Yikes, I’ve been slashdotted!

While I was at the University of Waterloo (I'm an alumnus) I gave a talk to the Computer Science Club.  The video has found it's way to slashdot and it seems not so embarassing that I can refer you to it.  Though I have asked about getting it hosted on Channel9 here as well so that we don't melt down the poor csclubs media server.

The article is here (it includes a link to the media)


I thought I'd respond to some of the comments I found most interesting here on my blog.  Call me crazy but it seems safer than visiting slashdot personally 🙂

bgog writes:
Good talk but man that guy is whiney. He sound's like my four-year-old.

I was trying to be animated, entertaining, and candid.  Whining indeed 🙂  Marcia Marcia Marcia... or should I say Apple Apple Apple 🙂 🙂 🙂


Ahem, next.


Tony writes:

...people at Microsoft tend to do what Gates tells 'em.

All good things come to an end 🙂


Onan and Anonymous contribute the funniest comment IMHO


This guy was cutting code when a good proportion of Slashdotters were still crapping in diapers or watching Saturday morning cartoons.


What do you mean were?


Demongeek writes:

I'm not a psychologist, but surely 18 years in a single organization is going to brainwash you to some limited extent.

I am Rico of Borg.  🙂

But seriously, I think my talk was more balanced than that.

Kjart writes:

Actually, so far he seems to have a relatively objective perspective. Obviously he likes Microsoft (he does work there) but his perspective on OSS is interesting  (somewhat paraphrasing):


[this is nearly verbatim from the video] "I like open source..I'm a great fan of Stallman's....I think open source has definitely a place in the world and that linux has a place in the world and I hope linux continues to do a great job, and do you know why? Because to the extent that Linux does a great job it forces my guys to do a great job."

Thank you!

Killjoe writes:

What about the other commercial vendors though? Don't they force "your guys" to do a great job?

Yes they do, but at the moment I was talking about OSS at that part of the talk so I focused there.  I didn't mean for my remarks about OSS helping to drive excellence to exclude commericial companies doing the same.  In fact I gave many examples of exactly that in other places in the talk.

Chriranjana writes:

Bill has to love him ! Wow 18 years in a single organization ! Good for him

I've seen Bill many times and not once has he ever said "I love you".  Thank goodness 🙂 🙂

Anonymous Coward writes:

[In 96-99] the active CSC members were perhaps the most looked down upon people in the entire Math and Computers building. They epitomized everything negative about being a CS geek.

The club changes a lot from year to year, class to class. I don't think you would have found me, a former president of the club, to be especially smelly had you known me in college.  As I recall none of the exec had any trouble getting lovely dates for the grad ball in those days.  YMMV.

ConfusedVorlon writes:


Interesting to me to hear his rant about the fact that customers were more impressed by his 'easy-to-build data tips tool', than they were by his friends 'very-hard-to-build better call stack display tool'.

I didn't mean it to come across as a rant, I'm sorry if it did.  I only meant to offer it as an illustration of how the most valued/valuable features are often not the most expensive to build.  Certainly the customers were not "wrong" to value them as they did.  I don't think it's weird at all, but I do think it's ironic.  Still, it is as it should be.

DavidAla writes:

To me, he seems like a perfect example of a really smart person who doesn't understand that software is judged by how much easier it makes the user's life, not by how impressive the work is to his geek friends.

On the contrary I think I make clear that I know this very well indeed.  I believe this was all in the context of illustrating the Kano model where some features have a high expectation and low ability to delight and other areas have little expectation.  I thought it was a good notion to impart on the club members.


I'll see if I can get the video somewhere more reliable... I saw the .wmv which was heavily compressed, good audio though.  Hope you enjoy it.


Comments (7)

  1. jsb says:

    I liked this comment:

    Re:18 Years? Wow…

    (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * Friend of a Friend on 2006-06-20 6:28 (#15568515)


    My guys. My friends. My paisans. They’re very smart guys. Wise, even. You could call them my wiseguys.

    Now, Don Stallman, he’s a very smart guy too. And you know, me and my guys, we got respect for him and his guys. Cause you gotta have respect.

  2. Alois Kraus says:

    Hi Rico,

    nice video. The next time I see a page fault I know what to say ;-).

  3. Thomas says:

    Slap that wrist! Slap that wrist right now!

    Seriously though, arrows look much better on my diagrams than long lists of stuff. Screw good design is what I say.

    Also, the app running 30 seconds compared to 1 second makes it seem more important.

  4. blood-shot says:

    nice video and to see the faces behind VS … but I wish ppl had asked more relevant Questions :)…it would have been nice to know more, abt the war stories related to developing products and performance rather then discussing about oss vs "the evil empire" …

  5. Thomas says:

    I’m sure if you ask them here Rico will answer 😛

    He always does.

  6. ricom says:

    I do try.  If there’s something you want to hear about let me know and I’ll do my best.  Sometimes I can even get it recorded if it’s long enough to justify such a thing.

  7. Thomas says:

    Personally, I’d love to hear you rant smore of the "good old native C++ days" 🙂

    I still work with C++ primarily – both due to preference and the kind of stuff that I do (games), so hearing a perf guru (whatever that means) ramble on about this environment is always entertaining 🙂

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