All posts by brooks

The Empire Strikes Back: How Silverlight 2 Got Installed On My Macbook Pro

One thing you have to give credit to Microsoft for is they know how to get boots on the ground and press flesh. At SXSW, Josh Holmes managed to get Silverlight 2 installed on my otherwise pristine Macbook Pro by proffering that age old question, “have you ever seen Silverlight’s ‘Deep Zoom‘ feature?” Naive, thirty-something man that I am I replied, “no,” as I simultaneously realized that I had just opened Pandora’s box. I’m not sure how effective this adoption mechanism is, but so far its proven superior to their killer app theory.

Josh Holmes installs Silverlight on my Macbook Pro

I saw Josh about a month ago at TechSmith’s HQ, but managed to remain Silverlight free due in large part to the Flex chest protector Adobe provided at their last UG. Betsy suggests I look like a Ninja Turtle in this picture, to which I’d reply, in the words of Carl Spackler, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort.”

Josh Holmes meets Brooks Andrus

Ultimately, I was non-plussed by the ‘Deep Zoom’ given, as Lee points out, the capability has existed in Flash for a long time. However, I give Josh high marks for not only getting Silverlight installed, but then coming over to the TechSmith booth and doing a demo on my Mac for another person he met at the show. Mark one battle won by the emperor’s troops.

Postmodern Addiction – My Needle; My Spoon

On my way to SXSW I was sharing a cab ride from the Austin airport to my hotel with coworker and friend Nick Gorsline when I turned to him and said, “**ck you, I don’t need to talk to you, I’ve got my iPhone and the Edge network–I’ll just check my email.”

This got me to thinking..the internet represents an addiction; a veritable needle & spoon. If you take 5 seconds you’re left bewildered by the drug war and our national obsession with wiping out “bad” addictions while feeding all other forms.

My needle; my spoon


The end of an era. Brett Favre retired yesterday kicking the American sports media into a frenzy. Despite the media overkill and the threat of damaging my reputation (we Americans love our illusions of independent thinking and non-conformity) I feel it necessary to add a bit of commentary, emotive though it may be.

Favre retires

Thank you Brett. It’s extremely corny, but you are my hero. It may sound trite to applaud the the way you played a game, but still I do; if only because you made me remember the sheer joy of sport. I’ve witnessed the majesty of Jordan, the dominance of Tiger and the unmatched will of Armstrong, but you transcended them all–you made it personal.

It was the small things that I and so many others took pleasure in, the jokes in the huddle, pinching teammates arms (and getting pinched), good natured smack talk, and improv celebrations (the multiple hand slaps with a referee come to mind). Watching Favre I was reminded of the joy of competition and the esprit de corps of team. Tis a rare gift to have such a special athlete remind us of the exuberance of childhood and the import of camaraderie while competing at the highest levels of professional sport. Favre was capable of showing us how special life is when you both revel and despair in the moment and have others to share the experience with you.

Some things just make you smile, here are a few on my list:

  • The heat seeking missiles he threw his first couple of years in Green Bay. I remember laughing out loud the first time I saw Favre throw a 5 yard heater to Sterling Sharpe. I fell head over heels for the guy at that very moment.
  • The stones Favre had throwing into coverage. I loved watching him throw into the “Tampa” cover two. He would challenge bracketed sideline coverage with zero margin for error that no other quarterback in the league would dream of throwing into and win the majority of the time. It’s comparable to a MLB pitcher being around for 15 years and telling the hitters the location of every fastball that was about to be thrown.
  • Having a rub in constantly on the sideline and during press conferences.
  • Taking on lineman and linebackers in the open field on reverses. This alone says volumes about his consecutive starts streak.
  • Owning all of the major quarterback passing records despite playing outdoors in Lambeau his entire career.
  • Loyalty. Name another superstar in today’s age that would of embraced playing in Green Bay, much less stayed for 16 years.
  • His relationship with Frank “bag o’ donuts” Winters. You got to love a quarterback whose friends are lineman.