A Fresh Cup is Mike Gunderloy's software development weblog, covering Ruby on Rails and whatever else I find interesting in the universe of software. I'm a full-time Rails developer and contributor, available for long- or short-term consulting, with solid experience in working as part of a distributed team. If you'd like to hire me, drop me a line. I'm also the author of Rails Rescue Handbook and Rails Freelancing Handbook.

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Friday
Dec082006

What’s Going On Here?

The last time I completely walked off a job and started over with a new career was around 1992, when I shut down the publishing business I'd built around FACTSHEET FIVE. After a while I ended up writing software, and writing about software, for a living. I've spent the bulk of the last fifteen years developing some amount of reputation and expertise in the Microsoft universe, having published dozens of books and hundreds of articles, worked as an editor and consultant, written (as a subcontractor) parts of various Microsoft products, and so on. I'm also the editor of the Larkware site, which tracks news in the Microsoft software world for developers.

Unfortunately, over that time I've also come to the conclusion that, even though it is staffed largely by smart and ethical people, Microsoft itself represents a grave threat to the future of software development through its increasing inclination to stifle competition through legal shenanigans. Its recent attempt to claim that no one can implement a user interface that looks anything like the Office 2007 ribbon without licensing some nebulous piece of intellectual property represents a new low in this regard.

I'm in a bit of a bind. Unlike fifteen years ago, I've got a family, including four kids, and I can't afford to just walk out on a career that brings in good money. But I rather desperately want to find an alternative. This blog will record some of my explorations as I hunt around in other corners of the software world, trying to decide if there's a viable business plan for me that can include weaning myself off of Microsoft software.

Reader Comments (3)

wow. I saw your name and wondered if you were the same Mike Gunderloy I read in Factsheet 5 back in the '80s. Never would have tagged you as a microsoftie.

Good luck with the career change. Life always takes one in new directions.

January 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterandrew

I'm just beginning A Fresh Cup.

You're going to go through what I went through.

It's been a better life than I can possibly describe.

July 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdoc

Regarding the ribbon UI didn't Borland already win that fight during the Quatro Pro vs Lotus 1-2-3 battle?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quattro_Pro

I guess it was never resolved 100% but the lower court ruling stands ATM.

August 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKirk

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