Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Here's a quick tip about tips. The default font for data tips, editor tips, and so on is really tiny (8 point):
Especially if you're presenting, you'll want to make it larger:
How's it done? The same Fonts and Colors dialog you use for your regular font setting, but use the dropdown at the top of the dialog:
You can also change Data Tips, the font in the output window and find results window, and plenty more. Experiment a bit!
Monday, 12 June 2006
My first talk of this year's TechEd, DEV 309, is today. For those who haven't pulled the slides from CommNet, here's the secret: there really aren't any slides.
That's right, if you remove the "chrome" that TechEd requires, like the session title and my name, there's an agenda, 4 demos, a laundry list to remind you what was covered, and a summary. Basically it's an hour and a bit of showing what the IDE can do. I like doing this talk because I just KNOW everyone will learn something they didn't know before.
ps: attendees PLEASE do your evals, that's how they decide who comes back next year!
Sunday, 11 June 2006
This one not from the hotel, but from TechEd as a speaker thankyou:
It's started already, and it's fun already (and I didn't even open the wine).
Saturday, 10 June 2006
I have an HUGELY busy week planned at TechEd. It kicks off with meetings of MVPs and RDs (I have to miss the meeting of user group leaders, everyone had the same "day before TechEd starts" plan) and the keynote Sunday night. My talks are Monday (DEV309 Visual C++: IDE Features for Visual Studio 2005, 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM Room 259 AB) and Friday (DEV444 Visual C++: Debugging and Resolving Loader Lock and Side-by-Side Issues, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Room 160 ABC), and I won't miss the Women In Technology luncheon on Wednesday. In between I have so many meetings scheduled, it's a good thing the sessions will be on DVD afterwards because I just won't be able to attend all the ones I want to. And as for Boston tourism... well at least I'll see Fenway
If you're going to be there, drop me a note and let's see if we can have some "face time" of our own.
Friday, 09 June 2006
If you attended realDEVELOPMENT_06 and really liked Infocard when I showed it to you, I have news: it's got a name now. Infocard was just a code name, which is why it said "Infocard" on the slides. Marketing has now christened it Windows CardSpace (WCS).
What's more, WinFX (which will be released with Vista but available on operating systems down to XP) will be called the NET Framework 3.0. That's handy, because I was spending a fair amount of time explaining what the heck WinFX was (the FX stands for framework, it's basically the .NET framework plus extra good stuff like WCF, WPF, WF, and
Infocard WCS.) I think everyone will "get" what .NET Framework 3.0 means.
Nothing changes in the technology, just the names.
Thursday, 08 June 2006
Imagine yourself in a hotel room early in the morning. You're tired, the alarm's just gone off, you're not ready to have a lot of lights on yet, you need to get up, iron some clothes, and get out the door all perky and chirpy to go teach a course. Luckily, the room has a coffee maker and supplies, so you can pre-caffeinate yourself. Yay! Now some of you, if you're North America-based, might have trouble spotting the sugar packets, but not me, oh no, I've been to Europe before you know, world traveller me, I know which is the sugar. It's those long skinny things. Like this:
One small problem: some of those are brown sugar, but the others are instant coffee. Ah well, I needed extra caffeine anyway.
Of course, whenever you go somewhere new, it opens your eyes to what people think is obvious. Take road signs for example. What does this mean?
I figured it out eventually from signs that have some more specific rules on it: No Stopping.
Try this one:
That means "end of motorway" and appears on most exit ramps to remind you that you're leaving the highway and changing your default traffic rules. I figured that out because the same symbol, which to me looks like an inukshuk, shows up on more understandable signs:
Another mystery was this one:
Though it "clicked" for me when I saw this variant:
Now there are some signs I think are brilliant:
But all in all, I'm really glad I'm leaving the driving to professionals on this trip. And I speak the language!
Wednesday, 07 June 2006
Sorry about that, but the number one headline here in the UK is the state of Wayne Rooney's foot. Listening to the radio in cabs and buses, or watching the television, that's all anybody cares about... they find a way to include it in the weather report, the traffic updates, the stock market report and so on. It was wild to see so many English flags (not Union Jacks, those are British flags based on the union of the individual flags) in windows and on cars.
There's a bit of controversy here about the flag thing, with people saying it's tacky, but i certainly saw hundreds of flags in just one day of travel, from Heathrow to Woking to Portsmouth, walking around Portsmouth, and then back up to Reading that evening.
Nice surprise for me when I reached the hotel... as a Hilton Gold member I'm used to a little snack waiting for me in my room. Sometimes it's a cookie and a bottle of water, or even two cookies and a bottle of water. Here's what was waiting for me in the Manor Room to which I was upgraded:
That's two bottles of water, two apples (at least one of which was very nice, I can report, having eaten it) and a bottle of red wine. The bed, for those who are following the pillow story, had three pillows on it. I'll take snack escalation over pillow escalation anytime.
Tuesday, 06 June 2006
This time it's Boris Jabes, who we haven't heard from in ages, who reappears with a pair of handy macros, one to show all your keyboard shortcuts and one to preprocess a file you have open (written as a response to someone who wanted it added as a feature to the IDE.) He credits his blogging once more to the "you can blog from Word 2007" feature. If that's true, the feature is getting my vote as the best of this release
Monday, 05 June 2006
One of the prizes at realDEVELOPMENT_06 Toronto was a Microsoft mouse. You're probably thinking "big deal". Well John was using this mouse in his presentation, and at the first break so many of the questions were about the mouse (yes, about the mouse!) that he took a minute to talk about it before we started the next session. Even the emails I got afterwards reflected a lot of mouse interest, with one attendee putting it first on the list of cool things seen that day.
So obviously this is no ordinary mouse. It's called the Laser 6000 and I guess the laser-ness makes it somehow better than an optical mouse. But that's not what all the fuss is about. It has a scroll wheel (nice and smooth) and you can push the scroll wheel sideways for horizontal scroll. But the side button, just under your thumb, is the cool thing. It's a zoomer. It magnifies whatever is under it... really simply and easily. Here's a shrunken screenshot:
You can control how big the zoomed area is and how magnified it is very easily and your choices persist until you change them again. I have the Wireless Laser 6000 and it's ergonomically beautiful, even fitting the little USB dongle into a slot on the underside of the mouse -- and turning it off when you do that since you're obviously putting it away. I really love this mouse... next time you need a new mouse, think of the Laser 6000, especially if you do any speaking.
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