Moving… Again

Almost 5 years ago, I packed up my life in New Zealand, said goodbye to friends and family, and jumped on a plane to a place I’d never been to before; my new home, Seattle. What followed has been the most exciting and rewarding period of my life, both personally and professionally. I’ve made this place my home. Made a lot of new friends, grown enormously, and immersed myself headlong into everything Seattle has to offer. It’s therefore bittersweet to say that this chapter of my life is soon coming to an end. Today, I handed in my resignation at Microsoft. In a couple of months, I’ll be moving to New York City.
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Recently, my friend shared a link on Facebook about some dudes who’d made their own infinity table. While I don’t necessarily have the time or dedication to build an actual table, I was intrigued by the idea of running an LED string using a Raspberry Pi. And so, one impulse purchase and a few days of development later — I had built PiLight!
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Windows Phone 7 game development tutorials

Wow, updates to the blog have been few and far between lately! Recently I have been exploring the creation of video as an extension to my photography work — you can see some of the fruits of my labour on my YouTube channel. These have given me the taste for basic video production, and I decided to combine coding and videography, to put together an open-ended series of screencasts about how to create an XNA game for Windows Phone.
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Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” Update – Hidden features

So Mango has finally shipped, and I’ve been able to install it on my phone. I’m loving a bunch of the new features, especially: Unified messaging interface. Lets you seamlessly switch between Facebook chat, text, etc — in a single conversation. Linked inboxes, and conversation aggregation. You can view multiple email accounts from a single tile, and emails belonging to a conversation are grouped together. Very, very useful. Enhanced voice recognition.
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Today I was rudely reminded of how ridiculous telco pricing is. I’ve ranted on txt messaging before on my Twitter, but today I’m going to talk a little about data. I was recently on holiday up in Vancouver, BC. Unfortunately my GPS unit had not been preloaded with Canada maps, so in the interest of not getting lost, I elected to open a map once or twice on my smartphone. I knew that this would be charged as “roaming” data, and as a smart person I had done my research, and established that AT&T would be charging me the exorbitant price of… $0.
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When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions.
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Without further ado…

I present: Scenic Squirrel! A new photo taken by me is uploaded every day! Subscribe and stuff. I’m intending to use this as my main photography site now, so soon you’ll start seeing pics that don’t appear on my Flickr. Enjoy!

Random observation

What’s the point of artificial sweetener? You’re so desperate to cut out just a teaspoon of sugar and replace it with some chemicals that have arguably dubious health implications of their own. And then with your coffee you go and get a cookie that has something like 3-4 teaspoons of sugar in it anyway… You’re retarded.

I’m alive!

Not sure if I ever announced it here, but I’ve started a blog in parallel to this one to document my time in Seattle. It’s called Tom Lives! On it you will find fascinating and valuable information such as what car I bought, what I ate for breakfast, and who will be YOUR next American Idol! Or something. Just check it out. And comment so I’m motivated to update it more.
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C# 5.0 concurrency

The next iteration of the core .NET languages (C#, VB.NET) looks set to have some pretty cool language constructs for performing tasks asynchronously in a really easy fashion. Designed to “let you have your cake and eat it to” — write code as you would for synchronous operations, and let the compiler take care of asynchronous callbacks and so on. Very cool! Check out the PDC talk from Anders Hejlsberg.