I spend a miserable morning working with Microsoft Sharepoint. A “smart quote” in a code sample from a KB article really chocolate-flavored my morning. Flavored it so much that I just had to send a profanity laced (virtually every sentence), but informative email to the MSDN keepers.
The funny thing about MS though is that interestingly enough they read and reply to feedback rather quickly. Just watch this: there will be a reply in my comments from Scoble in a day or two. Apple, Google, as well as the company where I work don’t really dedicate many people to answering customer complaints. Especially publicly. Yep, MS is funny that way – they even have real, live people looking at those crash error reports. And I hear that the suggestions and general emails get read and answered quicker than one might expect.
There’s even a link to “Request a Microsoft Executive to speak at events and functions” (notice capitalization), but sadly it does not work in Firefox. Too bad – I was gonna request that Ballmer give me and my co-workers a “Developers! Developers! Developers!” pep talk over lunch tomorrow.
Actually, here’s a little known fact for ya – if you write to One Microsoft Way and ask for Gates’ or Ballmer’s autograph, they’ll send you an Autopen-signed photo. I obtained Gates’ photo like this once, but I used it up as a birthday card for a Microsoft-loathing friend. I wonder if this trick will work on distinguished engineers past and present. I’d totally want Dave Cutler’s autograph.
In the evening I decided to go and replace my phone featured in this quaint still life from my cube’s desk. I mostly use the slide rule for pointing at the screen, poking my co-workers who having agreed to go out to lunch insist on sending one more email and drawing straight lines. I even learned how to do simple multiplication on it.
Being one of those people who insist on getting burned on new technology and then feeling resentful (thank you, Acer for making your first Tablet PC with a 256 meg ram limit and you, Microsoft developers, for using memory-hungry Win XP for the tablet’s OS) I finally decided that maybe it’s a good time to forgive Handspring for the disappointment that was the original Visor Phone. Oh, that stupid thing. It only worked when I didn’t need it and crashed whenever I did. Bulky, ugly, nasty thing. After one more crash/memory loss I sold off my Treo and my Visor phone and started using a different kind of PDA. I just shudder when I remember how Jeff Hawkins arrogantly told everyone that handheld users should mould themselves into using stupid graffiti script instead of giving us good thumb keyboards like smart people at RIM.
Well, I thought I’d get a Treo 650. I need something to type in on the train. The keyboard is not very comfortable compared to Blackberry or Danger (which design I like a lot more). But once again it’s the choice of better design vs an OS which is easier to develop for. Sadly I choose the latter way too frequently.
Also, in New York you can either pick a cellphone company that has better prices, phones and customer service or you can pick one that has good reception. Yes, everything about Verizon sucks. But they have so many damn tower that even though you get shafted on everything else, at least you get a phone that works better than others. You can actually send or receive a call in most places, even in some shallow subway stations.
Unfortunately it turned out that they want $25 extra per month for 10 megs of data, and in conjunction with a 2 year contract and $400 phone this just did not look like a good deal to me, so I passed. I guess I a destined to live with a bricky ol’ phone that is only good for making phone calls. Sadly it looks like to get better PDA features cheaper I’d need to sacrifice Verizon’s good reception.
Then I spent 3 hours this evening cleaning out spyware from a friend’s computer. I failed miserably – Adaware, Microsoft Antispyware Tool and Search & Destroy could not clean out all the crap even on multiple passes. Looks like I’ll have to reinstall.