Tuning Channel 9

Last week I got an announcement that Rob Short is talking on Operating System Evolution (see http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=264874).  Normally, I would be the first in line for one of his talks, but on Channel 9?… well, maybe some day I’ll watch it when I have time.   For those of you who don’t know about Channel 9 http://channel9.msdn.com/ , it is a site where Microsoft provides video interviews on technical subjects.   The reason that I’m not enthusiastic about it is that I believe there are a couple of serious problems with Channel 9.  These are:

1. There is no index

I answer a lot of questions for my customers and on Usenet, but much of the time I do not remember the exact answer, just where to find it.  A typical Channel 9 presentation is close to an hour, and with no index this means that if I think something might be in a presentation, I have to waste a lot of time looking for it.

I do use the WinHEC videos, but they have an index, namely the PowerPoint slides that go with the talk.  I have all the WinHEC slides from the last 10 years, and I still reference one of the old presentations every few months.

2. There is no way to take notes

Those PowerPoint slides from WinHEC have another great feature.  They allow me to put notes in the speaker notes area.  When I listen to the talk I take notes, and depending on the data, I will annotate the PowerPoint file.  Also, I have found that it is a nice way to keep notes about using a technique presented in a talk.

So Redmond, how about fixing Channel 9?  Right now I view Channel 9 as entertainment more than as a useful reference tool.  How about some PowerPoint slides or even just some speaker notes to go with the presentation?  But even there, Hollywood does better with their entertainment.    Since even my Jurassic Park DVD has a chapter index, why doesn’t Channel 9 have an index? You bill Channel 9 as an important information tool. There is no reason it has to be such a dinosaur!

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