Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Sunday, May 11, 2003

Dr. GUI: "what's this blog about?"

Um, let me guess, GUI stuff?

One guy who works at Microsoft told me that HR is now telling people not to ask so many puzzle questions during interviews. So, who knows? Don Box gave me the best advice: "think."

James Avery is in town. Dude! Call me up. I'm wifeless. Sonless. Lonely in Redmond. Looking to discover the town with other geeks. Plus, I'm trying to learn C# and could use hanging around a few .NET geeks.

My friend Christopher says that 888 is the "Jesus" bus. Here's the alphabetics behind that.

Someone told me not to get into any campus bus with the number "888" on it. Turns out that execs have their own bus. And their building is one of the only ones my badge won't get me into. You mean Steve Ballmer doesn't want me dropping by to invite him out for lunch? Darn.

I spent the afternoon at the Borders bookstore in Redmond. There I sat and read most of "How Would You Move Mount Fuji," a book by William Poundstone. There I see Chris Sells and Adam Barr were quoted (and a few other folks that I recognize).

By the way, the author is speaking at the Redmond Borders on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. I watched five people buy the book and all looked like Microsoft employees to me.

My interview tips? Read the book. It explains why they ask weird questions. Funny enough, I didn't get any of the puzzle questions. I got more questions about my past experience and role playing questions.

Other tips? I gave my phone interview by phone from NEC's parking lot. I think better standing up. Tip? Be comfortable and in your element.

When I got to Redmond, I took a walk around the town the night before and had a single shot of whiskey. It helped me calm down a bit and relax and enjoy the evening (and helped me get to sleep rather than having nightmares about whether or not I was gonna get a weird question that I couldn't answer).

The morning of the interviews I got up real early and was on campus at 7 a.m. (my interviews were at 8 a.m.). I took a walk around campus. The exercise helped me get ready for the day mentally, and I got to get a feel for the campus and I met a few people waiting outside for the building to open.

One tip I'd have that the book gave too. EVERY ONE YOU MEET is an interview. I acted like I was being interviewed every second of the day I was up there. Including when I was being shuttled around (they have special recruiter shuttles that take you from interview to interview). The drivers of the shuttle were pretty cool and helped me relax a bit. I asked them "can you tell whether or not an interview is going well?" They said they could. Particularly if they didn't get called back after lunch.

Oh, and I brought my own water bottle. Why? Because it looks more prepared and it makes it seem like you aren't eager to live off of Microsoft's largess. I also ate a hamburger at lunch for the same reason. Oh, and I tipped our limo driver well.

Ole Eichhorn: "Google and Blogs."

DataGrid Girl is upset at my Google news (which, really is due to Orlowski over at the Register). Well, it's not that bad. They might separate us into a separate part of the bus (er, give us our own tab). If they decide to pull webloggers out of the main search engine, I think the devil will certainly be in the details. I'm not losing any sleep over it. At least not until something official comes out.

Oh, this computer sure is sexy! (Japanese site, look at photos)

ArsTechnica: "The general concensus among users is that Google's quality of service has reduced significantly over time."

My comment? Who the hell did that market research? Oh, I see, one poster over on Slashdot can tell you how most web searchers feel. I've been using Google dozens of times per day and Google has been getting better lately, not worse.

It seems to me that folks with "power" are ganging up on Google.

I don't care if I'm removed from Google, to tell the truth. Google's high ranking is overrated anyway. I'm looking at my traffic today, and yeah, a good portion of it is from Google, but then I have a Google rank of seven and have been writing for three years now. Should I be removed from Google? Ah, what the heck.

So, if I'm experiencing a "boost" in traffic from Google, then I sure am not seeing it. If Google changes their algorithm to keep webloggers out, then fine with me. Google has to step carefully, though. What happens if Dave Winer's sites get removed from searches on SOAP? What happens if Dan Gillmor's weblog gets removed from searches for "Mercury News Technology Writer"? What happens if Mitch Kapor gets removed from searches for "chandler open source."

Yes, there are a lot of inane weblogs (here's a randomly-picked example from 99.9% of mine is inane. But, .1% is good, high-quality content that folks will want to find. Remove that, and you'll do a huge disservice to Google's searchers.

Pop quiz time: which .1% of weblogs are the good stuff?

Scot Gellock tells us that we missed a hell of a good Apple store opening up here yesterday in Seattle-land. Dang, shoulda gone.

David Davies: "If Google creates a tab specifically for weblogs then that will propel weblogs from a relatively small-scale specialist activity into something of global relevance, in your face every time you do a Google search."

I totally agree.

My favorite quote from the article in Forbes? "The debugging software initially found 200 mistakes in itself."

By the way, folks have told me I'm already in Microsoft's directory and that my email is My cell phone is still 408-314-8233 and I still am at too (and will keep my instant messaging address the same). Think that's brave? Hey, I memorized Steve Wozniak's cell phone 10 years ago and still remember it. Yes, you too can find that on Google as well. Yes, we both answer our cell phones. Yes, we'll both talk with you. Yes, even you Don Box! :-)

To celebrate my last day of being a non-employee, I'm gonna go and take a walk down the Sammamish River and visit Victors in downtown Redmond. Heck, it's sunny too. Am I really in Redmond?

Sean Alexander comes through again with a hillarious video of some kid playing Star Wars. Dang, you all should see my son playing Lord of the Rings.

Thanks to Steve Makofsky, I have a rundown of all the good places to eat in Redmond, fun things to see, and, of course, detail on the coffee choices I have. Matt Carter sent along this advice: four Mountain Dews in a day isn't good (Microsoft provides its employees with free soft drinks).

OK, plans for seeing the Matrix are firmed up. We'll be seeing it at 11:15 p.m. on Saturday evening in Seattle. Anita has the details here.

If you're in Silicon Valley, Tantek has a similar viewing planned for Wednesday.

I see that PeopleSoft is moving to supporting Linux. Ahh, I see that I'll have a lot of work to do at Microsoft.

Random Seattle observations: My son Patrick notes that people in Seattle area seem friendlier. My mother-in-law noticed something completely different: that the ethnic make up in the Seattle area is much whiter.

I noticed that folks drive a lot slower here, which confirms Don Box's observations. I gotta slow down before I get a ticket.

In Everett, I noticed a lot of signs welcoming the Abraham Lincoln's sailors into port (that's the aircraft carrier that George Bush landed on and it's based in Everett).

I'm gonna try Trepia at NEO on Monday.

Trepia is an app that shows you who else is close to you on a wireless network. NEO stands for "New Employee Orientation" at Microsoft.

Another Microsoft weblogger pings in. This time it's Nikhil Kothari, who my friend Lawrence Oluyede tells me is the "master of all the masters" in the ASP.NET team.

Marc Canter has thrown a bunch of stuff our way in the past few days. Ahh, now I see that he has given you all a look at what he showed me in private a few weeks ago. Outliners in your web browser? Dang cool!

Mark Pilgrim's new puzzle is maddening. But, he should commercialize this and sell it as a poster in the Microsoft company store. I'm sure he'd sell a few hundred, at least. It'd be just as cool as a Boeing 747 poster and it'd be a lot better than those stupid 3D posters I used to see in some offices (you know the ones where you're supposed to squint and see an object hidden in a field of noise).

I've gotta say, Chris Sells weblog is a lot more interesting since he got hired by Microsoft.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 2:28:45 AM.