# Friday, June 08, 2007

Microsoft Canada is putting on an all-day event Saturday June 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Of course it's free, and you'll see plenty of Microsoft and external speakers in multiple tracks.

I'm doing session #1 in the Developer Track in the afternoon: What's New for Web Developers in ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2008. If you're thinking "Visual Studio 2008???" that's Orcas - the new name was announced at Tech Ed in the keynote. Register while there are still spots!


Friday, June 08, 2007 4:37:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Thursday, June 07, 2007

I have spoken a LOT (too many times to link back) over the last year or more about getting your applications to work on Vista. When I ask for a show of hands to see who has tested their apps on Vista, I typically get less than a quarter of the room. When I ask why I hear things like "a copy of Ultimate is too expensive just to test with" or "I don't have a spare machine with the horsepower to run Glass" or even "I don't have a spare machine".

Fear not. How about a FREE evaluation VHD image of Vista, that you can run with the FREE copy of Virtual PC on the machine you have now? It might be slow, it might not do Glass, but you can find out for FREE if your app even runs, if it works under UAC, what happens if you put a manifest on it, and so on. Come on, what's stopping you? Jean-Luc David of Microsoft Canada has all the links for you.


Thursday, June 07, 2007 4:27:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Wednesday, June 06, 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.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007 4:20:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Tuesday, June 05, 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.



Tuesday, June 05, 2007 4:11:58 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Monday, June 04, 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.

Monday, June 04, 2007 9:41:27 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Sunday, June 03, 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.


Sunday, June 03, 2007 9:27:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Saturday, June 02, 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.



Saturday, June 02, 2007 9:19:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Friday, June 01, 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.


Friday, June 01, 2007 9:01:49 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #