Sunday, February 22, 2009

NICTA/Microsoft Innovation Day

I have only been back in Sydney a few days and I have crammed a lot of activities and catching up into a few days, including a short sail on the harbour, dinners and the obligatory run on the beach followed by a splash in the sea.
On Thursday, at the Microsoft Sydney office, was the NICTA and Microsoft Innovation Day. I was there with some of my friends from nsquared to present the work we have been doing to improve social learning activities. We have a stand with two touch screens; one running Windows 7 and one running Windows Vista highlighting some of the single touch, multi touch and multi mouse software we are building. We were also fortunate enough to have access to a Surface unit to demonstrate some of the educational software we have been prototyping for Microsoft Surface. It is always great to get a big crowd around your exhibits and we certainly had that, thanks for dropping by and the great questions and feedback.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Motivate me to YES

I have been thinking about the reasons we end up saying 'no' to tasks, possibilities, options and opportunities. For me at all boils down to motivation. The motivation is nearly always in the form of energy; time, excitement, fun, money.
This is especially true when applied to software development. With enough energy you can achieve almost anything with software do you have the motivation to achieve those things?

If you find me saying 'no' it is because you are not motivating me to say 'yes'.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Microsoft Surface in the snow

I am on the last leg of the European Microsoft Surface training tour. Delivering the first round of external Microsoft Surface training to partners. I am getting to enjoy learning to be a commuter in the different parts of the world. this morning I got the train to the Munich MTC. The train station this morning was interestingly quiet and serene.
Today we discussed the vision behind Surface and how to build better Surface applications, all the attendees get to build a Surface application in the two day course. the course outline looks like this:
  • The Surface Vision
  • The Architecture of Surface applications
  • Setting up a Surface device and the out of the box applications
  • Working with the Simulator
  • Integrating with the Surface Shell
  • Designing Surface experiences
  • Using the Surface Controls
  • Vision Recognition with Surface
  • End to end building a Surface application

We will be doing another set of Surface training in the coming months around Europe. If you would like some help building amazing Surface applications please let me know. We are providing some consulting and support services to help you bring out the magic in your Surface applications.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Global Catastrophe

There is no doubt we as a global population are in some serious trouble. The ecology of the planet is in jeopardy, the capitalist concept is proving to be fundamentally flawed and the foundations of our government systems seem to be broken.
This year I have been in Australia, Canada, the USA, Iceland, the UK and France. It is clear many people are going to be in way more trouble in the coming months than I think they realize. Many high streets have stores closing, or empty. 
Yesterday I took a snowy walk down the Champs-Élysées, this is one of the worlds must see roads. The architecture is stunning. The walk from the Arc de Triomphe down to the Louvre down the tree lined avenue is designed to leave the pedestrian in awe. 
It is with great disappointment then, that as I perambulated along the route I was in awe of the realization of Idiocracy. The tourists were not taking photos of the statues along the road, the architecture of the the magnificent attractions. Instead the real attraction is now the Gucci store and the Louis Vuitton store. With an attitude like this it is clear why we have so many global problems; the desire to own things that you don't need while ignoring the real magic of your surroundings.
Please think about your actions and pay attention to what you might normally consider as the background. Lastly, what are you doing to create real value to the world.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

où est le Dr Neil

cette semaine Dr Neil prestation formation Microsoft Surface à Paris.

Pardon my French, it is not as good as it used to be and I am sure this is a horrible translation, and yet here I am in Paris delivering the first round of development training for Microsoft Surface. This is the first time training has been provided to external Microsoft partners in Europe and I am extremely excited to have been chosen to deliver the training.
There are many aspects to building great Surface experiences for developers to get their heads around and nothing beats a deep dive hands on Surface training workshop.
I am really looking forward to see what the attendees end up building in the next few weeks.