If you are seeing this it is because you have a browser against which I am discrimating. You can still view synthesist.net, but there are no guarantees about the quality of the experience. I use a lot of CSS, which means that the layout that you see may appear strange.
I've kibitzed on the design of lots of interesting things over the years, including operating systems, developer tools, component models, APIs, object models, business models, competitive strategies, political positioning, and grand architectural unifications. What formal training I ever had was in music, although I somehow also spent a stint on the options trading side of Wall Street before winding up in the software industry with first my own software company, then NeXT computer, and finally Microsoft.
Although I still consider music to be my real career, I also continue to harbor the delusion that I could be working on computer software as a developer, despite the fact that my last significant check-in was so many years ago that I've forgotten which project it was on. I am also highly amused that my UNIX dev skills, acquired as a grad student in 1982, are still very much in demand, nearly unchanged.
I've always been captivated by the creative process of precipitating new business opportunities out of the vague fog that embodies technical advance. While I was at Microsoft, my most enjoyable moments were while interacting with small cross-product teams that were inventing and improving new stuff; the time spent with design and research teams as a part of the loosely-knit and changeable group of people who drive Microsoft's technical strategy was also great fun. With a team at Microsoft Research, I helped to invent and internally promote a low-level virtualization technology that will be part of future systems releases. This was rewarding, as was slaving away for CTO Nathan Mhyrvold and other executives as one of their technology henchmen and synthesists. (The official title was "Group Program Manager for Technical Strategy").
Here is a partial list of technologies or projects that I touched in some way while at Microsoft:
I have always tried to highlight product development paths that lead beyond standalone PC software to the far larger opportunities that exist in networked software.