Archive for the ‘High Speed, Low Drag’ Category

Building 7: A New Theory

October 10, 2010 1 comment

There Are 10 Types of People in the World: Those Who Understand Binary, and Those Who Don’t. – Someone

For as long as I can remember there have been multiple theories on why there is no building 7 on Microsoft’s Redmond campus.  Theories range from shifts in building size using up too much ground to a change in technology used in the foundations.  Regardless of the reason, sending interns over to building 7 to pick up their card key is one long tradition that will live on.  I tend to schedule most of my Friday afternoon meetings there (especially if the sun is shining).

In a recent trek across campus to the “other side” of 520 I decided to visit the real building 7.  A building which not only will put most of the theories to rest, but also a building that will excite the inner geek inside every employee.  The facility is 100% made up of binary numbering schemes (excuse me make that 1100100 percent).

Presenting building 7…


Horizontally aligned with the main campus and neatly located right above building 6 and below building 8. 

Building Map

Inside the building…    The tour starts at the entrance to reception.  If you are here before hours you will need a card key to gain access.   Once inside the building you can easily find where you are going by following the signs on the walls. 


This building can be tricky as all the rooms numbers are binary!


Microsoft facilities left out no detail, the lockers in the bathroom on the main floor also follow the standard pattern (that would be zeros and ones).


If you do visit building 7 please pay close attention to signs.  Once you are within about 100001 yards (that would be 100 decimal feet) traffic quickly slows to a mere 2mph.


What’s Next?

Bill has a lake named after him, Microsoft has the largest underground parking garage in the US and you have learned that there really is a building 7 (and that it is totally binary) – What more do you want???

Stay tuned next time as we enter the world of the new Hexadecimal Campus where not only do you need to think about the A, B, Cs of finding your way to the Café but you also get issued a retro style TI calculator to help with scheduling and interop with Outlook 2010.  Office 7df will natively support Hexadecimal.

IMG_5588        TI-68-2-S

* Please note that employees do not get real TI calculators.  Rather there is an app in the Windows Phone Marketplace that does a pretty good job emulating the scientific calculator.


Codename: Panzers

March 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.Ralph Waldo Emerson

Check out my new band "Codename:  Panzers" and our debut album "The Road to Achievement"

1 – Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 – Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 – Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 – Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 – Post it to FB with these instructions in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to join in. (you can untag yourself if you don’t want this photo up)

6- View other fictional bands on this group site:


Categories: High Speed, Low Drag

Greetings Warlords!

January 2, 2009 Leave a comment

A classic is a book that doesn’t have to be written again.W. E. B. Du Bois


Sometimes a true classic does not have to be re-written in the sense that the features and content change but sometimes a true classic does need to be updated to run on newer hardware and refreshed operating systems.


A true classic that I recently re-discovered is the multi-player game called Warlords.  



I first got a copy of Warlords II over 15 years ago.  I was instantly addicted.  It could be compared to Risk as it has a turn by turn approach ad you gain new armies at the beginning of each round.  It has a fantasy / role-playing feel which is very appealing to those of us who played a bit of D&D in our youth.  My brother in law and I spent many long nights playing Warlords II and then Warlords II deluxe.  To this day I am not sure what deluxe brought to the table… 


Last week I discovered on my shelf Warlords III which I had not played before.  I found it in a bin at some electronic store and had not even installed it.  Getting it to run on XP and Vista took a while as I had to download a patch and then discover a command line switch to make it use more generic icons (otherwise it froze).



Once again my brother in law and I were enchanted and were soon battling the 6 other computer players and then each other until only one Hero was standing.  I have not played a game until 6:30am for quite some time.  I was glad to see that I still could keep up with the best of them.  I am not so sure I will share the details of the next day however.  Let’s just say that I required several cups of coffee to keep moving.


Since playing Warlords again I did some research on the web and see that V4 and V5 are in the mix.  There is a Nintendo DS version that came out last year and looks fully featured.  I found a hybrid version of the game for XBox Live called Puzzle Quest that is roughly based in the same world as Warlords and you have quests and a map to play on but the battle sequences and the way to progress through the game are more like playing bejeweled.  It was only 800 points so I downloaded it. 



Choosing weapons and deciding which potions to buy and which villages to raze has me thinking that it is time I seek out Fable II and play a real game.  Classic games are okay, but I may need something a bit more modern now that I have the bug again.



Categories: High Speed, Low Drag


November 3, 2008 Leave a comment
Search for beauty without features, something deeper than any signs. Francesca da Rimini
Although not the focal for today’s topic, when I am asked which movie freaked me out the most I often end up in the same place.   For some reason Signs impacted me in a way that most alien related shows do not.  I am not sure if it was the way it was filmed or just the way the space creatures looked but something about it messed with my head.  I still don’t like looking out my window at the shed in my backyard at night for fear I may see a creature standing on the roof.
Having bared my soul I will get onto my main topic.    My latest discovery was found when an email contained a story about 2 churches debating whether or not dogs have souls.  I thought the debate was funny and expected that it was not real.  To see the dialog and whether or not dogs do go to heaven you can view the snopes article on it.
Signs are everyplace and it turns out you can create them yourself via a few simple online tools.  Since discovering these websites I have been known to add a sign to the bottom of mail messages at work that have drawn a lot of positive feedback and laughs.  Most people think I recently learned how to use Photoshop but the fact is I still do not now much beyond cropping and making a gif transparent.
A few of my example works of art just for this blog…
(This one I really should do)
Pretty fun stuff isn’t it?  I am confident that you will be able to create just the right sign now whenever you need it.


Categories: High Speed, Low Drag

It’s not easy being green…

July 3, 2008 1 comment

You have to fight the green monster with your mind, not your fists.  – Matthew Broderick


True Story


We are in a world where companies are trying to save money on one hand or go green on the other hand and sometimes these conflict.  It seems to me that going green also can cause more waste and use more energy than what people were doing before they were green.


A buddy of mine works for a company who recently removed all garbage can’s from their offices.  This was a money saving tactic.  Employees now need to carry trash to a central location to discard it.  I made fun of him because I work for a company where for 15 years I have had a black "garbage" can in my office sitting next to a grey "can" can, and a cardboard box for recycled paper.  These take up a lot of room in each of the 100k offices around the world.


A few days I came into the office to find that "we" made a new smarter move to reconfigure our garbage cans.  Now each employee has the same black garbage can for garbage and the grey can and cardboard box have been replaced with a new blue garbage can for recyclable items.  This includes aluminum cans and paper.  My first instinct was why not email us and say to throw more stuff in the grey can…


But wait it gets better.  At the same time we switched all of our kitchenette products to be "green" and so they are now compostable.  All of these items now must go in the new compost bins and should not go in the black garbage can or the blue garbage can.   Most of what I see in people’s offices are either plates, cups, and silverware, aluminum pop cans or paper.  So now 80% of the waste we create must be taken to the compost bin because it is not eligible for the new office configuration.


Using compostable plates, cups, and silverware may be smart but what happened to the million utensils that were in the kitchens on Friday?  What happened to the 100k grey garbage cans?




On the Monday that the compostable showed up we were also  hit with a barrage of new signs.  These signs were placed in every kitchenette and along some strategic locations in the halls.  The signs taken individually are meant to help people adapt to the new compostable technology.  When looked at as a group they become a SNL skit waiting to happen.


The signs… (my reaction in parenthesis)


Do Your Part – It takes you to be a success! (Thank you.  I needed a sign to tell me it is up to me to reduce the impacts of Al Gore)


Please Remember – Coffee Cup Lids = Trash, Coffee Cups = Compost, Coffee Sleeves = Recycle, Stir sticks = Recycle.  Please separate these before disposing of them as to not contaminate the waste streams.  (What about the impact to my work streams?  and since when do we need stir sticks and sleeves?)


Warning! Spoon may warp if left in hot fluids such as coffee.  Pleas use a stir stick.   (Ah – now I understand the need for stir sticks.  I can’t wait to try my cup of soup today)


Do your part, please take only one plate.  (Before we had compostable plates I would take 7 or 8 just for the fun of it.  Does going green mean I lose my lunchtime joy?)


Warning:  HOT! – New compostable cups conduct heat – please use a sleeve!  (No lie on this one.  Dang they are hot.  I am glad I can now wrap my compostable cup in a recyclable layer and then later separate them and sort trash as part of my day.)


Did you Know?  Your kitchenette has gone green!  (No I did not…)




So now when I walk into the kitchen it is covered in little "green" signs that appear to be made out of some hazardous shiny paper.   I used to use a single polystyrene cup to drink my coffee and now I must use a cup that makes my coffee taste like old potato water and use a cardboard sleeve as to not burn myself.  When I forget about the new wooden stir sticks I end up with a melted spoon that adds to the new found flavor of the cup.


When I am done with the coffee I have a choice to make.   Get up and walk past rows and rows of black and blue garbage can’s to throw it in the new central compost bin or just drop it in the wrong can in my office so I can get some work done.


Did I mention that while the new cups are conducting heat into the palm of my hand my coffee is actually getting cold quicker?  So now I must get up twice as often dumping a third of my coffee down the drain. 


I work in an awesome place and I am very grateful to have a garbage can in my office.   Sometimes however the change that happens around us does not always seem to make sense.  Is it really good for the environment?  Is it good for my EPS? 




Categories: High Speed, Low Drag

Failure x 2 – You be the judge…

May 3, 2008 Leave a comment
If you would not be forgotten,
As soon as you are dead & rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
Or do things worth the writing.
                        –  Benjammin Franklin
Ben may say I have failed at both options… but based on his poetic talent I would say he should stick with flying kites! 

Jeeps, Geocaching, & Rock Band!
(… & BitStrips & Spaces & Blogging & Feedburner to Twitter…)

Rock Ban Man
1st Place Costume
Rock Band Morale Event

Addiction Reference


Categories: High Speed, Low Drag

Livin’ on the Edge

April 14, 2008 Leave a comment
I’m off to sit on a cliff. – Nik Kershaw
I don’t normally grab an internet story and post it but this is definately worth sharing…


Look at the picture above and you can see where this guy broke through the guardrail
On the right side where the people are standing on the road (pointing). 
The pick-up was traveling from right to left when it crashed through the guardrail. 
It flipped end-over-end, across the culvert outlet, and landed right side up on the left side of the culvert,
facing the opposite direction from which he was traveling.
Now look at the 2nd picture below…

That is insane!

Snopes validates it and has a couple other pictures.

Categories: High Speed, Low Drag