Random Updates for December 2006

Bill Gates - Last month Bill Gates came down and visited our campus. I was sitting pretty much in the front row as he talked about the company’s direction. What I found more interesting though is how he describes his work on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its goal to eradicate human diseases. He applies a Microsoft-business-like mentality to the philanthropic world by attracting the world’s brightest scientists and providing them with the tools and finances that they need to achieve their goals. I always had a deep admiration for Bill Gates and Microsoft since high school, but his decision to leave Microsoft and spend his full-time life on the foundation starting July 2008 leaves me with awe. He says that “with great fortune, comes great responsibility”. Seriously, Bill is the new Spiderman.

School – So I finished my first semester at Carnegie Mellon West last Friday. While it was very time-consuming, as I find myself doing school work in my office, on flights, waiting in airports and even when I am “on vacation” in OC or New York, it wasn’t all too difficult. I attribute this to being part of an excellent and high-performing team and that the first semester was an intro course to what is yet to come over the next five semesters. The harder part of my first semester was actually to balance school, work and personal life. Programming C# at work all day with hard deadlines, only to come home to work in Java all night with hard deadlines and trying to squeeze in time to fly to New York or Redmond or practice piano in between leaves my schedule of 15-minute granularity filled up to the gazoo. Where do I only find the time to shave my cats?!

Vacation projects – So what’s Minh doing over his Christmas vacation? Well, for one, a complete revamp of the Journey from the Fall website is due by year’s end. Fortunately, I’ll be given a design by the art director over at ImaginAsian, so I only need to code and implement it, but I am looking forward to developing my first real ASP.NET 2.0 application. However, the more interesting and exciting project this vacation is a simple WPF-based computer puzzle that I started developing the day before yesterday. This was more a personal project for me as I wanted to get my hands dirty with the 3D aspects of XAML, but after having completed a playable prototype today, I realize that this can actually be a cool casual game, so I might make it available in January 2007. I don’t want to reveal too much, other that this is a mathematical puzzle. So Dark the Con of Minh.

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