Martin Woodward tagged me with that blogging game that’s going around where you post five things that people don’t generally know about you and then tag five more people. Okay, I have to admit it seems kind of fun, so I’ll do my part to keep it going.
- I wrote firmware for electricity meters at Elster Electricity (it was part of ABB when I joined in 1999) for four years prior to joining Microsoft. C, 16-bit micros, some assembly required, and no hotfixes or Windows update — quite a different software development environment. I worked on the A3 and REX meters, if you are really curious. I even have a few patents to prove it. There’s something cool about being able to directly control all of the hardware. And blowing up devices using 50,000+ volt surges just doesn’t happen here.
- I was a pall bearer in my grandmother’s funeral a few years ago. When we got to the cemetery, we carried the casket to the grave site. When we were about 50 feet from the hearse, my leg hit the side of the casket, and I set off the alarm on my Tahoe. That was embarrassing, and it wasn’t like you could stop and turn it off. It shut off after a little while, thankfully. Later we all laughed about it, knowing my grandmother was doing the same.
- While I had a TI-99/4A and later a Commodore 128 back in the 80’s, I hated BASIC and didn’t learn a programming language until my sophomore year at North Carolina State University (Pascal was cool, until I learned C, X Window and Motif). So you won’t have to endure any stories about cool code that I wrote when I was 12. And I still don’t like Basic.
- I don’t like Star Trek!
- In the summer of 2005, I was a mentor for an intern named Philip Kelley. He wrote tfpt (Team Foundation Philip’s Tool, we jokingly called it). On his last day, he thought he’d be funny and gave me a mini University of North Carolina basketball. Earlier that year, the University of Illinois lost to UNC in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (I went to grad school at UIUC). I figured I’d paint it red or something when we beat them at basketball or football, since I’m an NCSU grad and UNC is our rival. It still sits in my office, and I’m still waiting to beat them. Scott Guthrie’s basketball is much cooler.