Random Rants & News

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Archive for December 2006

… Deutschland …

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I am back home again.  It is great to be in my own room, with my family.  I can’t believe it has been over 7 months since I was home last. Anyhow, it seems like nothing changed much.  Oh, hold on, there is one new development! By American standards Hamburg can now be officially recognized as a town: We have have Starbucks. What a joy I don’t even have to stop drinking my favorite Latte while at home.  The only thing this place is still lacking is a place with really good steaks and huge burgers.  I guess no German town will ever be perfect 😉

On a different note, getting home was strenuous as usual. This time around it took me about 26 hours to get here.  On top of the normal flying time, I had an unusually long layover in Denver (6 hours), the Lufthansa flight out of Denver had some gear trouble after takeoff and then couldn’t even land in Frankfurt on schedule because of fog and ground-control back-ups.  We finally got to the gate about 1 1/2 hours late, which (should have) cut my layover in Frankfurt to a bare minimum, but my flight to Hamburg was delayed for 4 hours.  All in all, I left Spokane at 4:30am (PST) on Friday and didn’t get home until 7pm (CET) on Saturday.

I will keep posting over break, making this blog a global affair! Hope you are all doing well. Happy “Dritter Advent”



Written by markusw

December 17, 2006 at 8:03 am

Posted in News/Blogging

Entering the “dark” side…

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I forgot to mention something! A couple of days ago I posted about some laptop trouble I had this weekend.  Basically, my Sony VAIO died on Saturday and the repair would have cost an outrageous $1,200.

I ordered my replacement laptop this morning.  I bought the new MacBook (in black) with Intel Core 2 Duo chip clocking in at 2Ghz and 2GB of RAM.  I am really excited about my purchase.  Actually, the process of buying the laptop was quite amusing:

I called Apple to order the laptop, for some reason IE7 was acting up on my desktop and would work right.  I told the rep, on the phone, that my Sony had broken down on Saturday and that “I am sick and tired of PC troubles so I decided to switch to Apple!”  His response was (I quoting him here): “Well, I am glad to hear that. I want you to enjoy your new MacBook early.  I will upgrade your order to overnight shipping for free.  After all, I want you to experience all that is Apple as soon as possible. You will receive your order tomorrow.”

How about that? In addition to that, my overall buying experience was very pleasant, since I also received a 20% discount for being a University student.

I am anxious to receive my MacBook tomorrow (oh correction, it is past midnight, so that will be today) and I will keep all of you posted on how things go.



P.S.: Later, after I got over my feeling like a traitor to the world of PCs I had the following thought: I worked on the Designer Audience all summer long at Microsoft, therefore, technically speaking this is just another way I am trying to get closer in touch with my audience’s influentials. 😉

Written by markusw

December 13, 2006 at 12:19 am

Posted in News/Blogging, Random

Returning to Microsoft

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I am happy to announce that I will be returning to Microsoft next summer for my second internship.  I have accepted their offer and am really excited about the opportunity to get back to work with MS.

As of now, it looks like I will have the chance to work with the team of my choice: Google Compete.  I will, again, be with the Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) team in the U.S. Business and Marketing Organization (US BMO) in Redmond, WA.

I am very happy with my decision to return to MS – a huge relief to myself.  I have talked to a lot of you over the weekend to help me make the right choice.  What it, in the end, boiled down to was making a decision that would allow me to be true to myself and my plan for the future.  I want to thank all of you that have helped me in the past few days! I am looking forward to another great summer internship with MS!



Written by markusw

December 12, 2006 at 11:54 pm

Posted in News/Blogging

What a weekend

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This was quite the weekend.  I planned on studying all weekend for my finals this week, but instead ended up having to concern myself with my laptop. On Saturday afternoon my laptop all of the sudden shut down.

Nothing worked.  I tried pressing the power button repeatedly, I reinsert the battery, I tried to run it without the battery. Nothing.  All my notes that I had taken in preparation for my finals were inaccessible. 

Sunday, I brought the laptop to Comp USA’s tech desk and they were able to recover my hard drive.  I use Synctoy, a Microsoft Power Tool, to back up all my data every Wednesday night.  In true College fashion I didn’t even start studying until Friday, so all the documents that truly counted were gone.  I guess in the future I will start backing up all my data on a daily basis.

When I went to pick up my recovered hard drive, they told me that to repair the laptop would cost circa $1,200.  Apparently, both my motherboard and power supply are dead.  I bought my laptop (Sony Vaio VGN-A140B) two years ago and my extended warranty ended three weeks ago.  What a drag.

I will have to start looking for a new laptop now, but I am really not sure what I want to get.  I know that some of my readers are true tech gurus and I would truly appreciate their expert advice.  I am looking for something small and light, with long battery life, and plenty of performance.  Actually, some (hidden) part of me is considering the purchase of a MacBook or a MacBook Pro, but with Vista and Office 2007 coming out soon I am unsure about purchasing an Apple.  I do want to take advantage of the new MS releases.  Is MS going to release Office 2007 for Mac?

Anyway, it is past 2:30am and I have my first final in less than 5 1/2 hours.  I should really try and get some rest.

Hope YOU all had a good weekend! Cheers,


Written by markusw

December 11, 2006 at 2:40 am

The semester is coming to a close

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This week is “dead” week at Gonzaga University.  Basically this means that every professor of mine is trying to squeeze in their last lecture or two before our final exams take place next week.  I must say that this semester’s classes have been exceptionally interesting and engaging, yet I am looking forward to a change of pace over Christmas break and a fresh start in January. 

I haven’t been the best about blogging regularly in the past couple of weeks, mainly due to the fact that I started a second blog recently.  I am currently taking a religion course entitled “Memory and Story: Francis of Assisi and Johann Baptist Metz.”  I have enjoyed this course tremendously because it is a great topic and the lectures have been engaging and thought provoking.  In a nut shell, the seminar course (only 13 students are in the class) investigated the significance of Francis of Assisi’s life and drew a comparison to the contemporary Germany theologian Metz.  The comparison was particularly focused on the current global political environment and the general sense of apathy in humanity. Our final project for the class is to create a current portrayal of Francis of Assisi using contemporary media.  In short, I started a Francis of Assisi blog at http://www.francisrocks.blogspot.com – check it out.

Other than that, I have begun the daunting task of studying for my six finals.  The countdown until I fly home is down to eight days, which in itself is exciting because I have not seen the majority of my family since last May.

Take care,  


Written by markusw

December 7, 2006 at 2:00 am