The van Kinsbergens of Seattle

Web Page Updates



November 26, 2012


     All is well, we are starting into what may turn out to be a very wet winter.   We are now entering the 16th year of our "vacation" here in the Emerald city - Seattle.  

    Susan is now a GM at her dental Lab Corporation, Jon is still an IT manager right here in downtown Seattle.  Megan and Aaron have purchased their first house. Congratulations to all!

    And I had cataract surgery on both eyes over a period of 2 weeks.  So simple, and so much better vision!  When I see white now, it really looks white!  I had no idea what I was missing.

    Audrey and I took a September trip from Monte Carlo to Nice and then up the Rhone river in France to Lyon, and then a high speed TGV train to Paris.  Great trip, see a few of the 3600 pictures below.

    We bought a new BMW 650i convertible this summer (see pics below) this year, after all the 10 year old Mercedes SL500 did have 10,000 miles on it. We traded in our 20 year old Lexus SC400 coupe with 26,000 miles on it and kept the SL 500.

    I am thinking about writing my "memoirs" of the view from the inside of the IBM OS/360 development project in Poughkeepsie from 1963 to 1967.  As several of you are aware I was among the first 30 in a project that grew to 1200 and changed the face of computing forever.  If I do, I will post it on this web site.

      I acquired a Microsoft Surface-RT tablet the day of its launch and just love it.  It snaps into my network of computing devices like it was made for such an environment, which of course it was.  You can't do that with an Apple or Android based tablet! I can actually plug peripherals into the Surface-RT via its full size USB 2.0 port, the Pro will have a 3.0 port. Plug and Play actually works with a tablet, for the first time - ever! I will acquire a Microsoft Surface-Pro as soon as it is available. 

  I can't resist getting on my soap box:

       While it will be difficult to pry dedicated Apple and Android users from their tablets I would guess, the whole world isn't as committed to these products as would be analysts would have you believe.  Microsoft is creating a family of products that will span the divide between the PC/business world to both the home entertainment set top box and mobile worlds.  Naysayers (especially Apple ones) would have you believe that Microsoft's hybrid approach will fail because you can't satisfy anyone with such an approach.  Or that the Tile based interface will alienate all their current Windows users who will refuse to upgrade to Windows 8.  I say - horse pucky!   The majority of the world is committed to Windows based computing (especially to Office) and will remain so.  They may not "upgrade" their OS software in volume (they never do anyway) from Windows 7 to Windows 8, but they certainly will upgrade to newer capacity hardware over time, and thus to Windows 8.  And Windows XP business users certainly will upgrade since Microsoft is dropping support of XP and office 2003 on April 8, 2014. That is about 18 months away, an eye blink in large IT department planning cycles.  About 50% of PC users are still running Windows XP and on hardware 5 to 10 years old, by the way.

      A fundamental question is how many business users are carrying both a tablet and a laptop these days?  This will not be necessary once the Surface-Pro is available, or in fact with other tablet/ultrabook designs coming online from the likes of Lenovo, etc.

      What about all the apps that the Apple and Android stores have available you say?  Consider this:  A large number of these apps are just front ends to web sites that basically just reformat data for a small screen smart phone.  This is not as important on tablets as 10 inch screens do not have such a real estate restriction and thus can function acceptably with browser access, just as they do on your PC or laptop. Browser bookmarks can be pinned to the desktop so for all intents and purposes, they appear as an app would. The other major cloud based apps are either available or most soon will be on the Surface.  In addition, the Surface-Pro will run the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of existing Windows based apps.  If the Microsoft developers conference earlier this month was any indication, we will see a tsunami of Windows 8 tile based apps coming available over the next few months. 

      The naysayer's arguments seem to revolve around a fear of change, which is understandable. But just remember that the same reaction existed when Windows was originally introduced in the early 90s.

      I expect a slow start, but a successful finish.

      Disclaimer:  I am long Microsoft, and doubled down on my MSFT investment at 24 about a year ago when I figured out what was happening.  The clincher was when I realized that MSFT paid a 3% dividend in a world where money market funds pay much less than 1% and 10 year T-Bills paid less than 2%!  No matter what happens in the long run, a Microsoft investment is safe from everything except a global crash for a couple of years anyway, I figure.

      It is amazing, Microsoft used to be the "Evil Empire", now they are the underdog!



Visit from Green Bay and Cape Cod for a Seahawks - Patriots game (which the Seahawks won!).

That is a new Seattle waterfront Ferris wheel in the background, by the way.


The new BMW 650i and the "old" Mercedes SL500.



Some new friends of mine: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil!



The start of the viaduct demolition. This section being cleared for a hole to contain the world record drill that will do the job in 15 months.

FYI - If you continue North up the picture about 1 1/2 miles, you will come to where our condo is situated.





Pictures from our Sept trip that started in Monte Carlo and ended in Paris.