Archive for August, 2007

Microsoft Office Live

Friday, August 31st, 2007

While trying to give Microsoft Office Live a spin, which proposes to give out free domain names and web site hosting, I get this error message:

“In order to use Microsoft Office Live, you will need to have Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later running on Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Microsoft Windows Server 2003. You can download the latest version of Internet Explorer from the Internet Explorer downloads page.”

So, basically, anyone using Firefox and/or a Mac will not be able to view your site. Isn’t that like half of internet users out there these days?

Boeing Factory

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Last Sunday, I went with my friend Preat, who is working at Boeing this summer, to the Boeing factory in Everett, WA for Family Day. It’s the one day per year where Boeing employees get to take their friends and family into the factory. The building itself is the largest building in the world by volume. They make the 747, 767, 777, and the brand new 787 there. The building was packed with thousands of people. I got to walk under the wings of 3 of the four types of plans, and also got to see two huge cargo planes called Dream Lifters which they use to transport the wings of other plans.

Productive Day

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Today felt like a really productive day, even though I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night. Today I actually did some real development as opposed to bug fixing and small tweaks to our websites like I have been doing for a while now. I did quite a bit of refactoring today, which is fun if you understand what’s going on with the software. The best analogy I’ve heard so far for refactoring is reshaping a piece of clay. You take a glob of code here, and move it over there. Take some extra code out that you don’t need, and make the code look nicer. Nicer looking code is easier to maintain. Basically, if you have to fix or change something later it will be easier to understand and fix without too much work. Refactoring can be frustrating if the code is too ugly in the first place. If you don’t really understand what the code is doing, you can really screw it up by moving around those globs of clay, or code in this case. But, this code was pretty clean and simple. It just needed some minor refactoring.

After work I went to an entrepreneur networking event at Del Ray hosted by nPost. I met some cool people working on some really cool startups. Several people from Zillow were there, and I talked to one of them. I talked to a VC who was working on his own business plan for something in the mobile shopping arena. I met the two guys, John and Tom from You should check out their site. It’s pretty nifty. I think I’ll start using it. I was directed towards another entrepreneur, Matt, who is working on a site for online video tours of real estate. We talked about how he might be able to use my Gmap Uploader for the floor plans on his site. Definitely check out his site called Cool Toors (a second o instead of the u) if you have property for sale or rent and want a good way to put up a virtual tour.

Running Challenge

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

So, Ajay, my current roommate and I have a running challenge going: See who can run the most miles before he leaves on the 24th. Right now he is kicking my butt. He ran 12 miles in the past three days. I ran 4 miles one day, but I need to keep that up in order to beat him in the challenge. Wish me luck.


Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I just wanted to say that my Lovesac is really comfortable. It’s this giant bean bag-ish thing as Matt has pointed out below. I have the Super Sac which fits three people. It’s huge! I know it has been sounding like I’m getting paid to promote products, but I’m not, these are just really cool things.


Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

I bought the Nike+iPod the other day. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from Apple and Nike. The user interface on the iPod nano is extremely simple, with only the features you need most often. When you plug your iPod into your computer, it syncs your runs to Nike’s website at the same time as all your music and such. You can then view the Nike website which will show you pretty graphs of your runs. You can set goals, and challenge other users, although I haven’t tried those features yet. I have, however, added the Nike+ widget to my facebook profile so that you can see my last few runs there. I’ll probably put the widget here to if its easy enough to do. The actual device itself is actually two pieces. One fits in your Nike+ shoe (or other shoe’s laces, or shoe wallet or something) and the other attaches discretely to the bottom of your iPod nano. While you run, it tracks time, distance, and speed. In addition to listening to your own music while you run you can opt to download customized workout music along with a pre-recorded trainer who takes you step by step through the workout. These of course cost money, and can be bought through iTunes.

Amazon Fresh

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

So, Amazon (the company I work for) just launched Amazon Fresh a couple days ago in Seattle (Mercer Island according to the newspapers) and it looks like its going to be pretty sweet. Basically, its fresh groceries ordered online with three delivery methods: Pre-dawn delivery, daytime delivery, and local pickup. I hope they can get the user interface right, because I tried using Safeway‘s the other day, and it was kinda annoying. Maybe that’s just because there were like 10 different kinds of milk, and it wasn’t easy to just pick the standard skim milk from the list.

Enjoying Seattle, part 2

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

I guess dedicating Sunday morning to writing a blog entry didn’t work out so well. But, good news,  I got a bunch of other stuff done, such as buying a bunch of sports equipment from Play It Again Sports: a frisbee to replace the one I lost, swimming goggles for the apartment building’s pool, and racquetballs, and a second racquet for the apartment building’s racquetball court. I also went to QFC to buy a bunch of food, and ran a few miles that night. Now that I have a Nike+iPod (without the Nike shoes though) you can see my runs on facebook, and probably here soon.

I plan to make full use of the amenities of the apartment building I moved into a couple weeks ago. There is a pool, hot tub, fitness center, grill, and even a racquetball court. That’s right… a racquetball court. That itself pretty much sold me on the deal. The apartment itself is pretty nice too. It’s has two bedrooms, and one and a half bathrooms. There is a washer and dryer in the second bathroom and, something I may not be able to live without, although I did one summer: a dish washer in the kitchen.

The apartment itself is in Belltown at 1st Ave. and Broad St. which is only a few blocks from the space needle and a few blocks from the bay, although I don’t actually get a view of the bay. The view out my living room window is of downtown, and you can see the space needle pretty close outside my bedroom window.

Initially, I had thought that I would take the bus down 1st Ave. and then walk several blocks to work. But, after consulting Google Transit, I found out that a bus took me directly from my apartment building to work.

I’ll write more about the last few weeks in Seattle soon. Highlights include moving my stuff in, the first few days at work, the Flexcar experience, Rebecca visiting, the roommate moving in, the Capital Hill Block party, the Blue Angels, and hanging out with my friends in general.

Enjoying Seattle

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Those two words sum up the past few weeks fairly well. It seems like I’ve done so much stuff in the past few weeks and have not had much time to sit down and actually contemplate everything that has happened. So, since its pretty late, I’m going to go to bed, and commit at least an hour tomorrow morning to write a full blog post about my first few weeks in Seattle. See you tomorrow morning. This may (and that’s a big may) be the start of me writing personal stuff on my blog.