Monthly Archives: January 2009

Recent books — Masters of Atlantis, The Systems Bible, Measuring the World

* “Masters of Atlantis”:amazon by Charles Portis. Kept me engaged, but a lot of comic farce without a deeper meaning, and so ultimately forgettable.
* “The Systems Bible”:amazon by John Gall. Recommended by a very smart guy, this is a great book on the foibles of designing and using large-scale systems, whether they be software, organizational, government, or whatever. Great book, wish I had read at age 25.
* “Measuring the World”:amazon by Daniel Kehlmann. Two brilliant scientists struggle to make sense of the world and their lives, but never really figure out how to make human connections despite the efforts of so many around them. Very satisfying exploration of life’s meaning.

Microsoft Service Week — Part 2

Spent part of yesterday being deposed on a matter that I can’t talk about which happened during my tenure at MSFT. Hard to imagine that these issues are still dragging on, my remembrance of the events 10+ years in the past is pretty poor. It was kind of humorous to be reminded of issues that we fought like cats and dogs about — in retrospect none of them amounted to a hill of beans.

Microsoft Service Week — Part 1

Doing my part to help Microsoft avoid more layoffs this week. Firstly, been working thru zune error code C00D12F5 – Google Search. Some DRM config problem and all the published KB articles and forum pointers failed. Finally contacted the Zune guys directly and they were super helpful, even took my machine into their labs for a while. Turns out that somehow I had mismatched DRM components, they aren’t sure why, but forcing them all to the same version worked. Hopefully they will write up a KB article on. Zune guys were great to work with, here’s hoping they have future success.

Recent books — Misquoting Jesus, A Voyage Long and Strange, Rising Sun Victorious

* “Misquoting Jesus”:amazon by Bart D. Ehrman. Initially engaging, a bit too long at times, but overall very good discussion of the history of the Bible. Gives a nice overview of the field of textual criticism — using history, language skills, psychology, and physical document analysis to determine how a document has morphed over the years.
* “A Voyage Long and Strange”:amazon by Tony Horwitz. Couldn’t make it thru. The stories of all the early discoverers of North America seems like something I would like, but the book just couldn’t hold me. The people they were and the world they explored are so distant from the modern day, not just in time. I could never find any relevance.
* “Rising Sun Victorious”:amazon edited by Peter G. Tsouras. Military historians look at ways that Japan might have won (or at least fought to a draw) the Pacific war in WWII. Interesting, a lot of missed opportunities, well thought out scenarios.

Recent Books — Ahead of the Curve, The Star Fraction

* “Ahead of the Curve”:amazon by Philip Delves Broughton. An insider’s look at the Harvard Business School. The author tries to be balanced but the portrait is not flattering, a grotesquerie of ambition and ego and entitlement.
* “The Star Fraction”:amazon by Ken MacLeod. Ultra-Balkanized über-libertarian future England in the throes of revolution. A lot of smart ideas but didn’t think it really led anywhere.

Back from the Fiesta Bowl

The 4th quarter was epic. Entered the quarter feeling terrible after the miserable offensive output in the 3rd, but then rose to a high with just 2 minutes left in the game as OSU went ahead, and then thought we closed out Texas once or twice on the final drive, and then a crashing low when they scored.
Our failure to capitalize on our first half offensive success killed us, and our inability to sustain an offensive possession in the 3rd killed us again. The defense did an admirable job.
We sat in a predominantly Texas section and the fans were all super nice. The facility is nice, tho lacks the setting and the noise level of Sun Devil Stadium.
There were many empty seats on the Texas side and many more on the OSU side. It was an announced sellout but…]
Next year…