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A Visit to Redmond - Part 1

By , 16 Oct 2000
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Introduction

Last week I popped on over to Redmond to have a chat with the guys at Microsoft on the future of Visual C++, MFC, and the new .NET world. Instead of presenting a point list of what we can expect in the future, I wanted to give you guys a taste of what a visit to Redmond is like, and I'm dead keen on having feedback from you on your own personal experiences.

I'll break the entire trip up into a series of articles, and each morning for the next several days I'll post a new installment. I'm erring on the side of getting this info out to you, instead of spending days double checking with 17 different sources, so if there is anything I miss, anything you want clarified, or anything which doesn't seem right then just post your comments below. I may ramble, I may get off topic - it's merely an open ended diary of what went on intended for those with a bit of spare time to kill, and an interest in what Microsoft has to offer.

A quick Thanks goes to Dundas Software and Microsoft for making this trip possible.

The Journey

Monday started like any other public holiday in Canada would - slowly. I'm currently commandeering a chair and desk at the offices of Dundas Software in Toronto, so when David Cunningham wandered in to mention that he'd be heading off to Redmond the next day to visit with Microsoft I took it upon myself to tag along and see what all the fuss was about.

Twenty fours hours notice - and most of those hours during a public holiday - adds an extra degree of excitement to the planning, so it was with unironed clothes, insufficient airplane reading material and a hasty "I'm-going-to-Redmond-got-any-questions??" post on the homepage we were off.

Everything seemed to be going OK on the Canada/US border crossing until Dave mentioned he had an Aussie in the car. Why do all customs and immigration officials get that look that suggests latex gloves may be a necessity whenever I come under their gaze? I'm sure that the customs officers look for the guy with the most highly optimised bag, and check with the timetables to ensure that you are the one whose flight leaves in 5 minutes and then gather their friends around as they systematically turn 2 cubic feet of stuffed bag into 2 cubic yards of lightly tossed catastrophe.

I'm yet to fully understand North America's airline system. A ticket from Toronto to Seattle was going to cost a small fortune, so instead we drove to Buffalo (an hours drive) and took a flight from there saving ourselves nearly 70%. Buffalo is, I'm told, a city that prides itself on large woolly animals and snow that comes in sizes large and extra large only. I'm also warned that to stand still too long in a Buffalo snowstorm is to risk not seeing daylight again until the thaw in spring.

Mt Rainier.
After a short trip courtesy of US Airways finest we settled in for a long layover in Pittsburgh. Again - I'm still unsure why flights cannot simply fly from point A (being where I currently am) to point B (where I wish to be, as quickly as possible if you would be so kind). The 'hubs' that dot the airline'd landscape of the States is surely a ploy by fast food chains and video game arcades that force you to remain in an enclosed space bored and hungry. Many plates of something with cheezTM on them, beer, and the obligatary games of PacMan and Galaga later we were on our way, to the accompaniament of Troy Marchand's Whacky World of Airline Disaster Stories.

I did my best to share the local Toronto 'flu with as many of my fellow passengers as possible, and after a quick 14 hrs on the road (as it were) we were safely in Redmond looking for a hotel that would take us.

Is this how it is for you guys travelling all the time? The modern life seems to dictate that living in airline lounges and sleeping in hotels that all look the same (give or take a phone or a TV that works) is the norm.

Next Instalment...

Seattle and the Microsoft campus at Redmond.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Chris Maunder
Founder CodeProject
Canada Canada
Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.
 
His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.
 
He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.
 
Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.
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Comments and Discussions

 
General3 cheers for Cheez(tm)! PinsussJohn23-Oct-00 12:27 
GeneralTravel culture PinsussDavid Cunningham17-Oct-00 12:01 
GeneralRe: Travel culture Pinsusspeter17-Oct-00 12:58 
GeneralRe: Travel culture PinsussDavid Cunningham17-Oct-00 18:18 
GeneralRe: Travel culture PinsussJeremy Davis18-Oct-00 22:33 
Generaltravel PinsussJohn Morales17-Oct-00 8:10 
GeneralUgh, airlines PinsussMichael Dunn17-Oct-00 5:38 
GeneralRe: Ugh, airlines PinsussChris Maunder17-Oct-00 5:49 
Mmmm...cattle class... I made the mistake once of treating myself to a business class seat on a short flight from Canberra to Melbourne using my frequent flyer points. I didn't think there was much difference until the return trip and realised that
 
a) the seats felt half as wide in cattle class as in business class
b) rack of lamb is SO much nicer than thechickenorthepasta
c) removeable legs would be a benifit
 
On Sunday 60 minutes had a story on pilots falling asleep in the cockpit, and then on the Discovery channel was a whole show on airline crashes. Equisite detail on how it's not the crash the kills, but the fire thereafter Eek! | :eek:
 
cheers,
Chris Maunde

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