Shake your sillies out–a good Friday song

Courtesy of my 3 year old boys who love to play with the microphone in my office!

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Unboxing my Nokia Lumina 800 Windows phone

One of the great perks to my job is all the cool toys I get to play with. This week I was given one of the new Nokia phones running Windows Phone 7. It won’t be my main phone since it’s actually a European phone and my SIM card won’t work in it. But I’ll use it to show off Windows Phone on a Nokia device when I’m out and about and have access to wireless Internet. For my everyday phone, I have a Samsung Focus also running Windows Phone 7 which I love.

The Nokia is quite nice. I would have liked to have gotten one of the cyan blue ones, but beggars can’t be choosers, so basic black it is.

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Nice box. Oooooo.

 

 

 

 

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Opening the box. Aaaaaaaah.

 

 

 

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Feels good in my hand. It has a nice weight to it even though it feels slightly heavier than my Samsung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shiny and smooth. Nice.

But they used the same types of buttons as the Samsung. That’s the one thing I’d change and was hoping manufacturers wouldn’t implement in future versions of Windows Phones. It’s too easy to accidently brush your finger over one of the buttons and find yourself back on the home page or staring at the Bing search field. Guess they didn’t get my memo.

 

 

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It’s got really nice lines, although none of the buttons on the side aren’t marked. I have a hard time not hitting wrong buttons on my Samsung and they have distinguishing markings. Hmmm…perhaps I should look at the markings more often and then I wouldn’t hit the wrong buttons. With the Nokia though it’ll be the device’s fault, not mine. Smile

 

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The accessories. It’s a European phone so hence the European power plug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A rubber sheath to keep my new toy looking shiny for longer and to help me keep a grip on it. I like.

 

 

 

 

 

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My new phone in it’s new rubber clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleek new phone + sleek phone OS = awesome

Can’t wait to show it off.

Not just another brick in the wall

I was asked the other day if I ever feel at a disadvantage because I’m a women in tech. If I ever feel like I’m dismissed or challenged because of my gender. My answer: not any more.

When I first started my career, it did feel a bit odd being the girl in a room full of guys. Working in IT, providing technical support for a software company of 300 employees where the average age was 30, I would often get hit on as I worked on a colleague’s computer to fix the network adapter or figure out a mail client problem. I put a picture of my nephews on my desk so that people would think I was married with kids. Smile

Later in my career, working as a consultant and coming in from the outside to help an IT department with a particular project or problem it was not unusual to get challenged. However any outsider needed to prove themselves and didn’t matter if you were male or female. But sometimes I did feel that I got challenged a bit more thoroughly than my male counterparts. Some of the guys didn’t seem quite able to get their heads around this girl coming in knowing more about something then they did. These were usually the guys that would start spewing technical jargon trying to trip you up.

And then there was the time when I was at a technology showcase for HP or Toshiba or Compaq or one of the big hardware manufacturers. I was with the VP of Business Development for the consulting company I worked for. I started asking one of the hardware guys some questions and he turned and answered to the VP. He answered all my questions but he did it as if the VP had asked them! It was very bizarre.

Now I don’t know if times have just changed or if I just work in a more enlightened environment or if a more mature woman doesn’t face the same discrimination that a younger women does in this industry, but I don’t notice the same attitudes today. It also could be that I’ve grown accustomed to the environment. I no longer notice that I’m the only woman in the room until I’m at a conference and there’s no line-up for the woman’s washroom.

One thing I do know is that it’s not such a bad thing to be the one that’s different. People remember your name. They remember your work. You will get recognized.

My advice to anyone who is in an environment where you feel different – embrace it and turn it from a disadvantage to an advantage. If you’re going to be recognizable anyway, make sure that you and your work stand out in a good way.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhallur/170794140/

Learning super secret stuff

Seattle

I’m at TechReady all this week – an internal conference for Microsoft employees in Seattle, Washington – where I’m learning all sorts of cool stuff. I could tell you about it…but then I’d have to kill you. Or I’d get fired.

The technology sessions are really interesting but to be honest, the best part of coming here are the connections and the things I learn from my fellow colleagues. I can learn the technology other ways but I can’t have the impromptu conversations and chats over drinks without being here in person.

Every year I wonder if it’s going to be worth it – I hate leaving my family and I’m here for 9 days, the longest I’m away from them in consecutive days during the year. But then I get here and start talking to people and the ideas start flowing and the creativity and collaboration starts. It’s a beautiful thing.

Funky propeller pictures

I often take pictures out the window of airplanes. I love how the clouds look from above where the sun is shining no matter how bad the weather is down below. I took these photos from a Dash 8-100 flying from Vancouver to Seattle. How cool do those propellers look? I didn’t do anything special, it’s just how they came out – all funky-like.

All these pictures were taken with my Samsung Focus phone running Windows Phone 7.

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our plane

Hacking Your Life

MP900387759[1]I was introduced to this concept through my colleague Frederic Harper who heard about it from Fabrice Calando. I did a little digging about and there are actually many people talking about it and doing it. It’s a simple concept that can have deep results. It’s about making changes…small but significant changes…in your life to make it better. It’s about moving towards a goal not through monumental change with most of us can’t sustain anyway, but through small shifts and tweeks. Hacking your life.

Fabrice has set up a challenge for himself and anyone that wants to join him…one hack each week for the next year. So far the challenges have been:

  1. Get rid of excess clothing
  2. Turn off the electronics
  3. Talk to a stranger
  4. Set up a happyness metric

I like where he is going with this and I like that he got me thinking about what could use tweeking in my own life. I’ve recently been working on getting to bed by 10pm so that I can be up at 6am. The boys get up at 7am so this gives me a jump on the day and allows me some quiet morning time for reflection. I haven’t been able to do it every day, but on the mornings I have I really appreciate the time. It’s something I’ll keep doing until it becomes a habit and more normal than abnormal.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the treadmill of life and feel like it’s all you can do to just keep up. What about living purposefully? What is it that I need to be doing now that I will look back on and think: “Yes, that was worth it – that was a good use of my time and my life.”?

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