Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist

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listening to learn
Updated: 11 years 8 weeks ago

Snow Day?

November 27, 2006 - 7:03pm

I live in Sammamish, we refer to it as the "Plateau" here at work.  Something tells me that a lot of us who work at Microsoft who live on the Plateau will be working from home tomorrow. :-)  I just snapped this photos about 20 minutes ago. 

  

Rounding out the coverage, I'll see what I can track for links from other MS Bloggers.

Mike Hall is at work, but he'll work and install Vista. :-)

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Categories: Attendees

everything with allard is about velocity

November 26, 2006 - 6:09pm


businessweek posted a fun bio article on j allard last week and its pretty much made its round through the blogs and techmeme.  there was a section that really stood out to me that I had to post to my blog for future reference.

"everything with allard is about velocity. he drives a ferrari 360 and a porsche 911. He bombs down ski runs during the summer on a mountain bike at speeds topping 30 miles an hour. he qualified for the u.s. nationals race this summer but had to drop out after he was hit by a car while biking around seattle. "i love that gravity is unforgiving," he says. he even blazes through e-mail, jotting down notes all in lower case: "shift key slows you down," he writes."

i'm a speed junkie too and can totally relate, i love to go fast, very, very fast.  i did give up motocross a couple of years back as it was an sport that pulled me away from my family more than it allowed us to spend time together.  also the idea of making a connecting flight in a body cast didn't exactly appeal to me either, it seems as we get older the bumps and bruises hurt a lot more.

so that leaves me with my car which is fine with me. :-)

this post brought to you in all lowercase in tribute to j. allard

technorati tags: j+allard

Categories: Attendees

Channels 9 and 10 Sponsor TechMeme

November 26, 2006 - 5:51pm


TechMeme.com has become a critical part of the blogging plumbing and is a site I visit many times throughout the day to keep up with what is happening in the tech industry.  My wife is also a fan of their WeSmirch site for Celebrity Gossip and Memeorandum for politic discourse.  Where else can you find out what's happening in the world and what blogs are saying about it Tech, Politics and Celebrity Gossip? :-)

So it is exciting for me to announce that after midnight tonight Channels 9 and 10 will be sponsors of TechMeme.   As part of that sponsorship the main feeds from Channel 9 and 10 will be shown in "Sponsor Post" section of TechMeme.com.  About every 15 minutes TechMeme will grab the latest post from Channel 9 and 10.  It will then alternate between Channel 9 and 10, so sometimes when you visit TechMeme you'll see the most recent Channel 9 post and the other times you'll see a post from 10.   It will look something like this:

 

Anyhow, just thought I'd make a post about what we're doing with TechMeme and thank Gabe for all he's doing for the blogging world with his sites.  Thanks Gabe!

Postscript: My friend Jeremy gives me a hard time about calling TechMeme.com a key part of the blogging plumbing due to its echo chamber nature.  I was referring to the group of sites Gabe creates that cover the tech biz, baseball, celebrity gossip and politics.  I am sure he'll create more and other services from other vendors will surface too.  I stand by what I said, with the growing amount of feed fatigue (who besides Scoble can track 1200+ feeds) vertical services like TechMeme.com will be the only way to find feeds and see what folks are saying about a particular area of passion.

technorati tags: TechMeme

Categories: Attendees

Ceramic Village Homes from Department 56

November 26, 2006 - 5:20pm


Last Christmas my wife started a collection for me of ceramic village homes.  If you've read my blog for any period of time or know me personally, you'll learn pretty quickly that I am a small town boy at heart and a total Corvette nut.  These little ceramic villages do a remarkable job of bringing a bit of that small town back into our home and are something I truly treasure.  Our plan is to by one or two each year. 

Today, while we were out shopping I purchased another for our collection and it will probably go down as my all time favorite.  The McKenzie's Automotive Chevrolet Dealership really brings back a piece of home for me.  It is a ceramic replica of GM Dealership with a '63 Corvette inside.  It reminds me a lot of the Chevrolet dealership that we had in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Trout Chevrolet Oldsmobile.   The owner also had a spectacular Blue '63 Corvette that he regularly drove to and from the dealership and parked it to the left of the show room.  I'd often make a detour by Trout Chevrolet when cruising downtown just to see that '63 Corvette. 

The dealership has long been replaced with a cookie cutter GM Dealership and has been replaced with a parking lot.  Good memories of fun times will live on though.  I don't imagine a day when I'll move back to Estevan, as life has been incredible to me State side, but at least that's the good things about memories you never move away from them.  :-)

technorati tags: ,

Categories: Attendees

CNET's Top Ten Girl Geeks Is A Disgrace

November 23, 2006 - 8:04pm

Looks like I am not the only one who found this "Top Ten Girl Geeks" on CNET offensive.  Well, they at least they included Ada Byron and Grace Hopper, but blew it when they put them alongside Lisa Simpson and Ashley Simpon.  As CrunchNotes mentions someone actually took the time to write this and another person edited it. 

They should be ashamed. 

Including Grace Hopper along the sides of Lisa Simpson is a disgrace and I won't even start about Paris Hilton.  One of the things I am proud of on Channel 9 is our WM_IN (short for Women in Technology series) that highlights talented women at Microsoft.  You really need to check out this piece.  Charles Torre and Jennifer Ritzinger are the folks who make these interviews happen and today that is definitely something I am truly thankful for. :-) 

To truly build software that is global and diverse you need people from all walks of lifes.  As a person in the industry and a Dad of two daughters, CNET, you could have done a lot better.

Categories: Attendees

The fabulous Canadian Teen Idol Robin Sparkles

November 22, 2006 - 12:34pm

Just in case you missed this from Monday night's How I met your mother. You've got to love the subtle jabs at Canada and 80's Teen Idols in this piece.

technorati tags: ,

Channel 9 -- The 1000th Video - Send us your favorite clips.

November 15, 2006 - 8:31am

We're very close to shipping our 1000th video to Channel 9.  It is a pretty amazing milestone when you think about it.  We're asking the Niners to highlight there favorite clips of all time using the Channel 9 Clipster (Clipster is a feature of Channel 9 that allows you to save your favorite sections of videos)

Charles writes:

Dearest Niners,

We are rapidly approaching our 1000th video and we would love for you to share with us, using Clipster, what your favorite scenes are of all time! We will then create a collage of these clips as the way we celebrate this momentous occasion. We have some of our own favorites too, but, as always, what matters most to you (what made you laugh, cry, jump up and down, scratch your head, jump for joy, etc) is what we really want to celebrate.

Please name your Clips so we can easily spot them. So, prefix their titles with "C9-1000:".

Let's make something really cool together. We need to get your clips by November 29th so please start your clipping engines! Thank you!!!

Keep on Clipping!
C

This will be fun and will be our second clip show for C9.  We did one previously with the Channel 9 Song at PDC'05. :-)  More details on getting started.

technorati tags: channel+9, 10

Categories: Attendees

Channel 9 -- The 1000th Video - Send us your favorite clips.

November 15, 2006 - 8:31am
We're very close to shipping our 1000th video to Channel 9.  It is a pretty amazing milestone when you think about it.  We're asking the Niners to highlight there favorite clips of all time using the Channel 9 Clipster (Clipster is a feature of Channel 9 that allows you to save your favorite sections of videos) Charles writes: Dearest Niners, We are rapidly approaching our 1000th video and we would love for you to share with us, using Clipster, what your favorite scenes are of all time! We will then create a collage of these clips as the way we celebrate this momentous occasion. We have some of our own favorites too, but, as always, what matters most to you (what made you laugh, cry, jump up and down, scratch your head, jump for joy, etc) is what we really want to celebrate. Please name your Clips so we can easily spot them. So, prefix their titles with "C9-1000:". Let's make something really cool together. We need to get your clips by November 29th so please start your clipping engines! Thank you!!! Keep on Clipping! C This will be fun and will be our second clip show for C9.  We did one previously with the Channel 9 Song at PDC'05. :-)  More details on getting started. technorati tags: channel+9, 10
Categories: Attendees

In The Valley This Week

November 14, 2006 - 10:41am

I'll be in Silicon Valley for the next few days meeting with a variety of folks at Microsoft and also attending the Tech Awards.  I have a few openings on my schedule so if you're interested in getting together for a coffee, drop me a line and we'll try and find some time to connect.  (jeffsand at microsoft dot com)

Cheers!

Categories: Attendees

Mervyn's Is Closing in Redmond

November 11, 2006 - 8:48pm

Mervyns in Redmond, Washington is closing.  I was driving by Mervyns today (on my way to good ol' Target) and noticed all items were 30-50% off so I went on in.  Amongst all the Store Closing signs was a Join the team! sign right out front. :-)

I wonder how many takers they are getting? :-)  The two signs definitely conflict with each other don't they? Sorry to see it close for the people who work there today.

 

Categories: Attendees

Expose Like Functionality for Windows Vista

November 10, 2006 - 7:54pm

Looks like this has been around for a little while, but I just had an opportunity to play with it tonight.  Simon Ferquel has written an Mac OS X like Expose application for Windows Vista.  I just installed it and although it takes a few moments to start up, it works great.  Just select the F9 key or click in the top left corner of your screen to launch after initial startup. 

You can download here.  It is running great on Vista RTM for me and is a great addition to Flip 3D. :-)  Really cool use of the Desktop Windows Manager API.  Expect to see much more cool stuff like this as developers really, really start to play with Vista.



technorati tags: ,

Categories: Attendees

Where have I been?

November 10, 2006 - 4:59pm


A reporter once joked to me at a party that he could always tell when I was about to ship something as my blog would go without a new post for weeks and then "pow" out would come a new hire to my team, a new web site like Channel 9, 10 or www.MicrosoftGadgets.com.  I do tend to go totally heads down on projects and then come up for air often in a very tired state.  You know I talk a good talk about the 5 F's on my blog, but man I can honestly say that I don't always suceed in nailing them with the appropriate balance. 

In fact there should not be just 5 F's, you there are actually 6.  The first 5 are:

1. Faith
2. Family
3. Finance
4. Fitness
5. Philtantropy

And important one that I completely miss, is 6.  Fun!

Anyhow one goal that I am trying to achieve this year is striking the balance between being sucessful at work and at home.  Its not always easy and sometimes I fail, but I am trying. :-)  This week has been especially hard as got completely taken out with the flu and now it has spread to my family.  Blech.

So what do you do to strike the balance at work, at home and in fun? :-)  Enough work now, off to play Age of Empires III.  Would you believe I bought it back in August at the company store and am just removing the shrink wrap tonight?

technorati tags: my+life

Categories: Attendees

Where have I been?

November 10, 2006 - 4:59pm
A reporter once joked to me at a party that he could always tell when I was about to ship something as my blog would go without a new post for weeks and then "pow" out would come a new hire to my team, a new web site like Channel 9, 10 or www.MicrosoftGadgets.com.  I do tend to go totally heads down on projects and then come up for air often in a very tired state.  You know I talk a good talk about the 5 F's on my blog, but man I can honestly say that I don't always suceed in nailing them with the appropriate balance.  In fact there should not be just 5 F's, you there are actually 6.  The first 5 are: 1. Faith 2. Family 3. Finance 4. Fitness 5. Philtantropy And important one that I completely miss, is 6.  Fun! Anyhow one goal that I am trying to achieve this year is striking the balance between being sucessful at work and at home.  Its not always easy and sometimes I fail, but I am trying. :-)  This week has been especially hard as got completely taken out with the flu and now it has spread to my family.  Blech. So what do you do to strike the balance at work, at home and in fun? :-)  Enough work now, off to play Age of Empires III.  Would you believe I bought it back in August at the company store and am just removing the shrink wrap tonight? technorati tags: my+life
Categories: Attendees

Microsoft Channel 9 Version 4.0

November 10, 2006 - 4:52pm


It is hard to believe that with just 2 ½ years behind us, we're on our way to deliver the forth major update to Channel 9.  We hope this will be released in beta form in about a month. 

We’re focusing on 4 things in this major release:

1.  Experience - Ajax may be all the rage, but it might not necessarily be the best experinece for a message board and forums.  We've experimented with the experience on 10, learnt what has worked and what hasn't and think we're on the path to deliver one of the best conversation experiences on the web.  We worked really close with the Niners to figure out an experience that flows well, is easy to participate in for the high volume discussions that take place on our sites.  In fact we have a logo from that famous discussion. :-)  



This totally related to a recent post made on Dare's blog, in reference to the talk Marissa Mayer gave at Web 2.0 (more on techmeme), Dare writes:

If you are a developing a consumer web site whose revenue depends on the number of page views you get, you need to print out that post and nail it to every bulletin board in your offices. One big problem with the AJAX craze that has hit the Web is how much slower websites have become now that using Flash and DHTML to add "richness" to Web applications is becoming more commonplace. My mind now boggles at the fact that I now see loading pages that last several seconds when visiting Web sites more and more these days.

So we're trying to strike a balance there and I think we finally got it.

2. A common code base - All of the communities (past and future) that are ran and built out of my team: Channels 9 and 10, Student Union and even www.VisitMix.com will all run on the same code-base with a common infrastructure.  We’re going to strive to maintain a unique style and tone that each audience deserves, do a better job of cross-linking when appropriate and leverage the power of the overall network.  This experience is built from the ground up using ASP.NET 2.0, SQL 2005, XHTML and Atlas.  Most of this code is running today with Channel 10.

3. Making content easier to find- We have content being created across DPE and around the globe for both Channel 9 and 10.  Thank you.  The new design focuses on bubbling up all new content to  our homepage so that we can make shows, screencasts, podcasts more discoverable.  We’ll still have a space where we control editorially what is happening, but we want to bring all new media to the homepage.  In the new design our UI scales and gives visibility to it all.  Soon Channel 9 will ship its 1000th piece of media, we need to create an experience that works with this.

4. Expanding the types of content we support- We’re taking our existing tag centers to the next level.  Our plan is in addition to aggregating video, audio and screencasts into a single view and we want to enable Microsoft employees to upload draft whitepapers (wiki based with revision history) , samples from our sandbox, and relevant content from other sites into this view as well. 

A fun part of the design is that we’re collaborating with the folks from eboy (http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/index.php) to create a set of mastheads for Channel 9 that we’d rotate through as folks navigate the site.  The design work from EBoy was the inspiration for the design of the very first version of Channel 9.   The mastheads will be similar to this, will be about 150 x 750 in size and will highlight cool moments in Developer, Channel 9 and Microsoft history.  We’ll rotate through them as people navigate through the site.  Our hope also is that the graphically inclined in our community will also create their own renditions, adding to the mix.  Some ideas we have so far for mastheads are famous moments in Microsoft, C9 and Developer history that we want to pay tribute too in this effort like:

  • Building 18 with our team active in front
  • Bill Hill Interview – walking around the wooded of campus, should be pretty visual, maybe a map of the path they walk
  • Bill Gates Interview – very popular video, him in his office mainly
  • The first team video – a full set, 5 distinct characters (even though three have black shirts on :-))
  • WM_IN / Hoppers– Famous women in technology
  • PDC – LA Convention Center
  • Visual Basic 1.0

So today, we shipped sreenshots of this new Channel 9 to give everyone a sneak peak of what this next version will look like.  Please take a moment to check it out and give us your feedback

We're listening and we hope that by working with you we'll continue to keep Channel 9 one of the finest developer communities on the web. 

technorati tags: channel+9, 10

Categories: Attendees

Microsoft Channel 9 Version 4.0

November 10, 2006 - 4:52pm
It is hard to believe that with just 2 ½ years behind us, we're on our way to deliver the forth major update to Channel 9.  We hope this will be released in beta form in about a month.  We’re focusing on 4 things in this major release: 1.  Experience - Ajax may be all the rage, but it might not necessarily be the best experinece for a message board and forums.  We've experimented with the experience on 10, learnt what has worked and what hasn't and think we're on the path to deliver one of the best conversation experiences on the web.  We worked really close with the Niners to figure out an experience that flows well, is easy to participate in for the high volume discussions that take place on our sites.  In fact we have a logo from that famous discussion. :-)   This totally related to a recent post made on Dare's blog, in reference to the talk Marissa Mayer gave at Web 2.0 (more on techmeme), Dare writes: If you are a developing a consumer web site whose revenue depends on the number of page views you get, you need to print out that post and nail it to every bulletin board in your offices. One big problem with the AJAX craze that has hit the Web is how much slower websites have become now that using Flash and DHTML to add "richness" to Web applications is becoming more commonplace. My mind now boggles at the fact that I now see loading pages that last several seconds when visiting Web sites more and more these days. So we're trying to strike a balance there and I think we finally got it. 2. A common code base - All of the communities (past and future) that are ran and built out of my team: Channels 9 and 10, Student Union and even www.VisitMix.com will all run on the same code-base with a common infrastructure.  We’re going to strive to maintain a unique style and tone that each audience deserves, do a better job of cross-linking when appropriate and leverage the power of the overall network.  This experience is built from the ground up using ASP.NET 2.0, SQL 2005, XHTML and Atlas.  Most of this code is running today with Channel 10. 3. Making content easier to find- We have content being created across DPE and around the globe for both Channel 9 and 10.  Thank you.  The new design focuses on bubbling up all new content to  our homepage so that we can make shows, screencasts, podcasts more discoverable.  We’ll still have a space where we control editorially what is happening, but we want to bring all new media to the homepage.  In the new design our UI scales and gives visibility to it all.  Soon Channel 9 will ship its 1000th piece of media, we need to create an experience that works with this. 4. Expanding the types of content we support- We’re taking our existing tag centers to the next level.  Our plan is in addition to aggregating video, audio and screencasts into a single view and we want to enable Microsoft employees to upload draft whitepapers (wiki based with revision history) , samples from our sandbox, and relevant content from other sites into this view as well.  A fun part of the design is that we’re collaborating with the folks from eboy (http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/index.php) to create a set of mastheads for Channel 9 that we’d rotate through as folks navigate the site.  The design work from EBoy was the inspiration for the design of the very first version of Channel 9.   The mastheads will be similar to this, will be about 150 x 750 in size and will highlight cool moments in Developer, Channel 9 and Microsoft history.  We’ll rotate through them as people navigate through the site.  Our hope also is that the graphically inclined in our community will also create their own renditions, adding to the mix.  Some ideas we have so far for mastheads are famous moments in Microsoft, C9 and Developer history that we want to pay tribute too in this effort like:
  • Building 18 with our team active in front
  • Bill Hill Interview – walking around the wooded of campus, should be pretty visual, maybe a map of the path they walk
  • Bill Gates Interview – very popular video, him in his office mainly
  • The first team video – a full set, 5 distinct characters (even though three have black shirts on :-))
  • WM_IN / Hoppers– Famous women in technology
  • PDC – LA Convention Center
  • Visual Basic 1.0
So today, we shipped sreenshots of this new Channel 9 to give everyone a sneak peak of what this next version will look like.  Please take a moment to check it out and give us your feedback.  We're listening and we hope that by working with you we'll continue to keep Channel 9 one of the finest developer communities on the web.  technorati tags: channel+9, 10
Categories: Attendees

Dog with blindfolds

October 29, 2006 - 2:13pm



Categories: Attendees

Viewing your Flickr Photos Offline with a WPF Application

October 24, 2006 - 12:03pm

We were having one our regular team demofest's today and Jeremy Mazner (who just returned from parental leave at Microsoft) demonstrated a very cool WPF application that uses the Flickr API to show your photo collection.  It enables tagging, uploading and slideshows.  It rocks.  What is even cooler is that its written by Thirteen 23, not Microsoft.

This is an amazing replacement for Flickr Backup a Java application that I have used for quite some time to keep a local backup copy of my Flickr photos.  Duncan, beat me to the punch and posted more details on how to get the application over on 10 today.

This absolutely made my day.

 

Categories: Attendees

Meet Larry Larsen our new 10 Lead

October 23, 2006 - 6:48pm

I updated my hiring post the other week to let people know we've filled our 10 Lead position.  Today, we posted Larry's application to 10.  Larry will start in the next two weeks and will help drive our content strategy for 10

You have got to check out Larry's home office that he is in the process of relocating Redmond. :-)  And in other related news Rory is now all on board and starting to film content for Channel 9.  While he's relocating his office, he's hanging out with Bob

Go team go! :-)

Postscript:  Check out Robin Sloan on Larry's blog.   Heck he's hanging out yesterday with Bob Schieffer of CBS News. ;-)

Definitely going to be interesting having Larry on board leading 10.>

Categories: Attendees

Vacationing at home, Channel 9 updates and more

October 14, 2006 - 9:38am

My parents will arrive in town this Sunday from Canada to visit us for the next week.  I am taking the week off to spend some time with them and to vacation at home.  With business travel, work, new programs to launch and lots of other highly visible changes at work over the summer vacation got pushed aside.  Thank goodness I love what I do. 

In saying all that I am taking the next week off to spend some time with my family and am so excited to see my folks.  This will be the first time in years that I'll have quality time to spend with them on their visit.  In the past it has always worked out that when they visit we were launching a product at work, doing a major design preview or were just week or so away from a major event like PDC or MIX.  All types of things that were all consuming which sucks.   My folks were always very understanding (I get my work ethic and drive from my Dad) but we aren't getting any younger.  Anyhow, this year it will be different, I won't be scattered and can focus on the visit. :-)

The rest will be great!

Lots of stuff on the work front.   I am still hiring, but have filled 2/4 of my open positionsRory will start this coming week working on Channel 9 that caused quite the stir.  I've also filled my 10 Lead role too, I can't say who it is (yet), but you've got to see the application video they created.  We'll post that video very soon on 10. :-) 

Last but not least we got very close to the final draft of the design concepts for a major Channel 9 update that is underway.   This will be the fourth major refresh and evolution to Channel 9 in 2 1/2 years.   We want to refine them a bit more, but will share them via Channel 9 in about another week.  The work on this update does a bunch of things to improve Channel 9, but one of the core things is it will move Channel 9 to the same platform that 10 is built on, resulting on a single code-base for my team to maintain which is going to be amazing.  We've been building for some time a media blogging code-base for my team's network of sites for sometime and using 10 as a test bed.   Now its time to get that over to C9 and move Channel 9 off of the a mutated version of ASP.NET Forums that it runs on today.

A fun thing lately that I've had some opportunities with the press, analysts and a few book authors is to talk about the history behind Channel 9.  A bit of it is documented like in the Shel Scoble's Naked Conversations (that book didn't really nail it or get all the truth :-) so I've been thinking about seeing if Lenn wants to do a podcast about how C9 started, could be fun.  :-))

Ok Anyhow times to get back to chores, mom and dad will be here in about 30 hours.

Categories: Attendees

Steve Ballmer on Europe

October 14, 2006 - 9:11am

You've got to love Steve, great sense of humour. In a recent CNET Article when asked, "Can we talk about Europe?"

Steve responds, "Beautiful place. I lived in Brussels for three years as a kid. I do love Brussels."

:-)

Categories: Attendees