April 2004 - Posts
Well, not really a post, just a link, to photos of the Microsoft Company Store - we got to shop there during the MVP 2004 Global Summit. A great place to pick up branded merchandise to impress your friends - badge holders, toys, clothing, etc.
I'm in the middle of having implants to replace my bottom molars on both sides and my regular dentist can't get the way-back molar area numb, so I am off to an oral surgeon in the morning to have it done. He's going to knock me out (literally, not figuratively) and says the whole thing will done in 45 minutes. I'm nervous about the getting knocked out part - I haven't been put under since before my daughter was born - and she is 21 years old. I am also not happy about not being able to eat or drink after 8 pm tonight - no coffee in the morning - I will not be a pleasant person to deal with.
They did say I could take a Valium with very little water - that should help :-)
Aaron Brethorst, Program Manager at Microsoft on the Visual Studio Core team writes about building in accessibility (which enhances usability) as you develop, not saving it to do later. He asks two great questions: How would you use your app if you couldn't manipulate the mouse, or if you couldn't differentiate between two certain colors? Would it impact how you design it?
There's now an 80G hard drive in my Dell desktop, set up to dual boot Windows XP Pro and Windows Server 2003. I'm finally ready to start testing the different configuration options for FrontPage 2003 as shown on the Microsoft Office Online FrontPage Server Configuration Options and Features page.
I knew she wasn't feeling well earlier this week.
Every morning she would wake up when I placed her lovingly in her cradle, but within an hour, she had fallen fast asleep. I could only wake her up with a soft reset, but by yesterday, even that wasn't enough.
This morning she wouldn't wake up at all.
On Monday, I am sending her back to her maker, packed snugly in a FedEx box.Her maker says she should be brought back to life and returned to me within
I will miss her so much.
She was so young.
And it seems that just before she passed on, her memory was wiped clean, so she won't remember me and everything I've taught her - we will have to start all over again.
Lisa Wollin, Programmer Writer for FrontPage at Microsoft, writes about how FrontPage doesn't mangle HTML anymore. And Wayne Kao says Frontpage Isn't Just For Novices Anymore
The Business Case: There are two very good reasons why your client should start to think about Web accessibility:
- An accessible Website will make your client money.
- An accessible Website will save your client money.
Now, if that doesn't get his attention, I don't know what will. Here are eight ways in which accessibility will save or make your client money.
If your customers don't 'get' accessibility, here's two of the eight ways they will 'get' - you can read all eight at Sitepoint.
2. His Website will be compatible with new browsing technologies.
In the near future, PDAs, mobile phones and in-car browsers will all regularly be used to access the Internet. Do you think you client knows that some 58 million PDAs will be sold in 2008 alone?
3. His Website will appear higher in search engine rankings.
The Government has set a January 1, 2006 deadline for websites to meet the New Zealand Government Web Guidelines version 2.1, though it has not assessed how much this may cost.
A cabinet paper written by State Services Minister Trevor Mallard says that people who have disabilities, live in the wrong place, or can't afford the latest technology face difficulties accessing government websites.
The guidelines aim to ensure websites work on old PCs with Internet connections as slow as 9.6kbps, use the Maori language consistently and take account of disabilities.
The deadline applies to the websites of all public service departments, including Police, Defence, the Parliamentary Counsel Office and the Security Intelligence Service. They will self-audit their compliance.
The guidelines, which were first introduced in December 2002, remain voluntary for state-owned enterprises and local government.
A few statements from the guidleines that I really like a lot:
"Equity means being fair and reasonable. People have no choice about where to go to get government services. Only one agency issues passports and one collects taxes. This places an onus on agencies to make their websites widely accessible."
Better service means:
- Better discovery (I can find what I need)
- Better delivery (I get what I need)
- Better accessibility (I get it the way I need it)
"Accessibility is not simply a checkbox to be ticked during website redevelopment. Accessibility is an attitude that should permeate all aspects of the development and delivery of information and services online. As small a thing as incorrect spelling can affect accessibility for some users."
Web Content Accessibility
Content on New Zealand government websites must be developed and presented in accordance with the WAI guidelines. Content developers
- must satisfy priority 1 checkpoints (see exemption below)
- should satisfy priority 2 checkpoints
- may satisfy priority 3 checkpoints
of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.
Exemption: The WAI requirement to identify changes in natural language with the lang attribute (http://www.w3c.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-abbreviated-and-foreign) does not extend to the Maori language in these Guidelines while support for correct rendering in screen readers does not extend to the Maori language.
Since a number of the priority 2 and 3 checkpoints are not especially onerous to implement, agencies should aim to go beyond the requirements of priority 1 where this can be done economically.
Relative font sizes may make websites more accessible — but they’re not much help unless the person using the site can find a way to actually change text size. Return control to your audience using this simple, drop-in solution.
At Julie Lerman's blog: Ambrose Little's MVP Summit pics and WS-Sushi
At MouseTrax (Diane and Greg Chapman): 2004 MVP Summit!
Albert D. Kallal: MVP 2004 Summit
James Avery: MVP Summit 2004
Owners Have Outrageous Trip to the Blue Grass: Two of the owners of That's an Outrage had an eventful Thursday on their way to Lexington for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I)--their plane caught on fire.
Denise Moewes and Tim Dores, who race under the nom du course Bull Stick Stables, own half of That's an Outrage along with Ernie Moody's Mercedes Stable. That's an Outrage is a 30-1 hopeful in the eight-horse Blue Grass field is conditioned by the Southern California-based trainer Mike Puhich.
The two bankruptcy attorneys boarded a Delta Airlines flight from Seattle bound for Cincinnati early Thursday morning. Just after takeoff, as Moewes and Dores were seated in an exit row over the wings, they heard a "big clunk" and noticed the plane wasn't gaining altitude. Minutes into the flight, people seated behind them started screaming that the plane was on fire.
Stefan Rusynko, one of our FrontPage MVPs, was on this flight! We are so thankful that he made it back safely.
At the Microsoft PressPass site: “Executives speaking at the MVP Summit included Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer; Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group; Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Servers and Tools; Lori Moore, corporate vice president of Product Support Services (PSS); and Rich Kaplan, corporate vice president of the Content Development and Delivery Group (CDDG).
"MVPs are an exceptionally rich resource within the user community that help us better understand our customers' needs and how they use our products," Ballmer said. "They enthusiastically empower and inspire our customers worldwide on a daily basis, helping them with practical matters as well as strategic planning."
SeattlePI Microsoft Blog: MVP Summit under wraps
Betsy Aoki's WebLog: Mighty Vivid People - MVPs at the Summit
I'll post more as I find them.
I had read about the Welcome MVP Banners hanging all around the campus on Scoble's blog but it was great to see them for myself - here's one of them:
This picture was taken with my Sprint Samsung phone.
There were also banners for specific product groups - like the Windows Mobile Group.
This morning we saw a presentation on Watson, the process that Microsoft uses to manage error reporting. Pretty amazing - seems to me more people should turn it on - it can really help.
In the afternoon, we saw a bunch of presentations by other Office MVPs, and we got to do one as well, on what we think should be done with FrontPage to make it a more attractive tool for professional web developers. I saw a bunch of people nodding their heads (no, they weren't sleeping) in agreement with a lot of what we had to say. I'll try and post a link to our PowerPoint presentation here.
At night, we were hosted and fed by the Office Product Teams in the cafeteria - great food and conversation - and there was a TV there, so I got to watch most of the UConn Men's Basketball Championship Game - UConn won 82-73 GO UConn! What a great game! Let's hope the women can do the same tonight against Tennessee.
I am at the W - I really don't think it's as dark as they say - I have a beautiful room on the 19th floor with a view of downtown Seattle. The W has high-speed internet access in all the guest rooms and wireless access down in the lobby.
We (the FP MVPs) all went out last night tonight and had a great meal at McCormick & Schmick's on First Avenue. I highly recommend it. Great menu and teriific service.
One more thing - it was definitely shorts weather yesterday. We went down to the Pier yesterday after noon and saw the guys throwing the fish.
And Cheryl and I went shopping- I bought a pair of shoes - Cheryl bought 2.
Here's the weather forecast for the rest of week - looks pretty good - no rain!
The weather forecast for Seattle is calling for 60+ degree weather - where I'm from, that's pretty warm for this time of year. Sandal weather, definitely, but shorts? Ehh, not until I've been to the beach a few times :-) Shirts are not a problem; I'm taking all the shirts they gave us at previous summits.
I'll be at the W with the other FrontPage MVPs. I hear it's pretty dark there - maybe I'll pack a flashlight.
According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft execs plan to share information on its next version of Office and other future products with its 'volunteer army.' Early next month, Microsoft is set to share its vision for its next-generation Office, Windows, database and other products with hundreds of its Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs).
Now that will be very cool.
At Robert Scoble's blog: Wow, the MVP Global Summit is getting huge attention here on campus. All over the place there's signs welcoming the thousands of Most Valuable Professionals to campus.
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