HD-DVD News from CES

I watched the Bill Gates keynote at CES tonight (via the web, I’m not in Vegas or anything) and it included a demo and hot news about HD-DVD, the next generation hi-def DVD format. The hot news was that HD-DVD drives will be available as an add-on for the Xbox 360 – very cool. The…


Microsoft Product Names: How They Are Chosen I Wonder?

There is a great interview on PVRBlog with the creator of the TiVo name and mascot. It describes the process by which the names were whittled down and decided on. Although I have no clue how this process actually works at Microsoft, here is how I think it might for one of our products: Tech…


My Vonage Story

A few months ago we switched at home to Vonage VOIP, and we’re loving it. Even without dumping our phone line, we’re still saving money, over $250 a year before we even make a call! Why We SwitchedOur local phone service and DSL is provided by Verizon, and long distance was provided by AT&T. What…


Where is the Windows BMP Format defined?

You’d think this would be simple: on MSDN surely. Even Google has trouble finding any microsoft.com site that defines the bmp file format. Here’s how I found it (eventually): I started with a printed version of the GFF book, which is ancient, but pretty good. It talks about the ugly history of BMP and various versions….


Why do Searches timeout and not support Back?

Bit of a rant, sorry. I’m going to pick on Amazon, but others do this too: why does a Search timeout in a web browser? Here is the scenario: do a Search on Amazon. See something interesting in the result list, click on it. Read the info, decide its not the right thing, hit Back…


Halo 2: Will it impact Microsoft Productivity?

The “Official Xbox Magazine” says in the October issue that 8,000 Microsoft employees are participating in the Halo 2 beta, 14% of the entire company. That’s an amazing number! What does this mean for general Microsoft productivity right after November 9 when Halo 2 ships? Well I think there will be a lot of late…


Rant: Sony Memory Sticks: what are they thinking?

Sometimes Sony do good things: they co-invented the DVD, created the Walkman, and gave us Trinitron CRT tubes, all great stuff. However sometimes they just do something nuts, like Mini-Disc, or something really nuts, like Memory Stick. I can only guess that they invented Memory Stick because they didnt want to use someone else’s solid…


Confessions of a Technical Masochist

At coffee today with my team I was ranting about Memory Sticks. It was pointed out to me that every piece of technology I buy gives me huge amounts of grief, and Steve described me as a Technology Masochist. A pretty good description on reflection… Not quite every piece of technology gives me grief, but…


Why don’t cordless phones have a global phone book?

I want to get a new 4-handset cordless phone, ideally 5.8GHz, but as far as I can tell, none of them have a global phone book. They all store the phone books in the handsets, and most give you a way of copying between handsets, but none just store it in the base-station for all…


Wireless Networking Troubles (aka I want those three days back)

This is the story of a wireless networking problem I had at home, what it was, the clues I missed, and how I eventually solved it. The Setup My main router is an MN-700, and its wireless is somewhat secure via WEP. I do broadcast my SSID as it makes debugging issues easier (well that…