Attend my Tech Ed 2014 session: Debugging Tips and Tricks

Mon, May 5, 2014, 06:48 PM under Events

Just a week away, at Tech Ed 2014 NA in Houston Texas, I will be giving a demo presentation that you will not want to miss (assuming you code in Visual Studio). Add it to your calendar now:

DEV-B352 Debugging Tips and Tricks in Visual Studio 2013 (link)

Monday, May 12 1:15-2:30 PM, Room: General Assembly C

As a developer, regardless of your programming language or the platform that you target, you use the debugger on a daily basis. Come to this all-demo session to learn how to make the most of the Visual Studio debugger, and hence be more productive and effective in your everyday development. We tour almost all of the debugger surface and many of its commands, throwing in tips and tricks as we go along, and also calling out what is brand new in the latest version of the debugger in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013. Whatever your experience level, you are guaranteed to leave with new knowledge of debugger features that you will want to use immediately when you are back at your computer!

 

I am also co-presenting another session later in the week.

DEV-B313 Diagnosing Issues in Windows Phone 8.1 XAML Applications Using Visual Studio 2013 (link)

Thursday, May 15 10:15-11:30 AM, Room: 340

Come to this demo-driven session to learn how to use the latest diagnostic tools in Visual Studio 2013 to make your Windows Phone 8.1 XAML apps reliable, fast, and efficient. Learn how to make the most of existing capabilities in the debugger as well as new debugging features for diagnosing correctness issues. Also, see the Visual Studio Performance and Diagnostics hub in action with its performance analysis tools for diagnosing CPU usage, memory usage, and energy consumption. The techniques covered in this session apply equally well for Windows Store apps as well as Windows Phone Store apps, so all your device development needs will be covered.

 

Links to both sessions from my Tech Ed speaker page. See you there!


Attend my Fusion sessions

Wed, June 6, 2012, 07:50 PM under Events | GPGPU | ParallelComputing

The inaugural Fusion conference was 1 year ago in June 2011 and I was there doing a demo in the keynote, and also presenting a breakout session. If you look at the abstract and title for that session you won't see the term "C++ AMP" in there because the technology wasn't announced and we didn't want to spill the beans ahead of the keynote, where the technology was announced. It was only an announcement, we did not give any bits out, and in fact the first bits came three months later in September 2011 with the Beta following in February 2012.

So it really feels great 1 year later, to be back at Fusion presenting two sessions on C++ AMP, demonstrating our progress from that announcement, to the Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate that came out last week.

If you are attending Fusion (in person or virtually later), be sure to watch my two-part session. Part 1 is PT-3601 on Tuesday 4pm and part 2 is PT-3602 on Wednesday 4pm. Here is the shared abstract for both parts:

Harnessing GPU Compute with C++ AMP

C++ AMP is an open specification for taking advantage of accelerators like the GPU. In this session we will explore the C++ AMP implementation in Microsoft Visual Studio 2012. After a quick overview of the technology understanding its goals and its differentiation compared with other approaches, we will dive into the programming model and its modern C++ API. This is a code heavy, interactive, two-part session, where every part of the library will be explained. Demos will include showing off the richest parallel and GPU debugging story on the market, in the upcoming Visual Studio release.

See you there!


Attend my GTC sessions

Sun, May 13, 2012, 01:36 PM under Events | GPGPU | ParallelComputing

The last GTC conference in the US was 2 years ago and I was there as an attendee. You may recall from that blog post that we were running UX studies at the time.

It really feels great 2 years later, to be back at GTC presenting two sessions on C++ AMP, demonstrating our progress that includes input from those early studies.

If you are attending GTC (in person or virtually later), be sure to watch my two-part session. Part 1 is S0242 on Wednesday 5pm and part 2 is S0244 on Thursday 10am. Here is the shared abstract for both parts:

Harnessing GPU Compute with C++ AMP

C++ AMP is an open specification for taking advantage of accelerators like the GPU. In this session we will explore the C++ AMP implementation in Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Beta. After a quick overview of the technology understanding its goals and its differentiation compared with other approaches, we will dive into the programming model and its modern C++ API. This is a code heavy, interactive, two-part session, where every part of the library will be explained. Demos will include showing off the richest parallel and GPU debugging story on the market, in the upcoming Visual Studio release.

See you there!


BUILD apps that use C++ AMP

Tue, September 13, 2011, 08:28 PM under Events | GPGPU | ParallelComputing

If you are a developer on the Microsoft platform, you are hopefully attending (live or virtually) the sessions of the BUILD conference, aka //build/ in Anaheim, CA. The conference sold out not long after it opened registration, and it achieved that without sharing *any* session details nor a meaningful agenda up until after the keynote today – impressive!

I am speaking at BUILD and hope you'll catch my talk at 9am on Friday (the last day of the conference) at Marriott Elite 2 Ballroom. Session details follow.

802 - Taming GPU compute with C++ AMP

Developers today inject parallelism into their compute-intensive applications in order to take advantage of multi-core CPU hardware. Beyond CPUs, however, compute accelerators such as general-purpose GPUs can provide orders of magnitude speed-ups for data parallel algorithms. How can you as a C++ developer fully utilize this heterogeneous hardware from your Visual Studio environment?  How can you benefit from this tremendous performance boost in your Visual C++ solutions without sacrificing developer productivity?  The answers will be presented in this session about C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism.

I'll be covering a lot of the material I've been recently blogging about on my blog that you are reading, which I have also indexed over on our team blog under the title: "C++ AMP in a nutshell".


C++ AMP recording and slides

Fri, June 17, 2011, 02:51 PM under Events | GPGPU | ParallelComputing

Yesterday we announced C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism.

Many of you want to know more about the API instead of just meta information. I will trickle more code over the coming months leading up to the date when we will share actual bits. Until you have bits in your hand, it is only your curiosity that is blocked, so I ask you to be patient with that and allow me to release this on our own schedule ;-)

You can now watch my 45-minute session introducing C++ AMP on channel9. You will also want to download the slides (pdf), because they are not readable in the recording.


Speaking at AMD Fusion conference

Thu, June 9, 2011, 05:44 PM under Events | ParallelComputing

UPDATE: C++ AMP session recording and slides now available.

Next Wednesday at 2pm I will be presenting a session at the AMD Fusion developer summit in Bellevue, Washington State.

For more on this conference please visit the official website. If you filter the catalog by 'Speaker Last Name' to "Moth", you'll find my talk.

For your convenience, below is the title and abstract

Blazing-fast code using GPUs and more, with Microsoft Visual C++

To get full performance out of mainstream hardware, high-performance code needs to harness, not only multi-core CPUs, but also GPUs (whether discrete cards or integrated in the processor) and other compute accelerators to achieve orders-of-magnitude speed-up for data parallel algorithms. How can you as a C++ developer fully utilize all that heterogeneous hardware from your Visual Studio environment? How can your code benefit from this tremendous performance boost without sacrificing your developer productivity or the portability of your solution? The answers will be presented in this session that introduces a new technology from Microsoft.

Hope to see many of you there!


Are you at Super Computing 10?

Sat, November 13, 2010, 07:09 PM under Events | HPC | ParallelComputing

Like last year, I was going to attend SC this year, but other events are unfortunately keeping me here in Seattle next week. If you are going to be in New Orleans, have fun and be sure not to miss out on the following two opportunities.

MPI Debugging UX Study

Throughout the week, my team is conducting 90-minute studies on debugging MPI applications within Visual Studio. In exchange for your feedback (under NDA) you will receive a Microsoft Gratuity (and the knowledge that you are impacting the development of Visual Studio). If you are interested, sign up at the Microsoft Information Desk in the Exhibitor Hall during exhibit hours. Outside of exhibit hours, send email to tcur@microsoft.com. If you took part in the GPGPU study, this is very similar except it is for MPI.

Microsoft High Performance Computing Summit

On Monday 15th, the Microsoft annual user group meeting takes place. Shuttle transportation and lunch is provided. For full details of this event and to register, please visit the official event page.


Heading to GTC 2010

Sat, September 18, 2010, 02:34 PM under Events

Next week the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2010 takes place in San Jose, CA and I am lucky enough to be attending the entire week.

It has been an extremely long time (in fact, I can't remember the last time) where I am registered as an attendee at a conference (full pass/access) without being a speaker *and* without having any booth duty! Having said that, we (our team at Microsoft) will be running GPU debugging UX studies throughout the entire week (similar to what I had previously advertised). If you are attending GTC 2010 and you are interested, look for the related flyer in your conference bag.

The conference is an excellent opportunity to connect in-person with various individuals that I have only met virtually. From an educational perspective there is a very long and interesting session list, with multiple concurrent slots, making it very hard to choose between them, but I have managed to create my (packed) schedule. I am most looking forward to sessions on the programming languages and tools, both from Microsoft and MS partners.

For full conference details, visit the GTC 2010 official page.


Parallel Computing Platform Developer Lab

Sat, March 13, 2010, 05:20 AM under Events | ParallelComputing

This is an exciting announcement that I must share:

"Microsoft Developer & Platform Evangelism, in collaboration with the Microsoft Parallel Computing Platform product team, is hosting a developer lab at the Platform Adoption Center on April 12-15, 2010.  This event is for Microsoft Partners and Customers seeking to incorporate either .NET Framework 4 or Visual C++ 2010 parallelism features into their new or existing applications, and to gain expertise with new Visual Studio 2010 tools including the Parallel Tasks and Parallel Stacks debugger toolwindows, and the Concurrency Visualizer in the profiler.

Opportunities for attendees include:

  • Gain expert design assistance with your Parallel Computing Platform based solution.
  • Develop a solution prototype in collaboration with Microsoft Software Engineers.
  • Attend topical presentations and “chalk-talk” sessions.
  • Your team will be assigned private, secure offices for confidential collaboration activities.

The event has limited capacity, thus enrollment is based on an application process.   Please download and complete the application form then return it to the event management team per instructions included within the form.  Applications will be evaluated based upon the technical solution scenario along with indicated project readiness timelines.  Microsoft event management team members may contact you directly for additional clarification and discussion of your project scenario during the nomination process."


PDC09 or SC09

Fri, October 16, 2009, 05:19 PM under Events
Recently I was given the choice to attend the PDC09 or the Super Computing conference: SC09. They both run in the same week, so attending both was not an option.

From a personal perspective I like visiting new cities, but in this case I have been to both Los Angeles and Portland so that is not a factor. From a geek perspective I like getting a feel for as many conferences as possible and I did PDC last year (repeated at Tech ED EMEA), whereas I have never been to an SC conference – so that tipped the balance a bit. More importantly from a more_useful_to_my_job perspective, I need to "connect" with more developers that are interested in the HPC and GPU space… This is the customer I want to delight with the work our team will deliver beyond VS2010…

If you, dear reader, are going to PDC09 be assured that the work our team is delivering in VS2010 will be well represented. View the relevant PDC sessions here.

If you are planning on attending SC09, please drop me a note (via the email link on the left) so we can meet and have a chat in Portland…

Parallelism in VS2010 at Illinois next week...

Sat, June 20, 2009, 06:52 AM under Events
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is holding what seems like a fantastic week-long summer course on multi-core programming. They have invited me to give a session (or what they term on that page a "special lecture") on Parallel Programming in Visual Studio 2010! All I have to do this weekend is prepare that lecture :-)

On a personal note, I've never been to that part of the USA, so I'll spend a couple days in Chicago finding out if all the rumors (good and bad) are true…

Around 1500 geeks in Seattle for the MVP Summit 2009

Fri, February 27, 2009, 03:39 PM under Events
My last participation as an attendee was the MVP summit in 2005 and 4 years later I'll be participating again but this time from the other side (was planning to do it in 2007 but failed). There are many events to go to and I've narrowed it down to the following. If you read this blog and you are around, why not find me and buy me a beer? ;-)

Saturday ALT.NET Seattle 2009.

Sunday – WSCTC 4th floor (welcome, keynote, reception), and then
Sunday Jillian's for evening geek party.

Monday – Hanging out with Device MVPs: Lunch time + an evening reception, on Redmond campus.

Tuesday – presenting to C++ MVPs about parallel debugger, and then
Tuesday – presenting to Managed Languages MVPs about parallel debugger, and then
Tuesday – evening at the MVP Summit party.

Wednesday – probably at WSCTC (keynote, panel and general sessions + lunch).

Parallelism in Greek

Mon, February 23, 2009, 04:53 PM under Events | ParallelComputing
During my working_from_Greece stint over the Christmas and New Year's period, I squeezed in presenting at an event in Athens. Parts of the recorded presentation are now available on the Greek MSDN pages. Scroll down the page to choose between the 2 presentations


The 1st presentation was this one. The 2nd presentation was a (interactive) Greek version of the code-heavy Parallel Programming session.

Finally, for those of you physically living in Greece, there is a 2-page article/interview on parallel computing in February's PC Magazine.

Parallel Programming Session from Tech Ed EMEA 2008

Sat, November 15, 2008, 04:02 PM under Events

Last week I repeated in Barcelona for Tech Ed EMEA 2008 the PDC08 session that I gave in LA. The European recording appears to be also available online on the home page for your viewing pleasure (the direct link is here).

Catch the "Parallel Programming in .NET 4.0" session online

Thu, October 30, 2008, 09:15 AM under Events
Things have been crazy busy leading up to PDC and now it is finally drawing to a close and I look forward to my flight back to Seattle from LA.

Those of you that did not have a chance to attend my TL26 session can watch it online (or download it from) here.

If you did attend my session, please make sure you fill out the evaluation form by clicking on the ()icon next to the session on the PDC Timeline (Day 3 at 10:30AM at the bottom).

If you are attending Tech Ed EMEA in 2 weeks, I'll be repeating this session in Barcelona so don't watch it online ;-)

Add "Parallel Programming in .NET 4.0" to your PDC schedule

Fri, October 17, 2008, 05:59 PM under Events
The (really cool) schedule builder on the PDC site now includes timeslots for all sessions. Come to mine on Wednesday 29 October at 10:30 AM (straight after the keynote) in Petree Hall CD.

PDC2008: Can you afford not to be there?

Wed, September 24, 2008, 03:05 PM under Events
When I previously blogged about PDC, I hinted that in addition to the pre-conference and the 4 breakout sessions, there would be "even more on the final day of PDC" from the Parallel Computing Platform. The details are now public: make sure you attend the 3 additional sessions of the Parallel Computing symposium on
"A Detailed Look at How Multi-Core Architectures will Unleash Computing Power and Enable Innovation"

Beyond parallelism, we also published additional Windows 7 sessions (inc. a keynote), 2 of which you can see on a screenshot of my partial agenda:

(note to self: next time I submit a session, make sure it starts with quotes so it appears first on the alphabetical list of sessions ;))

Finally, for the swag-oriented amongst you, the motivation comes in the form of a 160GB USB 2 hard drive (which include pre-Beta bits of Windows 7 plus more)! I asked, and presenters won't receive the drive apparently... oh well...

Register now and see you in the city of angels.

Parallel Computing at PDC – See you there

Fri, August 1, 2008, 01:18 AM under Events
The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is held in October at Los Angeles, which is one of the reasons I am looking forward to be going there (as a teenager I was a huge The Doors fan), another reason being the party.

However, the main reason I am excited to be going this year is because I will have the opportunity to share with developers from around the world some of the cool things that our teams have been working on.

Parallel Computing has a very strong presence at PDC08, so follow the links to find out more:

1. A whole PreCon day of Concurrent, multi-core programming on Windows and .NET.

2. Four breakout sessions (click on the Parallelism [4] tag in the sessions list)

3. Even more on the final day of PDC, to be shared later...

Hope to see you there!

"PLINQ" plus "Whose Session Is It Anyway" at NxtGenUG Fest08

Fri, June 6, 2008, 12:08 PM under Events
On 12th June at TVP in Reading you should not miss the NxtGenUG Fest08. I'll be making a short appearance to give a brief glimpse at Parallel LINQ (PLINQ). Laughs are also guaranteed as the day ends with the game show "Whose Session Is It anyway" that I am told I must also participate in – oh dear... Register now.

Thanks for attending my sessions at Tech Ed in Orlando

Fri, June 6, 2008, 12:04 PM under Events
For those that I met in Orlando, here are the resources:

1. Talking about the 2 sessions.
2. Sharing Assets.
3. Five Cool things.

My sessions at Tech Ed North America

Thu, May 29, 2008, 06:33 AM under Events
I have 2 sessions at Tech Ed in Orlando this year. Add them to your schedule.

- Wednesday 4th June, 16:30-17:45, MBL308 in room S230 G
Sharing Assets between the.NET Compact Framework and the .NET Framework

- Friday 6th June, 13:00-14:15, TLA318 in room S320 C
5 Cool Things to Know and Use for Smart Client Development with VS2008 and .NET Framework v3.5

Also after my session on Wednesday, between 10:00 and 18:30, together with my 2 co-authors we will be signing copies of our book at the bookstore - brings yours along for instant devaluation :)

I'll be around all week (Sunday 1st to Sunday 8th), so if you are in the area between those dates and you want to catch up over a pint or 3, ping me.

For DevDays attendees

Fri, May 23, 2008, 04:44 PM under Events
Thank you for attending my 3 sessions in Amsterdam at DevDays 2008. I had a blast!

+ Resources for my Silverlight session.
+ Resources for my 5 Things (VS2008 client session).
+ Resources for my Parallel Extensions session.

Parallel Extensions session resources

Fri, May 23, 2008, 04:41 PM under Events | ParallelComputing
- Here are the slides (save as pptx).
- The demos were a subset of these videos: Samples, Task etc, Parallel class, PLINQ.

Thank you to those that attended my Parallel Extensions session earlier today at DevDays. I don't think I have ever seen so much interest in a technology before (I was answering questions for a good 20' after my 70' session ended). This is turning out to be one of my favourite talks – it just gives itself ;-)

Video recording of my Greek presentation online

Sat, May 17, 2008, 03:59 PM under Events
5-6 weeks ago I presented at the Greek 2008 Launch (as I mentioned here). The recording is now live online (in a cool Silverlight player). Watch it here.

Parallel Extensions library is well received

Sat, May 17, 2008, 03:52 PM under Events
Last week I presented a session on Parallel Extensions in Glasgow (as I mentioned here).

Colin posted the speaker scores from the multitrack event and those scores IMO directly reflect the fantastic job the product team has done on this technology – it "sells" itself really. I look forward to delivering a slightly longer version of the talk in a few days at DevDays.

The session is 4 demos strung together that are subsets of my 4 screencasts (Samples, Task etc, Parallel class, PLINQ), so watch them and forget the slides.

May Events

Mon, April 28, 2008, 01:28 PM under Events
Just came back from a much need holiday (in Madrid) and since I have no new technical content to post, I thought I'd follow my blog's tradition (Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr) and list the events that I am presenting at in May. Funny thing is that after a recent storm of flights, all of the below involve flights as well. Will I ever get sick of this?

+ 1st, Manchester, MSDN Roadshow 2008.
+ 10th, Glasgow, DDD Scotland.
+ 13th, Glasgow, MSDN Roadshow 2008.
+ 16th, Newcastle, MSDN Roadshow 2008.
+ 22-23, Amsterdam, DevDays 2008.

A week after I fly back from Amsterdam, I fly to Orlando for Tech Ed US (more on that nearer the time).

DevDays 2008 in Amsterdam

Mon, April 28, 2008, 01:04 PM under Events
Last year I presented for the first time in the Netherlands at DevDays. This year the organisers invited me back to present 3 talks (different to the 3 from last year) on 22 and 23 May. Register from here.

I will post on my blog resources for all 3 sessions once they are done, but for now, here are the session times, room and title info:

- Thu, 10:50-12:00, Auditorium, Introduction to Silverlight 2

- Thu, 16:30-17:40, Auditorium, Five Cool Things to Know and Use for Smart Client Development with VS2008 and the Fx 3.5

- Fri, 15:00-16:10, Zaal Forum, Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework

For the abstracts of the sessions above or to view the full conference schedule, click here for the Thursday and here for the Friday. Hope to see you there!

Tech Ed Israel – Best conference party ever?

Sun, April 13, 2008, 02:46 AM under Events
I am back from my travels, and if you attended my 2 talks at Tech Ed Israel 2008 you'll find resources for them here and here.

With that out of the way, let me say that I have never ever been to a conference/geek party that even came close to what we experienced in Eilat! After consuming great food (starting at 20:30-21:00), as the night progressed, it was indistinguishable from a high quality commercial club night or a rock gig (dependent on which live band was on stage). Everyone was drunk (open bar all night), everyone was dancing and... unlike most geek parties, there were as many women as men in attendance. I stayed until the end and it was still kicking (02:35 in the morning). If you live in Israel then you owe it to yourself to attend Tech Ed Israel 2010 and if you are on the international speaker circuit try to get invited. I will let the pictures from the party convince you or maybe the video footage ;-)

UK 2008 Launch resources

Thu, March 20, 2008, 07:13 PM under Events | Orcas
On Wednesday we had the 1-day free multi-track event in the UK to celebrate the launch of Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

The Windows and SQL tracks basically took the identical slides/demos from the US launch and found local speakers to deliver them. The benefit of that is that the content is not a million miles from the UK Virtual Launch site (which has the US recordings).

For the Visual Studio track I specified session titles and abstracts for 8 complementary developer sessions and "recruited" top speakers to deliver it. If you were there and need to contact the speakers for resources here are links for finding them: Guy Smith-Ferrier, David Gristwood, Andy Wigley, Michael McClary, James O'Neill, Amanda Silver, Mike Taulty, Mike Ormond and mine.

DDS: attend my Parallel Extensions talk

Mon, March 17, 2008, 04:02 AM under Events
There is a great agenda of sessions for the Scottish Developer Day (DDS) in May and I hope you'll choose to come to my session on Parallel Extensions. Register here.

Use of Silverlight at Tech Ed US site

Mon, March 17, 2008, 03:59 AM under Events
Tech Ed in Orlando is in June and I have a couple of sessions there (more on that nearer to the time). I like how they used Silverlight 2 to list the speakers (although the z-ordering is not as accurate as I was expecting it). Give it a go, have a play.

March and April Events

Thu, February 28, 2008, 06:08 AM under Events
Following the dozen (predominantly UK MSDN and user group) events that I did in Jan and Feb, the future is consumed by larger (inter)national events.

March
11th London, DevWeek 2008.
12th London , QCon 2008.
19th Birmingham, UK 2008 Launch.
31st, Athens, Greek 2008 Launch.

April
7-8, Eilat, Tech Ed Israel 2008.
21, Cardiff, MSDN Roadshow 2008.

Are you in Athens? Greek 2008 Launch

Thu, February 28, 2008, 05:48 AM under Events
Eisai Ellada? Panemorfa, I will be there too on Monday 31st March delivering a presentation on the developers track so please go register for the Greek 2008 Launch. Stop by and pes ena Geia. By the way, my parousiasi will also be in Greeklish :-)

Are you in Israel? Tech Ed Israel

Thu, February 28, 2008, 04:50 AM under Events
Are you in Israel? Great, I will be there too from 4th to 9th April delivering a couple of presentations for Tech Ed Israel 2008. Stop by and say hello (but please do it in English as I know zero words in Hebrew :-). To get a glimpse into some of the sessions there (including mine), stay tuned on Guy's blog (who is my counterpart in Israel). His writing sometimes appears right-to-left, but I am sure that is a CSS issue he is working on ;-)

UK MSDN Roadshow 2008

Thu, February 28, 2008, 04:30 AM under Events
The largest in-person activity that our team does every single year in the UK is the MSDN Roadshow. A full day of 5 sessions (well, 4 this year plus separate Intro and Q&A slots). Past experience indicates it sells out very quickly so to view the agenda, dates and to register NOW, choose from the following cinemas:
Cardiff, or London, or Manchester, or Glasgow, or Newcastle.

Are you in London? QCon and DevWeek

Thu, February 28, 2008, 04:15 AM under Events
Is it possible that two great, week-long, independent, international developer conferences are running at the same time in London? It turns out that the answer is "YES" and someone thought it would be a good idea if I presented at both. If you are going to DevWeek or QCon London, make sure you come to my sessions to win some t-shirts!

February Events

Sat, February 2, 2008, 04:12 AM under Events
After my two week relaxing Xmas/NewYear break, the numerous January events were a bit of a "shock to the system" dominating my time. Now onto February and it is not looking any easier as you can see below.

Hope to meet you at one of these:

+ 5th, TVP, Details and registration.

+ 8-17, Seattle, Details.

+ 18th, Bristol, Details and registration (how jetlagged am I going to be for this?!).

+ 21st, Manchester, Details and registration.

+ 26th, TVP, Details and registration.

+ 27th, TVP, Members of the UK press talk to your MS contact.

Tech Ready 6 – MSFT only

Thu, January 31, 2008, 02:27 PM under Events
I attended Tech Ready 3 in July 2006, but I missed the two in-between so I will be going back to Seattle for TechReady 6 (the internal week-long Microsoft conference) in 2-3 weeks.

This time I will also be presenting a session at TR6 so, if for whatever reason you get bored of listening to the product teams, come to my session (DEV353) for some field-to-field demos :-)

I am also looking forward to meeting with people I know electronically but not in-person yet, and to catching up with older acquaintances. If that sounds like you and you are free between Friday 8 and Saturday 16 February please ping me!

More on User Groups

Tue, January 29, 2008, 06:55 AM under Events
Little over a month ago I posted: How To Start a User Group. In addition to the list I linked to there, Dave posted his own thoughts and also Chris followed with his tips and tricks. Both are definitely worth a read. Any additional thoughts welcome (it is getting much tougher to complement those 3 though!).

In a somewhat related story, Nick complains how it is unacceptable for speakers to cancel presentations at user groups, especially at the last minute. I agree, unless there is a health issue, it is very uncool. Touch wood, I've never ever had to do that.

In other news, if you are in the UK, we now list all User Group events on the same MSDN page where we list Microsoft events – James explains how.

As always, if you want to start a user group in the UK let me know. Especially if it is one down here in Brighton & Hove where I live ;-)

My January Events

Mon, January 7, 2008, 08:15 PM under Events
After a thin sprinkling of events in December, below is where and when you can heckle me in the second half of January:

+ 14th, Oxford, Details and registration.
+16th, London, Details and registration (PDF).
+17th, Manchester, Details and registration.
+23rd, Edinburgh, Details and registration.
+24th, Edinburgh, Details and registration.
+29th, London, Microsoft Partners talk to your MS contact.
+31st, Leeds/Bradford, Details and registration.

How do you start a user group

Tue, December 11, 2007, 03:20 AM under Events
Via Christopher, I found the post by Blogus Maximus on his 21 thoughts for running user groups.

I am finding it tough to add to the list above, can you? If you are already running a user group I'd love to read your thoughts (e.g. on your blog)...

If you are in the UK and are thinking of starting a user group read that useful list. When you are ready, follow his advice on #3 and shoot me an email!

December UK Events

Sun, December 2, 2007, 03:48 AM under Events
Thank you to everyone that came to my September, October and November events. In total from 18 September to 29 November I delivered 21 sessions. December is always the quiet month from an in-person events perspective and especially for me since I'll be taking 1/3 of it off for holiday. That also means that (with January round the corner) I better spend time figuring out what the heck I am going to say/show for my upcoming Windows Server 2008 developer sessions (all ideas welcome!).

So, this is my short (useless) December list:
  • 6th, London, MSDN web event [sorry, this event is full inc. the waitlist]
  • 12th, Southampton, MS VS event [sorry, there is no public registration for this event]
We have just started a new scheme of online chats that you are welcome to join IF you attended one of our MSDN events in the UK this year.
FYI, for UK events (inc. ones that have nothing to do with me) monitor this developerfusion feed.

Code Camps in the UK

Sun, November 18, 2007, 06:13 AM under Events
In the US they run these things called Code Camps which essentially are a 1-day community conference. If it rings a bell with my UK friends, it should: That is where we borrowed the whole idea of DDD. Spot the similarities in this very useful checklist for Code Camps.

The main difference with DDD in the UK is that the delegates vote for the sessions beforehand and that no Microsoft employees are welcome to present/speak (this is not true for other code camps in the UK such as WebDD and SQLBits). Is there anyone out there that has attended one of these things on both sides of the pond? Is there anyone out there that does this sort of thing in their own country (not UK or US)? I think there is room for evolution which can be expedited by sharing cross the borders...

Anyway, besides not being allowed to present, I will be around mingling at DDD6 on Saturday 24th (as promised), so I look forward to saying "hello" to many of you in the UK reading this blog... I hope you return me the favour and if you do ask me about ClientDD or ToolsDD :-)

My November Events

Thu, October 25, 2007, 02:20 AM under Events
Same intro/outro as my post on Sept and Oct events. Hope to see you at one of these:

+ 1st, Coventry, VBUG, Details and registration.

+ 3-10, Barcelona, TechEd, Details and registration.

+ 13th, Brighton, VBUG, Details and registration.

+ 15th, Southampton, NxtGenUG, Details and registration.

+ 20th, Cambridge, NxtGenUG, Details and registration.

+ 24th, Reading/TVP, DDD6, Details and registration.

+ 27th, London, LDNUG, Details and registration.

+ 29th, Bristol, MSDN, Details and registration.

Going to Tech Ed Europe 2007? Come to my sessions and win

Mon, October 15, 2007, 02:33 PM under Events
UPDATE: Fixed room info.

In 3 weeks in Barcelona the largest Microsoft conference of the year takes place. If you haven't chosen sessions to attend yet, go do it now that the agenda is live with all the info (assuming you have registered).

This year Tech Ed is 5 days long, so I am delivering a session per day. At each session I will be handing out a copy of my book as a prize signed by all 3 authors! That is a total of 5 opportunities for you to win it. Below are the times and rooms where you can attend (all sessions 75' long):
  • Monday 5th, 16:00, Auditorium, TLA201
    A Tour of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5

  • Tuesday 6th, 10:45, Room 113, MED202
    Building Mobile Windows Forms Applications: Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

  • Wednesday 7th, 09:00, Room 130, MED304
    Sharing Assets Between the .NET Compact Framework and the .NET Framework

  • Thursday 8th, 13:30, Room 113, WIN312
    Windows Vista for Managed Developers: Besides .NET Framework 3.x

  • Friday 9th, 13:30, Room 121, MED01-PAN
    Windows Mobile Application Development Panel Discussion
Note that TLA201 is in the keynote room so plenty of space for all that wish to attend ;)

My September and October events

Wed, September 12, 2007, 08:38 AM under Events
Busy October ahead so I'd better go create content for the below (various Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 topics). If you are in the UK and you read my blog, and in particular if we've never met in person, please drop by an event and say "Hi".

September
+ 13th, London, British Computer Society event. Attending, not presenting.
+ 18th, London. For Microsoft Student Partners (MSP) only – talk to your Microsoft contact.
+ 26th, Birmingham. Register here.
+ 27th, Bristol. Register here.

October
+ 2nd, Reading. Register here.
+ 4th, London. Register here.
+ 6th, Reading, SQL Bits community conference. Attending, not presenting.
+ 8th, Manchester. Register here.
+ 16th, Edinburgh. Register here.
+ 17th, Edinburgh. Register here.
+ 18th, Leeds. Register here.
+ 22nd, Coventry. Register here.
+ 26th, Reading. For Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) only – talk to your MVP lead.

Off to book travel and accomodation... it's at times like these that I wish I had a secretary ;-)

Our survey says... Mix:UK 07

Wed, July 25, 2007, 08:15 AM under Events
After the huge MIX event held in Las Vegas in May, dozens of great RE-MIX events followed around the world. In almost all of them, the content from the main MIX event was taken and delivered via mostly some local speakers presenting the existing material. You didn't need me to tell you that, the title of those events gives it away: RE-MIX.

Here in the UK we opted for a different approach. We waited (and waited) and found the perfect time to hold our 2-day MIX event: September 11 and 12. The reason we waited is that we wanted to have some fantastic announcements to make in addition to whatever took place in Vegas (and we do have some cool announcements in that timeframe!) and also we wanted to create new original content. That also explains that we are not RE-delivering content and the actual title of our event is Mix:UK

Today we opened registration. Spaces truly are limited (I think we missed a trick there by not finding a larger venue) so, for opportunities such as seeing Scott Guthrie delivering a few sessions, REGISTER NOW.

Also, the NxtGenUG boys would like you to fill in a free quick survey for the 'Swaggily fortunes' game taking place at Mix:UK – attending is not a prerequisite for completing the survey. You may even win a prize just by answering a few questions and remember that the answer to question 6 is Daniel Moth, go fill it in.

DevDays 2007 in Netherlands

Thu, May 17, 2007, 04:48 PM under Events
In June 13-14 a popular international developer event in Amsterdam takes place: DevDays.

I have no idea what the conference site says because it is in Dutch, even though the sessions will be in English. Well, they better expect them to be in English because I am doing 3 sessions there and apart from English the only other language I can speak well is Greek :)

The English abstracts for my sessions are:

Two part session (1 & 2) – Windows Vista for Managed Developers: Besides .NET Framework 3.0/3.5
Windows Vista brings with it a fantastic platform for managed development, namely .NET Framework v3 (i.e. WPF, WCF, WF and CardSpace). However, there are many new native APIs (obviously not part of the .NET Framework) in Windows Vista. In this 2-part talk you will discover how you (a C# or Visual Basic developer using Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio codename "Orcas") can take advantage of this new functionality. This demo-driven session, will teach you how to make your application feel like a real extension to the Windows Vista platform (and not like a ported application that just runs on it). Vista-only features covered include extending glass into your own applications, the new TaskDialog and CommonOpenDialog, Windows Error Reporting enhancements, Restart API, Recovery APIs, Restart Manager, building power-aware apps, writing preview handlers, conforming to User Account Control (UAC), using search from your application, Sidebar gadgets, SideShow plus more.

Session 3 – Realizing the Potential of the Windows Mobile Managed APIs
Successful mobile applications are designed for mobile users. We will take a comprehensive look at the managed APIs of the Windows Mobile platform for richly interacting with core device features such as Outlook Mobile and learn how to create smart applications with the State and Notification broker. Come see how developer tasks previously requiring lengthy C++ are now achieved with two lines of managed code! Through Visual Studio 2005 (or Visual Studio codename "Orcas"), we will demonstrate using the camera to capture pictures and video, the interception and processing of SMS messages, placing phone calls, dealing with system level events, programmatically sending e-mail and SMS messages, and provisioning devices with XML to name but a few! These APIs are not part of the .NET Compact Framework. They apply equally to Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6. I will highlight what is new in WM6 in this area as appropriate.

Register here.

MEDC Europe

Mon, May 7, 2007, 12:59 PM under Events
If you live in Europe and you missed MEDC in Vegas last week, then you have only one week left to register for a great price for the European version, held in Berlin on 25-26 June. I will be repeating my two sessions (share code and GUI tips) and also participating in a panel session.

Details and registration here.

Upcoming Orcas events

Sun, May 6, 2007, 12:03 PM under Events
Me and MikeT will be bringing a joint 2.5 hours of "Orcas" goodness to a free MSDN event near you. For details or to register please click on the links below:
24 May at TVP, AM
29 May in Manchester, AM
5 June in Edinburgh, AM
5 June in Edinburgh, PM

...and don't forget another joint session (23 May) we are doing specifically on LINQ that you can register for at the Fest07 homepage (the day also includes sessions from Rafal Lukawiecki).

Finally, how could I ommit yet another repeat of the popular MSDN Roadshow, delivered by the entire team this time in London (11 June) – register for free here.

MEDC Session 3 and 4

Fri, April 27, 2007, 07:52 AM under Events
When/where:
Wed, May 2, 15:45 - 17:00, Room: Venetian F
Thu, May 3, 14:00 - 15:15, Room: Venetian F

Title:
APP206 & APP206R - Panel Discussion with .NET Compact Framework Team, OpenNETCF Smart Device Framework Team and Other Industry Insiders

Abstract:
Do you have pressing questions about the .NET Compact Framework? Do you use OpenNETCF's Smart Device Framework and have specific questions? Do you have general questions on Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded CE development? Come to this session where members of the Compact Framework Team, OpenNETCF's Smart Device Framework team and other industry developers will be part of a panel answering questions from general coding to architecting mobile software, even covering .NET Micro Framework.

MEDC Session 2

Fri, April 27, 2007, 07:50 AM under Events
When/where:
Wed, May 2, 11:30 - 12:45, Room: Veronese 2404-05-06

Title:
APP312 - Sharing Assets Between the .NET Compact Framework and the .NET Framework

Abstract:
Whether you were first introduced to .NET via the Compact Framework in Windows Mobile or via the full .NET Framework on the PC, it may make sense to share your code assets between the two platforms. In this session we will explore when you should be doing this and when not. We will then explore the options available (e.g. directly sharing binaries or conditional compilation) and drill into problems and workarounds. This will include framework differences, platform/OS differences, optimal usage of Visual Studio 2005 (and "Orcas") and how things have improved since NETCF v1 and v2 (going towards v3.5).

MEDC Session 1

Fri, April 27, 2007, 07:48 AM under Events
When/where:
Tue, May 1, 15:15 - 16:30, Room: Venetian G

Title:
APP203 - Building Mobile Windows Forms Applications: Tips, Tricks and Guidelines

Abstract:
When managed code first came to devices, there was a lot of excitement because developers finally had the ability to make use of their existing skills and assets from the desktop world, into the Windows Mobile world. The truth is that building GUI applications for Windows Mobile, is not the same as building GUI applications for your PC or laptop. In this demo-driven session, we explore the platform differences between desktop and mobile, and also explain what you must do to address them. In addition to explaining best practises for building mobile applications for mobile users, we look at the UI guidelines for Windows Mobile and map those to the code required for meeting them. You will also gain an understanding of what is required in order to write cross-device code including what Windows Forms controls are best avoided and how to overcome potential .NET Compact Framework limitations.

MEDC 2007: Six loaded reasons to attend

Sat, March 31, 2007, 02:18 AM under Events
This year's Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference is promising to be the best ever. Now, anybody that knows the passion I have for this stuff may be thinking "Yeah, you would say that though, wouldn't you?". So don't take my word for it, think about it based purely on facts (in random order):
1. MEDC 2007 is the first major event since the launch of Windows Embedded 6.0 and .NET MicroFramework. Just imagine the content that will be available there on those two products and don't forget XP Embedded!
2. MEDC 2007 has tons of content for Vista on the Mobile PC story (including SideShow) and also on the next web platform from Microsoft: LIVE (you didn't think LIVE was irrelevant to devices did you?!)
3. MEDC2007 is the first developer event since the launch of Windows Mobile 6. While the WM6 SDK is available, for MEDC there will be an update to it and I am hopeful for what will be included from a managed developer's perspective :-)
4. MEDC 2007 is the first time we will get an in-depth look at .NET Compact Framework 3.5 and at Visual Studio for Devices in "Orcas".
5. MEDC 2007 is in the coolest city on the planet: Las Vegas! And if you are not into all the glitch and partying, there is one awesome reason to visit the area. Take an extra day (e.g. Sunday or Friday) and visit the Grand Canyon next door - it is simply breath taking (or Hoover Dam just a short drive away).
6. MEDC 2007 is hosted during the exact same period and at the exact same hotel as MIX 07. Not only you can get a huge discount if you attend both conferences (plus a copy of Vista Ultimate at MIX), but just imagine what happens when a whole bunch of mobile and embedded geeks are collocated with a bunch of web and designer geeks. Only goodness can come out of that :-)

No excuses dudes (and dudettes), just go register first and seek permission later!

I'll be on stage every day at least once, but don't let that put you off :)

UK User Groups

Wed, March 28, 2007, 10:14 AM under Events
I love it when I can answer two questions with a single answer (it's all about reuse :-)).

Delegates at our MSDN events sometimes ask about how to find local groups where they can attend technical events, not necessarily organised by Microsoft. Also speakers from other countries often ask me about speaking opportunities when they visit the UK. To both I say, visit the UK User Groups list here. Follow the links to see what type of events each user group usually holds, locations they cover (usually more than one) and get in touch with the UG leader - simple.

If you currently run a user group in the UK and you are not listed on the page above, take action now. If you are listed on the page above and are looking for a Microsoft speaker to come to your event, take action now. In both cases the same action should be taken: email our lovely leader of community leaders, Clare Parr (clarepa at microsoft dot com).

An example of a user group not listed up there yet, is a spanking brand new one holding its first meeting next month: .NET Developer Network.

Do you read abstracts of sessions?

Fri, March 16, 2007, 06:37 AM under Events
Planning for Tech Ed 2007 has started. As one of the largest dev conferences, in each timeslot there is a lot of choice and attendees sometimes make the wrong choice (and then score the session badly of course because it wasn't what they wanted). This is a genuine problem with technical events and is not specific to Tech Ed.

Dave is looking for ideas on how to improve the session descriptions and has some radical propositions for changes. Go give him your feedback.

In my opinion, no amount of shortcuts is going to tell me what the session is going to be like other than the abstract. I really don't understand why people don't read the abstracts carefully before going into a session. If everybody read the 7 line paragraph and made their decision based on that, then we could work on speakers writing accurate abstracts. As an example consider my session description here. After the session, one of the delegates came up to me and said, "I enjoyed your session but was a little disappointed as I was expecting you to cover what was coming in Orcas for Vista development". At first I was baffled why he would think that, but then I guessed what happened: the guy read the title and nothing else. Again, please read my abstract and see if it was not clear what the session was about. There is an argument here for better titles, but how can you capture a 75' session in 7 words?

If you are one of the delegates that do not read abstracts and just turns up at sessions based on the title alone, let us know why and maybe tell us what is it we can do to incentivise you to read those abstracts.

Fully booked with UK in-person events over the next 3 weeks

Tue, February 20, 2007, 05:38 AM under Events
If you are a developer in the UK, this is my speaking schedule for the next 3 weeks, and the reason I cannot attend any other matters:
  • Today (20 Feb) I am travelling up to Nottingham to do a talk tomorrow (21 Feb) on LINQ.
  • On Thursday (22 Feb) I travel to Wales to do an academic tech talk on Windows Mobile development the following day (23 Feb).
  • Next week (26 Feb – 1 Mar) I am attending DevWeek in London and presenting there on Vista development (28 Feb).
  • Next Friday (2 Mar) I travel to Glasgow for an event on Monday (5 Mar) again on LINQ.
  • The following day (6 Mar) I travel to Wales for a 2-day internal offsite where I am doing a small piece on Vista.
  • When I return, I travel to Heathrow (8 Mar) for a two day DevFest event where I am delivering both Vista and .NET Compact Framework presentations.
  • The week after, I travel to Harrogate (12 Mar) to do yet another session on LINQ (13 Mar).
  • The following day (14 Mar), I am doing another Windows Mobile tech talk at Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • BTW, all three LINQ sessions above are part of the MSDN roadshow (additionally on 21 Mar in London and 27 Mar & 25 Apr in Reading).

Phew! In short, for the next 22 days I am constantly travelling, talking/demoing or prepping (contrary to some beliefs, these sessions don't just deliver themselves with no prepartion on slides/demo/timings!).

Grok talk at WebDD on Vista Gadgets

Fri, February 2, 2007, 07:05 AM under Events
Given that generally my focus is on client and mobile technologies, you wouldn’t expect to see me at a web event, but I want to catch Scott Guthrie’s “Sneak peak at Orcas” session, so tomorrow (Saturday) I will be at WebDD – say "hi" if you spot me :-)

They have some grok talks at lunch time and I’ve been pushed forward to do one. I entered the title of “Vista Gadgets”, which leaves the door open to talk about Sidebar or SideShow. I could try to cover both but in 10’ that would mean restricting it to an end user’s perspective rather than showing code for either of them... we’ll see what mood I am in tomorrow ;-)

In any case, don’t expect anything new from this grok talk, it will be a cut-down version of either the Sidebar screencast or the SideShow screencast. See you there!

Weirdest speaking venue ever!

Sat, January 27, 2007, 12:25 PM under Events
Was going to post this yesterday but with a 2-hour flight delay from Newcastle to Southampton and a 1 hour train delay from Southampton to Hove, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was blog...

The roadtrip ended and overall it was a very positive experience and I would do it all over again given the opportunity (maybe with a slightly more upmarket accommodation than the Travelodges)! Mark has been capturing the trip’s journal on the official blog so check out the photos of Day 1, Day 2 morning and afternoon, Day 2 evening, Day 3, Day 4, Day 4 and 5.

The venue that stuck out compared to the rest in terms of its bizarreness was the event in Coventry. The crazy NxtGenUG people decided to host the event in an old airplane! From a temperature perspective it was practically like presenting outdoors in minus degrees Celsius. I have never done a presentation in my woolly hat and gloves before but I guess there is always the first time! Laugh at the photos on the NxtGenUG site.

UK Vista and Office Launch Tour Roadtrip

Fri, January 19, 2007, 07:12 AM under Events
Today I am doing a couple of sessions for the UK launch of Office and Vista at TVP, tonight I’ll be at the launch geek dinner and tomorrow I’ll be helping out at the hands-on labs at Day 2 of the launch. BTW, you can all participate online as well where recorded versions of our sessions are already waiting!

Next week, Mon-Fri, we are going on the road to follow up on the promise I made a while back. We are doing countless events stretching from Southampton to Newcastle in a car. It is only 4 out of 5 from the team on the roadtrip, as the fifth member has bigger issues that he needs your help with!

To follow the trip in a virtual way stay tuned on that feed... More from me back here in a week!

Free copies of Vista and Office

Mon, January 8, 2007, 04:09 AM under Events
Remember the Office and Vista launch I mentioned? Preparing for that has my undivided focus for the next 11 days.

While physical attendance is now sold out, anyone can still participate online; UK residents that do participate online have a chance of winning free copies of Vista and Office! More details on Ian’s blog.

We want to speak at your company!

Tue, December 12, 2006, 02:31 AM under Events
Us:
We are the Microsoft developer and platform team in the UK.

You:
You are a company in the UK with a room that can hold 35+ people; your developer people!

The "contract":
You provide the room and people, we provide the entertainment. Well, I say entertainment, but what I mean is free presentations on developer aspects of Vista and Office. We’ll also throw some prizes on the day :-) Also, if you don’t mind, we’ll publicise your involvement and contribution!

What to do next:
Volunteer via email: mailto:msukdpetech@hotmail.co.uk

More details:
http://ukvistaofficelaunchtour.spaces.live.com/

Vista and Office Launch event

Thu, December 7, 2006, 08:24 PM under Events
For my international readers outside the UK, you can take part in the UK Developer launch of Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System by following online the sessions on the two concurrent tracks:
- Vista Agenda
- Office Agenda

For UK residents I only have two words: REGISTER NOW!

UK events: Vista, DDD, FOTB

Wed, November 29, 2006, 12:28 AM under Events
* This Saturday in Reading I'll be supporting DDD4 (so come talk to me at the ATE area). At lunch time there are some activities that you cannot afford to miss out on. Check it out!

* Next Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th, I'll be hanging in the Flash On The Beach (FOTB) conference, here in Brighton (wonder how many of the Brighton bloggers will be there). In case you are wondering what a softie is doing at such an event, just wait and see... exciting stuff coming your way ;-)

* Next Wednesday 6th I am re-running in London my Vista for developers session- native APIs callable from C#. Register here.

UK events: Vista Security

Mon, November 20, 2006, 12:08 AM under Events
Next Monday 27th, come hear me and my colleague Martin (security guru) talk about some of the new Vista security features (inc. UAC in depth and CardSpace). This free msdn event is in London and you must register here.

If you cannot make it this time, we are repeating the content in Reading (TVP) on 11th December. For that one, register here.

And if by any chance you are a student at Hertfordshire, make sure you come on the 28th to my "Introduction to Developing Windows Mobile Applications". Register here.

Brighton Geek Dinner

Sun, November 19, 2006, 04:19 AM under Events
Just realised (via Simon) that the next Sussex Geek Dinner is this Tuesday at 20:00 in Brighton (a stone’s throw from Hove, where I live!). Sign up here.

I’ll definitely be there doing what I do best (the clue is in the picture on my homepage) ;-)

Tech Ed session 4

Fri, November 3, 2006, 01:00 AM under Events
In exactly one week, I invite you to attend one of my 4 sessions at Tech Ed Europe in Barcelona.

When/where:
Fri, Nov 10, 09:00 - 10:15, Room 117

Title:
DEV338 Windows Vista for Managed Developers: Beyond .NET 3.0

Abstract:
Windows Vista brings with it a fantastic platform for managed development, namely .NET Framework v3.0 (formerly WinFX). However, there are many new native APIs (obviously not part of .NET 3.0) in Windows Vista. In this talk you will discover how you (a C# or Visual Basic developer using Visual Studio 2005) can take advantage of this new functionality. This demo-driven session, will teach you how to make your application feel like a real extension to the Windows Vista platform (and not like a ported application that just runs on it).

Features covered include extending glass into your own applications, the new TaskDialog, Windows Error Reporting enhancements, Restart API, Recovery APIs, building power-aware apps and the very popular Sidebar gadgets!

(See session DEV325 for additional coverage of Windows Vista native APIs, also from a managed code perspective.)

Tech Ed session 3

Thu, November 2, 2006, 05:45 AM under Events
In exactly one week, I invite you to attend one of my 4 sessions at Tech Ed Europe in Barcelona.

When/where:
Thu, Nov 9, 13:30 - 14:45, Room 133

Title:
DEVWD21 Selecting the best Windows Mobile Technology for your Solution

Abstract:
Come to this highly interactive session to get your questions answered and hear about where Windows Mobile is going. A panel formed from the pool of talented speakers will, for this session only, be available to you all at once. This session is focused on the Windows Mobile developer so ask about tools, technologies, and even device futures to help you plan your development strategy to maximize Windows Mobile in your business.

Tech Ed session 2

Wed, November 1, 2006, 05:43 AM under Events
In exactly one week, I invite you to attend one of my 4 sessions at Tech Ed Europe in Barcelona.

When/where:
Wed, Nov 8, 13:30 - 14:45, Room 125

Title:
DEV226 Realizing the Potential of the Windows Mobile 5.0 Managed Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Abstract:
Successful mobile applications are designed for mobile users. We will take a comprehensive look at the managed APIs in Windows Mobile for richly interacting with core device features such as Outlook Mobile and learn how to create smart applications with the State and Notification broker. Come see how developer tasks previously requiring lengthy C++ are now achieved with two lines of managed code! Through Visual Studio 2005, we will demonstrate using the camera to capture pictures and video, the interception and processing of SMS messages, placing phone calls, dealing with system level events, programmatically sending e-mail and SMS messages to name just a few!

(If you are a desktop developer, this is a great follow up session to DEV329.)

Tech Ed session 1

Tue, October 31, 2006, 08:38 AM under Events
In exactly one week, I invite you to attend one of my 4 sessions at Tech Ed Europe in Barcelona.

When/where:
Tue, Nov 7, 16:00 - 17:15, Room 125

Title:
DEV329 .NET Compact Framework (NETCF) for Desktop Developers

Abstract:
There are many C# and VB developers that have never used NETCF. In this session, we introduce NETCF v2.0, highlighting differences from the previous version. This talk explores the development platform differences between the Windows desktop environment and Windows Mobile-based devices such as the Pocket PC and smartphone. We also examine the options for sharing .NET assets between platforms, and demo suggestions for making the best development decisions. By the end of the show you will be inspired to write your first NETCF application that leverages existing code. Attendees require no previous knowledge of mobility devices or NETCF - simply an understanding of .NET on the desktop.

DDD4, LDNUG and event review

Thu, October 5, 2006, 03:26 AM under Events
Eric Wroolie wrote (what I think is) a nice review of my event from a couple of days ago and has some interesting thoughts on attending webcasts versus attending live events. I strongly encourage you to go read and share your own thoughts there.

Having read that, you should now be inspired to attend a live event so if you can make it to London on October 18th, head over to the London Dot Net User Group where Ian is preparing a nice line-up and it is all for free! (full details available over the next few days)

If that is too soon for you, definitely plan to make it for DDD4 that is also free. Even better, you can shape the day by voting now for the sessions you'd like to see! How cool is that? :)

MVPs, MVPs, MVPs

Fri, September 29, 2006, 03:45 AM under Events
One of the four major drawbacks of accepting my job here at Microsoft was losing my MVP status.

So I am excited to be attending our UK MVP Open Day today and delighted to be involved with this event from the other side. Any new or old MVPs here in Reading (TVP) for the day make sure you say hi! (Come at the “Speaker Coaching” and “Developer Evangelist Roundtable” sessions, not to mention the drinking sessions after...)

For those MVPs that didn’t make it down for the day, if you are on the developer side of things, one of the announcements today was that you can think of me as an additional contact of the local office. My email is on the left :)

Events yesterday and next Tuesday

Wed, September 27, 2006, 07:33 AM under Events
http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-GB&eventid=1032308506

Yesterday we run the final rerun of the MSDN roadshow. In the short version of my Vista session I advertised my other upcoming session next Tuesday and someone from the audience pointed out that they could not register because it was full. I checked with the events team and we have now moved it to a larger room so if you tried and failed, please try again to register here (and ignore the "full" message, go on the waitlist and you'll be fine).

Note that I am tweaking (once again) the content I delivered in Edinburgh so it should be even better (as if that is possible :-p)

Bad luck, events and a letter

Thu, September 21, 2006, 06:34 AM under Events
If you read this, that and the other, you'll know that I’ve been a headless chicken over the last 8 days. What you may not know is that I also suffered a hardware problem with my laptop, that my car got clamped at the worst possible moment (but that is a story for another day) and that I had an inexplicable electrical power failure in my flat!

I was hoping to rest a bit today but then I realised that I have to upload my slides for my Tech Ed sessions by tomorrow (sorry, that will never happen) and set a machine up for the Roadshow next Tuesday (yes we are doing it at TVP again, register now).

Anyway, in case you haven't come across this yet, I thought I'd pass on a link to jim's letter to Vista developers.

Windows Vista goes to Edinburgh

Tue, September 12, 2006, 03:40 AM under Events
http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-GB&eventid=1032306822

Wow, 150 minutes of Vista for developers and without talking about NetFx3 or C++ at all! How am I supposed to fill that time with quality content? Come find out what others are not telling you in Edinburgh on Wednesday 20th September (repeated in Reading on 3rd October). Register now!

A few of us are having drinks/food the night before; if you fancy that too, drop me a line.

DDD4 call for speakers

Sat, September 9, 2006, 10:01 AM under Events
For me, one of the four drawbacks of working for Microsoft (I’ll write about the other 3 some other time) is that I cannot submit a session for the Developer Day here in the UK. Hopefully you can though so go submit a proposal there now!

I’d like to see a session linking UML activity & state diagrams with WF – I don’t think anyone has picked up on their similarity yet.

Windows Vista in Swindon

Wed, September 6, 2006, 01:57 PM under Events
Windows Vista goes to Swindon next Wednesday so, if you are in the vicinity, make sure you sing up here!

Title: Windows Vista - Beyond NetFx3 with Daniel Moth
Date: Wednesday 13 September 2006
Overview: This session will start with a quick tour of the new operating system, describe the new APIs available and demo how to take advantage of some of them in Visual Studio 2005 (including the aero guidelines, glass, taskdialog, UAC, RSS, and sidebar gadgets).
Venue: Nationwide Building Society, Nationwide House, Pipers Way, Swindon, SN38 1NW
Times: 18:30 - 21:00(19:00 start)
Registration Details: emma@vbug.com OR call 01753 649687

This is a longer session than what I do for the roadshow (and I am preparing for it right now). It will be slightly different than the one I did in Newcastle (for one, we will be running Vista RC1).

The following day, on the Thursday, I have a press event on Windows Vista and NetFx3 in London and then on the Friday I'll visit my former colleagues at Trend in Horsham to give an overview of what's coming on the Microsoft platform. While you cannot subscribe for these two latter events, I still have to prep for them which might help explain any potential slowdown in my communications… :-)

see you at MGX and TechReady

Fri, July 14, 2006, 04:31 PM under Events
...if you are a Microsoft employee that is...

MGX is Microsoft's global sales conference and TechReady is the internal technical conference (think TechEd for MSFT personnel only).

I am thrilled to be attending TechReady3 in Seattle and also looking forward to catching up with people in Redmond that I know from my MVP days and others that I have only met virtually since joining here.

I cannot put my hand on heart and say that I am "super-excited" to be going to MGX (and probably won't ever go again) but everybody has to do it once… apparently. Having said that, MGX is in Orlando and I haven't been there before so that's cool. If I am lucky I will do some SCUBA diving and maybe go say hello to mickey mouse (no I am not talking about any current or ex-colleagues :-p).

Not sure if I'll blog or check email that often from the States so wish me a nice holiday business trip.

Flying out in a few hours and will be back in August :-)

Windows Vista in Newcastle

Thu, June 15, 2006, 08:17 AM under Events
Those of you in the north of UK and in particular the Newcastle vicinity are invited to my session at VBUG.

Go register now. Even if you are attended our roadshow, in this session we'll have twice the time to explore the developer story on Vista *beyond* .NET Framework v3.0 (in other words, native Vista-only APIs via managed code :-)

Details here.

Register for my webcast

Thu, June 15, 2006, 08:10 AM under Events
Many of you have caught my session ".NET Compact Framework for Desktop developers" in Horsham, London and Athens. You will have also caught my variation of that in Dublin and yet another variation in Las Vegas. Well, now is your chance to attend it online :-)

If you are a .NET dev with ZERO previous knowledge on .NET Compact Framework or mobility, go register now!

Wednesday 5th July
17:00 GMT
(09:00 AM Pacific Time)

Details here.

Recent and upcoming Events (plus helping yourself)

Wed, June 7, 2006, 04:43 PM under Events

MSDN Roadshow: 3 down, 3 to go.

In addition to presenting at events, I also attend many in a support/helper capacity. As such, I mingle with the crowd and get to hear what they think about our products. Recent such events were the DevDays event on security in London and the DDD III event in Reading (also look out for me at the Office DevCon in a couple of weeks).

Whether attending, speaking or helping, one of the unwritten "rules" is that I wear a Microsoft shirt. This means that I get many questions, some that I can answer on the spot and some that I take with me for follow up. While I respond to every query I get and am more than happy to listen, help me help you by trying the advice below :-)

1. Search MSDN. Write your question down as if you were going to email it to someone. Then pick out the words that your mom wouldn't understand and enter them in the search box. You'll be amazed at how useful the results can be. Sometimes we forget that we don't call it the Microsoft Developer Network for nothing.

2. Search the newgroups. If you don't find an answer, post your question to the newsgroups.

3. Use the forums.

My bet is that there are no .NET developer questions on our current technologies that the above route cannot answer... none!

Remember that ultimately, Product Support Services is the place where you can get help in an official capacity. Finally, your feedback is always appreciated on ladybug.

I wrote a similar blog entry in my MVP days (due to the high volume of directed email I received) with a particular focus on NETCF: Before you email me with a question


Roadhshow follow-up

Sun, May 28, 2006, 05:28 PM under Events
Last Tuesday, attendees of the MSDN Roadshow in Edinburgh, got to see me demo some Vista developer features and were probably the *first* large public audience worldwide to see Vista Beta 2 in action!

Those of you in the UK attending the other roadshow events (Manchester, London, Bristol and Reading) will also get to see the same session on "Windows Vista: a developer's glimpse". Registered attendees receive a link to the slides and demos via email.
If you were at the Birmingham show, note that the slides/demos have changed since then (but will remain the same going forward) so please revisit the post-event site if you wish to get additional material.

I promised I'd put on my blog some Vista URLs so enjoy these Vista developer resources!

MEDC wrap-up

Sun, May 14, 2006, 04:59 AM under Events
So it seems after registration I didn't get a chance to blog as much as I was hoping for! That is testament to how busy the conference kept us...

I attended a whole bunch of sessions but the most interesting ones where the private MVP events (with VSD/NETCF/SQL Everywhere/WinCE teams); this was my last chance to (pretend to) be an MVP since I had arranged my attendance/speaking at the conference wey way before joining Microsoft UK. Hanging out in the MVP Cabana and Speaker Cabana was an excellent way to network with other influencers on our most excellent platform(s).

Some of the public sessions that attracted me where not your traditional MEDC sessions and included: Developing for UMPC, SideShow and NETMF. I suspect I'll be blogging more about those areas in the future...

Oh, my talk was very well received which is always nice... If you are attending Tech Ed in Boston or Tech Ed India, you will have a chance to see my 30 slides and (40 minutes worth of) demos... It won't be delivered by me (due to logistics), and I take it as a compliment that the session I created has been chosen for replay at the largest Microsoft conference :-) If you were at MEDC and didn't get a chance to get the slides, ping me and I'll make them available to you.

Speaking at MEDC 2006

Tue, May 2, 2006, 04:09 PM under Events
The Mobile & Embedded Developers Conference (MEDC) takes place in Las Vegas next week, full details here. This is basically the TechEd of the mobile/embedded world.

No company remotely serious about mobility can afford to be absent so I hope your employer is sending you (or one of your colleagues ;-).

Those of you attending are invited to my session on reusing code between the Windows mobile and desktop platforms:

APP330: Sharing assets between the .NET Compact Framework and the .NET Framework

Whether you were first introduced to .NET via the Compact Framework / Windows Mobile _or_ via the full .NET Framework on the PC, it may make sense to share your code assets between the two platforms. In this session we will explore when you should be doing this and when not. We will then explore the options available (e.g. directly sharing binaries or conditional compilation) and drill into problems and workarounds. This will include framework differences, platform/OS differences, optimal usage of Visual Studio 2005 and how things have improved since NETCF v1.


Follow up to Athens talk

Wed, April 12, 2006, 03:55 PM under Events
As you know I was speaking in Greece a few days ago. I was well impressed with the thriving .NET community in Athens (140 registered, although very few didn't show up) and the interactive nature of the talks (I always probe the audience for questions as I go along but it's never been this easy to get participation).

Anyway, reason for this entry is to point members of dotnetzone to the slides. Use that forum for any questions and when I am back from holiday in a week or so I'll try to follow up...

Presenting in Greece

Mon, April 3, 2006, 05:34 AM under Events
This is the first time I will be speaking on a technical subject in another language (i.e. rather than English, the talks will be in Greek!).

If you are near Athens on Monday 10th April, come make fun of my accent at DevDays (at Microsoft Hellas premises).

The theme is Smart Clients and I am giving two talks:
1. .NET Compact Framework with Visual Studio 2005
2. Windows Forms v2.0 Enhancements

For the first one I'll just use my L0 cache information but for the second one I better go prepare some demos!

You must register so go do it now!

Ελάτε παιδιά θα έχει και γεύμα :-D

Speaking next Monday 20th February

Mon, February 13, 2006, 09:38 AM under Events
If you are in London (or anywhere in the vicinity) come join me at this free developer event. It takes place in Soho at Microsoft’s premises (swimming pool room). Download a map with directions here (pdf).

First up is Ted Neward at 18:30 (and I for one am looking forward to Ted’s session). My excitement continues after he is done as there is free pizza at 19:30 :-)

At 20:00 it’s mobility time! In terms of actual title, I am currently leaning towards:

“.NET Compact Framework with Visual Studio 2005 for Desktop Developers”
(zero previous knowledge of mobility or NETCF required)

Sign up now!

Event Reviews

Sat, December 3, 2005, 11:05 AM under Events
It occurred to me that, besides being busy with commuting and my current project, I have also participated in a number of events recently without reflecting on them, so here goes.
TIP: Read them bottom up, since that is the order I wrote them in.

- DNUG meeting
Date: 30/11/05 Location: Microsoft offices in Soho (London)
I’ve described the venue further below so will not do it here again. This was the first time I managed to attend the Dot Net User Group meeting and I will be back for more. The topic was patterns and architecture by Matt Deacon of Microsoft. Most interesting were the follow up conversations down the pub including debates on the differences between consultants, permies, contractors and “body shops”.

- VS Launch event in London.
Date: 15/11/05 Location: Novotel hotel in Hammersmith (London)
Very disappointing on every conceivable front:
1. Sure you served me lunch but at the breaks all you can offer is water and smoothies? What happened to chocolates, cakes, biscuits, beer etc?
2. Where are the freebies? Just flyers doesn't cut it, give me some toys.
3. On a more serious note, (I am sorry, but) the sessions were poor not only on delivery (OK, only half of the ones I went to were very poor) but the actual choice of content was inexplicable. I was reading the session titles and couldn't get motivated to go to any of them.
4. Where was Avanade's presence? We are platinum sponsors in the US, silver sponsors in the UK, and one of the reasons I decided to attend in the end was to help at our stand - nobody told me there wasn't one!

- MVP pint & pie
Date: 14/11/05 Location: The Chapel Public House in Edgeware Road (London)
Every so often, the UK MVPs are invited to a "pie & pint" evening at a pub (a number of these vents run across the country). Our lovely FGM pays for our food and for our drinks in exchange for us making complete fools of ourselves - fair deal if you ask me :-) I had never gone to one of these before as the nearest to my home is the London one and I never worked in London before; now that I do, I get to attend evening events like this and I certainly will again.

- Training "Excellence"
Date: 8-9/11/05 Location: etc The Hatton in Farrington (London)
This was the first time I went to the etc conference in the Hatton and it is not a bad venue that serves great food. It was also the first time I went on training that was *completely* non-technical, with a mixture of Avanade employees from *all* disciplines. It is a public course that promises to change the way you view your life (and then it is up to you to act on that). It was delivered by these guys. Sorry Nick, I haven't started my master list yet but it is on my... TODO list.

- Mobile developer nuggets
Date: 27/10/05 Location: Microsoft offices in Soho (London)
The location for this event dominated my thoughts. Our own Avanade offices are on Wardour Street in Soho and I get people cracking jokes about that, but have you seen where MSFT offices are? You have to avoid offers for s3x, regardless of the direction you approach it from! Into the building and it turns out when they said "it is in the swimming pool room" they weren't joking. The room is basically a swimming pool with no water in it and with some modifications to make it usable as a presentation room. David Goon had his delivery well practised and I am definitely stealing the idea of "nuggets" for a future talk; it sounds much better than "tips and tricks". There was a break between the 1-hour stints and we enjoyed pizza and beer - definitely going back to the next MSDN event there.

- DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper II
Date: 22/10/05 Location: Microsoft UK HQ in Reading
I had a blast. I only got a chance to attend 3 sessions and the top one in my book was Ian G's Avalon session. Ian if you want my feedback, replace some of the "why" time with demos - but other than that, it was top class. My two sessions were very well received, with both rooms "selling out". My apologies to the people that were turned away, but even standing room was taken! Full credit goes to the C# team for the debugging enhancements in VS2005 and especially to the Class Designer team: those topics sell themselves and all I had to do was deliver the facts.

- QuickStart
Date: 04-07/10/05 Location: Avanade HQ in Seattle (down town)
When you join Avanade, you get your induction in the Seattle office, along with a bunch of people from other Avanade offices around the world. The induction consists of fun, basic consultancy skills training, fun, team activities, fun, education on Avanade processes/tools, and, of course, a lot of fun. My only complaint is that I cannot do it all over again. It is worth you joining Avanade simply to go on this course!

- MVP Summit
Date: 28/09-02/10 2005 Location: Microsoft HQ in Redmond (Washington)
The most frustrating event I have ever gone to. Imagine you have just attended something (film, opera, theatre, sporting event, whatever) and you came out of it *super-excited* but could not tell anyone anything; now you know how I feel. In a nutshell, with VS2005 not out of the door yet, we had a chance to participate in the specs for the next version and get insight to plans that have only just made it to paper. As you'd expect, it is the discussions with product group members during the breaks that were the most interesting. Demos of bleeding edge technology were in abundance, but I better stop typing before I spill any beans...

- MSPress Publisher's Summit
Date: 26-27/09/05 Location: Microsoft HQ in Redmond
Shouldn't really include this since I did not attend, even though I had registered. Found out the content was not geared towards my interests, plus I had already submitted my book proposal (MSPress, how long do you need to reply - a simple yes or no will do).

- Indigo Roadshow
Date: 27/09/05 Location: Washington University in Seattle
This was a single session that lasted 3 hours, thus giving us an excellent introductory overview to Indigo. The two speakers were Richard Turner and Ari Bixhorn (saw Ari first time in Barcelona teched 2002, and every time he proves that he can host a good show). Plenty of demos and audience interaction meant that I stayed awake, even though I had performed a marathon trek earlier in the day to find Bruce Lee's grave in Lakeview cemetery.

Speaking at DDD II

Sun, October 9, 2005, 04:08 PM under Events
See you at Microsoft's premises in Reading, on Saturday 22nd October!

I missed the first one but will be there at the 2nd one-day UK conference: DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper II (for the US readers, this is like a code camp - a free conference from developers for developers)

If you are going, make sure you drop by my sessions and heckle :-) Apologies if you are expecting mobility topics, this time I am talking about tools:
- Class Designer in VS2005
- Debugging Enhancements in VS2005


The first one is currently scheduled after lunch; the second is the last session of the day. I am thinking of going through both talks with demos only and zero slides. What do you think?

Free Wine and Cheese Friday 15th

Wed, July 13, 2005, 11:07 AM under Events
If you are in Ireland, don't forget to come join us in Dublin this Friday for a unique wine & cheese tasting experience that follows my talk on Whidbey for devices (with an intermediate stop at the bar for some beer :-).

Register now! (We are flying out there tomorrow this time...)

Free Pizza and Beer Thursday 30th

Wed, June 29, 2005, 08:49 AM under Events
If you are in England (UK), don't forget to come join us tomorrow in Horsham for free pizza and beer... and you might also learn something about the .NET Compact Framework :-)

It would be nice if you register, but previous experience indicates you can just turn up!

See you there at 18:30.

MEDC registration

Mon, May 9, 2005, 03:32 PM under Events
Although I have had two nights here in Vegas, today (Monday) is almost the first day of MEDC. There are the two pre-conference tutorials (which I am not attending), communications network (which I don't neeed so far as I have wireless internet access here at the hotel ;-) and registration.

Check out the photos of a couple of signs I followed through the vast Mandalay Bay to find registration. I then received my badge and bag.

Contents of the bag include guide, conference evaluation form, the May edition of PocketPC magasine, A4 notepad, travel mug, half a dozen 3rd party flyers and the following disc packs: Mobile Application Development Toolkit, Windows Embedded Introductory Kit, and evaluation versions of Windows XP Embedded SP2 & Windows CE 5.0.

Since the bag's "convenient side entry computer compartment" is not large enough for my Dell Precision M60, I'll be going round with my bright yellow TechEd 2001 bag. If that is not enough to make me stand out, I am also carrying a limp after straining my right ankle yesterday :-(

More later...

Are you in Ireland?

Thu, April 28, 2005, 09:30 AM under Events
Paschal announced this morning a new event for the Ireland .NET Developers Alliance (INDA).
UPDATE: Yes, that is me in the photo and no, I didn't down that in one go ;-)

Make sure you are in Dublin in July. Personally, I'll make a weekend of it, i.e. fly out with Jenny on the Thursday and come back on the Sunday. All I can think of is... Guinness :-)

Date: Friday 15th July 2005
Title: VS2005 & CF 2.0 Highlights
Summary: While most may have heard of Whidbey in the context of Yukon or ASP.NET 2.0, there is a lot in it for the Compact Framework developer too. CF 2.0 brings with it numerous enhancements and VS2005 provides a tailored experience for CF developers making them first class citizens of the .NET world. Come to this session and take a look at what's new in VS2005 and CF 2.0. Guaranteed to make you want to get your hands dirty with Beta 2!
Venue: Buswells Hotel in Dublin
Times: 18:30 start
Registration: Here
Price: Free

.NET Compact Framework for desktop developers

Tue, April 19, 2005, 04:20 AM under Events
Looking forward to seeing you there

Date: Thursday 30 June 2005
Topic: VBUG Technical Meeting with Daniel Moth MVP
Overview: Have you got some experience as a .NET developer but have done very little or nothing with the .NET Compact Framework? This session will whet your appetite for Compact Framework development and will allow you to hit the ground running on your 1st project. Whether you write in C sharp or VB.NET, whether you are interested in Pocket PC, SmartPhone or custom Windows CE devices, come learn how the NETCF can be used and where it differs from its big brother. Bring your tough CF Qs or sit back and enjoy the demos
Venue: Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, HORSHAM, RH12 1RL
Times: 18:30 arrival for 19:00 start
Registration Details: Email rebecca@vbug.co.uk or call 01753 648555
Price: Free to members

April MVP chat

Tue, April 12, 2005, 03:19 PM under Events
Yet another .NET Compact Framework MVP chat took place earlier today. Once again we left no question unanswered whilst a couple of times we had to refer folks to post in the newsgroup.

Probably worth stating the obvious here: Bring *any* question to the newsgroup and *any* question to the chats. However, questions best answered in the chat are those that can be formed in 1-3 sentences; anything longer implies the reply will also be longer and hence the newsgroup is a better fit (even more so if questions/answers include sample code). Just my humble opinion...

By the way, I am surprised I have not seen any chat announcements/references on fellow MVP blogs outside the Compact Framework. Don't e.g. VB/C#/ASP.NET MVPs host chats? I wonder of this is a Windows Embedded thing only...

MEDC

Fri, April 8, 2005, 02:22 PM under Events
Mobile & Embedded Developer Conference

I'll be there! Come say hello at the Microsoft booth or at the "Ask The Experts" session.

Register Today

Early Bird Registration ends April 20

VBUG and SharePoint

Thu, February 10, 2005, 03:06 PM under Events
This evening was the time for yet another local VBUG meeting. This time the subject was SharePoint (you know, web parts and all that). I have not touched ASP.NET since 2001 (and even then it was only for a month writing proof of concept projects) and before tonight I couldn’t spell SharePoint, so I went with a total newbie mindset.

Jonathan with his "code monkey" (Nick Francis) gave a good show and now I feel I can talk about the subject a bit. What was more interesting with today’s session is that at times it drifted into a chat and quite a few “asides”. Not sure what the others made of that, but I think that is what local user groups are all about: free-form exchange of ideas.

At the end I had a chat with Ian (organiser) and arranged to hold a session for VBUG either in Brighton (March) or Horsham (April). Full details will be on this blog nearer to the time, but you can guess what the subject will be, right?

Feb MVP chat

Wed, February 9, 2005, 03:05 AM under Events
It was yesterday 18:00 GMT; you missed it! Why? I have told you about these before!

Every so often I come across a blog post where the owner asks a question to their readers. Most of the time they would get a faster response if they posted to the relevant newsgroup. I realise that some people don't like using newsgroups, but a chat is more direct. There is no chance of you posting something and being ignored, you are exposed to less people, and your name is not captured in any archives (I am just randomly eliminating possible reasons that people don't post at newsgroups). Every .NET area has its own chats, so there are loads to choose from. So follow my links above and take note. I hope to see you there next time.

Oh, I almost forgot, apologies to the two people whose private messages I ignored, but as you could tell I was busy answering questions. I apologise assuming they are readers of this blog (otherwise, s*d them, I don't like unsolicited messages (of the "HY" variety)... only joking folks, *do* feedback to me whatever is on your mind... just save the generic questions for the newsgroup and the chats :-).

Threading blah blah

Thu, December 2, 2004, 03:00 PM under Events
Just came back from the local VBUG meeting session, where Benjamin Mitchell presented an introduction to .NET threading. It went down well but, every time I see someone presenting threading topics (and I have seen a few), I always think this stuff is hard to explain to others (it's hard enough knowing how to use it, but teaching it takes the biscuit).

The second thought that crossed my mind (besides that I should finally volunteer to run a session or two at VBUG), was how lucky the desktop guys are with all those resources in the Threading namespace (I cannot use them in my full Fx projects, as virtually all my desktop code runs on the CF as well).

He mentioned in passing how Whidbey makes life easier and that got me thinking: I have blogged about threading topics before but how much easier would it be to explain the usage of BackgroundWorker? I guess that has to be the subject next time.

VBUG

Sun, November 21, 2004, 12:30 PM under Events
My introduction to .NET was at the annual VBUG conference in 2000. I have never been back to one (mainly cause I go to TechEds instead) but this year Peter Westwood was there. He has a nice write-up of the final day on his blog so go read it!

Feedback Over

Fri, September 24, 2004, 02:44 PM under Events
Today I presented a feedback session from July's Tech Ed in Amsterdam. At Tech Ed, I mainly followed the Whidbey sessions. My employer sends me to these events on the basis that, upon return, the knowledge is shared with the rest of the group and it does in fact form part of my review. What is great about these debriefings is that in order to prepare the material (slides, demos etc), I get to revisit not just the sessions that I attended at the conference, but also research everything relevant to VS2005 and .NET 2.0. My audience consisted of C++, VB6, C# and VB.NET devs plus managerial types. In case you are in a similar situation (feeding back or just presenting on the same topic), here is the outline I followed.

PART A. 25 introductory slides summarising the various MSFT product roadmaps. This consisted of material straight out of the Tech Ed keynote. As you can imagine, I lost all managerial persons after this.

PART B. 100 slides (plus tons of demos). More on this further below.

PART C. 25 slides on SO/SOA (Helland sessions) and Longhorn. [and the Compact Framework; I am the only CF dev, hence just squeezed in a few slides near the end]

So the main part is the second one (PART B) and the list of its contents follow. I give you some URLs where there is useful info for coalescing into slides and demos. My material came mostly from the Tech Ed DVD and I don't think it is available online anywhere.

1. VS2005 IDE
2. Debugging [1]
3. CLR
4. Language enhancements
5. C#-only enhancements [1]
6. VB-only enhancements [1]
7. C++ [1, 2]
8. BCL
9. WinForms [1]
10. ASP.NET [1]
11. SQL Server 2005 [1]
12. Deployment (ClickOnce) [1]
13. MSBuild [1,2]

Points of most excitement: Generics, refactoring and debugging!

As usual, I showed the TechEd intro clip. Basically a 2-3 minute MTV-style video including scenes from the party and generally showing what "hard work" attendees have at these events :-) If you ask me, I think MS should make these clips widelly available as they form good advertising for the conference. By the way, special thanks to Tim for sorting out some issues I had with the conference DVDs. It is individuals like him that help MSFT's image of a company that cares about the customer.

You know that many have not made the move to managed code yet. Inevitably, the question of which language is best (which should we choose etc) comes up. This has been done to death, but the subject never ceases to come up. I think, against my better judgement, I will blog about C# and VB soon.

Finally, I leave you with a demo I saw Don Box deliver at Tech Ed 2001 (in VB6) and this year (in Word Macro). So, in case you aren't aware of it, here is some VB6 code that always gets a nice reaction:

1. New VB6 "Standard EXE"
2. Project->References. Add:
Common Language Runtime Execuion Engine (mscoree)
Common Language Runtime Library (mscorlib)
3. Double-click on the form to get the Form_Load method (event handler)
4. Type in there the following 5 lines of code and Run->Start

Dim crh As CorRuntimeHost
Dim ad As AppDomain
Dim oh As ObjectHandle
Dim o As Object
Stop

5. The IDE breaks so you are in the debugger. View->Immediate Window
6. In the Immediate Window type the following (line by line hitting return, don't just copy/paste)

Set crh = New CorRuntimeHost
crh.Start
crh.CurrentDomain ad
Set oh = ad.CreateInstance("mscorlib", "System.Collections.Stack")
Set o = oh.Unwrap
o.Push "Rocks"
o.Push "NET "
o.Push "."
MsgBox o.Pop & o.Pop & o.Pop


That's it! You've just used a .NET Stack class in VB6 by hosting the runtime.