# Monday, June 06, 2005

One more entry on this very busy day: the VSTO team announced today that VSTO will be (has been, but it's still in beta) expanded to include support for creating Outlook add-ins with managed code. There's a 5-page description on MSDN already.

This is making a cool tool, VSTO, even cooler. If you haven't noticed VSTO yet, it's time that you did. My Office 2003 category is pretty much all VSTO posts, versions 2003 and 2005.


Monday, June 06, 2005 5:51:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    

Here's the link to the ebay auction featuring over 20 Tech Ed speakers, almost all RDs. It ends June 16th. Get your hour of consulting time and help the tsunami victims at the same time. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, wander back in time through this blog to January: we did an auction then and raised $10,000 for immediate relief. This time it's about recovery and our help is still sorely needed.

Whose time might you get?

  • Don Box (USA) Microsoft, Inc.
  • Jesper Johansson (USA) Microsoct, Inc.
  • Richard Campbell (Canada) Campbell and Associates.
  • Scott Hanselman (USA) Corillian, Inc.
  • Kimberly Tripp (USA) SQLSkills.com
  • Michele Leroux Bustamante (USA/Canada) iDesign, LLC
  • Kate Gregory (Canada) Gregory Consulting
  • Juval Lowy (USA) iDesign, LLC
  • Stephen Forte (USA) Corzen, Inc
  • Clemens Vasters (Germany) Newtelligence AG
  • Andrew Brust (USA) Citigate-Hudson, Inc.
  • Carl Franklin (USA) Franklins.net
  • Ingo Rammer (Austria) Thinktecture
  • Christian Weyer (Germany) Thinktecture
  • Joel Semeniuk (Canada) Imaginets
  • Rockford Lhotka (USA) Magenic Technologies
  • Patrick Hynds (USA) Critical Sites
  • Tim Landgrave (USA) Crowe, Inc.
  • Tim Huckaby (USA) Interknowlogy, Inc.
  • Jackie Goldstein (Israel) Renaissance
  • John Goodyear (USA) Aspsoft
  • Richard Hundhausen (USA) Accentient, Inc
  • Paul Sheriff (USA) PDSA, Inc

Not a dud in the bunch! Please help if you can by bidding right away: the more bids are in the system the higher the minimum bid.


Monday, June 06, 2005 5:26:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    

My Tech Ed talk today was about what's new in C++ other than the language. I promised some links to whitepapers and resources. Here they are:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/floapoint.asp - Eric Fleegal's whitepaper on floating point optimization.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/securitychecks.asp - My whitepaper on GS and RTC in Visual C++ 2003, which you can use as a starting point. Try the samples with 2005. The code samples come with the C++ toolkit - there's a link in the whitepaper to download it.

Thanks for coming to the talk!


Monday, June 06, 2005 5:17:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    

Day Zero was Regional Director side meetings, lots of marvelous presentations from a variety of product teams and special guests. I also took care of registering, did my technical rehearsal for Monday's talk, and generally had a wonderful time.

Day One was my first talk, and it went very well. Here's the empty room before the audience showed up:

I also got to experience the RD Cabana. This is a happening place full of smart people and couches:

 We're getting ready to start filming our GrokTalks tomorrow. You need to check these out: stop by and watch us film, or get them off groktalk.net as we upload them. Here's our fearless technical director:

If you're here, stop by and say Hi! We're just off the main path through Hall A.


Monday, June 06, 2005 5:11:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Saturday, June 04, 2005

Tech Ed starts on Monday, there are all kinds of side meetings Sunday, and I'm here early because I did a compressed Ascend day yesterday. So far it is rainy and grey: I feel as though I accidentally flew to Seattle instead of Florida.

I like to get a room with two beds so I can use one bed just to pile up swag. Here's how it looks so far:

All this has to get home with me, and we're not even started yet. If you haven't left yet, remember to leave lots of room in your suitcase! Trust me!


Saturday, June 04, 2005 5:52:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Friday, June 03, 2005

Twenty RDs, plus Don Box and Jesper Johansson, are doing the charity auction thing again. This time it's restricted to Tech Ed speakers. The gory details are on Stephen Forte's blog. Ebay link real soon now.


Friday, June 03, 2005 6:09:57 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Monday, May 30, 2005

It starts with Chris Sells, who says he wants “the power and performance of C++ and the simplicity of C#.” He links to a grumpy programmer blog that says lovely things about the new C++/CLI, including this in the first sentence:

C++ becomes a fully fledged, first class .NET language, throwing off the clumsy ‘managed extensions’ and gaining a full set of designers, code verification and mixed mode (managed and embedded) capability. It is thus the only .NET language that offers true backward compatibility with legacy code bases and delivers genuine performance benefits over C# or VB.NET.

He then goes on to say something that many people close to me say regularly: what the heck is C# for? I don't say this myself, I think lots of people love C# and more power to them, there's nothing wrong with it at all. It has a place. It's just not the only way to use semicolons and brace brackets while targeting the CLR, that's all.

The comments section of Chris' post is full of entries from people who don't know what C++/CLI is. I'm not being rude or dismissive, it's just that someone who complains about the double underscore keywords is complaining about the old syntax, and that is gone now. Read my lips: no more double underscores! Let's keep saying it till everybody hears it! ... er, sorry, got a little carried away there. If you haven't seen the new syntax, try Stan's “Hello, C++/CLI” column.

Next up is Sam, who confessed to me privately that he liked C++/CLI and has now come out on his blog: “I was expecting all sorts of horrors and errors but the code came out perfect in first try and naturally, the way C# flows for me.”

Craig Andera basically says “but people like C#” and you know? I'm not arguing with that. But why is it a win-lose game with C++ and C#? Why can't they both soar and do well?

A nice start to what will probably be a long hard week for me.


Monday, May 30, 2005 9:57:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Friday, May 27, 2005

Yesterday my Ascend day started with a lab, not lecture, so I was pleasantly surprised to arrive half an hour before it started to discover three or four people settled into the room already. I told them I was glad to have a few keeners in the class and got nothing but puzzled looks for my trouble. It seems it's a Canadian slang that hasn't spread very far. Tonight I Googled a little - it's hard, because it's a commonish last name, plus people insist on taking “a keener look” or having “a keener focus” and the like. But the only sites I could find that used it to mean “someone who studies way harder than everyone else, does all their homework, and always puts schoolwork above leisure, socializing or sleep” were Canadian ones.

Who knew?

Was I a keener as an undergrad? Oh yes. But I was in Engineering, rich in keeners depite the hard-partying image. I wasn't the keenest of them all or anything like that. :-) It's served me in good stead, though. You would be amazed what you can do with your brain if you're just determined to do it.


Friday, May 27, 2005 10:46:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Thursday, May 26, 2005

Because he's just had something small but important explained to him in a very concise and useful way, of course.

It starts at Tech Ed, but it's more than that. Check out www.groktalk.net for details.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:48:12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Tuesday, May 17, 2005

With the seven-city Smart Client Deep Dive tour done, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize my upcoming speaking and training schedule.

  • May 23-26. Ascend Training (Smart Client Track) Redmond, WA. Teaching Microsoft people and special guests (MVPs, RDs, partners) all about Smart Clients (VSTO, WinForms, and more) in Whidbey.
  • June 3. Ascend Training (one day ultra condensed) Orlando, FL. This is a pre-conference event for Academic Days at Tech Ed.
  • June 6-10. Tech Ed USA,  Orlando FL. Two talks (Monday morning and Tuesday morning - both are C++ talks and who would go to only one of them? See the new syntax, new optimizations, new power for an old friend - search for DEV330 and DEV331), one panel lunch (women in technology), and helping out with the way cool thing the RDs are doing that I can't quite discuss yet.
  • June 18-19. DevTeach, Montreal Quebec. A Canadian User Group Leader get-together, and my two C++ talks glued into one “What's New in C++“ presentation.
  • October 23-26, Tech Ed Africa, Sun City South Africa. OK, I'm not officially accepted as a speaker yet but I'm pretty sure I'll be there, topics TBD.
  • Nov 7-10. C++ Connections, Las Vegas, NV. How real customers are moving to the new C++.

This is just the stuff I'm on stage for. I'm planning to be in the audience at either or both of the PDC and the MVP Summit, both in September.  And oh yeah, I have a company to run and some projects to finish. Gotta dash!


Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:39:50 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Sunday, May 15, 2005

The government of Ontario simplifies procurement by using Vendor of Record lists. If a Ministry or Agency is planning a certain kind of work, they use these lists rather than “the entire world” to locate a vendor. It's pretty fine company to be in: only 78 vendors qualified for our other VOR list, for Electronic Service Delivery.

This list, VOR-1005-04, is for “Task Based IT Consulting Services” and you can see all the vendors at http://www.ppitpb.gov.on.ca/mbs/psb/psb.nsf/english/vorlist-e.html#VOR-1005-04 - 137 in all, and some pretty big names (Microsoft Canada, say, or IBM Canada for that matter) mixed in with ours.


Sunday, May 15, 2005 8:49:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #