From Mini-Microsoft: Aspects of an L63 Contributor

An interesting piece that probably work in all levels at all companies. The comments show the many different sides existed though. Personally my mind has moved beyond the number game – but I think the "Aspects of an L63 Contributor" section is very inspiring.
 

From: mini-microsoft Achieving Senior Level 63 at Microsoft


"… Aspects of an L63 Contributor: some random aspects that come to my mind beyond our CSPs:

  • They can own a room: they aren’t warming a seat but rather can take charge of a conversation and represent such a deep level of knowledge that they gain respect for what they say and earn a good reputation. Their focus stays on accountable results and this person can bring resolution and closure together.
  • Expert: They are sought after to be in meetings, for instance, so that good decisions can be made.
  • Results-focused: they are focused on getting great results and don’t entwine their ego to particular solutions. They don’t get defensive if their ideas are revealed to have flaws but rather delight in being able to move to a better solution.
  • Leadership: pro-active leadership that convinces team members of the future direction and even helps to implement it. This is a big difference between those who can complain about the way things should be and those you can actually bring it about.
  • Solutions, not problems: following up on the above, they aren’t complaining about problems on the team but rather implementing and driving solutions.
  • Makes other great: the team benefits and grows from the person’s contributions. Answers questions from the team, from support, from customers. Knows what the team delivers backwards and forwards. They are a good mentor.
  • Influence when they can, scare when they must: they have fundamental skills in influencing people, but if they need to flip into junk-yard dog mode, they can. They don’t give up and walk away but rather fight when they need to fight, escalating only when needed and with lots of justification.
  • Makes the boss great: if the team and your boss are succeeding because of you, of course you’ll be succeeding too.
  • Not doing it for the promotion: if you’re out for a promotion, don’t do work specifically chose to get the promotion. This is like meeting the Buddha on the road. If you come up with a pretty plan to justify your promotion, you’ve already lost it. Such plotting is obvious and actually detrimental to your career. If, however, you’ve determined what it takes to have a successful career in your group at Microsoft and have started what you need to start and stopped what you need to stop, then you’re on the right path."

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TalkAbout: Eee PC modded by Intel engineers to boot in five seconds

One thing about open source is that you always get good external contribution as long as people have faith in your product. you will never see these kind of joint company work in MS in such a speedy way…
 

Eee PC modded by Intel engineers to boot in five seconds

by Nilay Patel, posted Oct 7th 2008 at 3:43AM

Sure, we’ve seen projects like SplashTop boot a stripped Linux build quickly, but Intel engineers at the recent Linux Plumbers Conference took things a little farther last Thursday, starting up modified versions of Fedora and Intel’s own Moblin Linux on an SSD-equipped Eee PC in just five seconds. That’s all the way to an idle CPU and disk, not cheating and starting a window manager while background services thrash in the background, mind you — and it’s fast enough that the splash screen was removed from both distros. The changes are being sent back to the Moblin and Fedora trunks, but if you’re curious, a detailed overview of the changes awaits at the read link.

[Via SlashGear]

 
 
Posted in Computers and Internet | 8 Comments

A quick and dirty test drive of www.photoshop.com

For a while now, I have been struggling to find a good solution for photo sharing. At least for me, there are many types of photos that require different usage pattern, and they all can come down to these two main category
  1. My life photos – you know, parties, kids, casual photos… for that, I need to be able to share, tag people, and generally quick and dirty way to get my friends to notice them. I have been using a mix of flickr/facebook/spaces for that purposes to different degree of success.
  2. My more "artistic" photos – things that you tend to only show it off to stock photo agency… clients, people who want you to take their family portraits but want to see some of your work first…

I don’t want to use the same solution for 1 and 2. And for 2, I don’t want to spend any money into web hosting or storage when I may have already spent $$ on things like flickr. However I do want to separate the two "lives", as you may put it – I definitely don’t want my potential customers to see all my friends contact or party photos, for example.

Over some causal conversation, my friend in the photography business mention www.photoshop.com (since I am already a user of Photoshop), and so just for kicks, I log into www.photoshop.com and see what I can do online.

imageThe general UI seem easy enough. An the ability to import images from sites like facebook and flickr is a plus. The good thing is that when they say "import", it is not really a one time import. For example, they actually directly log into my designated Flickr account and browse into all my photos (over 2000 of them) with pretty good performance.

I can edit those photos while they are in flickr (the functionality for editing is pretty rich… as expected of Photoshop) and if I so inclined, I can drag them to photoshop album and show off that way.

Once I have an album in Photoshop.com, I can choose to turn on/off feature such as ability to download/print photos, who can see them, and add caption or comments. I can choose to send a gallery style link to people (e.g. http://www.photoshop.com/user/ericlam/?galleryid=acda5d6b36244221ae12af0d9326659a&trackingid=BTAGC&wf=share) or embed a simple gallery in any sites (like this blog) – a sample can be seen below.

 

Plus:

  • amazing photo quality onscreen.
  • very speedy for the amount of data showing.
  • good editing tools (for an online site)
  • simple UI for permission, gallery, and publication. Very easy to send links or embed in web sites.
  • Amazing slide show features (nearly rival the display technology from Microsoft’s Sea Dragon)

Minus:

  • Lack of geo-tagging (or at least I have not found it)
  • Lack of face tagging
  • Have to rely on their storage for slide show to work (cannot create a slide show link out of flickr photos, for example).
  • How long will it remain free??

What it lacks in social network functionality, it totally make up in the presentation side. I can totally see usage out of it – I can keep flickr/facebook/live/whatever as my social network purpose, and show my more "professional" shots through this site. I think Adobe has its target usage place very smartly in the professional presentational purpose category – not surprising really, since Photoshop is really associated with professional photography business now days.

Posted in Computers and Internet | 4 Comments

Talking about Nikon D700 plus hands-on preview: Digital Photography Review

I was fully expecting new camera in the form of a "more affordable full frame" DSLR to come out from all the major DSLR player this year, so you can imagine how disappointed I was when Canon push out the entry level (EOS 1000D) instead. Having to use the 40D for a year now, I was very much waiting for the 5D replacement.

Then not long ago Nikon heard the hungry thoughts of mine and so many others and announced the D700. The feature set is impressive for the price of US$3000 (I am just quoting the ones that I am interested in):

    • 12.1 full frame sensor
    • Image sensor cleaning (finally on a full frame!)
    • support for DX lenses as well.
    • 51 point focusing sensor
    • HDMI output (not sure if anyone really uses that? might be handy if you use computer software to trigger camera?)
    • Live View
    • Active D-Lighting
    • Magnesium alloy body
    • Improve info display (I never like the one on D3)

One might ask: why on earth am I so excited about Nikon when I am using Canon? the short answer is that I think this might be a wake up call for Canon for ignoring the middle tier for a long time. The long answer logic is more like:

    • Now Canon will have to annouce a replace for 5D that at least better be better than Nikon feature-wise
    • If I ever upgrade a 40D, the jump has to be towards a 5D-ish camera (I am not realy that pro to go for a D3 or a 1D Mark whatever) 
    • I do not own any L Lens. I knew a L lens is more a waste on crop sensor and I knew full frame DSLR battle is far from over to warrent me to be "loyal" to a brand in the lens department. This recent development proves my point.
    • The jump from 40D category to full frame is big enough that personally I am willing to start my lens collection fresh (I only has like 3 Canon lens that can always be useful on a 40D).
    • The price point of D700 is at a sweet spot for me. $3000 is ok as long as I take photgraphy semi-seriously. (and price comes down 1-2 years down the road if I dream a little). So if Canon still being lazy of their 5D replacement doesn’t live up, I can really consider to switch.

Either way, I think the ultimate winner is consumer like me.

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Nikon D700 plus hands-on preview: Digital Photography Review

Perhaps the worst kept secret of any recent announcement Nikon has now officially revealed the compact, professional, twelve megapixel, full-frame (FX format) Nikon D700. From the outside the D700 is virtually identical to the D300, albeit for its larger ‘full frame’ viewfinder, internally it’s almost identical to the D3, except for a slightly slower shutter (five frames per second up to eight frames per second with the MB-D10 battery grip). By comparison it also includes several function improvements over the D3 including Image Sensor cleaning (‘sensor shake’), more flexible ‘hard button’ programming, virtual horizon in Live View and different DX mode indication on the focusing screen. The D700 also becomes the first professional Nikon DSLR to sport a built-in flash. As far as competition is concerned the D700 really only faces the Canon EOS 5D (and any replacement that may be in the works). On sale in July for US$2999 or €2599 body only. We’ve had a D700 for a few days now, just enough time to produce a detailed hands-on preview.

Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the Nikon D700
(comparison, specs, design, operation, displays and menus)

Posted in Computers and Internet | 5 Comments

Bill’s Town Hall Meeting

Interesting Town Hall today.

His expression when he walks in and everyone just keep clapping… the speechless-ness and the long moment where he takes it all in. That expression is just no way to fully describe that emotion… so mixed. You can tell he has been through a lot. And you can tell he is missing the place already Smile

Makes me wonder if anyone of us will ever have that moment too.

Posted in 胡思亂想 | 7 Comments

Talking about How Hard Could it Be?: Glory Days – Bill Gates – working for Microsoft

An interesting look at the BillG that is closer to what I remember of him than what peopel ususally say on the web. 

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How Hard Could it Be?: Glory Days – Bill Gates – working for Microsoft
How Hard Could it Be?: Glory DaysAs Bill Gates retires, our columnist recalls what it was like to work for the world’s most successful entrepreneur

"… What did I take from all this? Bill Gates was amazingly technical, and he knew more about the details of his company’s software than most of the people who worked on those details day in and day out. He understood Variants and COM objects and IDispatch and why Automation is different than vtables — and why this might lead to dual interfaces. He worried about date and time functions. He didn’t meddle in software if he trusted the people who were working on it, but you couldn’t bullshit him for a minute because he was a programmer. A real, actual programmer.

… Over the years, of course, Microsoft got big, Bill got overextended, and the company’s strategy put it at odds with the U.S. government. Steve Ballmer — who was not a programmer — took over as CEO, on the theory that this would allow Bill to spend more time doing what he does best: running software development. But that didn’t seem to fix the problems that came with those 11 layers of management, a culture of perpetual, permanent meetings, and a stubborn insistence on creating every possible product no matter what. How many billions of dollars has Microsoft expended on research-and-development costs, legal fees, and damage to reputation, because it simply had to bring to market a free Web browser? …"

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Talking about ‘What Do You Really Want From Us?’

Perhaps a little too blunt  for some to hear it… but IMO it is not too far from the truth. At the very least living in US for 6 years, I certainly see some of the American Idealism myself. However it is interesting to notice that American themselves are starting to realize that they are no longer "the boss" in this new age… and the truth is that no one is "the boss" anymore (or… until another world war decide who the new "boss" should be).

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‘What Do You Really Want From Us?’

Sunday, May 18, 2008;

This poem appeared on the Internet in March and has since gone viral, popping up on thousands of blogs and Web sites, in both English and Chinese. Its authorship could not be confirmed.

When we were the Sick Man of Asia,We were called the Yellow Peril.
When we are billed as the next Superpower, we are called The Threat.
When we closed our doors, you launched the Opium War to open our markets.
When we embraced free trade, you blamed us for stealing your jobs.
When we were falling apart, you marched in your troops and demanded your fair share.
When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet, you screamed. It was an Invasion!
When we tried communism, you hated us for being communist.
When we embraced capitalism, you hated us for being capitalist.
When we had a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.
When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.
When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.
When we lend you cash, you blame us for your national debts.
When we build our industries, you call us polluters.
When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.
When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.
When you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.
When we were lost in chaos, you demanded the rule of law.
When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it a violation of human rights.
When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.
When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed xenophobes.

Why do you hate us so much? we asked.
No, you answered, we don’t hate you.
We don’t hate you either,
But do you understand us?
Of course we do, you said,
We have AFP, CNN and BBC. . . .
What do you really want from us?
Think hard first, then answer . . .
Because you only get so many chances.

Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for This One World.
We want One World, One Dream, and Peace on Earth.
This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.

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