Saturday, 11 June 2005
In my second Tech Ed talk I touched very briefly on the classes, templates, and macros that make it easy to integrate MFC and WinForms in C++ applications that target the runtime. If you want proof of Microsoft's continuiing committment to MFC, head for the new MFC whitepaper on MSDN. I quote:
.NET integration enables MFC applications to leverage the power and productivity of the .NET platform as a natural extension of MFC. The reliability and security enhancements in MFC make for a more productive development process with fewer end-user issues, and existing MFC applications can take advantage of these enhancements with little more than a simple recompile in many cases.
I'll give links to more details as soon as I can.
Thursday, 09 June 2005
Have you ever read the hotel soap story? It's always presented as true, but of course it's not. I've found an American version (featuring Dial and Camay) and a British one (featuring Imperial Leather). The thing just makes me laugh out loud even after all the times I've read it. Well anyway here at the Peabody (Tech Ed Speaker hotel) I am starting to have a similar, but more delicious, problem. Each evening they come around to do a turn-down service, to get you ready for bed. If I am out, they come in and do it, and leave two chocolates on the pillow. Very nice. If I am in, they knock on the door and say “turndown!” and I come to the door and say “thanks, I'm fine, really.” And then, you see, they say the dreaded words “but wouldn't you like a chocolate or two?”. “Oh yes, that would be nice, thankyou!”. The first time this happened, they gave me three. The next night, four. It keeps going up, I have no idea why. Last night, SEVEN! Tonight I think it was TEN!
I am actually eating a few of these chocolates but not at a sufficient pace. I leave tomorrow: I have, after eight nights in this hotel, twenty nine squares of chocolate still piled by my lamp, a little like the soaps of our supposed true story above.
There are worse problems to have.
The Groktalks are finished! Now comes the editing... so Scott Stanfield needs to rest up a little... and at Tech Ed, you take your rest where you can get it.
Anyone who doubted that 40 ten-minute talks could knock an attendee over need only have visited our booth this afternoon as we wrapped up. What a treat to see and hear so many of them, and what a lot of work to film them all! The Groktalk crew all deserve a big round of applause: Patrick Hynds ran the schedule, Scott Golightly tracked the times and kept the speakers on task, Scott Stanfield was camera and direction (and heart and soul,) and J. Michael Palermo did everything else technical that needed to be done. Today I made sure speakers were ready when their time rolled around. Tons of other RDs came to the booth for moral support, occasional technical support, and to hear some really good presentations, ten minutes at a time.
Let me tell you, speaking for ten minutes is HARD. Speaking all day, for eight or nine hours, is tiring, but not that hard: if one demo blows up and you need to either do it over or abandon the rest of it, there's plenty of ways to speed up or slow down other parts of the day. An hour is reallly pretty nice: if you speak too long on one thing you can make up for it later, if you forget something when you're on slide 11 you can always find a way to weave it in to slide 12 or even 22. But in ten minutes, there's just nowhere to hide. I am so impressed that we were able to do this, and really glad we filmed them. Watch for links as we get things edited and uploaded.
Wednesday, 08 June 2005
We're putting in a lot of time at the RD Cabana booth recording these groktalks. This is such a great idea! Top notch speakers who normally do hour, half day, or all day sessions instead tackling one concept in just ten minutes. I haven't been able to watch them all, but I can't wait till they're uploaded to the groktalk site. In the meantime you can find some pictures we've taken while filming, our schedule, and a map to where we are.
Take a look!
Monday, 06 June 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.
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.
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.
Saturday, 04 June 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!
Friday, 03 June 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.
Monday, 30 May 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.
Friday, 27 May 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.
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.
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