Matrices or Mattresses?

Nobody could accuse me of being posh, and compared to most of the developers I work with here at Microsoft I’m probably not the brightest button in the box. But I did study mathematics in the past, including matrix theory. I just never got to pronounce it right. It all came rushing back to me…

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Soccer It To Me

I’ve been struggling with the meanings of words again this week. Partly it’s because I’m not a native US-English speaker, and partly it’s because I tend to make wild assumptions about the way that the major IT hardware companies view their customers. I suppose I could buy a US-English to Queen’s English phrase book to…

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Your Giraffe Is Upside Down...

Reading a UK computer magazine last week, I came across the delightful phrase “like playing a recording of a swarm of hornets to a group of blindfolded mime artists”. It conjures up a vivid mental picture of events such as might occur at a product development meeting where somebody suggests rewriting a whole legacy application…

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Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation

With appropriate acknowledgment to Phil and Kirstie, this week’s random blather seems to have evolved with a dislocated theme; and rather more so than is usual in my weekly ramblings. It started with a series of events that made me wonder if I am somehow dislocated from the rest of my corporate employees and the…

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Unit Protesting

Before we start, I want to make it clear that – although I often use US spelling in stuff I write – I refuse to accept that “tire” is a way of spelling the round black things that you put on a car. I’m English, and tired (sorry) of seeing that weird spelling, so from…

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All Over Bar The Shouting

So they had an election ages ago in the US, but I still keep seeing that nice Mr. Bush on TV and in the newspapers. It seems like the even nicer Mr. Obama doesn’t actually get the keys to the Oval Office until this year. I suppose that kind of makes sense. I mean, if…

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Time Flies Like An Arrow, But Not At Frankfurt Airport

As a writer, I enjoy the weirdness of words. In the English (and US English) language, and particularly in technical writing, words often mean something distinctly different from their initially apparent meaning. When I’m looking at text provided by other members of the teams I work with, such as developers and architects, I often come…

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Convoluted, Devoluted, Or Just Engblish?

Maybe I’ve been asleep for the last few months, or just head-down working on my current project, but it seems I am the only person in the world who wasn’t aware that a new version of Windows was on the way. Well, the only geek anyway. I don’t mean the “Mojave” stunt – I mean…

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Easter Bonnets and Adverse Automation

A couple of initially unconnected events last week conspired to nudge my brain into some kind of half-awake state where it combined them into a surreal view of “automatic” stuff. One of the events was the return from Tina, our editor and proof-reader, of my article about the Team System Management Model Designer Power Tool…

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How p&p Makes Cheese Sandwiches

OK, so we don’t actually make cheese sandwiches here at p&p. Well, as far as I know we don’t (but if we did, they’d probably be the best cheese sandwiches in the world…). When I’m over in Redmond I have to stroll across the bridge to Building 4 and buy one from the canteen, though…

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