Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category
There are useful apps in the Phone 8 app store*; there are useless ones, and there’s outright shit. While hassling Joe about allowing Bing maps on an app for China, Microsoft’s careful curators allow this shit to pass.
- This is not Excel.
- This is not Access.
- This is not Infopath.
- This is not Project.
- This is not Visio.
- This is also not Project.
- This is not Powerpoint.
- This is not Outlook.
It goes on. There are at least two dozen copies of Media Player in the store.
Microsoft, get your shit together.
* I know the Phone 8 and Windows 8 stores are not the same store.
You have to log on to refresh your developer license once a month. This means no more fire-and-forget build servers.
You also can’t run unit tests outside an interactive session, so no unit tests with every checkin.
I still assert Windows 8 is the beginning of the end for the home team. The new tools are as anti-developer as can be, short of having Eclipse corrupt your project randomly.
I hate on screen keyboards (OSKs) with a passion; a real, slide-out keyboard is why I own a Droid 2, not an iPhone. The Type Cover, and to a lesser extent the Touch Cover, is the best detail about the Surface; I have no problem typing almost full-speed on a Type, and the Touch is passable when compared to my favorite keyboard. I hope the current batch of problems is just a fluke, and not a widespread flaw.
Then again, I hope for lots of things, like unicorns; Windows RT may well kill the Surface brand before people get to play with Surface Pros.
At its most cynical—though it is also a logically inescapable conclusion—this is best expressed by the Peter Principle: people are inevitably promoted to a position that is just beyond their level of competence. If we accept the Peter Principle, then we must also accept the consequences of that. People who evaluate the performance of their underlings are likely to be incapable of such an evaluation.
Read the whole thing, it’s short and worth it. The most interesting bit is the assertion that one needs to be an expert in order to spot other experts; this seems obviously true in retrospect, but I hadn’t thought of it that way.
#1 worst CEO: Steve Ballmer. Some years ago I heard the gap between Microsoft’s market cap and what it would be had MSFT kept pace with the tech segment expressed in Enrons of destroyed shareholder value; it was two or three at the time, but I’m sure that’s up to a dozen Enrons at this point.
I interviewed somewhere on 26 JAN; they said they wanted to bring me on that evening. I’ve had two start dates cancelled since then and currently have no set start date. The opportunity cost? I passed up a contract at Microsoft, where I would have started 30 JAN, to accept this offer. With a current start date of “maybe after the 20th”, well, you know, I need to call that firm back from the end of January and see if that slot is still open.
My entire drive home last night was occupied thinking about the boom that wasn’t. The comments are mostly concerned with packing density; while this wasn’t directly addressed, the mix was loose in the boxes. Inspecting failed boomers, there was evidence that the EG had soaked into the cardboard some in the hour after production; could such a minor amount of wicking change more than the outer layer of prills?
I had an idea last night that we will put into place on some scale; Boomershoot consumes ~80 crates of explosives, so what if we shot one target out of each crate to make sure it’s actually working? Of course, it takes multiple batches per crate; if I’ve estimated correctly, around 320-350 batches per shoot. Making a small or medium target from each batch would significantly increase costs, but if we had a bad batch, we would know right away; pulling a target from each crate would mean a lower cost, but with 4+ batches per crate, 3/4 of our batches could be bad and escape detection.
This is classic “testing quality into the product“, which is such a roaring success that it’s done in almost every software house. Every software practitioner should have a shrine to Deming to point to when one of the key principles is violated; reading the list of imperatives reads like an anti-list for working at large companies. Genichi Taguchi is also worth reading, specifically the QE Handbook on design of experiments.
Regardless, peanut butter jelly time.