A View from Elsewhere

John Montgomery's Weblog

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  • A View from Elsewhere

    "Social Networks are Media Networks"

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    I made a passing comment yesterday or the day before to Charles Fitzgerald (once described as Microsoft's pit bull) and he replied that social networks are media networks. At the time I didn't bother to think too much about it, but, like many of Charles...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    A Feature in Vista Worth Celebrating

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    In case you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a skeptic about most things. Some might even say I'm a crank. A curmudgeon. A cynic. But today I wanted to upgrade to the latest build of Windows Vista from the one I'm on. Historically that meant backing up all...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Doing the Happy Dance

    • 6 Comments
    After a review with SomaSe last week in which we demoed what I'll just call "our stuff" (though the credit belongs to Adam Nathan , who really needs to update his blog), we went yesterday to present to Bob Muglia. The last time I presented to Bob in any...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Safari's Development Playground

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    As part of my team's work we bought a Mac for testing. Setting aside how cute that little box is and how interesting it's been to get it to work on the Microsoft network (bone up on your IPSEC, please), we've been trying to get Safari to work and have...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Top Eleven Google Products We'll Never See (Link)

    • 2 Comments
    bbSpot does it again .
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Outlook Map Add-In

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    Blake's list of free Windows software reminded me about the Windows Live Local add-in for Outlook , a neat utility.
  • A View from Elsewhere

    The Flexibility of Camtasia

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    If you're not familiar with Camtasia , you should be. It's a tool for capturing what Jon Udell calls screencasts -- live action demos with a voiceover. Internally, we've been using Camtasia on my team for all sorts of things including packaging up a demo...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Adding a New Front

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    After a few comments from coworkers and commenters on my blog here on MSDN, I've come to the realization that I need to keep two blogs (though I have been pretty lax about keeping one, but that's mostly due to the fact that we've been cranking on our...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Optiplex or Precision?

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    Our team is going through the exercise of purchasing new systems and we're weighing the benefits of the higher-performance Dell Precision desktops and the more cost-effective Optiplex systems. It's almost a 2-for-1 deal on Optiplex vs. Precision, but...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Job Descriptions

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    I’ve found that writing job descriptions is harder than I thought. In particular, it’s harder because I’m writing for so many audiences: for the internal developers and PMs who might be interested, the external folks, for other managers, and so on. ...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Amaze Me 2

    • 6 Comments
    I was riding the bus into work the other day when I realized that bus route calculations are kind of like the maze problem, only harder. Imagine that you live in a city (e.g. Seattle) and that you use buses to get everywhere and you want to be able to...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    NPT Team Charter

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    After about four months of working through some hard problems, I’ve begun to center our team on a few core work areas. Based a lot on the feedback you gave me through this blog, I narrowed it to three work areas: We’re going to start by building on...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Amaze Me

    • 18 Comments
    This came up in the context of the development experience we’re working on. One of the objects we supply to work with is a maze – you can create a new maze, take a step in the maze, check to see if the direction you’re facing is a valid move, turn, and...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Non-Pro Tools Team PUM

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    We have a PUM. Paramesh Vaidyanathan who ran the India Developer Center for Developer Division – a team of something like 100 people – has decided he wants to come back to the US to run the Non-Professional Tools Team (NPT – our team). I’m incredibly...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    What We’re Doing: Cool Tools

    • 2 Comments
    While I’ve been running around creating PPTs and sending email, Adam has been working on a prototype development experience that’s designed to take someone with no knowledge of code through to creating simple Web sites with HTML and Javascript or VBscript...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Adam Nathan Joins Non-Pro Tools Team

    • 3 Comments
    We have our first developer. Adam Nathan has joined us. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the soul behind Pinvoke.net , a community site dedicated to getting good coverage of .NET’s Pinvoke functionality (which he largely wrote). I knew...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    We Have a Name: NPT

    • 4 Comments
    We still need a name for the team. Since none of the ideas we came up with previously seemed to pass the internal sniff test (go figure), I decided that I’d opt for naming it descriptively: the Non-Professional Tools Team, or NPT for short. We’re still...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Wi-Fi Bye?

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    Conexxion by Boeing is an in-air 802.11 wireless service. As far as I know, it’s the ín-air 802.11 wireless service. I’ve used it on a couple of SAS flights from Seattle to Europe and, when it works, it’s amazing. Unfortunately, you pay your twenty-something...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    The Knees Have It

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    My favorite tool today is… Knee pads. Not just any knee pads, though: CLC’s Gel Kneepads with grooved caps (you can get them at Ace Hardware). I spent about six hours this evening on my knees pulling wire in cramped spaces so that we can restore the original...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    De planer! De planer!

    • 4 Comments
    Earlier this week I ordered a 13-inch Grizzly planer-molder . Our initial job for it is to plan several thousand lineal feet of painted molding from our house through it to strip it back to its original finish. After that, some custom molding for the...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    After HTML and Javascript, C++

    • 12 Comments
    Surprising factoid: after HTML and Javascript, C++ is the language most used by non-professional developers (including students, hobbyists, etc.). This based on some of our internal research over the past 4 years (statistically significant sample, but...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Amusing Advertisement

    • 1 Comments
    I’m not encouraging you to switch jobs, but this made me laugh.
  • A View from Elsewhere

    A Weekend With SPSS

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    Let me preface everything in this post with the statement that SPSS is a remarkable tool for data analysis and that I’m not an SPSS expert – I used to have passing familiarity with SAS (different beast) and some college-level statistics from nearly twenty...
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Top 11 Video Games You Don’t Want Your Kids To Play

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    Check out Number 10 . Another bbSpot special.
  • A View from Elsewhere

    Interviews

    • 4 Comments
    Today I did two in-person interviews and five phone screens plus set up another four informational interviews. Hiring is tiring. It’s really nice when, during the course of the Microsoft interview cycle, one of the interviewers emails you and asks, “Where...
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