# Thursday, October 14, 2004

I'm on vacation at the moment (travel blog entries to come if I get any free time) but had to take a minute to mention that I'll be speaking at Tech Ed South Africa at the end of the month. I'm doing three talks: better performance in VB, programming with Word or Excel as your user interface with VSTO, and Visual C++ 2005 and the C++/CLI features -- which the organizers were nice enough to add just because I asked them to. I'm really looking forward to the trip and the people!

C++ | Office 2003 | RD | Speaking | Travel
Thursday, October 14, 2004 6:07:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Thursday, September 30, 2004

It must be the user group :-)

Apparently the number one city to move to in all of Canada last year was Oshawa. I heard the head of chamber of commerce on the radio tonight and had to laugh when he listed one of the big assets of Oshawa is that it's close the Kawartha Lakes (I live in Kawartha Lakes and honestly I prefer it to Oshawa.) Oshawa is not a grimy industrial town, it's pretty and clean and friendly. And if you want to see what all the fuss is about, come to our next meeting, October 19th, and come a little early so you can look around the town.




Thursday, September 30, 2004 9:24:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Thursday, September 23, 2004

The INETA Speakers bureau, divided into North American, European, and Latin American bureaus, is a wonderful thing. I'm honoured to be part of it, and to speak at user groups across North America. So far, I've spoken at as many Canadian groups through the bureau as at American ones, but that's a little unusual. Some Canadian groups are still looking for speakers, toplevel exciting great speakers, to come to their meetings. So MSDN Canada is setting up a Canadian equivalent. My Canadian group will now get to pull speakers from two pools -- and I will get invitations from two sets of audiences. That sounds like a great plan!

More details, speaker bios, and so on are at http://msdn.microsoft.com/canada/speakers/. For those old enough to remember Bob and Doug MacKenzie, a themed announcement is available. Most speakers are MVPs and RDs. If you're active in .NET in Canada, you should know these people -- it's like a crash course on the .NET Canadians. (And yes, I know a few Americans have snuck in there. But just the ones we like :-). )


Thursday, September 23, 2004 10:05:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The September 21st meeting of the East of Toronto .NET Users Group features an appearance by the MSDN USer Group tour.

Come and hear about building Mobile applications using the .NET Compact Framework and SQL CE. Please register at http://gtaeast.torontoug.net/ug_events/702.aspx -- there's even more great Microsoft giveaways this month than usual :-) but I'm going to use the registration numbers as a guide for how much of it to lug to the meeting. If you haven't been to an East of Toronto meeting before, now's a great time. We'll be in our new room, upstairs in the UA1 building on the Durham College / UOIT campus in Oshawa. There's a map on the page where you register. See you there!


Wednesday, September 15, 2004 3:18:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Sunday, September 05, 2004

Here is a terrific collection of “new C++” material that's well worth reading, all from Stan lately:

  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnvs05/html/TransGuide.asp is a translation guide from Managed Extensions for C++ (that would be the “all those underscores“ version of the language) to C++/CLI (the new, beautiful version.) If you went to the trouble of learning the __gc, __property etc way of doing everything, this guide will show you how to translate your programs. If you never got around to learning it, move straight to C++/CLI.
  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/?pull=/library/en-us/dnvs05/html/stl-netprimer.asp is a guide to STL.NET. You won't find STL.NET in the current CTP release, but it's coming. C++ is the only managed language that supports both templates and generics, and they each have their place. With STL.NET you can get the best performance, you can use idioms that are familiar and comfortable, and you give up nothing when it comes to interop with other managed languages. This article is part I; I'm watching for more parts.
  • Finally, this blog entry (http://blogs.msdn.com/slippman/archive/2004/08/27/221373.aspx) is on interior pointers. I've read explanations of how to code interior pointers before, but hadn't really seen what they are for. (The same can be said of anonymous methods; lots of folks will show you how to do them but Don Box showed the other night what they can be used for, and now I get it. But that's Don for you.)

What a great time to be a C++ person, watching the new language take shape.


Sunday, September 05, 2004 10:12:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Friday, August 27, 2004

Like a lot of RDs (about half of us worldwide) I'm in Redmond this week for some training. Most of it is NDA but I have to share this quote from Don Box (who rocked) tonight:

Visual Studio rocks; I have not used Emacs since the PDC.

Wow! If you need context, he was discussing XML editing and Visual Studio “Whidbey“.


Friday, August 27, 2004 2:37:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Jean-Luc David reports on our recent East of Toronto .NET User Group meeting. He took notes. The next meeting is Sept 21st and if you live in the GTA and find Oshawa easier to reach than Mississauga or downtown, please come out and see us!


Wednesday, August 25, 2004 3:02:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Wednesday, August 18, 2004

For a long time now, I've been using mapquest.com for maps of places I am going to. I have no real complaints with it, so I haven't been looking to see what else there is. Sure, it's a little annoying that I have to click Maps when I first get there if I want a Canadian map, and then there's a really annoying refresh when you choose Canada and it changes State to Province, which can wipe out everything you typed if you're on a slow line, but those are pretty minor, really.

Last night Dwayne was talking about Mappoint Location Server, which is an enterprise-focused technology for seeing where your people or deliveries or whatnot are, using a map, but of course he showed a lot of Mappoint maps along the way. And you know what? They're nice-looking. Really nice-looking.

So tonight someone phoned me to ask where a particular building was, and said Mapquest couldn't find the address she gave it. (Turned out she was spelling the street incorrectly so no marks off to Mapquest on that.) I tried Mappoint and -wow! These are beautiful maps that get more beautiful as you drill in.

drills to

It felt a little more dial-up friendly, too. The printable map is especially nice. Mapquest reduces the amount of chrome when you go for a printable map, but not to zero. At least for now the printable Mappoint map is pretty much chrome-free. I tried a few places where the streets are denser (downtown Toronto) and liked that, too.

For now it seems to be North America only, so I'll use MapQuest for my Europe planning. Up to now I've been using a 40 year old atlas for that, which is working fine really since London, Paris, Venice etc tend not to move around and I only need to know things like how far apart they are. Sooner or later I'll want a touch more detail, and Internet maps are perfect for that.

[Update Sept 23rd: Europe is in there. I'm a 100% Mappoint girl now...]

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:37:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #