I woke up early to pick up an XBOX 360 this morning. I started by going to a Tim Hortons to buy a large coffee - my change was $3.60. I thought that was a good omen. Man was I ever wrong.
Arrived in Ajax, Ontario. The Best Buy had a line-up of over a hundred people. There were kids that had been shivering outside, waiting since 5AM and didn't get a console. People in the crowd were using their cellphones to call family and friends to "butt" into the line. It was a madhouse. If you had pre-ordered a unit in June, you were fine. Otherwise, the store only had 30 consoles in stock (which were all accounted for by very early morning).
I then went over to Future Shop - they had 10 units in stock which were all accounted for. Some of the people in line were reporting that pre-ordered XBOX units were selling on eBay for $700+. The sales people were handing out pre-order forms and said that I might be able to get a 360 before Xmas. I dutifully filled out a form and moved over to a Zellers.
There was a lineup of eight kids in front of me - all had been waiting since 5AM (the store opens at 9AM). A manager came out with coupons for six units - they were snatched up in seconds by the early comers.
From an ROI perspective, I realized at that point that I wasn't going to get a unit today. I'm not a hardcore "gamer" by any stretch of the imagination - I can wait until my FutureShop order comes in (I learned that they are one of the largest supplier of XBOX 360's in Canada). Went home and checked the Microsoft stock price - not surprisingly, it went up this morning.
If you are working with the Team System test tools and would like to ask questions to the product team, here is your opportunity! The chat is happening at 10AM PST/1PM EST.
Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Developer & Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers
When: Wednesday, November 16th @ 10am PST
What: Join us to discuss the Profiler, Test Tools (Unit, Generic, Manual), Web & Load Testing, and Code Analysis (FxCop & PREFast). We have questions for you, will answer questions from you, and will chat about the exciting new technology. Where: http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats
Our very own Kate Gregory will show you how to effortlessly move your C++ applications to the CLR. Here is a description of the talk:
Come and see how real C++ projects are moving to the CLR without a full port or rewrite. Learn how to easily migrate existing native code -- including MFC applications -- to run under the CLR. Strategies for choosing which parts of the application remain native and which are managed will be discussed. See how to take advantage of the power of the framework libraries.
Finally, this session will provide guidance on how to build high-performance managed "wrappers" enabling reuse of native libraries.
The event will be taking place at the Whitby Public Library on November 30th. For more information, visit: http://gtaeast.torontoug.net/UG_Events/1286.aspx
On November 7th, Microsoft will be launching Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk Server 2006 in Toronto! It promises to be a huge event with two tracks (IT Pro and Developer), Cabanas, the works. If that wasn't enough, Microsoft will be giving everyone fully functional "non-evaluation" software - including Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005! The Toronto Windows Server User Group will have a pod, you'll get an opportunity to connect with your local Regional Directors, MVPs and other local experts. If you haven't signed up - do so now! Here is the link: http://www.microsoft.com/canada/launch2005/
Here is Mark Relph's announcement about the free software: