Of mice and blogs…

Today I took Maryam and Patrick over to see Douglas Engelbart. He’s the guy who invented the mouse and a whole lot of other things we all take for granted every day.

Anyway, we were there to talk about blogging. After all, we’re a blogging family. Doug had invited us over to his house, along with Bill Daul’s NextNow group. About 15 people showed up. Anyway, I think we got some more bloggers to start. Doug showed his engineering thoroughness. Took meticulous notes. I can already tell he’ll be a great blogger — if he starts.

I got lots of questions about information overload. How do I keep up? How do I answer all my email? Answer: I don’t, but I try (166 are waiting, sorry for not getting to them).

Anyway, at the end of the very interesting discussion Doug disappeared for a few minutes. When he came back he was holding a little box. He sat it on the coffee table in front of him and gingerly opened it. He called Patrick over and said “I have something to show you.”

Slowly he took out something that looked like a wood block. He said “this is the first mouse.” I couldn’t believe it. This thing belongs in the Smithsonian. If put up on an eBay auction I’d expect it to get $250,000 or more. It is one of the most important computer artifacts I’ve ever seen. And here it was sitting in front of us and Doug was encouraging us to play with it.


What a start to 2006. Here’s another picture with a Channel 9 guy sitting on top to give some scale.

By the way, you can see Doug (and other famous geeks) on NerdTV. That’s really a cool program.

Georgeo off to Afghanistan

Hey, Georgeo, it’s quiet here in Microsoft’s Silicon Valley cafeteria too (he wrote it’s quiet at headquarters), but people are working and the Starbucks is open. I’ll be here all day trying to catch up on Channel 9 tasks and email. 131 waiting, better get to it.

Anyway, Georgeo Pulikkathara is the guy who runs MSDN Webcasts (he’s the one who hires my wife’s firm, if I remember right). On his blog he wrote that he’s about to ship off to Afghanistan. It’s yet a reminder of the price we all are paying due to military actions overseas. I can’t imagine being forced to move overseas and leave my job and my family. Our wishes are with you Georgeo, come back safely!

Time names Gates’s and Bono as “persons of the year”

Time Magazine today named Bill and Melinda Gates, along with Bono, to its prestigious “persons of the year” (that’s the MSNBC article, here’s the Time Magazine one).

When I interviewed Bill Hill and team we talked about Bill Gates’ approach to budgeting (Hill had to argue with Gates three times to get the money to make new fonts). It’s this focus on business issues that, I believe, has let Microsoft become what it is today.

What’s impressive is that Gates is taking that same approach to their foundation. If you ever get a chance to hear Bill speak on world health issues, do so.

I’d really like to interview Melinda, too. Ever since Bill and Melinda got together they’ve been doing interesting things. I bet she isn’t getting the credit she deserves.