Where magic lives

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This blog has moved

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Monday, July 14, 2008

My weekend bike ride

I cycled up Cypress Mountain.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

My new apartment

Here is the apartment that I will soon be moving in to:

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Facebook version of QuizSender.com

I was reading an article on Facebook's strategy in Wired, it talked about the recent changes that allow any 3rd party to make a Facebook application.

I felt like giving it a go and have put together a Facebook version of my website; QuizSender.com. To use it go to http://apps.facebook.com/quizsender/.

Let me know what you think.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Photos from Vancouver

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

TAS game videos

Recently I have been getting slightly addicted to TAS (Tool-Assisted-Superplay) game videos. Basically people with a lot of spare time on their hands play console games within emulators, they use the emulators ability to take snap shots in order to produce a perfect run and complete games in record times. It can be quite fun to watch a game that you spent ages completing many years ago completed in ten minutes!

There are lots of videos available at NESVideos. These have to be downloaded using BitTorrent though. Plenty of videos can also be found on YouTube (search for "TAS ").

Super Mario 64: (the 120 star version at NESVideos is more fun though)

Super Mario World: (again, the full 96 level one at NESVideos is more fun)

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Diary of an application to Microsoft: from resume to visa

A long time ago, I applied to work for Microsoft. They made me an offer. Visa applications weren't made, visa applications were rejected, the offer was changed. Now, I will go and work for Microsoft. For anyone who may be interested, here is my story:

Chapter 1: Application and offer

  • 2 Jan 2006:
    Send CV to resumes@... address
  • 23 Jan 2006:
    Received e-mail interview from Tami
    Responded to questions
    Received confirmation that I would get a phone interview
  • 10 Feb 2006:
    Michelle contacted me to schedule phone interview
  • 21 Feb 2006:
    Phone interview confirmed
  • 22 Feb 2006:
    Phone interview with Rudra
  • 1 March 2006 and 8 March 2006:
    I chased Michelle for a response
  • 9 March 2006:
    Michelle confirmed that I would soon be invited to face-to-face interviews
    Derek contacted me to arrange the interviews
  • 10 March 2006:
    I requested a flight booking from Microsoft for the interviews in Paris
    Tickets were booked by Cindy
  • 16 March 2006:
    Derek asked me to view and sign the online application documents
  • 23 March 2006:
    Derek confirms arrangements and gives me an expenses form
  • 31 March 2006:
    5 face-to-face interviews in Paris
  • 5 April 2006:
    Submitted expenses form
  • 7 April 2006:
    I chased Derek for a response
  • 11 April 2006:
    Caitlin informs me that I have an offer
  • 14 April 2006:
    Phone conversation with Caitlin to discuss details of offer, salary not yet decided though
  • 18 April 2006:
    I chase Caitlin to find out salary information
    Caitlin confirms salary
    I inform Caitlin that I will make a decision in two weeks as I am waiting on another offer
  • 19 April 2006:
    Srikanth, my hiring manager sends his congratulations
  • 28 April 2006:
    Caitlin chases up my response
    Srikanth arranges to call me to go through any questions that I may have
  • 1 May 2006:
    Phone conversation with Srikanth
    I accept offer
  • 4 May 2006:
    Harmony sent me online offer documents
  • 7 May 2006:
    Completed online offer documents

Chapter 2: H1-B woes

  • 16 May 2006:
    Asked Caitlin when I should expect to hear about my H1-B visa application
  • 17 May 2006:
    Caitlin responds, I should hear in the next two weeks
  • 2 July 2006:
    I hear in the news that the H1-B cap has been exhausted and ask Caitlin about this
  • 14 July 2006:
    Caitlin informs me that they could not submit my application because I did not have a degree at the time, they are looking into options
  • 1 August 2006 and 14 August 2006:
    Chased Caitlin to find out about my options
  • 17 August 2006:
    Caitlin responds, but still no news
  • 21 September 2006:
    Chased Caitlin again
  • 22 September 2006:
    Still no news but getting closer, another 2-3 weeks
  • 10 October 2006:
    Explained to Caitlin that I will have to take up other work in the UK if there is still no solution
  • 11 October 2006:
    Caitlin says they hope to find a solution that would allow a January/February start date but can't promise anything; offers to set back start date to October 2007 if I would prefer.
    I tell her to keep trying for a sooner start date.
  • 15 January 2007:
    Caitlin asks if I would like to work in Denmark, the other option is to wait until 2007 for Redmond.
    I ask if Denmark would be permanent or just until October.
    It would be permanent.
    I decide to wait until October and head for Redmond.
  • 25 January 2007:
    Caitlin says that I have a very good chance of getting a visa in October, although she can never be 100% certain.
  • 26 January 2007:
    Srikanth writes to say he is glad I can wait until October 2007.

Chapter 3: Take 2

  • 7 March 2007:
    Caitlin puts me intouch with the logisitics people for sorting out my visa.
    Anne requests all of my visa documents.
  • 8 March 2007:
    Anne confirms that my documents have gone to the legal people.
  • 27 March 2007:
    Anne sent information about Seattle. Chased up visa status with Anne.
    Anne gave me contact details for paralegal.
  • 4 April 2007:
    I see that the H1-B cap has already been reached.
  • 5 April 2007:
    Anne confirms that my petition was sent on time, however, as the cap was reached on day one a random selection process would be used, which may take some time.
  • 8 May 2007:
    I ask Anne if anything has been heard about my visa.
    Anne has heard back about 5% of her candidates, she expects to have all results in by mid-May.
  • 23 May 2007:
    Anne writes to let me know that they have still not had a response.
  • 7 June 2007:
    Anne informs me that my application was not accepted. They are reviewing other options and hope to have an update by the end of June.

Chapter 4: Canada

  • 19 June 2007:
    Ty e-mails me to arrange a phone conversation about my options.
  • 21 June 2007:
    Phone conversation with Ty. Position could be moved to India, China, Ireland, maybe even UK or Canada.
  • 28 June 2007:
    Ty tells me that he would like to focus on Canada, they intended to open a new development centre in Vancouver.
  • 1 July 2007:
    Anne lets me know that they are still working on these options.
  • 3 July 2007:
    I chase things up with Ty. He is still waiting for details.
  • 13 August 2007:
    Canadian law firm request some details from me.
  • 14 August 2007:
    Anne confirms offer for Canadian Software Development Centre.
  • 15 August 2007:
    Andy arranges to talk with me over the phone to discuss new offer.
  • 22 August 2007:
    Phone conversation with Andy.
    Andy sends new offer letter.
    Canadian law firm confirm that they have all the details that they need.
  • 28 August 2007:
    I accept offer.
  • 29 August 2007:
    Andy puts me back in touch with Anne to sort out Canada logistics.
  • 30 August 2007:
    Anne requests some details.
    Jeff, my relocation specialist, gets in touch.
  • 4 September 2007:
    Bond, my homefinding helper, gets in touch.
  • 5 September 2007:
    Dani, my move manager, gets in touch.
  • 7 September 2007:
    Get confirmation that I have approval to travel to Canada.
  • 12 September 2007:
    Katie, my household goods move coordinator, gets in touch.
  • 13 September 2007:
    Anne asks me to complete a reference check form.

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