Al Nevarez points to an article about Microsoft and telematics. You know, use of computers in cars. Al used to design cars for Ford/Mercury, among others. Seriously. He's another one of the "lit" crew.
I heard that someone at Microsoft built a system to load new songs into her car stereo via 802.11b. Everytime she pulls into her garage, a bunch of new songs for the next day start downloading to her car stereo. Now THAT sounds like something I'd like to try, especially now that I'm getting into using PressPlay.
It's really great to be learning programming from Mickey Williams book (I hired him to speak at the VSLive conference several years back). Not to mention being mentioned on his weblog.
I'm gonna be quieter than usual cause I'm working through some programming books and trying to get to a place where I can have a discussion about first steps of being a programmer. Even though beating up on John Dvorak and being called a Microsoft shill is more fun.
One thing that's motivating me: I believe the industry needs 100,000 new programmers a year to fill the programming needs that exist. Unfortunately, these programmers probably won't call themselves programmers. They'll be people building internal weblogs (or, the more politically-correct term "knowledge management systems") and then hooking them up to various things inside their corporations.
We're already seeing this happen. I have an RSS Aggregator inside Outlook. Why not have SAP spit out an RSS feed so that all of NEC's employees and managers could track daily sales, backorders, RMAs, and other things?
But, who will program that for us? I can't get money to hire programmers. We don't have an internal programming staff that I can use (if we do, they are too busy to pay attention to something like weblogs, which aren't yet on the corporate radar screen).
So, I gotta do it myself. I'm not sure it's possible. SAP doesn't really have a nice API/object model that I can get to from .NET. Although they just loaded a new one on my system, so maybe it does now.
I sure don't have the skills to parse SAP's data, and put it into RSS files. Not yet, anyway. But, that's my goal. Be able to learn enough to take data out of one app, put it into RSS format, and spit it over to my Web server that's running on my desktop.
I'll let you know how it goes. As far as being Microsoft's shill? Heh, I can think of worse things to shill. Microsoft makes a product (actually several) that 200 million people use (and based on my customer research, many of them use Microsoft products for eight to 12 hours a day -- I know I use Windows 14 hours a day, and Outlook and IE at least nine of those). If defending a company that's made that much change to the world earns me a label of "shill" then I'll wear that label proudly.
Congrats to Matt Carter, my former co-worker at Fawcette, for landing a job with Microsoft Press.
Carlo, in my comments, says I'm a "first-class Microsoft shill." Why is that a bad thing? I love how geeks love to try to make you feel bad if you stick up for Microsoft (which I wasn't even doing here, I was just trying to say that John Dvorak has no clue about anything. In the past six months he's been wrong far far more than he's been right. Wrong about weblogs. Wrong about Apple. Now wrong about the operating system that must not be named. If you stick up for him, that makes you wrong too. Why is speaking the truth "being a shill?" Geesh.