How to organize like Bill Gates, the HP-Microsoft deal, Helping in Haiti and more

How Bill WorksYes, I’ve been neglecting my blog. Although I have a couple of blog posts in the works (on setting up our Windows 7 home network connected to our Media Center), I have been just too busy with (gasp!) real work. So I obviously need to be better at my organization: helpful that I found this brief article on Bill Gates’ organizational effort with a few of his "top tactics" with a nod of what Bill calls the digital workstyle. Missing from the article: you need a great staff! For me, here’s a quick post that answers one of the popular questions I often get: "How I Work at Microsoft". 

First off, I supported @Americares WRT Haiti earthquake victims as 99% of the goes to the relief effort. You can read more here about Microsoft’s help to relief organizations in Haiti and see a list of charities helping in the country here on MSN. (BTW, I’m an AT&T customer. With all of the press on teh incredible response via text message donations, there’s a bit of a brou-ha-ha WRT AT&T’s note that "Standard text messaging rates may apply" for said donations made on its network. I asked @ATTNews to waive fees like @Verizon & @TMobile for Haiti donations. And it seems that customer response and public pressure has caused AT&T to give in on that surcharge.)

Lots of news on the Microsoft & HP CEOs announcement yesterday on investment in IT infrastructure software, as initially noted here by You can read all about the HP – Microsoft three-year, $250 million deal to advance cloud computing for businesses on Microsoft Presspass and this post from Brad Anderson of the mgmt & services division.

Now, on to a couple of noteworthy bits from my posts on Twitter and on Twitter and from friendfeed:


As noted Microsoft is supporting relief efforts in Haiti + how you can help, MSFT makes initial $1.25 million commitment [Blog]

WSJTech reports that PC Shipments Surge in Holiday Quarter

Sad that Bill Veghte over in Windows Marketing is leaving the company after nearly two decades per @inafried…

Sad to read about Apple IMac quality issues (Yellow Discoloration, Fail to Boot)…

@maryjofoley reports that Visual Studio 2010 gets a new launch date: April 12, 2010:…

@LanceUlanoff reports on Google in China: Pulling Out May Not Be a Good Idea… China’s wrong, but will Google’s exit help anyone? #google #china

@karaswisher: The One-Year Report Card of Yahoo’s Carol Bartz–Management: A-…

@meridith: The CIO Job Market in 2010: More Opportunities and More Competition… #CIO #jobs

Run into error code 0x80070005, Windows 7 "is not Genuine"? Disable policy settings or edit permissions:

A look inside BMW’s Windows 7 rollout to date: "Smooth Driving So Far" on…

Nice too see Michigan and Microsoft teaming up to offer free technology training around the state… #fb

Microsoft reiterates console generation stance: "Xbox 360 is designed to last longer than normal"…

Other vendors to follow Apple offering multi-touch tablet PCs in Q1 or Q2, say Taiwan touch panel makers…

From JohnPaczkowski: Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin: We’re Building a Nexus One for Enterprise…

From LanceUlanoff: Why Tablets Need Apple… Everybody’s making tablets, but nobody knows what they’re for. @SaschaSegan is right.

@toddbishop: Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP? Yep, it’s true.…

From Stephen Rose: RT @MaxTrinidad: RT @MSSpringboard: Four Free Tools that every Administrator should Know About…

@MSFT_IT: The definitive explainer of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), by Microsoft IT Evangelist Yung Chou…

@MSFT_IT: MSFT CIO Tony Scott talks about new directions for IT in 2010. Video and paper available at

@Cisco_Mobile Gotcha – sometimes that download get’s missed. Thx for the info

Troubleshooting Windows 7 with Microsoft’s Built-In Tools: It all began w/ Firefox 3.5, via @tomshardware…

Microsoft Security Advisory 979267: Adobe Flash Player 6 Vulnerability in Windows XP could allow remote code execution…

Skip Microsoft’s Critical Patch, Focus on Adobe’s, Experts Urge reports @gkeizer via @PCWorld…

Microsoft will report earnings after the market close on Thurs, January 28. Investor Relations page:…

@edbott: New at ZDNet: Move over, God mode! 94 more secret shortcuts for Windows 7:…

@msPartner: PartnerNews: What are Microsoft and HP announcing tomorrow?… What will Ballmer and Hurd unveil? #MPN

@johnhcook: Comcast’s new Data Meter: Like a calorie counter for Internet usage…


Tags: Microsoft, articles, blogs, what I read, Twitter.

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, Windows Vista, Windows 7, computers, how-to

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SXSW 2009 in Austin is the place to be, at least virtually via Twitter and the Web for me this year

SXSW '09

This weekend was a busy one for us at home, otherwise I would have found a way to travel to Austin with several of my friends to attend South by Southwest 2009 Conference in Austin, Texas.

For those of you who don’t know, a good summary is offered here on SXSW from the local paper:

"South by Southwest is a music lover’s heaven. But wait — it’s also a film lover’s dream. And, yes, it’s a techie’s delight. What started as a small Austin music festival 22 years ago is now a full-blown music, film and interactive jamboree known worldwide.

Welcome, SXSW. You’re grown up and spectacular but still very much a genuine Austin experience.

Starting Friday, Austin’s downtown will swell with people and events as SXSW kicks off. Bring on traffic and people congestion. Austin is ready and thrilled to host this year’s 10-day happening that is expected to draw 100,000 attendees. This is just the kind of festive event the city needs to shake off the blues of a slumping economy. The Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau estimates that the SXSW jamboree will generate about $103 million for the Austin-area economy."

The SXSW conference also offers a music fest offering nearly 2,000 musical acts from around the world on over eighty stages. Although I’ve never been to one in the 23 years it’s been going on, I have always resolved that I would when I made it back to the music business I left so long ago. Now more than ever at is a destination for media, technology, music and art. (I went to my fair share of New Music conferences in New York, which offered dozens and dozens of bands, but that was pre-Internet, and when I had a Compuserve address that ran up a hefty monthly bill that eclipsed even the most precocious teen texter today.)

Next year.

But this year, I decided to spend time after the family drifted off to sleep this weekend to catch up on the goings-on over the filmmaking, music and technology.

Articles from around the Web

Here’s a collection of articles I queued up to read today from the web. The Word on SXSW 2009 is at March 10, 2009, By Ken Stewart of ChangeForge (Twitter/FriendFeed) — "Need to get the word on South by Southwest 2009? Get, a targeted social media platform, brought to you by BlogWerds Media, dedicated to the niche content vertical of SXSW to deliver what’s happened, what’s happening, and what’s happening next. "Co-founder Eric Berlin, who also writes here on, has positioned the Werds-brand as a highly-targeted content aggregation coupled with social media tools for what’s coming next."

Thrive Selected as Finalist for Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW – "Thrive (, a free personal financial advisory website, has been named a finalist in the Innovative Web Technology category for the inaugural Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW, where early stage technology companies will demo their creations in front of judges and a live audience. Sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, Moontoast, Mosso | The Rackspace Cloud, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, more than 200 companies submitted to present at the Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW, and 20 were chosen as finalists in four different categories: online video-related technologies, online music-related technologies, social networking, and innovative web applications."

Navigating SXSW the social way, March 13, 2009, 11:20 AM — ITworld — by Joe Doherty — "If you happen to be perusing any sort of website talking about the South By Southwest Conference (SXSW), you’ll probably see three names you and the popular media have come to know well: Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Without a doubt, you will be able to view many new video uploads on YouTube documenting the day and night’s events within minutes of the actual event commencing. Flickr images will be posted and shared to those who give a care. Twitter, though, is fascinating."

Now, this is just plain silly, as my grandfather would say: Suicide girls get sizzling bacon ‘bro’ tattoos at SXSW (courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2009) – "Talk about bringing home the bacon. At Saturday night’s Bigg Digg party at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, Texas, I ran across two young ladies from the tech world who were sporting brand-new, hot-off-the-grill bacon tattoos. Lynn LaVallee, a.k.a. @poshy, and her friend Jessica Zollman, a.k.a. @jayzombie, in town for the South by Southwest music and media conference, consummated their roommate-ship early. The two San Francisco-based women, both Suicide Girls (that’s the Web’s "enlightened" erotic-photo site), are moving in together next month, and they both love bacon. Hence the decision to get their "bro tatts." Bacon is, of course, one of the Web’s silliest memes."

Where to eat in Austin – Entertainment News, SXSW News, Media – Variety – "Full disclosure: It’s been a long time since I lived in Texas and when I did, it wasn’t in Austin. However, over my 23 years in that state, the city became my kinda-Mecca. (Sacred, yes. Holy, no.) "All of which is not a bad way to describe the perspective of the tens of thousands who converge on SXSW every year. If you’re among them, you deserve to eat well. Or to put it another way: You’re a fool if you don’t. The best breakfasts in any city/state/country. Fantastic Tex-Mex. And, of course, the barbecue. With that in mind, I’ve assembled a top-10-plus-five list: Ten places I know, love and can vouch for; five that I don’t know but hope to based on recommendations from Those Who Know. Some, but not all of these places are within or walking distance from Austin’s downtown. For the closest-to-definitive list of SXSW-accessible restaurants, go to SXSW Baby!, the terrific and utterly unofficial SXSW blog. There you’ll find a fairly exhaustive rundown, complete with Google Map."

Interactive revolt at SXSW – Entertainment News, Technology News, Media – Variety by LIZ SHANNON MILLER — "Over the five days of the SXSW Interactive conference, there are some 120 panels that discuss and dissect Web 2.0 with topics ranging from "Pimp My Film’s Website" to "Digital Cinema for Indies." However, the biggest news to come out of the event was, appropriately enough, virtual. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a reputation for being a poor public speaker, so those attending his Sunday keynote discussion hoped moderator Sarah Lacy would steer the conversation. However, Lacy, a columnist for Business Week and writer of an upcoming book on Zuckerberg and Web 2.0, ended up steering the conversation directly into oncoming traffic."

SXSW: Web Video Isn’t Killing TV by Jessica E. Vascellaro at the WSJ blog notes that "While the popularity of online video skyrockets, a panel of comedians and technology executives cautioned that the content is still a long way a way from destroying traditional TV. "That’s not to say that Web video isn’t changing the way TV actors and writers think about their jobs… The panel — which highlighted the role comedy plays in driving Web hits — quickly expanded to assess the success and influence of online-only content in general. B.J. Novak, a producer of “The Office” who also plays temp worker Ryan Howard, said NBC’s hit show spends reasonably big bucks investing in shorter online-only “webisodes”, in part to experiment with what works and what doesn’t online. “Everyone is still trying to figure them out,” he said, adding that he thinks the term “webisode” will disappear in the future as people watch more TV content online and vice versa." | NXT: Next Generation: SXSW: – Talking about shoes, saving newspapers? – Justin Ellis over at the Maine Sunday Telegram writes (March 15, 2009) that "I am not much of a shoes guy. I have shoes. I like certain pairs more than others, but they’re more of a utility than a fashion accessory. "So when someone mentions, my brain starts to nod off. This could have meant double jeopardy Saturday afternoon at SXSW Interactive. After traveling for more than six hours and jumping time zones, the first thing I attended was the keynote talk from CEO Tony Hsieh. "But something odd happened. As Stephen Colbert might say, Hsieh "just blew my mind." "Hsieh didn’t come to SXSW Interactive to talk about shoes or even the selling of shoes. Instead he decided to talk about customer service and how it wins the day for companies. If you’re like me, when you hear the phrase "customer service" you get visions of a dingy desk at back of a department store staffed by a kid who’s filing in for someone on their break."

On the page you’ll find links to many interesting items, including this one offering a graphic recording of Tony Hsieh opening remarks…


If you missed yesterday’s Opening Remarks with Tony Hsieh of Zappos, then check out the graphic recordings from Sunni Brown and Marilyn Martin to get some of the main points from his speech. Also, be sure to catch the Keynote Interview today from 2:00-3:00 pm with Nate Silver of and veteran journalist Stephen Baker. The keynote interview runs from 2:00 to 3:00 in Ballroom A, with simulcasting in Ballroom B, Ballroom C, Room 9 and the Day Stage. We expect a big crowd for Nate Silver, so be sure to get to Ballroom A early if you want to get a seat.

SXSW: Digg’s Party Brings Rude Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘Tude to SXSWi | The Underwire from – Who says parties are dead at SXSW? Michael Calore has this article noting how "Diggnation hosts Alex Albrecht, left, and Kevin Rose kick off a live-on-stage version of their podcast with a ceremonial shot at Stubb’s. AUSTIN, Texas — It was an unlikely scene for a dot-com party. Drunken revelers raising their fists to offer a devil’s horns salute to a stage flooded with bright flashing lights, kids shouting and clamoring over one another to get closer to the fray, and guitar solos cranked up a few decibels too many. "The Bigg Digg Shindigg was more like a rock concert than a party at a tech conference. It was hosted by social news website Digg and web video site Revision3 here at the South by Southwest Interactive conference Saturday night."

PR Newser (also tweeting the SXSW conference on twitter) has several posts on SXSW, along with these SXSW Odds and Ends from the PR Newser feed today (March 15):

ZDNet blogger Andrew Mager gives props to Porter Novelli: "As a member of the press I’ve gotten great information, offers to setup interviews, and many VIP party passes. These guys know what they are doing."

Blogger Tim Street catches up with Brian Solis to talk TechSet and how it is "changing what advertisers, marketers and public relations agencies are changing because of social media."

Steve Rubel (who is not at SXSW) points out "A Twitter visualization tool from PepsiCo with tweets about SXSW."

CNET’s own Buzz Out Loud 930: Live from SXSW has a report from Day Two by Jason Howell ‘tho hit with a SNAFU of sorts…

Blasted XP didn’t warn me that my hard drive was full! Therefore, half of the podcast didn’t record. Thankfully, I was able to salvage yesterday’s episode from the Ustream recording, so here it is! Special guests include ZDNet’s Andrew Mager, SXSW Event Director Hugh Forrest and Blogger’s Rick Klau.

As noted on the 2009 SXSW Interactive Cheat Sheet (found here) the full 2009 panel schedule is available online.

"As you contemplate what daytime programming that you want to attend at this year’s event, please remember that we will make audio recordings of all this content. In other words, if you miss the panel during the event, then you can listen to it online after SXSW concludes."

You may also find notes posted to from the various SXSW sessions, ‘though nothing is there as of yet.

Variety has a number of articles (old and new) available on for the SXSW hot topic, with links to interviews, articles and more.


Twitter lets you be there in real time… virtually.

It was a good thing that AT&T boosted their network to support SXSW, which allowed the attendees to tweet their thoughts to the masses not in Austin this weekend, along with more Twitpics and live videos than you can shake a stick at (another Texan saying). As noted here on VentureBeat, "Can’t make SXSW? Visualize it in tweets"

"Me and my fellow VentureBeatnik Eric Eldon are here on the ground in Austin, Texas for this year’s SXSW conference. Right now, nothing too exciting is going on, as we’re sitting alone in a cafe writing, but tomorrow the conference starts. For those not at the conference, there’s an interesting, visual way to follow along.

"Pepsi has teamed up with the teams behind two great Twitter apps, Twistori and Twennis, to bring us PepsiCoZeitgeist, a new Twitter visualization tool that showcases tweets about SXSW. For those familiar with Twistori, it looks similar, but rather than focus on the words “love,” “hate,” “think,” “believe,” “feel,” and “wish,” it focuses on more SXSW-appropriate terms: “arriving,” “registering,” “eating,” “connecting,” and perhaps most importantly, “partying” and “drinking.” But those evolve as the conference goes on, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone notes in a post about the feature today."

I thought that this tweet kinda sums it up:

alexinmadison: @nerdist The nerdiest thing going on right now is sxsw – especially since @jonathancoulton and @paulandstorm are playing there tonight.

Here’s a collection of what you can find yourself via Twitter’s search engine for SXSW tweets, this just a sample of favourite tweets over a 30 minute period. I’ll leave it to you to find yourown favourites (and LMK if you have good links to attendee coverage):

shanewilliamson: Pepsi created a Twitter visualiser for the SXSW event – Clever way of watching tweets from the event –

scnn: SXSW, the Conference for Julia Allison and Other People Lacking Real Jobs [Party Report] : What recession? More ..

arielwaldman: One of my favorite panels the first year I went to SXSW was Sex & Computational Technology w/ @qdot & @violetblue on it (be4 i knew them)

sukhjit: @garyvee says videoblogging success comes from content, transparency and authenticity. #sxsw Do you have a question for gary? I’ll ask it!

SHHHE: Facebook new hompage (+open feeds) is going to replace Twitter @briansolis #SXSW

@kevinmarks "the internet is the largest group of people who care about reading and writing ever assembled in history" @shirky #sxsw

joshua_thomas: At another packed #Sxsw session. McGyver meets design.

@jmoriarty: In How Social Media is killing the Revolution with @strebler @penguin and @oddboy #sxsw – don’t just follow ppl who agree

Skud: "the amount of privacy that could’ve happened if apache hadn’t shipped with logging enabled by default is enormous" – #sxsw not being evil

MomCentral: PR firms beware: social media simply offers the ability to screw up with a much larger audience in a much shorter time. #pr2 #sxsw

carmenb: This quote from @garyvee is for @lizcobb: Content is king & marketing is queen. And the queen runs the house. #sxsw

epodcaster: "…if you have an amazing product that could change the world and nobody knows about it that’s no doing you any good either." #sxsw

cheeky_geeky: Gary @garyvee has a good product, works his ass off, and knows his stuff. Forget new marketing until you have those three. #sxsw

adamehrheart: CSS3 presenters were full of it. Why on Gods green earth would Marquee updates be a "Hight Priority" item??? #sxsw

CouchSurfingOri: #sxsw #pr2 @skydiver Twitter is like your 7million person focus group.

hober: I encourage everybody at @ToddHuffman‘s #sxsw panel to check out

@jmacofearth: Unofficial Mac vs “Other” Count at #SXSW Interactive 2009 (UPDATED with PICS) UPDATED!

KellyDanielCNN: vaynurchuk: you could have the best marketing campaign in the world, and if your bottled water tastes like ass, you’re not gonna win #sxsw

CouchSurfingOri: #sxsw #pr2 @skydiver PR Press releases will be dead in 24-36 months. It’s all social media now. Any1 can get in touch w/ the press now.

gaeyia: "Here’s where the difference is: do you have the chops? Is your product GOOD?" #garyvee #sxsw

epodcaster: If you have a great marketing campaign and bad product, Social Media isn’t going to do you any good. By the same token… #sxsw

lesliehatfield: loving yourself the key to success,a common theme here at #sxsw, i guess it’s true, as long as you don’t suck, which is what gary’s saying

@pk2004: The is busy self scaling to cope with a surge in demand. Cool. #sxsw

MegaJustice: More booth zombies from Atozmedia at #sxsw. Yes, I walk the show floors an record what I see for R&D. Zombies can easily be fixed. Just ask.

christine: Lane Becker’s Therapy for the Under-employed at SXSW: What are you going to do with yourself, now that the econo..

CindyRoyal: Embrace your dna, people lie to themselves. Love yourself. Be who you are, "cause you can monetize that sh*t" @garyvee #sxsw #sxtxstate

jmaver: @ggroovin why not just rss feed as broadcast vs twitter. because 1% of people understand RSS, but follow me on twitter is simple. #sxsw

RT @unmarketing: At SXSW, attendees confront Twitter saturation

jeffreynolds: Panels today seem like they were awkwardly organized – can’t get into anything because popular topics are in tiny rooms. #sxsw

omarg: Just did a lengthy video interview with @feliciaday, who was an amazingly good sport (delightful!). Video to come on #sxsw

hesnow: As PR person, don’t share what ur eating for lunch. U are the brand u represent, but connect as a person. Say something interesting. #sxsw

For those geeks heading home and will miss the SXSW Music festival, you can find a preview of the event from this story on last week:

All Songs Considered, March 9, 2009 – NPR Music and All Songs Considered will be in Austin, Tex. next week, blogging, broadcasting and webcasting nearly a dozen live concerts from some of the year’s most exciting bands, at this year’s South by Southwest festival. You’ll hear The Decemberists debut their entire new album, The Hazards of Love, along with performances by K’Naan, The Heartless Bastards and many more, all webcast live on

On this edition of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen chats with NPR Monitor Mix blogger Carrie Brownstein, producer and Second Stage host Robin Hilton, and Song of the Day editor Stephen Thompson about some of the bands they’re most looking forward to seeing at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex. Hear music from some great unknown bands, like Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, Passion Pit, and The Weird Weeds, plus Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Mirah, and Ponytail.

More news on SXSW at Windows Live Search News.

Tags: articles, what I read, blogs, SXSW.

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Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer demo Preview Windows 7, multi-touch at D6 conference

image Fresh from the net, here’s a highlight from D6 down in Carlsbad and number one on the All Things D Top Ten list (as at right)…

“With Microsoft (MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates soon relinquishing his daily role at the software company he co-founded as it grapples with Google (GOOG), European regulators, Yahoo (YHOO), and Windows Vista critics hoping to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 (skipping the much maligned Vista entirely), tonight’s conversation with Gates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be a memorable one in the history of the software sovereign.”

Of particular interest: multi-touch in Windows 7…

“So is this the next phase of how people will use their computers. Gates says it’s the beginning of an era of computing based on a new hierarchy of input systems. Today the machine is really set up for one person to sit at a keyboard. “We’re at an interesting junction,” he says. “In the next few years, the roles of speech, gesture, vision, ink, all of those will become huge. For the person at home and the person at work, that interaction will change dramatically.”

Video: Multi-Touch in Windows 7


Bill Gates demos the Touch Wall to CEOs, plus video clip

While waiting for a conference call to begin, a quick post on Touch Wall demo’ed by Bill Gates at the CEO Summit this week in Redmond.

Benjamin J. Romano of the Seattle Times covers today how Bill Gates demonstrated the Touch Wall at the CEO Summit in Redmond this week…

“On Wednesday, he gave about 115 chief executives gathered at his company’s headquarters a sales pitch and a vision of the future of work, complete with a demonstration of the latest computing interface to be cooked up by Microsoft’s researchers.

“Think about the whiteboard in your office becoming intelligent,” Gates said before introducing Touch Wall, a 50-inch touch-sensing screen that he likened to a vertical version of the company’s Surface tabletop computer.”

Crunchgear covered the Microsoft TouchWall in this post, and noted that this alternative to Microsoft Surface could be constructed from just “a few hundred dollars worth of readily available hardware.” And it has a very cool demo below.

Tags: Touch Wall, CEO Summit, Surface.


News: Nanotech may improve battery life 10x

This isn’t hot news, but it is news, finding its way to my mailbox today.  Alex Serpo at CNET reports here on MSN Tech & Gadgets that Stanford assistant professor Yi Cui found a tenfold Improvement in battery life…

“Stanford University researchers have made a discovery that could signal the arrival of laptop batteries that last more than a day on a single charge.”

As noted on in this article on electronista (my new, favourite blog), this new technique is based on a jumble of lithium nestled in silicon nanowires. According to the post…

“this allows far more lithium to fit into the battery while avoiding the swelling damage that occurs if larger silicon patterns are used.”

Perhaps this could help notebooks such as the MacBook Air get more than three hours of life from a single battery.  This is why I travel with a second battery when I fly, and carry an iGo charger with an airline seat adapter when I leave the state. 

I can’t tell you the number of times that my laptop lost power mid-flight on even cross-country trips when I was relegated to one or two batteries.  And poor battery performance has been noted as a top consumer complaint when it comes to battery-powered gadgets.  I certainly appreciated the concept of being able to use two batteries connected to a single system, and welcomed the arrival of airline-accessible power.  Coupled with increasingly more power-efficient devices, this innovation — if it proves to be commercially viable — would certainly be a welcomed improvement over today’s batteries.

You can find the original report here on the Stanford News Service site.

Tags: technology, Stanford, battery, Yi Cui, innovation.