A week ago three classmates and I went to the Nagoya Sumo tournament and the experience was simply amazing. For those of you who think Sumo wrestling is a bunch of obese half-naked men pushing each other around, well… you’re right. But that’s about as useful a definition as “a lot of men on bikes”…


IsNot patent

I can’t stand seeing my friends slammed on Slashdot yet again, so I’d like to say something about the “IsNot patent” fiasco. Paul, Amanda, and Corneliu are some of the nicest people I know, and I had the pleasure to work directly with them for several years. The “IsNot patent” is the result of a…


Analyzing the aggregate music tastes of Mac, Windows, Linux users

Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to Audioscrobbler. Using an audio player plug-in, your music choices are collected and compiled into an overview of your musical taste, accessible from the Audioscrobbler website. The website also displays a list of neighbors–users with statistically close musical tastes. Friendster for music. Groups are another interesting feature of…


The Anatomy of a Late Bound Expression

When I first arrived at Microsoft to work on the Visual Basic team, I had no idea what Late Binding was. My manager at the time explained it to me: “Late Binding is all about figuring out which methods to call while the program runs. It’s complicated. You’re going to work on something else.” This…


Leaving Microsoft

Yesterday was my last day in the Visual Basic group at Microsoft. In a couple of weeks, I’m moving to Japan where I’ll be attending intensive Japanese language school for a year in Aichi prefecture. I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but I know that from day one the teachers speak only in Japanese….


Life in Japan

(Next post will be about VB, honest! đŸ™‚   So far I’ve had 15 days of Japanese language class. I try really hard to refrain from using English when in the building, but sometimes it’s necessary. There’s only so far a conversation can go when the participants only know how to say “I ate food…


Operator Overloading

One of the new features we’re adding to Visual Basic is called Operator Overloading.  This feature allows the programmer to create a class that knows what +, -, *, and other operators mean.   There are two main components to operator overloading: consumption and declaration. (Actually, I’ve just described a major precept of language design. Although they…


Outsider’s Eyes

It may sound strange, but odd-numbered years always bring me better fortune than even-numbered years. Sorry, I won’t elucidate. I’ve returned to the United States for the holidays to visit family and friends. Having spent the previous 9 months living in Japan, I’ve wondered how this experience has changed my perception of the US. What…


Notebook frustrations

This entry has nothing to do with Visual Basic, but I need an outlet for the frustrations I have endured while shopping for a notebook computer. Okay, maybe it’s somewhat related—I plan to use this notebook to develop new VB features. Does that count? Whatever…   The goal is to purchase a machine which offers…


Installing Japanese Keyboards on Windows XP

A little while back I bought a Japanese keyboard to use with my laptop while docked. It’s a Microsoft Basic Keyboard 1.0A, with 109 keys. Not only does it have more keys than a standard US keyboard, but the layout is slightly different (such as the location of the apostrophe ‘ and at-symbol @ keys)….