. The challenges are growing too, as Microsoft faces a series of strong challenges.

    The future looks bright. I'm really bullish on Windows Vista  I took home a recent build and I am amazed watching my kids playing with it. They tell me that they love it. My eldest has been a Firefox fan, but he's loving the combo of Vista and IE7.  He wants to upgrade all the PCs in the house. My kids are a good barometer. I have a feeling that the folks who go along to Innovation 2006 will be impressed.

    So 15 years down. Lot's more ahead

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

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Sleet Geek 06


    What is Rory proposing??

    <subliminalAdvertising>Sleet Geek 06</subliminalAdversting>

    A Geek Retreat to the snow???

    [ Currently Playing : Boonika Bate Doba - Zdob Si Zdub - Eurovision Song Contest 2005 K (03:03) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Webstock Final Countdown


    I got a reminder for Webstock from the lovely Hayley. It's on next week in Wellington, and I will be joining the Microsoft NZ team at the event.

    We' re onto the final countdown of days until Webstock! And we can't wait ! Here are some final details you'll need to know.....

    On arrival to the Wellington Town Hall, visit the Webstock team at the registration desk which will be located in the Town Hall foyer. The team will kit you out with your Webstock gear, including your name badge which will be a permanent accessory until Friday evening! Coats and bags can be left at the registration area, and tea and coffee will be available on arrival to warm you up!

    Feel free to bring along your laptops, as we'll have Wifi internet access through out the venue. Make sure you have a wireless connection to be able to access this free of charge! The Webstock Handbook, which you' ll get when you register, will have instructions for connecting to the network.

    A highlight of Webstock will be the Exhibition area. Here is some insider knowledge on what to expect!

    Three significant reasons to visit the SIGNIFY stand at Webstock:

    • Score a gadget you'll actually use - 100 free 256MB pocket USB Pens to be given away (and you won't be spammed afterwards).  Just use the magic word - "Significant"!
    • Check your email - for free, courtesy of the nice guys of Internet Development.  Laptops available with internet access.
    • Meet and chat with the nice guys and girls of web development, who produce some of New Zealand's highest profile standards compliant websites (latest site launched

    Look for SIGNIFY Ltd - in the West Court -

    The Intergen Experience

    Look out for Intergen who will be running a competition at their stand. The prizes will be 2 x Official 7's Rugby balls signed by the New Zealand 7's team. The competition will based on using a remote controlled fork lift to set the quickest time through a set course!! 

    Visit Intergen - located in the Ilott Theatre foyer -

    Don't forget to vote for your favourite exhibition at the Webstock. 

    There are still some tickets available to the Friday night post-conference shakedown! So if you'd like to bring along your partner, friend or colleague along email me as soon as possible.

    See you soon! 
    For the Webstock Team 

    [ Currently Playing : I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash - The Legend of Johnny Cash (03:16) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Northern Beaches Career Expo


    I spent the morning at thr Northern Beaches Career Expo held at Northern Beaches Indoor Sports Centre

    We had over 2,400 high school students from Years 10, 11 and 12

    Freshwater 150
    Mackellar Girls 140
    Killarney Heights 100
    St Luke's 150
    Mater Maria Y12 110
    Barrenjoey 150
    Mosman 140
    St Paul's 70
    Mater Maria Y10 130
    Ballgowlah Boys 48
    Manly 140
    Covenant Christian 120
    St Augustine's 200
    Pittwater 250
    Narrabeen Sports 150
    Forest 140
    Davidson 200
    HASG 80

    We even had bait!

    Everyone I asked had a computer and almost everyone say yes!

    I also asked what they did with the PC - a lot said they used myspace, and even more said they used msn messenger. A few were coders. None had blogs (even though they were using myspace).

    Looking around the area, I saw lots of white ear buds in the ears of the students as they were walking around

    All in all, a good day. We have a lot of work to do to make IT exciting to the next generation of graduates

    [ Currently Playing : Get Rhythm - Johnny Cash - The Legend of Johnny Cash (02:14) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    I'm on Tailrank!!


    I made it to the front page of Tailrank today



    next stop : tech.memeorandum

    [ Currently Playing : Dress You Up - Madonna - Like a Virgin (05:17) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    TechTalk Blogs : +83 days


    Time to check in on the health of TechTalkBlogs. It's been alive 83 days. Feb 24 was when I first posted about it, so that is the date I am using for day 0. I've added a new row which counts the Days Alive. I used a handy little function in Excel called DateDif() to do the maths. (BTW -- I love what is said about this function - DATEDIF has, for whatever reason, been treated as one of the drunk cousins of the Function Family.  Excel knows he lives a happy and useful existence, and will acknowledge his existence when you ask, but will never mention him in "polite" conversation.)

    Anyways, for the first time since we launched this, there have been no new feeds added in over a week. Have we reached a plateau??

    System Summary
      May 18 May 9 May 3 Apr 10 Apr 3 Mar 27 Mar 20 Mar 13 Mar 6 Feb 27
    Days Alive: 83 74 68 45 38 31 24 17 10 3
    Active Feeds: 248 248 245 223 222 219 218 214 196 183
    Feed Items: 7,135 6,446 5,497 4,052 3,329 3,030 2,290 1,805 1,486 1,174
    Votes: 1,786 1,663 1,633 1,398 1,331 1,178 989 883 1,068 762

    The feed items are coming in at a great rate but the votes are struggling.

    We have some changes coming to the site which hopefully will see a change in the voting system. We will count clicks and treat them as a vote (though weighted less than a thumbs up). Other changes include search, pagination and some UI improvements which were suggested by passionate readers.

    Another observation - 5 members of TTB have exceeding 200 posts, and one has over 300!! That's a lot of posts

    My question to you all - are you finding TechTalkBlogs useful? What else do you want to see?

    [ Currently Playing : Sing for the Moment - Eminem - Curtain Call: The Hits (05:40) ]

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