Crunch time

It's crunch time. Home before 10pm? No way.

On the bright side, I get to toy with confidential releases of Beta 2 of Windows Vista and the technical beta of Office 12. Though to be more specific, it's Vista and Office that's toying with my program... =P

So what am I doing? I'm working on an XPS implementation which will be used in the upcoming Windows. XPS has great potential I think. It's a open fixed-document format, which means it's non-interactive like PDF, platform independent, and also it's the native spool format of Vista. Imagine the possibilities. Better yet, imagine the specification. Yup, it's only 385 pages long. (version 0.7 was ultra verbose at 500-ish)

Oh yeah, I have to keep track of some blogs at work... ;)

Tim Sneath (WPF & WinFX)

Feng Yuan (Windows Digital Documents)

Andy Simonds (Windows Digital Documents)

XPS Team (Windows Digital Documents)

Brian Jones (Microsoft Word)

Jeff Bell (Microsoft Publisher)

Office 12 and Vista are visually dazzling. The system requirements are equally dazzling however.


JLPT overwhelms Jason 60-40

JLPT pulled a dramatic 60-40 upset victory over defending champion Jason yesterday in the 2005 Language Cup finals.

"I was confident going into this match," said a sweaty but ecstatic JLPT during the post-match interview. "I was so devastated by last year's 8-92 loss to Jason. I trained hard throughout the year and have reached a level of play that I can really be happy about," added JLPT with a genial smile.

Things weren't so bright for last year's champion. Asked whether he continued his training throughout the year, the 21-year old refused to comment. "I don't think it was a good day for me." he said instead. "I didn't bring my watch, and [JLPT's] 'time warp' really caught me off guard. Before I knew it I had five minutes left to prepare my final counterattack."

During the first phase, Vocabulary and Writing, the two players were generally evenly matched though JLPT always held the upper hand. This probably threw Jason off guard. By the time the closing bell rang, JLPT finished with a slight lead over last year's champion.

In the second phase, Listening Comprehension, Jason valiantly rallied back and finished with a substantial lead over JLPT. Using his 'ear technique' which he honed after watching hundreds of episodes of anime, Jason enjoyed an excellent round of play. The fat lady had not sung yet however.

The third and most important phase, Reading Comprehension and Grammar, was when the outcome was sealed. JLPT opened with her usual 'mundane two-page essays on useless topics' strategy. When Jason appeared to be coping well, she revealed a formerly proscribed technique: the 'repetitively-redundantly-droning-and-makes-no-sense-like-this-current-sentence sentence that uses basically only bombastic words and which is definitely a run on-sentence in English but if it isn't I'd like to make it so because I-loooove-curry-and-by-the-way-I-just-had-some this morning... keke' trick of doom.

From this Jason never recovered. JLPT mercifully finished him off with her famous 'time warp' trick -- those that witnessed it for the first time were completely baffled.

Jason later admitted today that he bathed in last year's glory and was idle in preparations, while his opponent apparently increased her powers tenfold.

In her usual emollient way, JLPT remarked, "Jason is a formidable tactician with quick and effective plays. I had a tough time due to his outstanding techniques of 'guessing' and 'second guessing'."

source: Serendipity Islet
Official purveyor of useless news