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March 04, 2005

OSC Students Visit Microsoft

A few weeks ago the students from Sea-Tac OSC (which I discuss here) came to visit Microsoft, with me as their host.

Microsoft came through here. I contacted the Microsoft Visitor Center (formerly known as the Microsoft Museum; it's still in Building 127, underneath the Company Store) just to check if it was OK to bring 40 student by. Not only was it OK, but they organized a treasure hunt in the museum for the students, and gave out games as prizes. Community outreach like this really does make me proud to work at Microsoft.

The Visitor Center is open to the public and is worth visiting if you are in the neighborhood (if not, here's a page with some information for students). They've got a Microsoft timeline, various "neat" Microsoft products to play with, etc. In one area they had 2 Xboxes with Halo 2. The students seemed pretty familiar with that.

Elsewhere on campus they were at a demo that included a shared whiteboard app -- the students each had tablet PCs and the union of whatever ink they drew was displayed on a big screen. It took the students about two seconds to figure that out, then about two seconds more to figure out that there was no way to trace the writing back to individual people. Then about two seconds more to discover they could scribble ink over each other's words. And then about two seconds later, the whole screen was solid black.

The chaperones were a bit horrified at this, but actually I did the same demo with a bunch of Microsoft employees and we did the exact same thing (the kids just figured it out a bit quicker). Of course we were drawing happy face pictures, not writing "PIMP" over and over.

Posted by AdamBa at March 4, 2005 09:12 PM

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