Thursday, 08 June 2006
Imagine yourself in a hotel room early in the morning. You're tired, the alarm's just gone off, you're not ready to have a lot of lights on yet, you need to get up, iron some clothes, and get out the door all perky and chirpy to go teach a course. Luckily, the room has a coffee maker and supplies, so you can pre-caffeinate yourself. Yay! Now some of you, if you're North America-based, might have trouble spotting the sugar packets, but not me, oh no, I've been to Europe before you know, world traveller me, I know which is the sugar. It's those long skinny things. Like this:
One small problem: some of those are brown sugar, but the others are instant coffee. Ah well, I needed extra caffeine anyway.
Of course, whenever you go somewhere new, it opens your eyes to what people think is obvious. Take road signs for example. What does this mean?
I figured it out eventually from signs that have some more specific rules on it: No Stopping.
Try this one:
That means "end of motorway" and appears on most exit ramps to remind you that you're leaving the highway and changing your default traffic rules. I figured that out because the same symbol, which to me looks like an inukshuk, shows up on more understandable signs:
Another mystery was this one:
Though it "clicked" for me when I saw this variant:
Now there are some signs I think are brilliant:
But all in all, I'm really glad I'm leaving the driving to professionals on this trip. And I speak the language!
Wednesday, 07 June 2006
Sorry about that, but the number one headline here in the UK is the state of Wayne Rooney's foot. Listening to the radio in cabs and buses, or watching the television, that's all anybody cares about... they find a way to include it in the weather report, the traffic updates, the stock market report and so on. It was wild to see so many English flags (not Union Jacks, those are British flags based on the union of the individual flags) in windows and on cars.
There's a bit of controversy here about the flag thing, with people saying it's tacky, but i certainly saw hundreds of flags in just one day of travel, from Heathrow to Woking to Portsmouth, walking around Portsmouth, and then back up to Reading that evening.
Nice surprise for me when I reached the hotel... as a Hilton Gold member I'm used to a little snack waiting for me in my room. Sometimes it's a cookie and a bottle of water, or even two cookies and a bottle of water. Here's what was waiting for me in the Manor Room to which I was upgraded:
That's two bottles of water, two apples (at least one of which was very nice, I can report, having eaten it) and a bottle of red wine. The bed, for those who are following the pillow story, had three pillows on it. I'll take snack escalation over pillow escalation anytime.
Tuesday, 06 June 2006
This time it's Boris Jabes, who we haven't heard from in ages, who reappears with a pair of handy macros, one to show all your keyboard shortcuts and one to preprocess a file you have open (written as a response to someone who wanted it added as a feature to the IDE.) He credits his blogging once more to the "you can blog from Word 2007" feature. If that's true, the feature is getting my vote as the best of this release
Monday, 05 June 2006
One of the prizes at realDEVELOPMENT_06 Toronto was a Microsoft mouse. You're probably thinking "big deal". Well John was using this mouse in his presentation, and at the first break so many of the questions were about the mouse (yes, about the mouse!) that he took a minute to talk about it before we started the next session. Even the emails I got afterwards reflected a lot of mouse interest, with one attendee putting it first on the list of cool things seen that day.
So obviously this is no ordinary mouse. It's called the Laser 6000 and I guess the laser-ness makes it somehow better than an optical mouse. But that's not what all the fuss is about. It has a scroll wheel (nice and smooth) and you can push the scroll wheel sideways for horizontal scroll. But the side button, just under your thumb, is the cool thing. It's a zoomer. It magnifies whatever is under it... really simply and easily. Here's a shrunken screenshot:
You can control how big the zoomed area is and how magnified it is very easily and your choices persist until you change them again. I have the Wireless Laser 6000 and it's ergonomically beautiful, even fitting the little USB dongle into a slot on the underside of the mouse -- and turning it off when you do that since you're obviously putting it away. I really love this mouse... next time you need a new mouse, think of the Laser 6000, especially if you do any speaking.
Sunday, 04 June 2006
Barnaby Jeans took some great pictures at the Toronto event on Thursday.
Here I'm modelling the girly pink speaker shirt, while Sasha is wearing the same
boring (incredibly sophisticated, sorry Sasha) black as everyone else
We had over a thousand people, and this shot gives you some idea what that's like. Not an empty seat in the house!
Update: Wendy Markevich sent me this shot of all of us on stage: left to right this is Bruce Johnson, Matt Cassell, Mark Arteaga, Tom Moreau, me, Jerome Carron, Adam Gallant, and Scott Howlett.
Saturday, 03 June 2006
Steve Teixeira has linked to the webcasts from a C++ day held in Paris in May. These were done in English, but if you want to download the WMVs you're going to need a tiny bit of French, or to have gone through the downloading-a-webcast-from-MSDN process often enough that you don't really need the prompts. I qualify on both counts, and since the French for video is video, it's not too terribly difficult. Well actually Herb's talk starts with a French introduction, but having heard myself introduced in French a time or two I can tell you it's OK if you can't follow that bit. (Most of the time you can't tell that Herb and I did our undergrad at the same place, but we did, and occasional sesquilingualism is a clue. The difference is that while Herb remains a little nervous about engineers, I became one.)
These are good talks with demos and they cover a lot of ground for C++ programming today and in the future. Go get them.
Friday, 02 June 2006
What at blast I had yesterday speaking at realDEVELOPMENT 06! We had over a thousand people to hear about Atlas, Ajax, Infocard, and security for web developers. Already I am getting emails from attendees asking for the powerpoint decks. Here's the deal: the session notes are online already, and the powerpoints will be there when everyone is back home from the tour and has time to upload them -- some time after the middle of June.
Thankyou all for coming and if you have questions you didn't get to ask, you can leave a comment on this post or drop me an email.
Thursday, 01 June 2006
This one is with Louis Lafreniere about the C++ backend compiler. What can I tell you, go there and watch it!
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