Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I sincerely hope that this year's Tech Ed USA hasn't featured any of these "worst practices":
I like to advise up-and-coming speakers to watch as many sessions as they can, so they can see what NOT to do as well as what to do. Watch and learn, and giggle a little.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
My Tech Ed USA talk this year was "Vista and C++/CLI - a Natural Fit". A lot of Vista goodness is hard to get to from managed code. In the precon I showed you how leveraging other people's work (specifically the Vista Bridge and the Preview Handler Framework Stephen Toub wrote for MSDN Magazine) can eliminate some of that difficulty. In my C++ talk I drilled a little further, into things like property handlers that can only be in native code (same for thumbnail providers though I didn't show one) and flukes of the IDE that (for Visual Studio 2005 anyway) make adding a UAC manifest easier for C++ developers. The slides should be on CommNet for registered attendees, and if you want the code samples you can drop me a line. The property handler sample is straight out of the SDK so I don't need to send you that.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Here are the slides (5 meg) from the precon I did on Vista Programming with Tim yesterday. I've only zipped up "my" decks -- Tim should be posting his soon. If you attended and want my code, please drop me an email and ask for the demo that you want. Oh and please do your evals ... we don't have as many evals as attendees right now and trust me, evals make a difference so if you enjoyed the day, tell Microsoft so, and if there's something we could have done better please make a detailed comment - I read them!
PS to the attendee who gave us "1" on every question but said our demos were effective and the technical level was just right, did you know that 1 means the absolutely worst experience you have ever had? 9 means terrifically great.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I am very much a keyboard person. Why would I mouse all the way over to something when I can Ctrl-S or Alt-Tab or Windows-D to get what I want? This entry on the Vista team blog lists a few, and the comments list plenty more. Windows-space was new to me. Perhaps you'll find a few goodies too.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
A while back the blogs went nuts with the FizzBuzz game. It all started with a discussion of asking people to write code in job interviews. I do this, and I feel it really helps me to hire good people. However I ask something that appears to be much simpler than FizzBuzz, and I get interviewees who completely and utterly mess it up. I don't just mean that they write code the compiler would reject -- they write things that are too complex or that aren't in the language we just agreed they were going to write it in -- and when they look over what they've written on the whiteboard they don't see a problem.
Why the blogs went nuts is that commenters to the original post just couldn't resist trying to submit a solution. The general form was "man, you're an idiot, that problem is way too simple, it's just four lines of code! Like this:" immediately followed by a solution that DID NOT WORK. This unintentional hilarity continued with people trying to correct each others solutions and often failing. Then as that started to wind down, the language zealots came along to prove that FizzBuzz solutions posted by random commenters only had errors in them because of the languages the commenters chose, and that a Ruby version or the like would be much easier. Some of those had errors too. Assembly language, Cobol, Perl, ... I'll let you search out those solutions (quality varies) yourself.
But one in particular I really like for its spectacular uselessness while demonstrating great strength with the tool. Can you believe FizzBuzz in C++ compiler error messages?
Take a look at what Adam Petersen has done. Would I hire him? You betcha.
Friday, June 1, 2007
During my blogging hiatus, we went live with an aggregating site for Microsoft Regional Directors around the world. The Region aggregates our blog postings, using a human editor to extract posts that are interesting and relevant to a wide audience. It also features upcoming speaking appearance and recent publications by RDs, as well as profiles and bios of us all arranged by geography and technical expertise. (Here's mine.)
Regional Directors are smart and technical, but we're also business focused. We do a lot of speaking and a lot of writing. If you know even one smart RD, let that be an endorsement for the rest of us. Check out the Region and discover some new experts to add to your "blogs I read" or "search hits I trust" list. I'm really proud to call these folks my colleagues.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
It's time to get serious about planning my Tech Ed time next week. So far I have these immovable rocks, some of which I hope will be a don't-miss for you too:
I will be spending time at the RD Booth too so if you miss me at one of my sessions, look for me there! I'm hoping to have a fantastic week meeting developers and talking about Vista, C++, and interop in my real world and in yours. I'm also hoping to stay INDOORS as much as I can. Here at home it's in the high 20s even low 30s (Celsius, in other words HOT) but the humidity is nice and low. I know that's not what I'll find once I get to Orlando.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Again a blogging pause. Just too darn much work and a fair amount of speaking too. I'll do some "what's upcoming" shortly, but first here are the materials from my talk at the Toronto .NET User Group this week. I helped to found this group five years ago and it was great to be back. I've been doing this Vista talk a lot lately (Code Camp, DevTeach, a webcast last week, and now in Toronto) and it seems like people keep wanting to hear it. It's hard to fit it in a single evening but yes, you can learn what you need to get your app working on Vista in just an hour or two.
The first demo - the one app that has a manifest for the whole thing. Play with the required level or take the manifest away (remove the post build step) to see virtualization. UACDemoSolution1.zip (68.65 KB)
The second demo - the partitioned app with an asInvoker manifest for the overall app and a requireAdministrator manifest for the privileged exe. Also shows how to put the shield on the button. UACDemoSolution2.zip (68.2 KB)
Some fun with the Vista look and the effort VistaBridge saves. CommonFileDialogSolution.zip (1.88 MB)
The deck. ItsVistaTime.zip (790.18 KB) Zipped because the four digit extension seems to be causing a problem. It's .pptx which means you need the viewer for it.
More in the days to come!
Friday, March 30, 2007
About six months ago, I posted a few UAC screen shots and compared the text on them, the icons (the four colour shield vs a shield with a big exclamation mark) and the colours of the area where the title appears. Now Raymond Chen summarizes those four colours for people who have trouble remembering them.
The more you understand what UAC is saying, the less frustrating you will find it.
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