I’ve been blogging since 2006 on my original Microsoft blog. But you might have noticed an exodus from that blog site, with a move to the Tech Community site or one of many other new blog sites taking its place. And while you can expect to see me continuing to publish blogs via the Tech Community site, I decided the time was right to branch out and start again on my own blogging site, where I can post whatever I want to, whenever I want to, using tools (like WordPress and Open Live Writer) that make this process really simple.
The hardest part about all of this: Deciding what to call the blog. I ended up deciding on a domain name that is linked to a peculiarity of Microsoft culture, where people are “OOF” when they are out of the office. As explained on an old Microsoft News article:
Turns out OOF is a quirk of Microsoft culture, dating back to the company’s pre-Exchange Xenix email system of the late ‘80s. “Oof” was the name of Xenix’s auto-reply feature and a command to call it up. Decades after Xenix transitioned into Exchange Server in 1993, people still say “oof,” which, like all good slang, has a malleable usefulness. It’s both a noun and adjective.
According to Microsoft Corporate Archivist Amy Stevenson, local lore has always attributed OOF to the phrase “out of facility.” She theorized that the developers of Xenix – a version of the Unix operating system – may have come from an academic or government setting where people said “facility” instead of “office.”
But Stevenson found no material showing that anyone ever said “out of facility,” and she wonders if someone just decided that OOF sounded better than OOO.
“You can’t really say OOOOOOO. There’s no way to end it,” says Stevenson. “But OOF you can say.”
So, https://oofhours.com was created. It seems fitting, as most blog posts that I’ve done have been written from home, on airplanes, in hotel rooms, and everyplace but in the office. That part is guaranteed to continue.
I’m sure I’ll be doing some tinkering over the coming weeks to get the formatting on this site the way I want it. But after that’s done, my goal is to blog daily. Let’s see if I can keep that commitment…