I'm speaking at the brand new Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre tomorrow


The Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre in Vancouver¹ opened less than two months ago. It still has the new-building smell. And I'll be speaking there tomorrow at 11am. This will be a more relaxed version of the five-minute talk on blogging I gave at TechReady² a few weeks ago. So instead of five minutes of intense panic, it'll be an hour of relaxed panic.

The talk is only for Microsoft employees, so basically this message is useful only to the few hundred Microsoft employees who work in the Vancouver area. But this is another case of "How do you get Raymond to speak at your conference? You invite him." We have a family event in Vancouver this weekend, and the MCEC folks took advantage of my presence in their fair city to book a talk while I happened to be in town. Saves them the travel expenses.

For the Q&A, I'm asking people to bring a question that I can answer in one minute, so I can reuse it on One Dev Minute. If you want to pretend you're attending my talk, you can ask an answerable-in-one-minute question in the comments below. After all, if I don't have any questions to answer, then there won't be any more videos.

¹ Vancouver, British Columbia, to be precise. Normally, one needs to be careful, because there is also Vancouver, Washington, which is about five an a half hours' drive (and a border crossing) away from Vancouver, British Columbia. On the other hand, the fact that it's the Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre should be a tip-off that it's in, y'know, Canada.

² TechReady is a Microsoft internal conference that takes place in Seattle around twice a year. My colleague Chris Jackson occasionally asks me to give a presentation there, and occasionally I agree.

Comments (17)
  1. Jack B Nimble says:

    One Minute Question - Why is it when you select multiple files in explorer (using shift or control), such as from OpenFileDialog, or for playing mp3s, it will place the last file selected first, and then place the remaining files in their original selected order? Why isn't my first file choice in first place?

    1. Adam says:

      Because the "last" file in the list (the final file you click on) has the focus -- you may notice the dotted-outline focus rectangle, depending on the Windows version and theme.

      The focussed file always seems to get "first position" in the list, then the remainder of the list is in normal sort order.

      I have a habit of selecting blocks of files from end-to-start for just this reason. Doing it backwards means the first file gets the focus and the launched program gets everything in the order I intend.

    2. cv says:

      The user selection doesn't matter. Instead it should follow the order established by the user from Windows Explorer.
      The principle should be the same as for selection and copy and paste. If you select a sentence of English text in the opposite order as you read it and then paste it, you will see the original sentence as you expect it. I assume it works for right-to-left writing scripts as well (but in the opposite direction for western writing script).

  2. Joshua Ganes says:

    Enjoy your visit to Vancouver. I'm disappointed that your talk isn't open to outsiders like me. I guess I'll have to wave in your general direction tomorrow. Happy border crossing!

  3. Entegy says:

    Once in a while, scrolling over to the west coast, I have been momentarily confused seeing Vancouver, WA, only to realize I'm a bit too far south on the map for Vancouver, BC as the map loads. They shouldn't be so close! :P

    1. And then there's Vancouver Island, which is neither Vancouver, BC nor Vancouver, WA. *shakes fist at George Vancouver for naming too many things after himself in one geographic area*.

      1. Kirk says:

        And don't even dare visit Mount Vancouver -- you'll either end up in Alaska or New Zealand!

      2. TimothyB says:

        Now you are making me think of having tea at the Butchart Gardens.
        (on Vancouver Island)
        *at least George Washington made it to the West Coast to name a state after himself, to keep it distinct fro his city*
        Good luck with your talk - can I invite you to Southern California? (Or rather, would I get an affirmative response if I did?)

  4. ToddLa says:

    How does Microsoft show its excelence - leaking private key to secure boot system. How does Canada show its excelence - Poutine!
    Sounds like I great talk! I wish I could go, kill the room Raymond! ...and have some Poutine!

    1. Entegy says:

      The key wasn't leaked, a dev policy was.

  5. The_Assimilator says:

    "So instead of five minutes of intense panic, it'll be an hour of relaxed panic."

    You say that like the latter is preferable to the former... I prefer to get my panicking over and done with as quickly as possible, thank you very much.

  6. guest says:

    To be fair, this message is also useful for people in Redmond who can take a vacation day and do a couple of hours of driving just to attend your talk.

  7. Ray Koopa says:

    I'm really bad at one minute questions - or questions in general. But I recently looked closer at the "Marlett" font in comparison to the classic Windows theme (the one since 95, without all the visual style stuffs). It looks like there are characters in Marlett which map to the 3D border parts of caption buttons, each for one darker / lighter color of the 3D effect. Is it true the classic captions buttons were composed just out of drawing characters taken from "Marlett" rather than drawing a custom 3D rectangle?

  8. When I was in Portland earlier this summer, a local there told me about a family he met once. That family had googled for "closest airport to Vancouver", and ended up flying into Portland, which is in fact the closest airport to Vancouver, WA. They were dismayed to learn they had a 5.5-hour drive to where they actually wanted to go to.

    It's worth doing more than 3 seconds worth of research into which airport you want to fly into when you're travelling somewhere.

    1. Bob says:

      A few years ago, I reserved flights for my family to southern California and to save money we flew into Ontario International Airport. I verified multiple times that the Ontario, CA address was CA=California and not CA=Canada. Much longer than a 5 hr drive.

  9. fayyaz says:

    It was great to have you in Vancouver Raymond. I didn't believe it first you were coming in person. It was a mesmerizing experience to meet in person the guy whose posts you have read over the years. Just so you know, i have been reading your posts off and on since college and i have been in industry for over 10 years and now almost a year at Microsoft Vancouver.

  10. ¹ The spelling "centre" is an addtional hint about which Vancouver you mean. :) Also, based on the few Washington residents that I know, saying "Vancouver" means Vancouver, WA by default.

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