Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Check this out. If you go to DevTeach - and you certainly should - you will be getting more than you bargained for. First and foremost you'll be getting great sessions by great speakers. 136 sessions to be precise, plus a keynote by Ted Neward. Because of the small scale (8 simultaneous tracks instead of dozens) you will get a chance to meet and talk to many speakers and your fellow attendees during breaks and meals.
Now I happen to think that is well worth the $1250 attendance fee plus your travel and hotel. You would pay double to go to Tech Ed. Montreal the first week of December is a delightful trip, and you will learn the things you need to learn to stay current in this world, and get face time with a dazzling array of people who are not usually this accessible.
But, in case that's not enough, they've negotiated their way to giving you about a thousand dollars worth of software and learning. Seriously. I quote:
We believe that all developers need the right tool to be productive. This is what we will give you, free software, when you register to DevTeach or SQLTeach. Yes that right! We’re pleased to announce that we’re giving over a 1000$ of software when you register to DevTeach. You will find in your conference bag a version of Visual Studio 2008 Professional, ExpressionTM Web 2 and the Tech-Ed Conference DVD Set. Is this a good deal or what?
It's a very good deal. Oh, and one other thing. Did you go to TechDays? Did you get a $100 coupon? They've decided to retroactively make that a $350 dollar coupon. So you can attend for just $900.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Barcelona is a marvelous city, beautiful, warm, possessed of amazing food and drink, and lovely things to see. Having done some Gaudi things on previous years, a bunch of us resolved to do some non Gaudi things this year.
Step 1: decide where you are going. There is a cool cliff and cable car that you can see when you come along the highway from the airport. We decided that was what we wanted. Here Joel Semeniuk is taking a picture of the web page so we will have the directions with us en route. Yes, that is what we are like. Our destination is called Montjuic. (BTW, this picture is taken in the speaker's room, so you can get an idea of what it is like in there.)
Step 2: take the subway (it's so cool that the organizers give us subway passes) to the Montjuic Funicular which is clearly labelled on the subway maps and signs.
Step 3 - take the cable car from the top of the funicular to the base of the castle. Looks like I didn't take any cable car pictures.
Step 4 - explore the castle and enjoy astonishing views over the city and harbour.
Thanks to Stephen, Joel, and Goksin for an afternoon that most definitely did not suck.
Monday, November 10, 2008
There is an older, deeper meaning for "cut and paste" and this sticker, on the laptop of a member of the C++ team, shows it nicely. The sticker was a gift, btw - somebody made it for the team member. I like it.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
These are fun:
I got them from Knom's Developer Corner, a consistent source of goodness.
Wondering why they appear to be on my desktop? Because even in Vista gadgets can be on your desktop. Just drag them there. If you use Windows+D or Alt-Tab your way to the desktop you won't see them, but bring up the sidebar with Windows+Space and the gadgets you put on your desktop will wake up too. Neat trick I learned from a Windows 7 guy .
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I think I have this finally all sorted out now. This map is a little inaccurate because it depicts driving, but it gets the point across:
Monday December 8th I will fly to Fort Smith (via Atlanta). Tuesday December 9th I will drive to the Northwest Arkansas meeting. Wednesday Dec 10th I will fly from there to Baton Rouge (via Atlanta) and then Thursday Dec 11th I will fly home (once again, via Atlanta.) The talk will be the same at all three, so there's no need to follow me around
The Windows Vista Bridge: How Managed Code Developers Can Easily Access Exciting New Vista Features
Accessing new Windows Vista features is a challenge from managed (.NET) code. The level of interoperability required is out of reach for many developers. The Vista Bridge is a sample library you can use in your own projects today that provides access to new user interface features as well as “behind the scenes” power features. Discover a shortcut to Windows Vista for Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual C# programmers and how you can get involved.
This talk is freshly updated for Tech Ed Europe where I will deliver it Nov 13th. See you there!
Friday, November 07, 2008
Guess where I plan to be mid-November next year?
What will they talk about? Let the speculation begin.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Jesse Kaplan gave a GREAT talk at PDC called Managed and Native Code Interoperability: Best Practices. I really enjoyed it, and it actually covers a great deal of ground. Sure, some of the diagrams expressed concepts I have expressed before, but that's a vote of confidence as far as I'm concerned.
This is a dense talk that assumes a fair amount of background knowledge, but well worth the hour to watch. And then he plugged my marshal-as site, too!
Dude, you had me at "interop boundary" and it just got better from there. But this was a great finish!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Microsoft has announced BizSpark. If you know what DreamSpark is, then you might guess what BizSpark is. I was really surprised myself - essentially unlimited free licenses of developer software and hosting software such as Windows, SQL Server and SharePoint. Yes, free Team Suite for everyone in the company! You must meet three criteria:
- Be a startup, less than 3 years in business
- Have not much revenue, less than a million a year (stricter in some markets, mostly in Asia)
- Be software developers, not consultants or resellers
You prove that you meet these criteria, not to Microsoft, but to a network partner. Ideally your network partner is more than just your gateway to free software, but someone who can advise and help you on the path to success. Since the network partner has to know a bit about you, not many will just email you a key if you email them. You can look through the partners on the BizSpark site and see who would be a good match for you to establish a relationship with. Be sure to get the user guide and read the FAQ as well.
Plenty of coverage of this elsewhere on the web:
So, if you fit the description and want the free software, what should you do? Go to the BizSpark site's Find a Network Partner page. A lot of them are venture capitalists and investment companies. If you were hoping to find such a firm, this is a cool way to know one that is in favour of your using the Microsoft platform and won't try to make you change development tools to get funded. If you weren't planning to work with an investor, scroll through looking for a firm that offers consulting and mentoring. You can send an email and see about working together. If you can't find a firm in your geography that looks as if it could help you, try a nearby geography. For example, I'm only listed under Canada, but Americans could engage with our firm too.
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