Best of “The Moth” 2013

Tue, December 31, 2013, 12:47 AM under Personal

As previously (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) the time has come again to look back over the year’s activities on this blog, and as predicted there were 3 themes

1. It has been just 15 months since I changed role from what at Microsoft we call an “Individual Contributor” (IC) to a managerial role where ICs report to me. Part of being a manager entails sharing career tips with your team and some of those I have put up on my blog over the last year (and hope to continue to next year): Effectiveness and Efficiency, Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way, and Perfect is the enemy of “Good Enough”.

2. It has also been a 15 months that I joined the Visual Studio Diagnostics team, and we have shipped many capabilities in Visual Studio 2013. I helped the members of my team blog about every single one and create videos of many, and then I created a table of contents pointing to all of their blog posts, so if you are interested in what I have been working on over the last year please follow the links from the master blog post here: Visual Studio 2013 Diagnostics Investments. We are busy working on future Visual Studio releases/updates and I will link to those when we are ready…

3. Finally, I used some of my free time (which is becoming eve so scarce) to do some device development and as part of that I shared a few thoughts and code: Debug.Assert replacement for Phone and Store apps, asynchrony is viral, and MyMessageBox for Phone and Store apps.

To see what 2014 will bring to this blog, please subscribe using the link on the left… Happy New Year!

Best of "The Moth" 2012

Tue, January 1, 2013, 07:31 AM under Personal

As with previous years (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year and share a quick review of my blog posts from 2012 (plus speculate on my 2013 blog focus).

1. Like 2011, my professional energy in 2012 was dominated by C++ AMP including articles, blog posts, demos, slides, and screencasts. I summarized that over two posts on the official team blog that I linked to from my blog post here titled: “The last word on C++ AMP”, which also subtly hinted at my change of role which I confirmed in my other post titled “Visual Studio Continued Excitement”.

2. Even before I moved to the Visual Studio Diagnostics team in September, earlier in the year I had started sharing blog posts with my thoughts on that space, something I expect to continue in the new year. You can read some of that in these posts: The way I think about Diagnostic tools, Live Debugging, Attach to Process in Visual Studio, Start Debugging in Visual Studio, Visual Studio Exceptions dialogs.

3. What you should also expect to see more of is thoughts, tips, checklists, etc around Professional Communication and on how to be more efficient and effective with that, e.g. Link instead of Attaching, Sending Outlook Invites, Responding to Invites, and OOF checklist.

4. As always, I sometimes share random information, and noteworthy from 2012 is the one where I outlined the Visual Studio versioning story (“Visual Studio 11 not 2011”, and after that post VS 11 was officially baptized VS2012) and the one on “How I Record Screencasts”.

Looking back, unlike 2011 there were no posts in 2012 related to device development, e.g. for Windows Phone. Expect that to be rectified in 2013 as I hope to find more time for such coding… stay tuned by subscribing using the link on the left.

Visual Studio Continued Excitement

Sun, September 23, 2012, 10:45 PM under Personal | VisualStudio

As you know Visual Studio 2012 RTM’d and then became available in August (Soma’s blog posts told you that here and here), and the VS2012 launch was earlier this month (Soma also told you that here). Every time a release of Visual Studio takes place I am very excited, since this has been my development tool of choice for almost my entire career (from many years before I joined Microsoft). I am doubly excited with this release since it is the second version of Visual Studio that I have worked on and contributed major features to, now that I’ve been in the developer division (DevDiv) for over 4 years.

Additionally, I am very excited about the new era that VS2012 starts with VSUpdate for continued customer value: instead of waiting for the next major version of VS to get new features, there is new infrastructure to enable friction-free updates. The first update will ship before the end of this year, and you can read more about it at Brian’s blog post. I also noticed that a CTP of the first quarterly update is available to download here.

In the last two months, the VS2012 family of products we all worked on in DevDiv shipped, coinciding with the end of the Microsoft financial/review year, and naturally followed by a couple of organizational changes (e.g. see Jason’s blog post)… On a personal level, this meant that I was very lucky to have an opportunity present itself to me that I simply could not turn down, so I grabbed it! I’ll still be working on Visual Studio, but not in the Parallel Computing part of the C++ team; instead I will be PM-leading the VS Diagnostics team… Stay tuned for details of what is coming in that space, in the VS updates and in the next major VS release, as I am able to share them…

Best of "The Moth" 2011

Sun, January 1, 2012, 08:13 AM under Personal

Once again (like in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) the time has come to wish you a Happy New Year and to share my favorite posts from the year we just left behind.

1. My first blog entry in January and last one in December were both about my Windows Phone app: Translator by Moth and Translator by Moth v2. In between, I shared a few code snippets for Windows Phone development including a watermark textbox, a scroll helper, an RTL helper and a network connectivity helper - there will be more coming in 2012.

2. Efficiently using Microsoft Office products is the hallmark of an efficient Program Manager (and not only), and I'll continue sharing tips on this blog in that area. An example from last year is tracking changes in SharePoint-hosted Word document.

3. Half-way through last year I moved from managing the parallel debugger team to managing the C++ AMP team (both of them in Visual Studio 11). That means I had to deprioritize sharing content on VS parallel debugging features (I promise to do that in 2012), and it also meant that I wrote a lot about C++ AMP. You'll need a few cups of coffee to go through all of it, and most of the links were aggregated on this single highly recommended post: Give a session on C++ AMP – here is how

You can stay tuned for more by subscribing via one of the options on the left…

Best of "The Moth" 2010

Sat, January 1, 2011, 01:10 AM under Personal

It is the time again (like in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) to look back at my blog for the past year and identify areas of interest that seem to be more prominent than others. After doing so, representative posts follow in my top 5 list (in random order).

1. This was the year where I had to move for the first time since 2004 my blog engine ( –> dasBlog), host provider (zen –> godaddy), web server technology and OS (apache on Linux –> IIS on Windows Server). My goal was not to break any permalinks or the look and feel of this website. A series of posts covered how I achieved that goal, culminating in a tool for others to use if they wanted to do the same: Tool to convert content to dasBlog. Going forward I aim to be sharing more small code utilities like that one…

2. At work I am known for being fairly responsive on email, and more importantly never dropping email balls on the floor. This is due to my email processing system, which I shared here: Processing Email in Outlook. I will be sharing more tips with regards to making the best of the Office products.

3. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the year people will remember as the one where Microsoft finally fights back in the mobile space. Even though the new platform means my Windows Mobile book sales will dwindle :-), I am ecstatic about Windows Phone 7 both as a consumer and as a developer. On the release day, to get you started I shared the top 10 Windows Phone 7 developer resources. I will be sharing my tips from my experience in writing code for and consuming this new platform…

4. For my HPC developer friends using Visual Studio, I shared Slides and code for MPI Cluster Debugger and also gave you all the links you need for getting started with Dryad and DryadLINQ from MSR. Expect more from me on cluster development in the coming year…

5. Still in the HPC space, but actually also in the game and even mainstream development, the big disruption and opportunity comes in the form of GPGPU and, on the Microsoft platform, (currently) DirectCompute. Expect more from me on gpgpu development in the coming year…

Subscribe via the link on the left to stay tuned for 2011… I wish you a very Happy New Year (with whatever definition of happiness works for you)!

Best of "The Moth" 2009

Fri, January 1, 2010, 01:01 AM under Personal
Not wanting to break the tradition (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) below are some blog posts I picked from my blogging last year. As you can see by comparing with the links above, 2009 marks my lowest output yet with only 64 posts, but hopefully the quality has not been lowered ;-)
1. Parallel Computing was a strong focus of course. You can find links to most of that content aggregated in the post where I shared my entire parallelism session. Related to that was the link to the screencast I shared of the Parallel Computing Features Tour.

2. Parallel Debugging is obviously part of the parallel computing links above, but I created more in depth content around that area of Visual Studio 2010 since it is the one I directly own. I aggregated all the links to that content in my post: Parallel Debugging.

3. High Performance Computing through clusters is an area I'll be focusing more next year (besides parallelism on a single node on the client captured above) and I started introducing the topic on my blog this year. Read the (currently) 6 posts bottom up from my category on HPC.

4. Windows 7 Task Manager. In April I shared a screenshot which was the most "borrowed" item from my blog (I should have watermarked it ;-)

5. Windows Phone non-support in VS2010. Did my bit to spread clarification of the story.

6. Window positions in Visual Studio is a long post, but one that I strongly advise all VS users to read and benefit from.

7. Bug Triage gives you a glimpse into one thing all (Microsoft) product teams do.

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe via one of the options on the left. Either way, thank you for staying tuned… Happy New Year!


Thu, July 2, 2009, 06:39 PM under Personal
Today I am one year older (but not wiser ;-). This time last year I got an SSN and had almost no friends in the USA, while this year I've booked a bar to host the many cool people I've met here. If you are in Seattle and coming to my party, it's gonna be messy so come prepared ;-)

Best of "The Moth" 2008

Thu, January 1, 2009, 01:25 AM under Personal
Happy New Year! Regular readers know that on this day I gather links to my own favorite blog posts of the past year (like I did in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007). Enjoy the 18 links below (out of the 122 blog entries I made in 2008)!

01. Visual Studio 2008
At the start of the year I completed my multi-month series on VS2008 and .NET 3.5 topics by writing a short article for TechNet and a longer one for QBS. I also recorded more screencasts on this topic including about Client App Services, Sync Services and the MAF. I linked to those 3 from the resources post of the session I performed/delivered most in 2008: Five VS2008 Smart Client Features.

02. Silverlight 2 Beta 1
After putting VS2008 behind me, I spent a lot of my time getting up to speed on Silverlight 2 and creating a (what turned out to be a very popular and highly ranked :-) session in the Beta 1 timeframe. I blogged a lot about the technology and most of my posts are linked to from this single Silverlight post.

03. Presentation Tips
Early in the year I wrote 2 posts to help you with the basics of setting up your machine for the most important part of a presentation (the demos): Setting Up the Laptop and Setting Up Visual Studio.

04. Other non-technical
This was the year I transitioned from Europe to the US, the side effects including a blog post with a list for settling in that others found useful: Getting a USA life. The transition was also to a new role joining the hordes of Microsoft people that spend a lot of time in Outlook – this inspired me to come up with some Email Rules.

05. Debugging
After settling in, I found myself living in the Visual Studio debugger quite a bit and sharing (via the blog) findings, advice and tips. For example: name your threads, 2 cool tips, make object id, debuggerdisplayattribute and, my favorite, understanding the terminology behind active and current stack frame (and current thread).

06. Parallelism
No surprise that parallelism is featured on this blog this year (as it was last year) and it should be no surprise that it will continue to be prominent here next year. My goal is to deliver shorter posts in the future, but for now you can use a cup of your favorite beverage while consuming my thoughts on: Threading vs Parallelism, Fine Grained Parallelism, Not Explicitly Using threads for Parallelism, the CLR 4 ThreadPool engine and the new Task type.

Thank you for reading, make sure you don't miss a post in 2009 by subscribing to this blog – click on the link on the left.


Wed, July 2, 2008, 08:56 PM under Personal
As I did last year, thought I'd share that today (or yesterday depending on where you are) is(was) my 34th. I'll always remember this day as the day I received my SSN (progressing nicely thru the unordered list).

Getting a USA life

Sun, June 22, 2008, 11:17 AM under Personal
It has been a week since I used a one way ticket to move from the UK to the USA. Closing down my life in the UK was a strainful experience and now I need to open a new one in the US.

There are tons of things to do in order to settle in – it is what I call "getting a life". I am sharing this list below partly for my tracking, partly because it may be of interest to anyone else going through the same relocation and partly so those of you that interact with me in person know where the stress is coming from:

1. Rent a mailbox for a year (redirecting mail from UK)
2. Move into temporary accommodation for a couple of months
3. Rent a car for a month
4. Communicate with legal parties to finalise the L1 Visa process
5. Get acquainted with area e.g. grocery stores, how to drive to work etc
6. Receive the AIR shipment of personal belongings (10 large boxes) and unpack
7. Get a new mobile phone (number + device)
8. Open a bank account
9. Apply to get pre-approved for a mortgage
10. Start house hunting, make offer, buy, move (this can be a whole list on its own)
11. Get a Social Security Number (SSN)
12. Get a credit card
13. Have driving lessons
14. Take driving written test (after learning some new road signs)
15. Take driving test and hence driving licence
16. Buy car (do this via a loan in order to build some US credit history)

And last but not least:
17. Settle into new job / role

Another reason I am sharing the above is so those of you staying tuned on the RSS feed know why it is going to be a quiet summer... I can't wait to get through to the other side of all that and start sharing with you the coolest stuff coming in the next version of Visual Studio ;)

Best of "The Moth" 2007

Tue, January 1, 2008, 02:30 PM under Personal
Keeping with the tradition I started in 2004 and continued in 2005 and 2006, I just reviewed my blog posts of 2007. This year I had 275 blog entries to choose from and 4 themes emerged:

01. Last year I focused on Windows Vista and that dominated my blog culminating in the very popular blog post: Windows Vista for managed developers. Please revisit that, because I updated it by adding 5 more links to my new Vista blog posts this year. In addition, you can download all my C# Vista demos at this post.

02. The mobility content on this blog has thinned down (but luckily not gone away). That is mainly because I put a lot of the effort and knowledge in our book which we released this year. I have to say I am ecstatic with the Amazon reviews.

03. This has definitely been the year of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework v3.5 for me. I announced last January that Orcas would be my focus and indeed it dominated my blog. Twice in the year I gathered several of my Orcas blog posts together and both times the response I received was great:
- .NET Framework v3.5
- Top 10 of Visual Studio 2008
From the second post you'll find links to the many screencast videos I recorded on the topic. Even if you do not watch videos, follow those links because they include additional links to further written information.

Also, with Fx 3.5, Microsoft shipped Fx v2.0 SP1 and you can read my collection of posts about SP1 here.

04. Concurrency and Parallelism. In the last quarter of 2007 I rediscovered my interest in concurrency and parallelism (as evidenced by what I was linking to here, here, here and there). In July I had hinted my interest in PLINQ so it should not have come as a surprise when I made this post on Parallel Fx followed by one more video on TaskManager. More in this area in the upcoming months...

Thanks to all who read my blog in 2007, roll on 2008 and if you are not reading me in your feedreader yet, there are options for you to subscribe on the left ;-)

Happy Holidays

Sat, December 22, 2007, 11:53 AM under Personal
The wife and I are going to the States on a little tour of the East Coast (Washington, Boston, New York, Niagara Falls and Philadelphia - with a return flight via Chicago), so things will be quiet on this blog 'till January some time. Upon return, photos will be posted to the usual place.

Allow me to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very enjoyable break from "the routine" :-)

Woo hoo!

Mon, August 27, 2007, 05:26 AM under Personal
Since last Friday I have been out of office, specifically back home in Greece, and the week culminated in our wedding yesterday (Greek Orthodox version of the civil one from exactly a year ago). In a few hours the real holiday starts with our honeymoon in the Maldives. Can't wait!

In the mean time, if you are addicted to my content (delusional? Moi??) I invite you to browse some of my older posts that you may not be intimately familiar with:
Start with the best of 2004 and then best of 2005 and finally - you guessed it – best of 2006. Another way to pass your time here is to browse by category e.g. Vista, Mobile & Embedded, Events, Links etc. If you are sick of all my Orcas posts, why not read my older Whidbey or general .NET posts? If you prefer narrower topics, why not learn about SideShow and UAC. If you just stumbled on this blog, why not subscribe and keep up to date? Look at the multiple, rich and flexible "Subscribe" options on the left.

Normal blogging service will resume when I come back with photos posted at the usual place


Mon, July 2, 2007, 06:14 AM under Personal
Rather than a deceitful title like last year, this time it tells the truth. I am 33 today (and noticed a few grey hairs on the sides above my ears... wisdom at last :)).

My book is now in my hands

Mon, June 11, 2007, 06:13 AM under MobileAndEmbedded | Personal | Links
Mobile Development Handbook

My book is now in my hands, and here is the proof... and another wobbly photo of the back :-D

At some point in 2006 I started writing a book and at some point in April 2007 we completed the project. I say "we", because I had two excellent co-authors, both long standing Device Application MVPs: Peter Foot and Andy Wigley. I would have liked to be able to say that I also am a .NET Compact Framework MVP, but unfortunately I lost that title when joining Microsoft last year as per the rules.

We explicitly targeted two audiences with our book and implicitly excluded one audience segment:
1. Existing C# and VB device developers - YES
If you are already targeting Windows Mobile devices you will know that all existing books talk about version 1.0 of the .NET Compact Framework and Visual Studio.NET 2003. Since those times there have been three service packs for v1.0, version 2.0 with two service packs and, of course, Visual Studio 2005. Furthermore, v3.5 is in Beta 1 right now as is Visual Studio "Orcas". Our book covers what is new in the .NET Compact Framework and Visual Studio 2005 compared to their predecessors. It also covers throughout the chapters, but also in a dedicated chapter, version 3.5 of the NETCF and VS "Orcas" for Devices.

2. Existing .NET developers who are complete newbies to device development - YES
There are millions of proficient .NET desktop developers that would like to know how to write code for their mobile device or generally want to find out how to transfer their skills or business logic to the mobile platform. The book's tone is certainly aimed directly to those developers by continually contrasting and comparing with desktop development as applicable, highlighting what is different or missing when doing device development.

3. Existing native device developers - NO
This book is all about managed code, but we never introduce any basic .NET concepts from scratch. We expect readers to know about those either through experience with previous versions of NETCF or through .NET desktop development. So if you are a native device developer, you should pick up another book to learn the basics of .NET. We also have made no assumptions of knowledge about the Windows CE and Windows Mobile platform. The reason is so desktop developers can get an introduction to the whole stack/environment and not just the dev platform and tools. So, as a native device developer, you will encounter concepts explained that you probably already are intimately familiar with.

Whether you are looking for a book to read cover-to-cover or for a reference that you go back to, this book will fulfil your needs. It isn't just a book on the raw technology, but more importantly it captures lessons from developers that have practised mobile and embedded development in the real world.

Mobile Development Handbook

Mobile Development Handbook

Thu, May 31, 2007, 02:08 PM under MobileAndEmbedded | Personal
Finally, the world gets an up to date book on Mobile Development! You can browse it at amazon or look for it at your favourite book shop online or offline.

Its 600+ pages are spread over the following 18 chapters:
1. .NET Compact Framework—a Platform on the Move
2. Building a Microsoft Windows Forms GUI
3. Using SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition and Other Data Stores
4. Catching Errors, Testing, and Debugging
5. Understanding and Optimizing .NET Compact Framework Performance
6. Completing the Application: Packaging and Deployment
7. Exchanging Data with Backend Servers
8. Networking
9. Getting Connected
10. Security Programming for Mobile Applications
11. Threading
12. Graphics Programming
13. Direct3D Mobile
14. Interoperating with the Platform
15. Building Custom Controls
16. Internationalization
17. Developing with Windows Mobile
18. Introducing .NET Compact Framework Version 3.5 and Visual Studio "Orcas"
I highly recommended you check it out, for example, on the publisher's official book page.

Off to plan a Greek wedding

Sun, April 1, 2007, 07:57 AM under Personal
I am off to Greece for a couple of weeks on holiday. Well, I say holiday but actually it is to sort out some stuff for our Greek wedding (the religious version)... for those that haven't done it yet, planning a wedding is time consuming in its own right, but planning one remotely is very stressful indeed - my advice is simply don't!

Anyway, normal business will resume on April 17th or thereabouts...

Out of Continent

Sun, October 15, 2006, 12:45 AM under Personal
Well, the time has come for another vacation (and our 2nd honeymoon in fact, since it is still within the period that the travel agents accept it as such!). We are taking our first ever trip to Egypt to visit the pyramids in Cairo, cruise down the Nile (Luxor, Aswan etc), visit Abu Simbel and dive the Red Sea...

I’ve been looking forward to this break, given the workload of September/October (you can work out from my blog how many events I have done!). Plus, when I return I am off to Tech Ed Europe and, boy, will that be tiring (more on my Tech Ed sessions soon)...

I will be back from our holiday on 1st November so until that Wednesday... other than my nuggets... let there be silence on this domain :-D

PS For any work related queries, try one of my colleagues.

Out of Office

Sat, August 26, 2006, 12:43 AM under Personal
Last weekend we went to Amsterdam with my mates for stag do and yesterday I married Jenny at Brighton Town Tall (there will be a proper religious wedding in Greece next year).

So in a couple of hours we are flying to Malta for our first honeymoon (and some diving of course :-))

Normal service will resume on Monday 4th September – don’t call me, I’ll call you!

Happy 20th to me :-)

Sun, July 2, 2006, 03:03 AM under Personal
Today, 2nd July is my birthday! I am glad they moved Tech Ed Europe to November this year, as I am sick of spending my birthday at a conference!

Oh and, yes, I am just 20 years old... if I count in hex that is ;-)

Best of "The Moth" 2005

Sun, January 1, 2006, 12:53 PM under Personal
Intro same as the one from exactly a year ago (replace 2004 with 2005). Chronologically again, here they are:

01. A sample of a great VS2005 feature.

02. The A to Z for troubleshooting your netcf memory issues.

03. With 2006 slated as the year of mobility, all you desktop gurus start catching up.

04. Not something you'll use everyday, but cool nonetheless.

05. There is still no great answer, but you can read about all your options for web serving with netcf.

06. ThreadPool differences between full and CF v1 framework and how CF v2 brings parity.

07. Just so my poor VB6 friends know they can do polymorphism without implementation inheritance.

08. While personally I think MSFT needs one more version before they dominate the phone OS market, if you are starting today, check out my smartphone quickstart.

09. mscorlib trivia (even though I wrote that drunk as a skunk ;-)

10. VB.NET compiles to IL badly.

11. WindowsMobile.Forms class diagram.

12. ‘Partial types’ usage.

13. Commentary on the .NET moniker being dropped.

14. Shameful plug to my msdn article.

15. Generic type parameter vs. System.Type

16. Getting started with netcf development for full framework developers.

Thanks for staying tuned. Roll on 2006...


Wed, December 21, 2005, 01:56 PM under Personal
Daily commuting is a part of most people's lives these days. If you are one of the few that doesn't have to do it, you are one lucky [insert expletive here].

In the past 6 years, my commuting consisted of driving to the office (from garage to parking space). I would only have to do that 3 times per week (2 days worked from home), and I arranged it so I arrived at work around 10 (this meant I would avoid all traffic and hence the journey took 35-40 minutes - not to mention getting up at 08:00 which is my natural waking up time :-).

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I changed jobs, and now my commuting is defined by the location of the client. The project I am working on now is very close to our office (devcentre) in London. Whether I have to go to our own office or the client's office, my commuting (ordeal) is the same:

+ 06:30 my alarm clock scares the shit out of me. If you haven't gathered, I am not a morning person. Waking up at this time requires me sleeping the previous night at 22:00. This contrasts with my lifelong habit/conditioning of working in the small hours where by brain has been trained to be at its most active.

+ 07:20 leave my flat to walk to the Hove train station. I am not a walking person either (from the age of 14, back in Greece, I've owned a moped and used it for anything taking longer than 10 minutes). Walking to the station is especially fun when it is raining and, for those of you that don't know, all of this takes place in England (enough said on the weather front). The only time it is even more fun is in icy conditions (try running on ice while wearing smart shoes with shiny soles).

+ 07:40 depart on train for London Victoria (if I miss this one, the next one is in 31 mins). This is where you sweat since you were running in the cold, just seconds ago, and now you are suddenly in a warm packed wagon. Most of the times I get a seat and if I am lucky there isn't an overweight person next to me squeezing me against the arm rest (for those of you that know them, in the south we still have some slam-door trains in operation).

+ 08:50-08:55 arrive in Victoria (sometimes 10 minutes later than expected, I could fill a separate blog entry with reasons this train runs late). Now the fun bit of: queuing to get out of the train, queuing to go through the train barriers, walking in true people traffic to the tube station, queuing to go down the stairs of the tube (when they let us in and not just hold us back for 10' because the platforms are full of people), queuing to go through the tube barriers, down the escalators to the packed platform, watch 2 tube-trains go by before you can be pushed closer to the doors, get on board feeling like a sausage in a ban, arrive 7' later at destination tube station, queue to go up the escalators, queue to go out through the barrier, up the stairs to lovely Oxford Street. Walk for 5' to get to the client's office (or walk 8' to go to the Avanade office).

+ 09:00-09:30 seat at my desk and be pleasant to everyone.

+ 18:00ish leave the office to start the whole process in reverse (if I miss my train, the next one is 45' later).

+ 20:00 arrive home knackered, by the time I've had dinner as you can imagine I look forward to the next morning where I get to repeat it all.

So, some aspects of my life (including this blog) are not getting the full attention they used to but now you know why. I have 4 hours per day offline and literally *no* time during Monday-Friday for anything other than my day job (and Jenny).

On the plus side, this project will end (touch wood) by February-March and then it will be on to the next client who, I can only hope, will not be in London. Anywhere south of London and I'll drive it (in a much shorter time and have a more pleasant journey), anywhere North of London and the company puts me up in a hotel on the client site.


Information Overload

Mon, September 5, 2005, 01:54 PM under Personal
Back yesterday from the 3-week break.

Just caught up with my 5 spam email accounts.

Haven't gone near *any* of the numerous public and private newsgroups, forums, blogs and listservs that I monitor/subscribe to... yet!

Today was my first day at Avanade UK (London dev centre). Two hours door-to-door for £35.50 including walking, rail and tube
(priority number 1 = MUST optimise this journey on cost, time and quality).

"Information Overload" doesn't begin to describe the first day and objectives for the first two weeks. I narrowly escaped getting assigned to a project in London starting from tomorrow!

Pleasantly surprised with receiving a Toshiba Tecra M3 (and the masses of paper handouts) in a Avanade bag


I am off

Mon, August 15, 2005, 05:12 AM under Personal
No I haven't started to smell smart-ass :-D

As previously announced here:
  • Friday 12 August - Was my last day at Trend
  • Monday 15 August - In a few hours leaving for Greece
  • Sunday 04 September - Return from Greece
  • Monday 05 September - Start at Avanade

In Thessaloniki the best I may get is a modem connection so this will be a holiday from all online activities as well.

Sometime in September you'll see my next blog post... until then have a great time without me in the blogosphere.

Don't forget to place yourself on my brand new Guestmap! Simply left click on your location (and then optionally zoom in for accuracy).

Joining Avanade

Thu, June 23, 2005, 03:23 AM under Personal
The big news in my professional life is that I am leaving Trend/Honeywell after 6 happy years. We have both benefited from each other and I don't regret any of it. Trend, it's been a great ride, I wish you all the best and hopefully we'll cross paths in the future.

Here is the FAQ

Q. Were you fired, made redundant or otherwise asked to leave?
A. Quite the contrary, I resigned and seemingly leave a greater number of sad people behind rather than glad. I leave my current employer on excellent/amicable terms.

Q. Did you actively look to change jobs?
A. Not at all. I was professionally headhunted for a 3rd party. In fact it was real hard work for the agency to convince me to even consider thinking about looking elsewhere. Well done to them.

Q. Will you be working for a competitor?
A. No, not even staying in the same industry (BMS, HVAC). In fact I am transitioning from what is termed a "corporate developer" to being a "consultant".

Q. You are still working with .NET, right?
A. 100%, even more so than before. My new job involves working with Microsoft technologies *only* (same goes for every single one of my future colleagues).

Q. When do you leave your current employer and join your new one?
A. I finish here in mid-August. I start there in early-September. In between I'll go home to Greece for a much needed break.

Q. So where/who is your new employer?
A. It is based in London but my everyday working place will be wherever the client is. It is a company jointly owned by Microsoft and Accenture: Avanade (known for the Enterprise Library Application Blocks)

UPDATE: I no longer work for Avanade. I know that some of you searching for Avanade land here and then ask me for advice, I have none to offer regarding the company. Sorry and thank you.

I am back (I think)

Sat, June 18, 2005, 04:04 AM under Personal
It has been 3 days since my return from paradise (a.k.a. Mauritius) and earlier this morning I think my mind returned as well :-D

On this glorious day here in England, we'll be spending the day in London with friends and specifically watching Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Regent's park

I promise technical content will resume at some point in the future (along with some big news regarding my professional life)..!

[again] Out of Continent

Fri, June 3, 2005, 02:03 AM under Personal
My first holiday for 2005 starts right now. The last time we went on vacation was 2004 (Vegas and Nordic don't count... I am serious!).

In half an hour we are leaving for Heathrow to catch a flight to Mauritius (never been to the Indian Ocean before).

The big news is that I proposed to Jenny and she said... "YES" :-D
By the way, I am now the world's expert at choosing diamond engagement rings (it's all about cut, carats, clarity and color - set in platinum of course).

A couple of things I'll miss while I am away which I reccommend you don't:
1. Go to the *free* MEDC UK event (10 June)
2. Attend the MVP NETCF chat at 18:00 on June 14th

Out of Country

Sun, May 22, 2005, 10:14 PM under Personal
Do not expect anything on this blog (or any online activity, emails etc) for the next week.

In about 25 minutes I am leaving for a business trip to the most Northern parts of Europe. In 5 days we endeavour to visit 4 countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway) and more specifically 9 sites (5 immediate customers and 4 end users).

… just as I was recovering from the Vegas jetlag…

Leaving for Las Vegas

Fri, May 6, 2005, 09:33 PM under Personal
Leaving in half an hour for the airport to fly to Vegas for MEDC. Back in a week.

Unless something goes horribly wrong, I will be blogging throughout the conference reporting my views, photos or whatever.

Stay tuned!

PS If you are going to be there and wish to hook up and talk geek, this is what I look like:

1. Taken a decade ago but not far from the truth
2. Dancing under the sun in Ios
3. Playing chess
4. Favourite non-tech past time


Mon, April 4, 2005, 02:02 PM under Personal
Honeywell acquired Novar.

This means that while previously my company was part of the Intelligent Building Systems division (of Novar), now we are part of Automation and Control Solutions (of Honeywell).

Notice that we were, and still are, Trend.

To any Honeywell employees out there reading my blog: "Hello colleague :-)"

Brighton Winter Awards Ceremony

Fri, February 11, 2005, 04:40 PM under Personal
I was there! Not something to brag about (and I am not), but I had to be there to watch Jenny receive her degree. After 4 years of non-MSFT development I managed to convert her to .NET and that is what she focused on during her MSc course. By the way, she is not looking for a job anymore; got one a month ago and it is going well.

Anyway, after around 11 hours in town drinking and celebrating, I wonder how badly hangover I’ll be tomorrow. Have you tried programming while drunk? It is interesting, and I must admit VB seems easier in that state: you just type and it corrects silly mistakes (that you don’t do when sober) as well as point errors much earlier in the process (background compiler has always been my number one VB feature).

Just noticed that I am rambling and I promised myself not to do that on my blog… too much… so goodnight folks... talk to you on Sunday as usual.

Best of "The Moth" 2004

Sat, January 1, 2005, 03:38 PM under Personal
I don't like “pointing to myself”, but reflection is a good thing I guess. So, in chronological order, here are some of my favorite blog entries that I posted in 2004:

01. If you are changing thread priorities in your NETCF apps without being aware of these facts...good luck!

02. Everything about .NET Global Exception Handling is either in these 3 posts or in the links they point to: .NET 1.1, NETCF 1.0, .NET 2.0 (full & compact)

03. Whidbey's answer to UML class diagrams and where it falls short

04. So you are developing for both full & compact framework; are you doing it like this or like that?

05. Inter-Process Communication options with CF on WinCE; if it's not there, it doesn't exist

06. ALL links about serial comms (RS232) with .NET are here

07. VB2005 along with My brings Application Level events with a custom sub main. Use it *all* from C#

08. Control.Invoke today and tomorrow

09. More of a newsgroup support entry, but who says plain useful posts cannot be on my favorite list :-)

10. Generics in the Compact Framework (and not only)

11. BackgroundWorker today, tomorrow, full and compact frameworks: enough said

Thanks for reading... stay subscribed for an exciting 2005. As an aside, am I the only sad geek who associates the word "2005" with VS2005 ;-)

Nick Cave Looking For a Job

Wed, November 10, 2004, 06:06 PM under Personal
Just came back from a Nick Cave concert. I am not some big fan but Jenny is crazy about his music so she dragged me up to Brixton and now I must thank her for a good night out!

Speaking of my girlfriend, she is looking for a ASP.NET/C# job in Sussex so let me know if you are interested. With 4 years development experience (Java/Delphi) and having just completed an MSc (7 .NET projects), I'd hire her! Here is a public "congratulations" for getting a distinction on your MSc project!

I will not VOTE!

Tue, November 2, 2004, 12:53 PM under Personal
...because I am not an American and I live in the UK anyway! Sorry couldn't resist this entry given all the encouragement to vote from our American blogging friends :-)

May the best man win.

In other news the score is currently Arsenal 1-0 Panathinaikos. Hmmm, should I support the rivals of Manchester United or one of the rivals of PAOK? I'll have to go with the Greek team I guess...

Normal service will resume soon

I am back

Sun, October 24, 2004, 02:40 PM under Personal
After too many flights/hotels, I have returned to Blighty. We visited a few cities staying between 2-5 nights at each; starting at Hong Kong (Manhattan of the East in my book), then Melbourne (justified its title as 3rd largest Greek population), then Sydney (most beautiful harbour of the world indeed), Uluru (they weren't lying, it is a big red rock), Cairns (if you are a diver don't go - the great barrier reef is addictive, I want to live there!) and finally Singapore (live to eat). Photos are at the usual place on my Home Page.

While off topic (no technical content in this post), let us congratulate Manchester United for a well deserved victory earlier today :-)

[again] Out of Office

Sat, October 2, 2004, 02:51 AM under Personal
Bracing myself for the longest offline period I've ever had in this country: 3-4 weeks!

My offline period includes not updating this blog of course. I guess the greatest miss will be the "Blog link of the week" feature, or am I wrong? So while I am absent, may I interest you in revisiting some previous BLOTW [40,39,38,37,36,35,34,33,32].

Normal service will resume on Sunday 31 October 2004.

Stay subscribed and have fun... Australia here I come! :D


Thu, September 16, 2004, 02:06 PM under Personal
Today I got yet another email account (you would have thought 5 were enough but I enjoy reading the same spam over and over again) courtesy of Neil. The difference with this one (apart from its Beta status) is the 1GB storage! So, if you are too shy to use the comments facility (I know it doesn’t show up in aggregators), you can now email me about anything. It's on the sidebar under Links: Email Me. You can't miss it :-)