January 2006

Last night, while I was working off some pounds in the YMCA, some enterprising individual acquired a new laptop by smashing a window in my car and nabbing my briefcase. They also acquired a PDA, wireless mouse, and reading glasses. It was an IBM ThinkPad T40 – nearly three years old and approaching the end of its lease. It cannot be worth much on the street. It makes me sick to think of the years worth of accumulated source code, email archives, and other documents that are forever lost. I almost left it at the office last night, but I’ve recently moved to an area of the building with heavier traffic and I wasn’t sure it would be safe to leave it. Arggghh!


There are shadows there on the sidewalk. The sun really does shine here once in a while, and when it does, it can be beautiful.

There is a webcam on top of the Space Needle, just a couple of blocks away. Cool! If you click on the Monorail (in landmark locations), you can see the Westin – its the tall round tower to the left of the monorail.

Why do 1,500 people go to a conference about a project planning tool? Beats me, but there are clearly some people that are passionate not only about project management in general, but Microsoft Office Project in specific. The former I can understand. The latter baffles me. That said, I can see MS is including some nice features in Project 12. Stuff like: multi-level undo, selecting tasks not assigned to you during timesheet entry (yea), improved Outlook integration, and more. I haven’t seen anything yet on an RSS feed to provide project task status updates. To me, that would be cool.

The Internet connection here at the Seattle Westin is spotty – doesn’t matter if it is the wireless connection or the cable connection up in the room. It is generally slow and frequently seems to drop out. This afternoon I’ll be switching over to TMobile. It will be worth the walk over to Starbuck’s.

I arrived in Seattle this afternoon for the Microsoft Office Project conference. Frankly, I am amazed that there is enough interest in a project planning tool to warrant a conference. This is not exactly a technology that I am passionate about, but the Project team back at the office wanted an architect to come with them, so here I am.

I went for a walk around the downtown tonight. This is a nice area – if you like shopping at Nordstrom’s or Tiffany’s. I have always stayed in Bellvue when visiting in the past. Staying downtown is a nice change. In spite of the rain, I think I’ll like it here. Oh, I went looking for a Starbuck’s tonight. It took about 45 seconds to find the first one. Then they started popping up every 90 seconds after that. There are, oh, maybe one bazillion of them in the downtown area.

One thing I’m having a hard time finding is free wifi. I know it exists, but I’m not finding anything nearby the hotel. The Westin hotel charges $10 per day. That includes wireless access throughout the hotel, which sounds nice, but I’m limited to the hotel. On the other hand, I could pay $10 and go to any Starbuck’s or the nearby Border’s Bookstore. Of course, I’d then have to leave the hotel. I’d rather not pay $20 per day for both, but I may have to do that.

Yesterday I found a way to access Google Mail from behind firewalls which might normally block browser access to the Google Mail website. I’m not sure I even want to link to this directly. I’ll just say it wasn’t terribly hard to find and I’ve left a breadcrumb trail here as well.

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