Apparently there's a little blog tag game spreading that Gerald from Sun Microsystems desperately wants to pull me into. Ok. I'm game.

My 5 things:

1. The most CDs I have from a single artist or band are by Prince (& the Revolution, & the New Power Generation). I skipped most of the trash he put out while he was trying to get out of his Warner contract, but unfortunately not the horrid album Come for which I still want my money back. My favorite album is Sign of the Times, followed by 1999. The new 3121 isn't too shabby either.

2. The first game I ever programmed all by myself on my ZX81 (in 1KB!) and not by just typing in a listing from one of the difficult-to-acquire computer magazines (that's how things were back in the day) I wrote in 1984. It was a PacMan knockoff. I lost all work at least five times because the Sinclair's way of saving programs to the cassette tape was not very reliable, to put it nicely. Space Invaders was next.

3. The F. in Clemens F. Vasters stands for Friedrich. My grandmother (father's side) insisted me having that name in honor of my grandfather who fell in France in 1944. By what is known, he was a motor courier and got shot by the French Resistance. He's buried at the German War Cemetary outside of Andilly (near Nancy), France.

4. I currently have 180,000 hard-earned bonus miles with KLM/Air France and 110,000 with Lufthansa. I am qualified as Lufthansa Senator (Star Alliance Gold) through 2/2010, since Lufthansa stacks the 2 year award periods on top of each other when you qualify again in the first year of your award period. I am losing my Gold status with KLM/Air France this next April. No more lounge access in Schiphol and no more skipping the Economy check-in line. That sucks. In my job here at Microsoft I will unlikely requalify for either, because I'm not doing much of the crazy traveling anymore. I've been to 48 countries in the past 4 years.

5. I turned down an invitation to interview for a job with the Microsoft COM/OLE team in 1995. They had first approached me in 1994 and the PUM who was driving that at the time dropped the ball after the first contact. He came back with an apology for not being as thorough about the process as he should have been - some 8 months later. When that happened I was locked in a 2 year contract heading the NY office of the German company I worked for, so it ended up taking 11 years until I actually landed just at the division that can trace quite a few of its roots back to that team. I got the COM/OLE team's attention by fighting (and winning, if there is ever such a thing) a huge email flame-war on the Microsoft OLE CompuServe forum where the product manager of OpenDoc at Novell (who had just acquired WordPerfect at the time and got into OpenDoc that way) tried to convince everyone that he had the superior technology in hands. I wish someone had a backup of these forums. I am sure the conversation is horribly embarrasing from today's perspective.

So here are my 5 things. And the tag goes to ...  Udi, Daniel, Don, Nicholas, and Mr. Maine.