Werner Vogels is at Microsoft this week, along with a bunch of academic types. Can't wait to meet him.
OK, I can die now with a smile on my face.
Yesterday I attended Mark Eppley's famous S.P.A.M. Jam at his Snohomish home. Eppley is the CEO of Laplink. Here's an interview with Eppley on CNET that covers what's cool about Eppley and his Jams.
Imagine someplace off in the forests about an hour from Seattle. Off in the middle of nowhere. "It's an intelligence test, if you find this place, you're smart enough to attend," Eppley told me yesterday. Boy, is he right.
Once you're there, you find a geek's paradise. I swear, if heaven is anything like this, I'll sign up for any religion that shows me a way to get there.
First off, the scenery. Imagine your favorite camping trip from when you were a kid. It probably involved someplace with huge trees, a lawn, lots of picnic food, a lake, watertoys (how about a huge waterslide and Jet Skis, etc), and on the lawn is a killer band. Some band you've never heard of. But, you know you will soon.
And that's Eppley's shtick. He invites bands to his little slice of geek paradise to jam out for the day. These bands, though, were hand-picked. Previous years saw Smash Mouth play here before anyone knew who they were.
This year Eppley had something new up his sleeve. A CD burner. He recorded each act, and then 20 minutes later started handing out CDs of what we had just heard.
I'll never view concerts the same way again. Imagine attending a concert of KISS, and then paying $40 for a set of CDs of what you just heard.
Oh, yeah, there were other geek toys. I had to leave, but a friend of Mark's takes pictures for Reuters and he was showing off his Canon digital cameras. They had a projection TV for playing video games.
I took some pics, will try to get some online tomorrow. It's not often you can take pictures of bands from five feet away. I've never been inside of a rock band during a concert before, and it's an experience that I'm glad I had.
Thanks to Buzz Bruggeman who introduced me to Mark. Funny, I keep ending up at cool parties with Paul Andrews, journalist at the Seattle Times (we attended Steve Wozniak's Super Bowl party three years ago together).
Here's the bands that played. Very different musical styles, but all good. The difference between these bands and "bands you know" is just a tiny bit. Maybe a voice that needs to be just a tiny bit more in tune. Maybe it's just luck. Needs to be discovered. Well, I'm happy to send some Google Juice to them. They are all deserving of that.
Randy Holloway is pinging me about Longhorn's schedule and scope. My answer? Randy, I'm just gonna let Bill Gates' quotes stand. Refactoring executives' quotes is dangerous. Particularly when they use the word "scary." That word alone is scary.
I'm thinking of writing a weblog about why Microsoft changes course so often, though (and worse of all in public). There's a lot of reasons for that. This stuff is software. Developing software, especially when it's on a scale with thousands of employees involved, is a very messy process.
One thing I've learned about software: don't believe claims (ours, or anyone else's) until you have the software in your hands running on your own machine. Until then, the course can, and probably will, change.
Sarah Adams has an interesting weblog on software design.
Brent Simmons: "The analog world is made up of atoms of poetry. The digital world is made up of bits."
Of course, nothing compares to the real world. Believe me, I can not describe the physical beauty I experienced this weekend in ASCII. Not gonna happen. Either you were on the Ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge today, or you weren't. No IMAX movie (that's analog, by the way) is gonna do it justice.
Damn, I wasn't at Gnomedex and Tim O'Reilly talked about me.
Dare Obasanjo: "Like Joel, I personally dislike the B0rg approach of hyping products several years before they ship [as exemplified by folks like Scoble]."
Wait a second, there's a big difference between telling someone "the PDC is gonna be a big deal cause our next OS is gonna be a big deal" and leaking some feature list or screen captures. Have you seen me talk about a single feature in Longhorn yet? Show a single screen capture? No.
Oh, and .NET was released to the first external developers in December of 1999. It was released to developers publicly in June of 2000. Virtually nothing leaked out in those six months. Certainly nothing of import.
Also, even though Longhorn isn't a secret anymore, what it does and what it looks like certainly is a secret.
As I said in my article about secrets, there are a lot of conflicting forces to consider when talking about unreleased products.
Oh, yes, I do appreciate Joel Spolsky's rules as well, but having a small company with a handful or two of employees is one thing. Having something that thousands of people are working on is a whole nother.
But, my own rule is as unambiguous: I don't talk about anything Microsoft does without reading an executive talk about it first.
Good theory. I sleep eight hours. Usually.
Joi Ito: "I'm bad at keeping secrets."
Actually, I don't believe that for one second. Any VC that can't keep secrets won't get any deals or trusted by anyone. Here's a hint: Joi's someone I trust a great deal.