Don’t let Marketing mess with your slides

It's PDC season, so I thought I'd relate an anecdote about a conference from many years ago.

I forget which conference it was, maybe GCDC 1996, we were all busy preparing our presentations and submitted them to the Microsoft conference representatives so they could apply the standard template, clean them up, print out copies to go into the handouts, all that stuff.

What about that "clean them up" step?

We didn't realize what "clean them up" meant until we showed up at the conference and looked at the handouts.

Part of "cleaning up" was inserting "®" and "™" symbols as necessary. Which meant that they also took every occurrence of the abbreviation "VB" and changed it to "Microsoft Visual Basic®". They even did this to the presentation on vertex buffers. The abbreviation for vertex buffers is also "VB".

You can imagine what this did to the presentation on vertex buffers.

Comments (5)
  1. Pete Vidler says:

    So are you saying that Marketing couldn’t work out that the topic wasn’t actually visual basic? Or that they used an automated process without checking it? Either way that’s pretty dumb (just the sort of thing I’d probably do :) ).

  2. Peter Torr says:

    More subtle problems make you look stupid, too — like when you have a slide deck with some source code on it in a language that is case sensitive (eg, JScript) and they’ve helpfully "corrected" all occurences of ‘function’ with ‘Function’. Or when they use the "Smart Quotes" in Office to make the code impossible to copy-and-paste into VS.

    Oh and they also break your custom animation slides. And you can’t see the text on the bottom-right corner of the slide because of that annoying logo they just HAD to put there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of that recent Microsoft advert in some magazine or other (DDJ??) where there are typos in the code (webServce instead of webService or something). Someone at MS has gone to lots of trouble to develop intellisense ….

    I did mean to mention it on the feedback site or something but I doubt anyone ever reads it.

  4. Treekiller says:

    In the documentation I write I manually go back and correct any smart quotes that appear in code fragments specifically because many (most?) users just cut&paste them straight into their own programs. Since the API is multilingual, I have to be very careful to get the formatting just right for each language (e.g. use of VB line-continuation characters, etc etc).

  5. A few years ago,

    I told a story of how Marketing messed up a bunch of PDC slides
    by "helpfully" expanding…

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