Paul Johnson

TODO: Funny quip here.

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Windows Phone 7 Stuff

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 #

If you are a Windows Phone enthusiast, or really into the Windows 8 platform that is coming soon, then I ask you to consider sunny Baton Rouge, Louisiana as your vacation spot this coming August 4 for SQL Saturday And Tech Day.  I know what you’re thinking:

“Paul…  Isn’t this a SQL event?”

Laws yes, it is a SQL event, however we’ve secretly taken this SQL event to our secret underground cool-ification bunker (and dinosaur exhibit) and injected it with AWESOME and bombarded it with large amounts of COFFEE and GAMMA RAYS.



This SQL Saturday is a veritable cornucopia of tech smashed into a facility and secretly hidden beneath the banner “SQL.”  You will join many individuals from all levels of the professions for an exciting all day technology festival.  Last year, the total headcount was about 400 people!  I don’t want to spoil it, but several local industry leaders will be there.  Several people who have been to places like Redmond, WA. and Disney World.  And if you’re lucky, when the sun hits the horizon at precisely the right angle, and you get the Delorean up to 88 MPH (142 KPH )…  you will see the fabled Microsoft MVP.  Heck…  Maybe TWO!

“Ok, you caught my interest.  However, what if I don’t care for SQL?”

If you ask a DBA, he’ll tell you nobody’s perfect.  But be not dismayed!  There are plenty of other great technologies to behold, such as Sharepoint, the .NET Framework, and Windows Phone!

“Windows Phone?  I LOVE Windows Phone!  I spoke about Windows Phone last week!”

That’s great!  Because we are looking for speakers fluent in Windows Phone development practices. 

“Windows 8?  I LOVE Windows 8!  I spoke about Windows 8 last week!”

That’s great!  Because we’d LOVE to have you here too!

Come be a part of the magic, the mystery!  The learning!  Working towards an MVP?  By golly, we can give you such street cred that even the fabled Scott Guthrie, or the infamous Scott Hanselman, or that guy Scott who works at the Circle K will turn their head to the 4th wall and say “Who’s that you say?”


Sign up today by registering at the SQL Saturday #150 site!

Also, should you be considering that warm, tropical locale during the month, we'd love to have you come speak at our Windows Phone User Group!  Now with more Metro!

Sign up for BRWPUG speaking HERE!



Tuesday, October 18, 2011 #



Thursday, all day there is an MSDN webcast on building Windows Phone 7.5 apps.  If you haven’t tried your hand at developing for the WP platform, I highly recommend watching this either live, or when they become available as individual streaming downloads.  You may not own a Windows Phone, and that’s cool and all, but being a .NET developer puts you in a great spot to make applications or games that can reach millions.  The great part is, if you don’t have a phone, YOU DON’T NEED ONE to write an app.  The emulator uses the same OS that is on each and every device, though a lot of functionality is disabled (like making a phone call).  If you do need a device, and you are in the Baton Rouge area, We have a Windows Phone User Group that meets monthly where you can come by and have it tested on an actual hardware. As a bonus, everything you need to write the apps are FREE TO DOWNLOAD.


Here’s the link to register for the WebCast.

Here's a link to the Phone SDK (complete with Visual Studio Express and the Emulator FREE)




Thursday, October 7, 2010 #



The Windows Phone 7 developer launch is rapidly closing in!  My list of app and game ideas grows daily, and I am starting my XNA training to be the game programmer I have fantasized being since i was in the 5th grade.  I have found a gem of a book Learn XNA 3.0 by Aaron Reed which is a fun read as well as informative.  Only drawback is that all of the XNA code is written in 3.0 and XNA 4.0 has been radically altered to optimize the code across the 4 platforms (Windows, Xbox Live, Zune, Windows Phone 7).  The good/bad news is that he is writing a follow up book for XNA 4, but it’s not coming out till sometime this or next month.



Learn XNA 3.0 on Amazon:

Monday, August 23, 2010 #

In no particular order, here are the technologies with which I wish to dabble/learn/master.


  • Silverlight
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Windows Embedded (in a strictly hobbyist, build your own pet dog, approach)
  • MEF
  • Rx (Reactive Extensions)
  • Parallel Programming
  • Web Design (my skills are way out of date, like the HTML 5 spec!)

Though I have never been diagnosed with anything, I suffer from an incessent lack of focus. Call it what you will... ADD, ADHD, Shiny Key Syndrome... it sucks. It makes an evening that could be focused on learning and using a technology, such as WP7, one that quickly degrades into "ooh... Twitter" or "did you see what Kelly put in his FB post just now?" or "Hey, Futurama is on!" Those who experience this channel flipping in their own head could sympathize. The materials are there, ready and waiting; the time is blocked out, and yet... nothing. Mindless staring. Reading of useless news articles and rampand skimming of RSS feeds.

I have an action item in my head to solve this, but it may take time. I will start by clearing out my office of all possible distractions while I learn. Perhaps shut down facebook and keep my iPhone far out of reach. I should also make a calendar for what I wish to work on. If I set aside time for certain subjects, and store all of the blog rolls and web pages away into something like Evernote, this may be viable.

Can i stay the course? We shall see.

Allow myself to explain... myself. My name is Paul Johnson, and I'm a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I work for Sparkhound, Inc., a local IT firm who does great things with great people. I've tried blogging through the years only to find it boring, and I really didn't have that much to say. However, in my travels, I have learned 3 things:

  1. There is no shortage of things to learn,
  2. It's easy to get behind, and
  3. It's hard to catch up.

This blog is more of an exercise (possibly in futility) to keep my technical wit sharp and current, and I will rely on others to help me achieve that front.

Together, I hope we learn something!