Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Berlin Wall at Microsoft?

Yes, I never noticed that before. In the building across Office, there is a portion of Berlin Wall that was donated by Daimler-Benz to Microsoft. Something I would never expect to be part of Microsoft Art Collection, and although one could imagine many meanings for having that wall on the campus, even then it is nice to be able to see part of history right there.

See a picture of this portion of the wall:

This picture is from here

Gil Shaham with Berlin Philarmonic


Definitely worth watching this video not once, but many times.

Reflections about IT

There is a post on Slashdot about a guy disillusioned with IT. And very interesting comments with different viewpoints. Definitely worth your time if this kind of reflective subject attracts you.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Do we all hate our jobs?"

On Safari site I ran into a book name "Four Secrets to Liking Your Work" and decided to read the first pages. I found some interesting paragraphs right on the first page:

Do we all hate our jobs?

Picture a room filled with ten of your coworkers. Odds are that seven of them don't like what they do. Do you know which ones? Are you one of them?

It gets worse. Research suggests that one of those seven coworkers might be actively working at cross purposes to undermine your company. This means that if you are trying to be productive, he or she is working against you, too!

Why bother working at all? We like to believe that it's all about money. We see people endure dread, dissatisfaction, and misery in the name of the paycheck, but Herzberg and Maslow agree that once our monetary needs are met, it ceases to motivate us. And even if we do need the money, it's no substitute for engaging, enjoyable, productive work. Money can't buy back lost time.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why Scott Berkun left Microsoft (or general reflections about life and one's options)

The following text is sublime and I found it by accident trying to find the reason the Gentoo founder left Microsoft after only 9 months there. Rarely I found texts that were so similar to my own feelings and impressions.

Why I left Microsoft?, by Scott Berkun

Some quotes from this text:

From day one of kindergarten onward there was always a next step waiting. The choices were easy and safe: which classes, which activities, which universities. But an hour after my college graduation, sitting alone in an empty apartment on Beeler street in Pittsburgh, there were no more choices laid out for me. There was nothing. I confronted my future as a kind of void for the first time and was terrified. I’d never understood that emptiness, despite seeing its effect on older friends and my older brother. Until I was sitting alone surrounded by it, without the defense of a plan or a friend, I had no idea how frightening it was.

My comment: I had exactly the same thought when graduating. Everything was so simple, the next step was always there. And the frightening comes back all every time you start thinking that you may want to leave your current position and change your life. The future is a kind of void. You can create it, but it still scares.

I questioned what I was doing with my time on the planet. Dreams of my college years had been fulfilled, and if I didn’t make big changes soon, I knew I’d be repeating myself. There were other challenges I wanted, and I became terrified of spending my life like a sad, confused bird of prey, circling the same territory over and over again, never understanding why there was nothing new to find. I needed a new situation to jump into and despite what my manager’s and peers said, I knew I couldn’t do that while working in the same place. I had to move on. I was surprised to find that even though I was ten years older, my fears about the big unknowns were just as scary as before. But when I measured my fears about staying, I found they were stronger than those about leaving, so I left.

So I chose to leave Microsoft less for reasons of escaping a particular place or group of people, but more to seek out a new set of circumstances to live in.

My comment: That is exactly the reason that I left some of previous jobs or circumstances I was in and that could be the same reason I may leave Microsoft in the near future. I like to be an explorer and cannot simply accept a given position because it is convenient or because I am at a position many people dream about. The bright side of all of this is that, although you may get disappointed that things didn't work out as expected, you understand the downside (at least partially) of many possibilities in the life while exploring it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Office 2007 = 12 times more memory than Office 2000?

Fat, Fatter, Fattest: Microsoft's Kings of Bloat
posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Apr 2008 20:12 UTC, submitted by Craig Barth
"What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away. Such has been the conventional wisdom surrounding the Windows/Intel (aka Wintel) duopoly since the early days of Windows 95. In practical terms, it means that performance advancements on the hardware side are quickly consumed by the ever-increasing complexity of the Windows/Office code base. Case in point: Microsoft Office 2007, which, when deployed on Windows Vista, consumes more than 12 times as much memory and nearly three times as much processing power as the version that graced PCs just seven short years ago, Office 2000. Despite years of real-world experience with both sides of the duopoly, few organizations have taken the time to directly quantify what my colleagues and I at Intel used to call The Great Moore's Law Compensator (TGMLC). In fact, the hard numbers above represent what is perhaps the first-ever attempt to accurately measure the evolution of the Windows/Office platform in terms of real-world hardware system requirements and resource consumption. In this article I hope to further quantify the impact of TGMLC and to track its effects across four distinct generations of Microsoft's desktop computing software stack."

See the full Infoworld article here.

One interesting comment:

You think it's just Office? Its ALL SOFTWARE. The dirty secret that nobody wants to talk about is that it's the OOP software paradigm. It's been a dismal failure and your bechmarks prove it. OOP was supposed to make software development faster and easier. In fact it simply made it bigger and harder to work on. Easily 80% of all clock cycles are consummed diving through ever-deeper heirachy trees full of do-nothing, duplicated getters and setters at every level. Moores Law is the only reason anything still workds. Imagine where we'd be if we didn't spend all those cycles trying vindicate a failed programming paradigm. Back in the 80's people thought true artificial intellegence would be possible when computers achieved 2G of memory. Today my desktop has 4g, plus 4, 3.2-gigahertz processors and more disk space that my employer owned in the entire company in the 80's. But its performace barely matches the TRS-80 I learned basic on. It makes me wish I had done something useful with my life -- like Walmart greeter.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Government is not your daddy

Today, after arriving in the office, I see some business cards pinned to the wall. With an American flag as background, the cards have the title "Government is not your daddy." and then "Free will. Free market. What' s so hard to understand about thtat?". The cards are to advertise the following blog:

And although I couldn't read it yet to know if their texts are good or not, I really liked their creativity about the name and their efforts to make it known.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A 101-year old marathoner

This news really surprised me. A 101-year old marathoner that crossed the finish line of a marathon, and has an average of 14 smokes and 8 pints of beer a day. Wow! And his advise is good: "no matter how old you are, even if you are only seventy". I will remember him when I decide to stop running after 1 or 2 miles ;-)

Dalai Lama in Seattle

Watch here the speech Dalai Lama gave at Qwest field yesterday, 04/12/08, in Seattle. A very fortunate sunny day with high temperature of 83F - the first warm day this year.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How to disable User Account Control

Yes, that annoying dialog asking for permission every time you need elevated credentials to do something. You don't have the UI option to disable it, but it still can be done through registry. Follow the steps outlined here to get rid of this dialog if you have Windows Vista Home (Basic or Premium).