Dave – where did you go?

I admit it - I'm a lame blogger. Seriously. I wonder if anyone will even read this. How long has it been? Almost six months.

All I can say is sorry. I'm still in eHome. I'm still alive. No I wasn't taken out by an exploding battery. I'm still working on Media Center. There have been theories that I left (see http://mediacenter.mattgoyer.com/archives/2006/08/25/1171#comments).

The truth is much less glamorous. I have a pregnant wife and a toddler who doesn't like to go to sleep. Those excuses aside - I've also been "dark" working on some new features for MCE. We still have a few surprises up our sleeves. :).

Nobody from Microsoft has asked me to stop blogging or to hold back. As a matter of fact I've taken quite a bit of flack for being a bad blogger.

I'm back now. Hopefully better then before. I've also had an idea on how to make this blog a bit better and maybe different.

If you've read my blog in the past you know that I love the two way conversations and the comments. So here's my proposal:

Suggest topics. We can talk about anything you guys like. Leave ideas in the comments and I'll pick at least one a week.

If there aren't any I'll pick a topic - and we can go from there.

I wish I could tell you about my project, I really do - but that will have to wait for just a bit longer so that is the only limit I have right now.

We can talk about Vista, Media Center, project management, program management, anything really. I'm game.

Oh and I really am sorry. Seriously.



Comments (26)

  1. BlakeHandler says:

    Congrats on your version 2.0 addition — and yes, you are read. So start blogging about the Media Center Edition in Vista! ha ha

  2. Peter Near says:

    The beauty of RSS is that it can linger untouched for 6 months without bothering any of your readers, and then they get a pleasant surprise one day.

    >We can talk about anything you guys like.

    Tell us about your secret project!

    >my project…is the only limit I have right now.

    Aw nuts!

    I’d love to hear more about the internal goings-on at Microsoft especially as it comes to project management.  I know that it takes a high bar to get features in late in the game, but I’d love to hear more about how features get decided early on.  How is an idea presented, what are the metrics as to whether or not it gets implemented, what sorts of discussions and championing happen internally, and what can cause plugs to get pulled along the way.  

    I assume that like all companies these things happen, but with MCE I find it particularly compelling because there are so many cool things that could be done, that are asked for by users, and that are dreamed of by teammates but there has to be a limit set somewhere.

    Oh, and if you change your mind on telling us about your secret project that would be cool too.  😉

  3. Bill says:

    Glad to see you posting again, especially with Matt’s latest news of leaving the company.

    Oh, and I’ll gladly PayPal $1.00 for you to spill the beans.  😉

  4. ALIJAH GREEN says:

    how about the hardware that we will need to run mce when windows vista comes out

  5. MSDN Archive says:

    Wow. Cash for spilling the beans. I should have started an auction.

    There are a few ideas for good posts above. Next post I’ll talk a bit about Vista and what I like about it and MCE (note I am NOT a cheerleader type so this is honest on my personal part).

    Next post I’ll talk more about how features come into the product. What I’m working on came in very late and we can talk at a high level about how that happened and what that means for me, my team, and the feature. Sound good?

  6. Dave says:

    I would also like to hear more about product/project management within your team (or MS in general), maybe a detailed look at a single feature and how it started and moved to release. Please include an idea of time it takes and the hurdles it had to go thru as well as your involvement.

    I would also like to hear some insight as to what went into the UI changes. I have a wife and a 4 year old that use Media Center (even more than I do) and I find it hard to believe the Media Center UI in Vista is going to be as easy.

  7. George Blais says:

    Are the enhancements implicit in Vista the reason for the massive abandoment of the Media Center Extender market (except for XBox of Course)

  8. So I guess you can tell you are read 🙂

    I am interested in everything Media Center/Extender/Zune Integration/Connected eHome so its all good (see my walkthrough of my own connected eHome at http://www.mikeysgblog.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=75 ) I LOVE MCE!!!

  9. MSDN Archive says:

    Thanks for all the posts everyone. I’m hoping to get a new post tonight. I’m on vacation at the moment – getting chores done at home – so I guess sort of a vacation.

  10. You mean you don’t work and blog 24X7? Slacker! 😉

    I am in the middle of struggling with using Camtasia 2.0 (no budget for newer version) and Vista for a work related project http://www.mikeysgblog.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=233 and I am ready to pul my hair out, or at least what is left of it.

    Am seriously looking forward to your posts and since you are on vacation you should relax and ignore us here until you are back to work.


  11. brad huizenga says:

    Are we going to see Xbox 360 controller support in Vista Media Center via Xinput? It doesn’t seem to work with current builds of Vista that have been released, but you would think it would be a surefire feature.

  12. Anonymous - Europe says:

    OK, here is the real reason MCE in Vista is a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR yawn and sorry half completed application in Europe (5 years since launch when Vista is released):

    * No MHEG Support for Europe & Australia which is fro DVB-T digital text and interactive services

    * NO DVB-S Support

    * No proper guide population by reading the OTA guide for first 7 days

    * No recording of whats in the TV Buffer if you press record and programme already started

    * No simple controls of things like CROSS FADE ON/OFF for Music – have to go back to Media Player for that!

    * No HD-DVD or BluRay playback

    and many other features, even simple ones…

    In short, criminal and once again Microsoft missed the boat.

    If you dont want to put European features in and be for the US, then simple, dont get people hooked by launching into those locales!!!!

    Media Portal or Apple Front Row – Grab the market and teach MS a lesson. Hate to say it, because I usually defend MS !

  13. simong says:

    Multiple monitor support be nice!

    Wife watches full screen tv while i browse the net all from the same machine, other than that red button support for uk users – but accept its not likley

  14. Cody Cutrer says:

    Are MCX 1.0 devices no longer supported in Vista?  They didn’t work in Beta 2, and I’m wondering if that was just an admission in that release while core MCE stuff was being worked on, and MCX 2.0 was higher priority, or is MCX 1.0 just being dropped completely.  I’d hate to see my three original Xbox’s instantly become paper weights (and my parents won’t be too happy either).  Also, any news if SoftSled will ever be renewed, now that MCE will be retail available and theoretically even more users will have it without tuners (with maybe one machine in the house that does have tuners).  Even better would be features like MythTV, where multiple MCE machines could cooperate and share tuners amongst themselves, so if I have an analog and a digital in one, and a dual analog in another, from a guide on a single computer I could select up to four shows to record at the same time (three analog, one digital), or if all tuners in one machine are busy recording, and I want to watch something else live, it streams it from the other machine.   That would just be rockin!!!   (And possibly backport those types of features to MCE 2005 if I’m forced to keep an XP box around just to service the MCX 1.0 devices).

  15. Jeppe Ravn says:


    I think the most important feature we need is the DVB-T support for Europe. This one single missing feature is the main reason why I am looking at other products. I dont know why it should be so difficult to add this feature..

    Ohh and haow about an xbox360 silencer solution?? 41dB of noice is quit a bit for a small box like that 🙂 …


  16. Rasmus Aaen says:

    I’ll second that. The fact that MCE cannot display DVB-T subtitles is the single reason I have started looking for alternatives. Come on – it can’t be that hard to implement – others have done it. As for the market, most western european countries use or is planning to use DVB-T. The only answer i have had from Microsoft is that "we hope to support it somtime in the future".


  17. I’ve long suspected that there is something being held back in Media Center in Windows Vista, and it…

  18. I admit it – I’m a lame blogger. Seriously. I wonder if anyone will even read this. How long has it been? Almost six months. All I can say is sorry. I’m still in eHome. I’m still alive. No I wasn’t taken out by an exploding battery. I’m still working

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