Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Wednesday, July 30, 2003

I love the name of the tool that Clemens Vasters is working on: Das Blog.

Dana Blankenhorn: "Linux has already won."

Dave Pollard: "Secrets of Breakout Blogs."

Adam Bosworth is weblogging. Another software legend joins the fun. When will Alan Cooper join the fun?

Luke released a new version of Sharp Reader the other day. Keeps getting nicer!

Someone just asked me "how can I make an RSS feed in FrontPage?"

I don't know how to do that. Anyone else know?

The Wall Street Journal talks about the death of trends. Heh. I don't set trends, I just point at them.

Anyone wonder why Tablet PC sales are dropping? Look at Christopher Coulter's list. At top, it says "Centrinos coming from..."

Consumers aren't stupid. They know that there's something new coming from a raft of different companies and instead of buying what's currently on the shelf, they'll just wait.

This is EXACTLY why Apple is so secretive about its future product plans.

You know, Chris Sells weblog is turning into one of my favorites. He points at cool stuff. Oh, I see on his weblog that yesterday we announced what the future of Visual Studio will be, along with other things of interest to developers.

I also see that Chris met my boss and filmed a future version of the .NET show and that Microsoft just made the VSIP program free of charge. Awesome.

Quick, name a person (who doesn't work at Microsoft) who has done the most to change Microsoft's culture and development practices lately.

I come up with one name: Alan Cooper.

Why do I say that? In many buildings I've visted lately, I see personas posted on the entry halls. Pictures and bios of real (and sometimes fictional) customers. Who was the first person I saw talking about using personas to develop software? Alan Cooper.

Quick, look at Outlook and what is one feature that isn't there today that every app in 1990 assumed users needed.

A save button.

Who was the first to tell the world to get rid of save commands? Alan Cooper (I remember when he first started saying that, too. He was widely derided as a lunatic).

Quick, look at Visual Studio. Do you know who came up with the toolbar along the left side that could have things added into it? Alan Cooper.

These are things that Alan Cooper pushed long ago. These are things that we almost take for granted now.

That said, Chris Sells is one lucky mofo. He got a flying lesson from Alan Cooper and he has a killer video from Alan's son (with help from dad).

I gotta say, there aren't many people I'd rather hang out with for a day than Alan Cooper. His outlook on life, and his uncanny ability to find a simpler way to design things, has always inspired me. Not to mention his unbounded joy of talking about software.

But, Chris Sells, I got one to make you jealous. I had sushi with Jeff Prosise tonight. The founder of Wintellect, and the nicest software developer you'll ever meet.

We have had a deal for years that whenever we're in the same town together, we'll go out for sushi together (our wives hate the stuff, and we love it).

Anyway, Jeff told me one thing you might all appreciate. Turns out Jeff writes all his code in C#, but some of his speaking clients want him to also give VB code to them.

So, what he does is write in C#, but then he uses Lutz Roeder's Reflector app What does that do? Takes the Intermediate Langugage (IL) that .NET produces and turns it back into whatever language he chooses. Jeff says this works very well. So, he has a nice little language translator built into .NET.

A must read for the Tablet PC team members: Peter Rysavy tells us how to make the Tablet PC a winner in the marketplace.

As for NEC, is it any wonder their sales are dropping? I was evangelizing their Tablet in all the Tablet PC forums. When I left NEC, no one kept doing that. Visibility in underground networks DOES increase sales.

Of course, the fact that everyone is waiting for Centrino-based Tablets is hurting them too. I've had several people ask me lately "when are the Centrinos coming from NEC or Toshiba or Compaq?" Seems most people don't trust Acer or NEC as brand names either. Trust is hard to earn. You have to have best-of-breed product consistently (and/or world-class service and marketing) to earn trust in the marketplace. Not to mention people need to hear from you consistently. Translation, marketing dollars. OEMs don't have that, especially for low-number-selling products.

Also, factor in that most of the NEC salespeople didn't have NEC Tablets to use for themselves for several months after they were released. In fact, I never had my own NEC Tablet. So, how are you supposed to evangelize something you don't even own?

G. Andrew Duthie and Roy Osherove are talking about feeling like an imposter. I totally feel like that every day. That someone will figure out that I don't deserve to have 18 readers. It's worse when you work with really smart people. Last night I had dinner with a software legend -- Jeff Prosise -- (my words, not his) and he says "I feel stupid around some of the people here."

If Jeff Prosise feels stupid sometimes (he's written a few of the best selling books on Windows internals) then I really feel stupid stupid stupid.

But, I usually get over those feelings and click the post button anyway. Heh.

Juval Lowy is on .NET Rocks again. Thanks to Jesse Ezell for the reminder.

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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; 2:49:56 AM.