Old friends well met

Just one last item and I will get to bed. I was at a Sloan info session in downtown Seattle tonight, as I alluded in my previous post. Great alum turnout. There were probably about twenty alums there (to about thirty prospective students!), including a few LFM friends from my class (Brent, we definitely have to do dinner sometime) and some friends from 2003 I hadn’t seen in quite a while (Kumar Doshi—it’s definitely time to do a Sloanies at Microsoft lunch; Don Hyun, maybe we’ll get an evening out to catch up).

In addition to old friends and lots of prospective students, I also got a chance to talk to a ’94 alum, Jason Farris, who is VP for Services for a Microsoft partner, Fincentric. His company supplies enterprise software solutions to the financial services vertical market. He notes that while Microsoft has provided co-marketing funds, technical sales support has sometimes been less forthcoming. IMHO (and needless to say, this blog is my opinion only, no warranty is implied), this is an area where we could do better.

Suggestion: Beat the rush, update now

Based on what happened during Blaster, it might be a good idea to hit Windows Update tonight to get the latest patch, MS03-039, which addresses another RPC vulnerability. To the best of my knowledge there’s no worm that exploits this vulnerability, but based on sad experience it’s only a matter of time. As a bonus, this patch supersedes the one that fixed the vulnerability that Blaster exploited, so if you never got around to patching your system last time this one will cover you.

If WU is overloaded, you can also get the download for your operating system from the TechNet advisory. Background information for the less technically inclined here.

Life to the Pixies

I might finally have a chance to see the Pixies live, if this MTV.com news item is correct. God, I hope so. Of course, there’s always the chance that the band’s members, after years of toiling in obscurity (or drugged out exile) will turn in a Spinal Tap-esque parody of their glory days, but there’s a big part of me—the part that can sing along with all of Doolittle AND Trompe Le Monde—that hopes not.

John “In the Morning” Richards thinks so too, if this morning’s playlist (one of the few things about being in the car after 9 am) is any indication.

Philip Greenspun: Is America overmedicated?

Philip points to this curmudgeonly essay on the topic of what’s wrong with America (latest speculation), which posits that suburbs and SSRIs are the problem. While I’d hate to argue with suburban ennui and angst, being perpetually lost in the supermarket and feeling that this is not my beautiful house, I must point out that the odds that one in three Americans even has a health plan that covers SSRIs is pretty slim, much less that one of three of us are actually taking the happy pills.

There have been days that I’ve thought that all the bloggers around me were closet or public depressives. Of course, that was mostly at the heart of my own Black Dog bouts.

Long day’s journey into Everett

I’m seriously rethinking my strategy about getting car service done at the original dealer. That strategy put me quite a few miles out of my way today.

When it was time to have some recall work done on my Passat (rerouting a cable behind the rear wheel well, swapping out the ignition coil), I figured who better than the place that sold me the car. Complication #1: the dealer is in Everett, which is about 15 miles to the north of us as the crow flies. Of course, the crow doesn’t have to negotiate rush hour traffic through the I-405/I-5 crossover. While I got to the dealer in plenty of time, by the time I got my loaner car (well, loaner rental from the Enterprise shop at the back of the lot. Actually, loaner rental Chevy pick-up truck. This is important; bear with me) and got back on the road, it took me over an hour to get to the office.

Complication #2: Parking. Specifically, parking the big Chevy pick-up in the tiny spaces allotted at Microsoft. Every single outdoor space within walking distance of my building was taken, so after ten fruitless minutes I had to drive down to a newer parking garage (which unlike the older ones actually had the 7′ clearance the pickup demanded) and catch a shuttle bus back to my office. Between the commute and the parking, I missed my first meeting of the morning and was late for almost everything else, and in a foul mood too.

Complication #3: Getting back to Everett in the evening to reclaim my car—then turning around and driving into Seattle for an MIT Sloan recruiting event. Fortunately, this one took only 45 minutes, so I was just a few minutes late.

Suffice it to say, I’ll take recommendations for good dealer service departments closer in.