A Face Made For Email

A few weeks ago, Charles Torre and The Scobelizer showed up in my office with a hand-held camera, asked me a bunch of random questions for a couple hours, edited the video into bite-sized chunks and slapped it up on the web.

It's a blog, it’s a wiki, it’s a forum, it's a bunch of videos of geeks geeking out -- frankly, I'm not sure what exactly this whole Channel 9 thing is.  I'm not sure that Charles and Robert know either, but I'm sure that we'll find out as the experiment continues!

Anyway, if you ever wanted (for some perverse reason) to know what people like me, Mike Howard, and the rest of us look and sound like, now you can find out why we mostly rely upon written forms of communication to get our points across. This was my first time ever being interviewed on video, and it was Charles' and Robert's first time doing the interviews -- I was their guinea pig.  I've never had any media training, and it shows.  Good heavens, you should see the uncut video!  I'm constantly fidgeting and going off into non sequiturs.  I had no idea that my hands were actually in shot.  Live and learn I suppose.

Comments (19)

  1. Kevin Dente says:

    Damn, you look younger than I thought! Here I was thinking you were a grizzled, wizened old veteran. Totally spoiled the the image for me. 😉

  2. Eric Lippert says:

    > Damn, you look younger than I thought!

    Uh, thanks, I think.

    > Here I was thinking you were a grizzled, wizened old veteran

    Only on the inside.

  3. Robert Jacobson says:

    Nice interview. However, can’t Microsoft afford to buy a tripod for the camera? Got kinda dizzy from the cinema verite style. 😉

  4. senkwe says:

    You did great man 🙂 But should we ask you questions on your interview here on your blog or as part of the discussions on Channel 9 (Of course, as you’re probably very, very busy, you do not HAVE to respond at all). But which would you prefer in any case?

  5. daniel says:

    I enjoyed your interviews the most amongst the ones on channel 9. This is probably because I’ve been interested in those issues on the linux side of programming and it’s fun seeing it discussed from a microsoft insider.

    Don’t hesitate on repeating the exercise.

  6. Robert Hahn says:


    Did Scoble & Torre *have* to use WMP for the videos? What’s wrong with mpg? It can be played by anything!

    Sorry dude. I’d love to see what you had to say, but the price of admission is too high for me.


  7. Eric Lippert says:

    There are people who still use MPG? You’re old school, man.


  8. Mat Hall says:

    Dude, you’re like 13 or something.

    (And lots of people "still" use MPG. It’s supported by just about every platform under the sun… You and your wily Microsoft ways!)

  9. Eric Lippert says:


    > lots of people "still" use MPG

    For future reference, Mr. Smiley Face indicates that Eric is indulging in humourous japery.

  10. Eric Lippert says:

    > which would you prefer in any case

    Makes no difference to me.

  11. Dan Shappir says:

    > Makes no difference to me

    OK, I’ll bite:

    Just watched your video about managed code and the (coder) performance benefits. This is also a point you’ve previously made in your blog.

    Now here is the thing from my POV – I totally agree that GC is much better for components than ref counting. OTOH I’m not so sure about the memory leak part. Yes, it’s a good thing not having to worry about memory leaks but it comes at a price and that price is determinate finalization. In C++ it’s straightforward for me to create a class that guarantees proper resource deallocation. In .NET I must rely on proper use by the my client, e.g. invoke cleanup through IDispatch.

    The thing is, memory is (almost) the least worrying resource, even in server apps. It’s resources like handles that you really need to watch out for. And for this C++ appears to be better than C#.

  12. Eric Lippert says:

    I agree that there are scarcer resources out there than memory. Two things:

    1) You can always explicitly Dispose objects if you want to deterministically finalize objects that are holding onto unmanaged resources like handles, etc.

    2) I’m hopeful that the Longhorn extensions to the framework will mitigate some of this worry.

    Case in point: right now I’m working on some managed code that must do some fairly serious work on an unmanaged IStorage*. Getting the storage and stream lifetimes right is nightmarish — I ended up writing all the storage management in a C++ object which then implements an interface which is pleasant to use from managed code. When structured storages are added to WinFX, that becomes someone else’s problem and I can abandon my silly wrapper.

    Long story short: coding is still hard, tools have pros and cons, and no language or framework is a panacea.

  13. Robert Hahn says:


    Darn right I’m old school. 😉 You can just go ahead and visualize me in my plaid flannel shirt, long grey-streaked beard (that I’ve had since I was 4) and Birkenstocks on stockinged feet trying to figure out how to convert MPG to ASCII to play on my terminal window. Maybe I’ll videotape that and send it off to Channel 9, too!


  14. Dan Shappir says:

    > You can always explicitly Dispose objects if

    > you want to deterministically finalize

    > objects that are holding onto unmanaged

    > resources like handles, etc.

    Obviously, but that is exactly my point: in C# it’s up to the client to invoke the determinate finalization while C++ makes it possible for the service provider to invoke it automatically. C# does do a better job than Java with IDisposable and the using keyword. But still, putting the onus on the client means that some clients will forget to implement the invocation, thus effectively introducing a resource leak in an environment that supposedly banishes resource leaks.

    All this is not to say that I think GC is a bad thing. Indeed, I think it is generally a good thing. It’s just that, like everything else, it’s not perfect. It may be that MC++ represents the best of both worlds, but I haven’t gotten around to use it yet.

  15. Eric Lippert says:

    > can’t Microsoft afford to buy a tripod for the camera? Got kinda dizzy from the cinema verite style

    I was the first interview, and Scoble was still trying out some experiments to get the hang of it. You’ll see that in some of the other interviews, the camera work is even goofier! In later ones he did end up using a tripod.

  16. Eric Lippert says:

    Scoble explains why they chose windows media:


    It’s true — we’re a bunch of cheapskates. 🙂

  17. Yes, it has happened again . This time, our fabulous C# Community Program Manager Charlie Calvert was

  18. Patrtick says:

    This link to the video is broken.

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