Friday, March 31, 2006
"Hey, maybe if he took that office over there, then some of Albert's greatness could rub off on him. Well, that could be insulting. Maybe some of his greatness could rub off Albert. Or maybe once he's over there, the whole test team could get together and they could all rub off each other. That would be quite the sight."
Heroes of Might and Magic V main theme—This has changed dramatically since beta. It used to be instrumental-only and understated. Now it's exciting and has several vocal parts, including a male operatic part, a female operatic part, and a small choir.
Haven faction theme—The Haven is the human castle. This one has changed quite a bit too. It's similar to the new theme song, but one big thing has changed since beta: the lyrics are now in Latin. They used to be English, and they were awful. Avril Lavigne could have written better lyrics while high. (Once upon a time there were heroes, heroes everywhere. Now the time has come to rise again, heroes everywhere... hear our prayer!) Not only are the lyrics no longer in English, but they're also no longer retarded. (This day of tears, when from the ashes arises guilty man to be judged.)
Sylvan faction theme—The Sylvans are the forest elves, and their theme song is very nature-y and a bit jungle-y. There are no vocals, and this is exactly the same as it was during beta.
Academy faction theme—The Academy is the wizard faction, with an Eastern flair. It's got a lovely violin solo. It is also instrumental, and is the most subdued of the four tracks.
If you have any interest in instrumental music, check those out. If I had spent twenty bucks on a CD that had those four tracks and half an hour of silence I'd still be pleased with my purchase. The Heroes series has always had excellent music, and I'm ecstatic that despite the license being bought out by Ubisoft and totally new people working on the fifth installment, they've tracked down the composers from the previous games to do the music.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
1) The box contains the last thing I typed in there with a "2" on the end; that's our default new website name.
2) I want to change the name of the site but still save it on my desktop, so I click after the last \ and drag to the right.
3) But, then I inevitably pull my cursor too far to the top or bottom right at the end of my mouse stroke, and the bug kicks in.
4) And then, I type. If I type "NewSite," I end up with this:
So, that's really annoying, and it wasn't getting fixed, so I finally filed the bug. In the bug, where I describe how to reproduce the problem, I say "this will repro for any instance of REComboBox, but here's how you get to my least favorite text box in the world" and then tell them how to get to SharePoint Designer's New dialog.
The next day, I noticed that the bug was fixed and the fix was already checked in. Great!
Then, today, my manager's manager came into my office and said to me, "would you mind opening up a bug for me?" He then gave me the number, and it was this bug. "Now, do you really think it's appropriate to call something that people worked very hard to develop and test something like that? It sounds like you're saying that it's the worst text box in the world." "Oh, well, no, that's not really what..." "Some people were not happy that you said that. You should probably think more about what you're saying, okay?" I nodded and got ready to respond, and then he left.
I didn't mean that their text box was terrible; I meant that that one bug manifesting itself in that one textbox in all of Office drove me a little nuts. Seeing as someone was clearly upset enough to escalate this to my manager's manager, I figured I should send an apology email to the people on that team who were involved. So, I opened up that bug again, and started a new mail in Outlook, and started to copy and paste peoples' email aliases from that bug. First the developer. Then one of the testers. Hey, wait, I know her! I played Amun-Re with her last night. Then the test manager for the bug. Oh crap. She has the same last name as my manager's manager.
She was indeed kind of upset that someone from her husband's team said something so mean about one of her features. She accepted my apology and explanation.
Then I got a mail from the girl I played games with, who also didn't know until my email that it was I who filed that rude bug.
Then I got a mail from the developer who fixed the bug. "Oh, I didn't even notice you wrote that. If I would have read more closely, I definitely wouldn't have fixed it so fast."
And that's how one little accidentally rude comment in a bug database can insult your manager's manager's wife and the nice girl who you played games with and who brought you dinner on Thursday night.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Even if you don't get nice, instant results like that, your crash report on a Microsoft product ends up as a bug for someone to investigate. And who doesn't want to file bugs on Microsoft developers?
(Watson is the code name for the various reporting mechanisms that Microsoft uses, usually specifically referring to the crash reports.)
Maybe if the world didn't prove itself to be completely unwilling to follow reasonable rules, I wouldn't be so happy to see these people fined. I wouldn't mind it if the already-high ticket fees doubled. But people drive incredibly unsafely and insist that they're perfectly fine and aren't hurting anyone... and that's just disgustingly self-centered. Driving is already dangerous enough as it is. We don't need assholes driving at double the speed limit and ignoring stop signs.
People trying to avoid paying tickets on technicalities disgust me twice as much, because they combine two of my pet peeves into one act. Trying to get a case dismissed on grounds like "oh, the officer forgot to bring calibration reports for his radar gun; clearly I'm innocent" or things like that is just repugnant. I have no respect for people who try to cheat the court system, but it bothers me even more that it actually works.
Now, I'm not in favor of very strict enforcement of traffic laws. Going 65 in a 60 zone shouldn't be cause for ticketing. Maybe not even 70. But people going 95 should have their licenses revoked. I'd perhaps be okay with some rare extenuating circumstance like "my wife is pregnant," but in most cases, I think that a single incident of speeding of that magnitude should be grounds for losing one's license to drive. It annoyed me to no end reading mail threads at work about people who were caught doing 115 on the freeway and were asking which lawyer had the best chances of getting them off on a technicality. These people should have to pay a $1000 fine and lose the right to drive for at least a year. I have no sympathy for them.
What I'm in favor of is the enforcement of laws that are clearly being broken intentionally, like speeding more than 10 miles per hour, or people who drive so far past the correct place to stop at an intersection that they'd still be breaking the law if their front wheels were where their back wheels are. I'm not at all supporting nitpicking, like ticketing for "going 55 in a 54." Just so we're clear on that.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Except I haven't work cologne in a couple months now. I ran out and never replenished my supply.
I need to figure out what I did differently on Thursday and Friday...
I think that next, I'm gonna go back and watch all of Futurama again, as I haven't seen an episode in quite some time now. There's just something so appealing about smart comedy and satire that fits into twenty-two-minute blocks. Four seasons of Futurama should last me through the year at the rate I watch TV.
P: That woman I pointed out earlier from Valve? It's definitely her. She's right behind us. 6:30. Maybe 6:15.
P: Have you seen the artwork on my wall at the office? She drew that.
Me: Oh, cool. How do you know her? Drawing night?
P: Yeah. She hasn't been there in a year, though. I'd go over there and say hi, but she's with a guy, and it turns out that girls think it's creepy when you haven't seen them in a year and you approach them after midnight.
Me: It also turns out that girls think it's creepy when you send a birthday IM to them, but they didn't tell you their birthday, and they also didn't tell you their IM name, and, well, they don't really know who you are to begin with.
P: I spent most of college figuring out those few things that girls don't find creepy.
Me: Hey, I already wear a long, black coat, and I have more than six knives at home. I should get a mask and carry around knives with me wherever I go just like V.
S: You'd need a cool hat.
P's girlfriend: Please don't. It just so happens that girls also find that creepy.
If promises of a great story and cool action scenes can't interest you, I can also promise you an above-average number of lesbian scenes. You know, just in case that tipped the scales.
Friday, March 17, 2006
But, there's one caveat. The code view font is different based on what page encoding you're using. To change the font for UTF-8 pages, you have to select UTF-8 from the list. There's an annoying behavior in FrontPage 2003 and SharePoint Designer 2007 where you can only select Tahoma and Courier New from the list for UTF-8 pages. You can work around this by changing the following registry key:
You should be able to do the same in FrontPage 2003, since the SharePoint Designer settings layout is based on FrontPage 2003:
Anyway, you should try out those fonts for Notepad and Visual Studio too. I use Segoe UI 9pt for all of my coding needs, Calibri 11pt for basic text, and Consolas 9pt when I absolutely need a monospaced font (such as for my favorite merge utility). You have all of those already if you have Office 2007 or Windows Vista. It's also worth noting that Calibri and Consolas aren't optimized for use with ClearType turned off; some of the characters have strange jagged edges in that case.
Segoe UI 9pt
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
If I can control myself.
I'm not sure what the point of the visit was. Only a couple of the people there had any interest at all in working for Microsoft. Not too many mechanical engineers on the Excel team.
Apparently it's correct to have about 1.5 spaces between sentences, and I think that that's sufficient. But, I can't easily type 1.5 spaces. I've read that some typesetting system (probably TeX) does 1.5 spaces by default, whether you actually type one or two, and that would be lovely. I'd love to see Word and Internet Explorer and Firefox and Avalon have options to automatically control how many spaces are shown between sentences.
I enjoy the strange visual anomalies that my polarized sunglasses occasionally produce. On the way to work today I passed a van with a bright, deep purple windshield. I kind of felt like I was James Bond or Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell). My high-tech supergoggles were indicating to me which van contained the terrorists.
I'd hate to be a half season behind (since they will probably continue the weird half-season thing), but it's better than a full season, and the DVDs cost less than 20% of the cost of watching it "live," and I don't even get great SciFi reception.
Once Windows Vista is out and CableCard tuners become really prevalent, I'm sure I'll upgrade to digital cable. Also, there's still the rumor that Arrested Development will return on Showtime. Perhaps one of those will make me reconsider. But for now, I think I'm going to downgrade to the super-cheap $12.50 cable that only includes local channels, and just live with the fact that I'll have to wait a few months to see new episodes of Battlestar Galactica. It hurts, but seems like the logical thing to do.
Maybe it's not really a topic where logic strongly applies.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
6 Lean Cuisine dinners
4 Red Baron Deep Dish mini-pizzas
1 Red Baron breakfast pizza
1 Red Baron supreme pizza
1 Lean Pockets turkey/ham/cheese
1 chicken nuggets
4 jars Ragu
3 boxes penne
8 Hamburger Helper (*1)
2 Tuna Helper
6 boxes Quaker Oat Squares
1 dozen eggs
1 whole wheat bread
5 pounds 93% lean ground beef
3 pounds chicken breasts
3 dozen meatballs (*2)
1 box croutons
4 boxes mashed potatoes
2 boxes au gratin potatoes
1 can Pillsbury reduced fat biscuits
1 can cinnamon rolls
1 package tortillas
3 boxes oatmeal bars
2 boxes Little Debbie snacks (*3)
1 box Ice cream sandwiches
2 bags tortilla chips
1 large box of Goldfish crackers
6 boxes Pepperidge Farm cookies (*4)
2 24-packs Caffine Free Diet Pepsi (*5)
30 bottles Snapple (*6)
2 jugs orange juice
Fruit / vegetables
1 red banana (*7)
3 green bananas
6 cans pears
6 cans corn
4 cups strawberry yogurt
*1: I heart Hamburger Helper. It's pretty much the best thing ever.
*2: Tried this out last time, and they're great! Now I can have meatballs with my pasta.
*3: Mmmmm, fatty impulse buy.
*4: I try to keep a large selection of cookies around for when I have visitors. I have to keep them hidden away so I'll forget that I have them until someone's over.
*5: This may shock you. But, I'm man enough to admit that once you add "Diet" and "Caffeine Free," I don't care too much whether it says "Coke" or "Pepsi" afterward, and Pepsi was half the price.
*6: I heart Snapple too. I used to hate the stuff. But then they stopped making it, as far as I can tell, and now that they make it again, it's either much better or my tastes have changed.
*7: I don't like red bananas or peaches. They're for a top-secret special project. I'm already decently-stocked on other fruits and vegetables.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
My mind boggles at all that happened in last night's Battlestar episode. I'm reminded each and every week how great of a show it is.
Friday, March 10, 2006
"I already have one of these, but they're like made of gold. They're like cigarettes in prison. You have one of these, right?" he asked the other guy we ate with. He said that he did, and turned to me, saying: "Don't ever lose this. You may not know how incredibly rare and valuable these things are. If this was a video game, I would be some old and ancient wizard, giving the new guy some really powerful sword that he needs to kill the end boss. This is that sword." And with that, he handed it to me. I'm not making that up; that's basically exactly what he said.
It must have fallen off a desk as it was being recently moved... a few new offices opened up on my floor, so it probably came from one of those desks. Whatever the source, I am now one of the elites of my building. One of the Chosen Few who have the power to adjust desk heights. I will be revered by my peers. Nay, they are no longer my peers, for I have a Crank.
Thursday, March 9, 2006
The new "Obsidian" theme for Office 2007 beta 1 technical refresh. Some things about it I like better than beta 1, and some things I don't like as well. I like the new black theme for the Ribbon apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), but not so much for the classic menu and toolbar apps (Outlook, SharePoint Designer, OneNote). The ribbon UI layout in B1TR is vastly improved from beta 1, but I liked the old colors better; I liked the purple, metal, and glass scheme more than my current choices of powder blue or black.
If I had more time I'd totally build up a custom theme that combined the two. :)
The observant ones will notice that the File menu is now just a blue sphere with the Office logo inside. More Office 2007 beta 1 technical refresh screenshots are on Jensen Harris' blog.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
A friend of mine had an interesting explanation for why he tolerates it. He calls it an acquired taste, and the reason he acquired it was particularly odd. He found that back when he cared about his appearance, he drank a lot of water. He didn't want the calories of something with sugar, or the synthetic additives of diet soft drinks. But, he found that when he drank water, he drank a lot of it, and had to go to the restroom many, many times a day. He got tired of this, so he switched to something he just couldn't down so quickly.
It sounds a bit strange, but I enjoy the fairly frequent trips to the restroom that the many cans of (now Caffeine Free) Diet Coke I down in a day bring. It gives me a chance to rest my eyes, stretch my legs, talk to people, and think things over away from the computer screen. And, of course, to get another can. I don't like the tap water here in the Seattle area, but the cold filtered water is fine... I'd probably drink a lot more regular water if it came in a convenient can form. I don't take a water bottle because it warms up too quickly and I only like drinking cold water. So, for now, I'm still drinking a minimum of about eight cans of something per weekday, primarily Caffeine Free Diet Coke.
Monday, March 6, 2006
I think that this is the first time that I've ever forgotten to pay a bill of any kind, which is pretty astounding given how forgetful I am. I've been in a grace period a few times, but I don't think ever actually late.
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Marc and I have returned from my trip to Molten Core, and we were successful. Ragnaros was downed, and I survived through most of the fight until the Sons of Flame arrived. It was a lot of fun. I don't think I'd be too interested in being a part of the guilds that do Molten Core several nights a week for months and months on end in order to master it, but it was certainly a ton of fun this once.
For those who know the game, loot of note included the Staff of Dominance, the Ancient Petrified Leaf, one piece of the Earthfury armor set, and three pieces of the Giantstalker armor set. I would have been at two Earthfury armor pieces, but my epaulets despawned before I could loot them and the Game Master would not restore them. Extremely disappointing, but it's just a game.
Friday, March 3, 2006
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
They bring a little more shame to me each passing week. Someday I'm still going to make new blog templates in SharePoint Designer. Someday. A lot of stuff is gonna happen Someday.