Random Thoughts

Tech, words and musings from an Englishman in Seattle

Accident At The End Of Our Road

Accident At The End Of Our Road

Uploaded to flikr by Steve Lacey at 28 Feb '05, 9.48am PST.

I was taking Julian to daycare this morning and was very surprised to see a truck rolled over at the end of the street.

At the time there was just a single police car their. Later on there was a ton of moving gear, other trucks and people watching...

The Scoblebook

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel's in production, out in the open book on corporate blogging is shaping up great! The first chapter has got to be one of the most eloquant and brilliant first chapters to a book I've read.

It's cluetrain time, folks, this time with added conversation.

KUOW To Start Podcasting

This afternoon I was driving Nabila's Jeep to Rosehill Car Wash in Kirkland (which, if you live on the Eastside, is the best carwash around). As soon as I switched on the radio I heard that beginning March 1, KUOW (the local NPR station) is going to start podcasting a lot of their shows. Unfortunately I can't remember which shows, and I can't find any information on their website.

As aside, it was an interesting moment as I haven't listened to any live radio in ages as I prefer podcasts now that the M3 is hardwired with my iPod. And what should the first radio I listen to be about? Podcasting...

A Brit Abroad - February 23, 2005

With the help of a few frosty libations, it's "A Brit Abroad" with special guest CJ Ingram!

In this special episode, weighing in at 31 minutes and 38 seconds, and 14.6MB, CJ and I chat about anything that comes to mind, play some podsafe music, have a little listener competition and generally set the world to rights.

Links To Some Of The Things Talked About


Upcoming Podcast

Just to whet your appetite, on Wednesday we'll be having another episode of "A Brit Abroad". This time I'll have a special guest on the show - CJ Ingram aka Bushrod, guitar-playing, lead-singing compadre from the band!

ObPlug: On another note, go vote for the show on Podcast Alley. There's only one vote so far and it's from me...

Hunter's Last Words…

Maybe. Anyhow, Hunter S. Thompson was a regular columnist for ESPN and last week's column was, of course, his last.

Ironically it's about my favourite sport - Golf.

Hunter S. Thompson: "I'm working on a profoundly goofy story here. It's wonderful. I've invented a new sport. It's called Shotgun Golf. We will rule the world with this thing."

Bill Murray: "Mmhmm."

Hunter S. Thompson: "I've called you for some consulting advice on how to launch it. We've actually already launched it. Last spring, the Sheriff and I played a game outside in the yard here. He had my Ping Beryllium 9-iron, and I had his shotgun, and about 100 yards away, we had a linoleum green and a flag set up. He was pitching toward the green. And I was standing about 10 feet away from him, with the alley-sweeper. And my objective was to blow his ball off course, like a clay pigeon."

What Language To Teach A Child

That'd be programming language, not verbal.

Talk about a confluence of ideas! I'd been thinking about this on and off for a while since Julian was born and up pops a post by Joshua Allen talking about a post by Don Box.

I too had been thinking along the lines of a declarative/functional (e.g. lisp/ml/hope/smalltalk) rather than imperative (e.g. C++, C#, Basic) language for the very reasons that it requires reasoning, planning and design - but most of all thought. (Quick recap, my dissertation was the unification of a functional, lambda calculus style language with a prolog system).

I'll add another one to the mix: ML. I like ML's mathematical look'n'feel, but without the obtuseness of something like lisp. Maybe it'd be Hope, which I did a lot of work with at college.

Anyhow, should be fun. At the moment I can't stop him throwing lego blocks at the dog. Stopping him dereferencing null pointers might be easier.

More Homebrew FlightSim Goodness


Some students at DeVry University have finished building a 777 flight deck powered by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004.

From their website:

"The Sim Icarus Flight Deck is a real-time flight simulator that accurately recreates the primary flight accessory controls of the Boeing 777 aircraft. The discrete hardware is connected to a programmable logic device (PLD) that detects an analog state change and converts it to a binary signal. The binary output is interpreted by a program named EPICINFO and sent to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 (MSFS2004) via FSUIPC. Designated analog state changes are reflected in the on-screen display of MSFS2004. Additionally, the primary flight display (PFD) and navigational display (ND) are run on client computers using the Project Magenta software package. What sets the Sim Icarus apart from other flight simulators is the fact that it is modular and customizable. The software can be coded to meet the customer's needs at a cost far below that of most simulators."

Via Slashdot

A Decade At Microsoft

Today is the official ten year anniversay of my hiring at Microsoft and it's been a great decade. Back in January 1995, Windows 95 hadn't yet shipped, DirectX was still a below the radar project and I had recently joined a small startup producing a 3D graphics API. Fast forward to a month later and we were building the foundation for Microsoft's 3D graphics vision.

In my time here I've shipped and helped out on numerous products including Reality Lab 2.0, Direct3D in DirectX 2, 3, 5 and 6, a VRML browser, IE 4.0, Flight Simulator 2000 and 2004, Combat Flight Simulator 2, Oddworld - Munch's Oddysee, NFL Fever 2000 and a fair few cancelled projects.

I've been a Program Manager, Developer, Development Lead, Development Manager and Software Architect.

On a more personal level, I've relocated from London, UK to Redmond, USA. I've acquired a house, wife, dog, son and a wonderful life.

It's been a blast. And it will continue to be a blast. Roll on the next decade.

90th Most Popular Podcast?

According to iPodderX.com (ok, so it's a Mac only product, but it's the most popular podcast client for that platform) my podcast is the 90th most popular in their directory. My word, how did that happen? From my logs, each of the podcasts seems to be avereraging around 500 downloads, so I guess that ain't bad. But 90th out of the 3536 now in their directory?

I guess I get to be the popular boy!

Managed DirectX

The ZBuffer is a great website devoted to game development on the Managed DirectX platform. It also happens to be run by a friend of mine who also happens to be another Microsoft brit. Go check it out.

A Brit Abroad - February 10, 2005

I'm feeling better and have things to talk about! A new sweeper, the telly, listener comments and of course podsafe music by Spank! Weighing in lighter than normal at 20 minutes and 9.2MB, it's "A Brit Abroad".

Links Talked About


Trackback Spam

So the comment spam has pretty much died off, I only get a few everyday now (and those are effectively handled by MT-Blacklist), but I'm getting a huge amount of trackback (or ping) spam now. MT-Blacklist does a pretty good job with it, but about twenty or so a day get through the defences.

And what is it with the texas holdem'/poker spam? About 90% of the spam seems to be for poker sites.

Google Maps

Interesting application. Very nice rendering. It feels like there is something more going on there than there seems on the surface. I wonder how long it will be before keyhole is integrated somehow into that?

Google Maps.

Radio Daddy

After hearing about Radio Daddy on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code, I thought I'd try it out and post a request.

Radio Daddy is a interchange site for commercial radio stations, internet radio stations and recently podcasts where people post requests for voiceovers, sweepers, beds, etc... and other kind folks on the site oblige for free.

I posted a request for a sweeper for my podcast "A Brit Abroad" and within a day one of the members, Ol' Dave posted a couple of great sweepers that I will definitely be using.

Here they are:

The CD Saga Continues

I called them up again this week to be told "it should be ready by the middle of next week".


"But that's what you told me last week!", says I.

"I'm sorry, our packing machine is broken and we're doing it by hand. I'll call you when I know anything more. We can maybe send you some partial shipments."

Too frigging right. Idiots.

Bushrod Speaks…

CJ, lead vocalist and stylin' lead guitar player of the band has started a blog - cool. He mentioned at practice this evening that he'd finally started giving the blog thing a go, but I forgot to ask for the url. Handily, when I got home technorati was happy to inform me via a watchlist rss feed that a new link to my site has appeared from someone's blog...

The Bushrod Chronicles. Subscribed.


So after the initial nuclear strike sized first dose of antibiotics I'm feeling much better. Though the cough last night was pretty unpleasant. To top it off, Julian also now has a fever, so Bila is at home with him today.

Everytime I get a treatment of ABs, it also seems to be of a type I've never had before. I'm very allergic to penicillin, so I'm always a bit tentative when taking them - about 20% of the time I get perscribed some penicillin derivative that ties my stomach up in knots.

So far so good though.

© 2001 to present, Steve Lacey.