Michael Howard just announced that we've hired Crispin Cowan!
This is incredibly awesome, I have a huge amount of respect for Crispin, he's one of the most respected researchers out there.
Among other things, Crispin's the author and designer of AppArmor, which adds sandboxing capabilities to Linux. Apparently he's going to be working on the core Windows Security team, which is absolutely cool.
I'm totally stoked to hear this - I literally let out a whoot when I read Michael's blog post.
Welcome aboard Crispin :).
Continuing in a stream of blog posts that started with "18 years ago, Today", "Nineteen years ago", and "20 years and going strong", today Valorie and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. We can finally go out and have a drink to celebrate :).
I'm still as much in love with Valorie as I was on the day we were married, oh so many years ago. It's been a long wonderful road.
Valorie is without question my best friend, and I love her.
Happy Anniversary, Dear.
PS: One of the cards might be a bit hard to find this year.
 Of course, since Valorie doesn't drink and I only rarely drink this doesn't really change things, but whatever :).
Someone sent the following screen shot to one of our internal troubleshooting aliases. They wanted to know what the "Name Not Available" slider meant.
The audio system on Vista keeps track of the apps that are playing sounds (it has to, to be able to display the information on what apps are playing sounds :)). It keeps this information around for a period of time after the application has made the sound to enable the scenario where your computer makes a weird sound and you want to find out which application made the noise.
The system only keeps track of the PID for each application, it's the responsibility of the volume mixer to convert the PID to a reasonable name (the audio service can't track this information because of session 0 isolation).
This works great, but there's one possible problem: If an application exits between the time when the application made a noise and the system times out the fact that it played the noise, then the volume mixer has no way of knowing what the name of the application that made the noise was. In that case, it uses the "Name Not Available" text to give the user some information.
Those of you who know me (and my family) from beyond my blog know that among my our many passions, one of the biggest is books. And we've got a lot of them.
A couple of years ago, Valorie got me a Flic barcode scanner and a copy of the program Book Collector. I've been using it steadily since then adding the books from the biggest of the 4 different libraries in our house (yeah, we've got 4 separate libraries in the house, I did say we read a lot of books - they are: grown up fiction, kids fiction, non fiction and teaching materials).
Since I was fortunate enough to take the month of December off this year (one of the benefits of working at Microsoft for as long as I have is that I get a lot of vacation time, some of which was due to disappear), I decided to take on the project of working through the books in the big library.
Since I've been working on it pretty much every day off and on for the past 4 weeks, I've looked at a LOT of books recently.
I've developed a pretty good workflow (it could unquestionably be improved, but this one works) for the process of scanning books:
That's it. So far I'm up to just short of 3000 books scanned, and I'm in the middle of the letter "S" in the biggest of the 4 libraries. I've added more than 2 thousand books to the program this month (wow).
Some things I've noticed in the process...
I'm only beginning the process of taming the book collection, and I've not even started thinking about dealing with how to maintain the library going forward (but I've got some ideas). As I said, my workflow above could be improved (for instance, I should use a laptop and take the computer to the library to deal with the "to be scanned manually" pile instead of schlepping the pile back and forth.
But working through the piles has absolutely been an enjoyable process - I've also appreciated the opportunity to re-discover old friends, which is always a good thing.
And I'd love to know the story behind this site: http://www.modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing.com/choosing_your_fabric.htm. I ran across it while shopping online the other day. The root page of the domain (http://www.modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing.com/index.htm) is a 404, but there's a number of pages live under that domain.
I wonder how they ever chose that particular domain name - it's as if they were trying for a half a dozen names and messed them up when they were registering the domain name.