Main | August 2004 »

July 2004 Archives

July 9, 2004


As most people are aware, I graduated from Purdue University this past spring with a degree in computer science. Quite recently, I moved from Indiana to Redmond, Washington to start a full time job at Microsoft. I just moved from temporary housing into my new apartment, which has lots of space, including a large deck and a loft, which I'm working on painting right now. I'll post pictures later. Life has been pretty busy, and it'll be even busier once the movers bring my stuff here on Wednesday. For now, I'm using boxes for tables and sleeping on a foam pad. It isn't too bad, though. I've got a gray cat to keep me company!

Site's up!

Well, it looks like I'm finally going to do something with this domain. My parents want a way to read about my life on the Internet, and I figured it couldn't hurt to have a "real" website for once (old Geocities sites don't count!). This is pretty bare for now, but hopefully I'll be able to add more features as I go.

July 11, 2004

Weekend Fun

It's the end of the weekend, and I'm anticipating my first day of work tomorrow. I've had fun hanging out with my friends during the latter part of last week, since my social life will probably have to slow down once the movers come. There's so much to do in the Seattle area, particularly during the summer when the weather is so nice.

Unfortunately, nice weather also means lots of construction. Many of the major roads and highways here are doing a lot of repairs right now. The exit on 405 I used to take to get to temporary housing closed the day I checked out. The 520 bridge was closed this past weekend, so I avoided Seattle as much as I could, but today, I had to go further south to take the 90 bridge over the lake to get to church. There's also some construction on West Lake Sammamish, one of the local streets I'll have to take to get to work, but one of the guys at church assured me that the residents want the construction to last forever, so people will drive slower.

Yesterday, I meant to go to a parade in Redmond because a friend of mine was playing in one of the bands, but I got the time wrong, so I missed most of it. The parade was part of a day-long event in town called "Derby Days." I'm not quite sure what it was for, but there were a lot of things for kids, including rides and booths. I also went to the Saturday market near my apartment with Heather, a girl from Purdue who's also at Microsoft, and she bought cherries and I bought blueberries. It'll be really convenient once I get cooking gear... fresh basil for $1! We also walked around downtown Redmond, and there's a really great half-price bookstore that's easily within walking distance of my apartment. I found a book I've been meaning to buy, which was surprising because it's pretty new, but I'm not complaining... it saved me $7. Afterwards, we decided to head over to Kirkland, where Heather lives, and we went to the Kirkland Arts Festival, which was being held this weekend. It was a lot like the one I went to in Edmunds last summer, with a lot of booths and some demonstrations. Probably would have been a little more enjoyable if it wasn't raining, but it was still fun.

Today, I watched Spiderman 2 with some of my friends, then came back to the apartment and made dinner. It's funny how I don't have the cookware to make ramen noodles, but I have everything I need to make sushi. I made two rolls with chicken, lettuce, and mayo (sounds real Japanese, huh?) and one with cream cheese and salmon. They didn't look all that pretty, but they tasted decent, and I've got enough for dinner tomorrow, too.

July 16, 2004

the picture post

Figured it might not be a bad thing to consolidate all of my picture links into one post. You have to convert "hxxp" into "http" so robots don't crawl over here and get to all of my pictures. Newest at the top.

Date added: 6-22-07
Jan's Party: Pictures from farewell parties to Jan, one of my co-workers. You can see what the girls on my team look like.
Whistler: Pictures from a January trip to Whistler. Gorgeous scenery!
SE Asia: A work in progress... sites for my two week trip to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Date added: 12-25-06
Cornell: Labor Day trip to Cornell
Deception Pass: Camping trip at Deception Pass
Baton Rouge: Trip to Baton Rouge for Jessica's wedding
Europe: London, Bruges, and Brussels over Thanksgiving week

Date added: 7-11-06
Munich & Salzburg: Still working on these, dunno when they'll be finished.
Tulip Festival: Heather and Nina's trip to the Tulip Festival
Olympic Peninsula Beach Trip: Justin and Nina's Memorial Day backpacking trip on the beach.

Date added: 1-16-06
Festival of the Grape: Wine festival at Chateau Ste Michelle sometime last year.
PDC 2005: Professional Developers Conference
Rays: A few pictures at Rays when Mike Stucke came to visit
Random Stuff: A few random pictures that don't fit in anywhere
Whistler: The annual team trip to Whistler

Date added: 12-2-05
Sun Lakes Camping Trip: This is a site I posted before, just not under pictures.
Vancouver Island: Strathcona Provincial Park and Victoria, BC
Thanksgiving: Pictures from Thanksgiving dinner with the family

Date added: 7-15-05
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Pictures from Mexico. I'm not completely done as of now, but there's enough to see.
Thetis Island, BC: Pictures from the family trip to Thetis Island.
Big Four Ice Caves, WA: Hiking trip I took with some friends.
Yakima Valley, WA: Wine tasting trip in Central Washington.

Date added: 2-14-05
22nd birthday: Pictures of me and Justin running around Kirkland on my birthday. And miscellaneous pictures of snow and a silly gray cat.
Mt. Baker skiing: Skiing trip! And pictures of a silly gray cat.

Date added: 1-7-05
Whistler: Snow, injury, and revelry.
Louisiana: Not guaranteed to be compatible with your browser unless it's mine.
Misc: A few other random pictures that happened to be on my computer.

Date added: 8-24-04
Apartment: Some pictures of my new apartment. A bit out of date.
Bite of Seattle: A few pictures from Bite of Seattle.
Cat: No photo update is complete without the obligatory cat pictures.
Olympic Peninsula: Pictures from a weekend trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
Seattle: Pictures of Seattle from when my mom was in town.

July 18, 2004

Bite of Seattle

I went to Bite of Seattle today with Heather and two other people she found through the New Grads mailing list. All of the dishes had to be $5 or less, so we were able to eat without paying too much money. Heather and I shared two dishes, a crabcake and chicken and artichoke crepes, both of which were really good. I also got a cup of Thai iced tea, which I shared with the group because none of them had tried it before.

We also attended one of the free cooking demonstrations that was held throughout the day. Each demo featured two different chefs from local restaurants, and we got to watch one guy make a "seafood margarita" and another make grilled salmon with herbs and a salad. Sadly, they didn't let us sample. Afterwards, we went to another section, where we got small samples of food from 8 different restaurants for $8, which was a pretty good deal because they seemed more upscale than the rest of the options. The raspberry gelato and chicken with blueberry chutney were WONDERFUL. There was also live music, which we listened to for awhile.

When I got back, I finished putting the first coat of paint on my loft, and I'm all lightheaded from all those nice paint fumes. The walls are now a pretty shade of blue, though. I don't know if I'm too lazy to paint the bathroom or not, but it would definitely look better with some color. Still haven't unpacked many boxes, but I did get my table set up in the bedroom.

Introduction to the Evil Empire

I survived my first week of work! Finally, my account is activated everywhere (except the MicroNews Ads site, which I can live without for now), I have a cardkey and I have a parking permit. I've been doing a lot of introductory stuff, like setting up my machines, reading specs, reading testplans, etc. Even though I did an internship last summer, I'm on a different subteam, so things are done differently, and there's new stuff for me to learn. Oh, and orientation on Monday was a horrible 6 hours. I'd seen all of their inspirational videos from the intern orientation, and essentially the only thing that was useful was the discussion of benefits, which I could just as easily have read myself.

So for the last year, everyone who has asked what I did at Microsoft has gotten a semi-vague answer along the lines of, "I'm a tester on Web.NET for a product that has not been released yet." Well, since the beta version of the next Visual Studio has come out, I'm able to say more now. First, I guess I'll elaborate on my position. I'm an SDE/T (Software Design Engineer in Test), which means I write a lot of code to automate testcases, find bugs, and perhaps do internal development. While this means I technically don't contribute directly to the finished product, I find that there's a little of everything involved in the job: I test, I write code, and I write specs and testplans.

The next question I usually get is, "What is Web.NET?" Well, to make things even more confusing, there was some team restructuring while I was gone, and now there's a new name for the team that's longer and hard to remember. I think it's something like "Web Tools and Services." Whatever, it's on my office door. Essentially, this is a team under the Visual Studio division (which I often refer to as "DevDiv") that includes ASP.NET, Visual Web Developer (which I'm under), and a recent addition of IIS.

Visual Web Developer is a new product that will be released with VS 2005. One of its main goals is to try to make ASP.NET more popular and to make it easier to develop powerful web applications without having to write as much code. If you're interested, a beta version of this product is available. There's also a free mini version called WebMatrix that's available on the ASP.NET website. As a tester, I "own" specific areas of the product that I'm responsible for testing thoroughly, and I was told on my first day that I'll be inheriting the Gridview control (a more powerful version of the Datagrid control in v1.x), and perhaps other databound controls. It's a pretty good control, so I'm happy with that. I remember trying to make it crash the application last year. :)

So that's a little about what I do, for those of you who are curious. Last summer, I was on the design time side, but now I have to do design time and run time testing, which are done differently in automation, so I've got a whole new set of tools to learn. Oh, and this site isn't powered by Visual Web Developer or ASP.NET. :) I'm too cheap to pay for Windows hosting.

July 23, 2004

Llamas and Mama's

Well, I now have access to MicroNewsAds, and I've been browsing the listings there. The large boats and expensive houses for sale do indeed exist, but I found the "Pets" section even more interesting. There were a lot of horses for sale (which I suppose is to be expected), but there were also seven llamas, too. Wonder how my cat would get along with one of those...

Yesterday, I went to a Microsoft event for interns, new hires, and some alumni from Purdue and UIUC. Getting over to Seattle was a real pain, since there was a Mariner's game that night, which meant even more traffic than the usual 520 rush hour deal. We left Microsoft at 4:45 and didn't get to Pioneer Square until about 5:45. We went on the Underground Tour, which was amusing and interesting. There seemed to be a recurring "toilet/feces" theme throughout Seattle's history, or at least the version of it that we got. Afterwards, we went to Mama's Mexican Kitchen for food (and in the case of many people in our group, drinks). Microsoft paid for all of it, which was quite nice.

I'll follow up with more details about work later, but I need to get things done for now.

About July 2004

This page contains all entries posted to adventures of a tired coder in July 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2004 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.