Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Day 2.1

I am now officially a Microsoft employee! That is a scary thought. It is still hard for me to believe that I actually left Amazon. Even more scary is that it really doesn't feel strange at all. You would think after being at a place for so long that a change would be hugely disruptive. So far.. not really. It will be interesting to see how I feel in the coming weeks.

Anyway, today was fully occupied with New Employee Orientation in which we covered anything and everything Microsoft. Hmm.. well, I guess not everything since orientation continues tomorrow.

In other life transition news, I concluded the day by trading in my single man car (a Jeep Wrangler) for a Volvo. Yes, I think I'm officially a grownup.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New stuff

I neglected to mention what I'll be working on over there. Well, you can read for yourself. I'll be working to build out Microsoft's Experimentation Platform.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Day 2

After almost 7 years, today is my last day at Amazon. It's hard to believe so much time has gone by, but it's definitely been a great experience. In a sense I've grown up here, both as a developer and an individual. I started fresh out of school and have gone from writing small scripts to designing and developing full systems. Outside of work I've gone from being a single guy living in an apartment to being married with children and a house (note: ok, I was technically single, but Jen has been with me through all this). Yes, it really has been a journey.

So what's next? Well, I've decided to jump across the lake and join Microsoft. Its going to be a very different environment from Amazon and I'm really looking forward to taking it all in.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not-So-Smart Phone

I've been in the market for a new phone and decided to splurge and pick up a "smart" phone. I opted for the Cingular 8125 after reading several reviews and deciding it was generally very cool. After playing with it a bit at the Cingular store I decided to take it home with me. That's where the fun ended.

I was drawn to this model for the full keyboard, data access capability and in particular, the wi-fi capability. Being able to use the nearest hotspot (ie, my house) and not pay ridiculous data prices was very appealing. Anyway, I got home, popped it out of the box and started the setup process. My wireless network isn't the easiest thing to connect to in the world, but I figured I'd be able to work through it. By the end of the evening (like 8 hours after I started) I still hadn't managed to get the thing to connect to my network even though I had shut off every single security measure attempting to make it work. However, it did manage to connect to my neighbor's network. Sigh.

My frustration started with the menus. They made absolutely no sense and I was constantly getting confused about where to find configuration for wireless networks. When I did manage to find the correct menu I could never figure out how to get it to prefer my wireless network. It really had a thing for my neighbor's network.. but not mine. Maybe their signals were more attractive.. hell if I know. I did manage to find the modem configuration which made me feel nostalgic the first time through, but incited rage by the tenth.

Oh, did I mention the help was awful? There was no printed user manual in the box. The device itself has a terrible help system and the real user manual was on the included CD. Of course, by the time I needed the manual I was pissed off enough that I didn't want to install anything on my PC just to read some docs.

So at this point I wasn't exactly a happy customer and I hadn't used any of the device's real functionality, but I had had enough. I pictured myself sitting at some cafe, fumbling around for 10 minutes with this bar of soap trying to get the wifi connection to work and decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I don't travel much so much of the functionality is nothing more than a novelty to me. The next day I returned it and got a nice, simple phone that works exactly as one would expect. Ah.. the simple life.

Friday, May 12, 2006


On my way to work yesterday I was stuck in an usually large amount of traffic on I-90. I was minding my own business when I got hit from behind with no warning. The impact caused me to roll forward and hit the person in front of me.

The good news is that it looks like everyone is ok and the damage to my car is minimal. It looks like my rear bumper is crunched and there might be some damage to my rear tailgate. My spare tire mounted bike rack is also trashed. Fortunately there was no bike on the rack at the time. I was planning to bring my bike yesterday but opted to leave it at home at the last minute. Good call!

This is particularly inconvenient since I'm about 2 weeks away from selling the car. Of course, when I hopped out and saw that the car that hit me had logos from a well known insurance company all over it I had a nice little laugh.

Anyone in the market for a Jeep Wrangler? :)