Welcome to Montlake

This web site is run by Michael Broschat, who lives in Longview, Washington, USA. It is completely non-commercial, and exists simply to test various web technologies and techniques, although I will admit that I’ve gotten rather attached to the blog I write and to the various “web topics” that I’ve produced over the years.


This is the blog I have written since 2003. The usual stuff—comments or essays on topics that stay in my mind more than a few seconds. The first several years are currently missing, but they're not lost. One of these days...

Web topics

I’ve been taking pictures since I was 12 years old, and every now and again will be moved to share some of the results. Most often, these efforts take the form of photo essays where I have a thing or two to say along with the photographs, which is why I call them “web topics” rather than picture galleries.

SharePoint One-Offs

Until I retired, I worked with various SharePoint installations in various federal government environments. Only in my last two years of so working did I discover and begin to utilize the JavaScript aspects of SharePoint. I'm not sure that there is anything that cannot be done in SharePoint via JavaScript.

In reality, the approach outlined in this site is becoming outmoded. But it is safe to say that these techniques work with versions of SharePoint through 2010, and that encompasses a lot of federal systems. Word is, they work under 2013, too, but there are other ways now of accomplishing these tasks.

A note on the origin of ‘Montlake’, as in Montlake Software International, etc

I used to live in the Montlake district of Seattle. In fact, as with most informal area names, there are no clear boundaries, but it was the closest generally regarded neighborhood that I wanted to acknowledge.

In 1991, I think, I came into a couple bucks, and got the idea that I should join what we now know as The Bubble. In other words, create something that runs on (or near) a computer, call it ‘software’, and sell it to everyone. Two factors seriously inhibited this pipe dream: the money I inherited (and was willing to invest) was pretty small, and I had absolutely no idea what kind of software this “company” would make. I had seen some underutilized talent at the company at which I was then working, and I approached a couple folks with the idea of joining me in this scheme, and sweetened my proposal with a couple dollars made out to their names. The idea was to buy a certain interest, and then let the inevitable success of this company properly reward those who took part. I named this virtual company Montlake Software International.

An early formation meeting had such penetrating questions as “What are we supposed to be making, anyway?” In a sense, it didn’t matter much, because there was only one programmer, and I figured he could just make whatever he wanted. It really seemed that easy in those days. When ideas didn’t exactly flood our operation, I came up with the notion that we could create some kind of tool to deal with vocabulary in all the world’s languages. I had been entralled with the idea of Unicode since the late 1980s, but that interest was a bit before the actual implementation of Unicode-aware operating systems and software.

Again, it didn’t matter, because we never actually produced a plan or anything. But we were ready in case someone did.

One thing that did get accomplished, though, was that Young Ron (the programmer) came up with the idea for a logo. With the name ‘Montlake’, he said, why not have a mountain and a lake? Why not, indeed. It would be some years after the de facto dissolution of this so-called company before I actually got around to creating such a logo, and you see it on most MontlakeWeb pages.

Now. On to the software... Wait! We actually have some now! Incredible. Take a look at: MSI's USELESS Division.

Image of the moment:  Longview, WA, May 2014