Things seen around Microsoft (and perhaps your college campus?): a fractal panda

fractalpandaIn the category of the interesting and odd things I see around Microsoft, this is one of the most unique, one that has found its way onto the Internet. It’s the fractal panda (or is that Fractal Panda?). It’s used by our good folks in Microsoft during various college informational trips. (I noted this on Twitter this morning as well, with a tip of the hat to the good folks over at Microsoft Recruiting and noted by folks in the wild including @ellenchisa.)

Anyone every see this around their campus?

As for interesting and odd, I fully expect to see more interesting holiday sweaters around the office today, too, for reasons that people on campus may acknowledge.


Tags: articles, what I read, Microsoft, Windows, recruiting, fractal panda.

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Wonder what’s up at the Microsoft Giving Campaign? Here’s a look at few auction items generating interest

As I noted here, this year’s Microsoft Giving Campaign activities kicked off recently. In support of the charity auction we run, I posted a few items of interest. (If you don’t know about our campaign, see this link for more info: Although this event and the items are only open to Microsoft employees, I wanted to highlight some of the items I’ve listed and thank the folks kind enough to provide them. (I went ahead and checked with our auction and PR teams to ensure I could discuss them here ;)  Please note that I don’t personally benefit from the listing of any of these items; funds will benefit the local United Way and other charities.


Windows® 7 Inside OutAward-winning technology journalist and author Ed Bott graciously offered to provide a personally inscribed and signed copy of his new book, “Windows 7 Inside Out” to the winner of one of this auction. The new 1056-page book also includes a CD with a fully searchable eBook, downloadable gadgets and other tools for customizing Windows 7. I may just bid on this item myself.


Natasha Wescoat Internationally renowned artist Natasha Wescoat has graciously agreed to donate a signed original painting, to be created and personally inscribed for the high bidder. Natasha’s passion for community and social media has helped propel her work onto a global scale via her presence on social media sites like Twitter (@natasha) and her blog,

Natasha’s art graces over 1,000 private and corporate collections worldwide, garnering a devoted following that has enabled her to work with television shows (Extreme Makeover Home Edition) and movies (Marley and Me).  A new transplant to Seattle, it’s nice that Natasha has offered this custom piece and I’m sure that it will garner a lot of attention.

 TechFlash poster


The good folks over at TechFlash and Kroll Map Co. have kindly provided a local geek treasure: a truly limited edition of the popular TechFlash Geek’s Guide to Seattle poster (, autographed by the TechFlash team. Measuring 36 by 28 inches, the popular poster was redesigned for our Giving Campaign auction as a one-of-a-kind piece to show more of the map surface on much bigger scale.

The poster highlights some interesting locations, including some well-known sites but also many of the region’s most interesting tech locations and hidden gems, ranging from the former rental house where Jeff Bezos started Amazon to an extremely cool, little-known communications technology museum south of the city. (Many thanks to Todd Bishop at TechFlash and Kroll for this donation.)


David Hoang's Guy Kawasaki avatarProlific Seattle artist David Hoang (on Twitter @DavidHoang) has graciously donated his talent to create a custom, one-of-a-kind Hand Drawn Avatar to the high bidder for use as a social media (or other) "avatar" on Twitter and other services. David explores the foundations of popular culture, de-contextualization, re-contextualization and convergence. In a world of "instant-uploads" and automatic avatar creations, David takes a step back and spends 20-30 minutes on a high quality drawing for the user. David also records the experience and presents the final YouTube video as a music video: see an example of the finished work at


Tomorrow I’ll post details on a couple of items that should appeal to the techie in all of us (I know I think they’re quite cool ;).


Tags: articles, what I read, twitter, Microsoft, Windows 7, Giving Campaign.

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The Microsoft Giving Campaign kicks off!

For those FTEs who read this blog, a quick note to let you know that I have posted a few items of interest on this year’s Microsoft Giving Campaign auction. (If you don’t know about our campaign, see this link for more info:

A couple of very choice items will be posted this week that you will not want to miss. Unfortunately, I am unable to discuss them here.

But, I can say that geeks will love 2145 and 2197, and art lovers will enjoy 2159. A few new items will be added this week, so keep watching.


+1: Hugh MacLeod is a Comic Genius

On my way to a meeting, but first: this top of the hat to Steve Clayton.

As Steve posted and Tweeted today (you can see that for yourself here), Hugh MacLeod is a Comic Genius. (More on his work briefly in a pastpost and on his blog/ site at

I have to agree.

"I was reminded last night how much I miss having Hugh around…so I went and checked out his archive of comics and an hour later was still there. Above is a small collection of some of my favourites…including my absolute favourite (discounting Blue Monster and Cloud)."

My personal favourite:


And this from his new series:


+1 for a Hugh book.

Tags: Microsoft, Zune.

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Of interest: New ‘Life without Walls’ Wallpapers for your PC… or Mac

Brandon LeBlanc said on the The Windows Experience Blog that he’s posting a few of the new "Life without Walls" images as desktops…

In light of tonight’s new ad "Life without Walls" seen in newspapers today along with the new "Real PC" TV ads (see Chris’s post); I’ve decided to make wallpapers for folks so they can add "Life without Walls" as wallpaper on their PC.

Life without Walls Wallpaper 1920x1200

I’m sure that you can install on your Windows PC, or your Mac running Windows. 😉

Tags: desktop, Microsoft, Windows Vista