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February 2008 Entries
Microsoft's DreamSpark Program Gives Free Developer Tools to Students

This is a story I mentioned in the wrap-up entry for today's Computers 2K8 radio show that I co-host but I also wanted to be sure it got an entry of it's own so people find out about it.

Microsoft's DreamSpark program gives university students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools for FREE. This includes Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, Microsoft Expression Studio, and the XNA 2.0 Game Studio. The program is currently available in 11 countries with additional countries to be added in the future. Looks like a sweet deal to me.

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 11:23 AM | Comments (0)
Notes From Computers 2K8 Radio Show! (February 24, 2008)

"Good morning everybody, you're tuned to Computers 2K8 on sports radio 850 The Buzz" and so began today's show as we do every Sunday morning from 8am - 10am here in Raleigh, NC. You can download the show from the show's website or you can listen do us live as we stream the show across the web.

Here a few of the topics discussed on today's show...

Installing Windows Update Without an Internet Connection

A caller this morning wanted some clarification on using a restore CD to take his machine back to the way it was originally configured. Of course one of the items mentioned was that he would have to do a Windows Update to make sure he has the latest OS patches, Service Packs, etc.  The topic of installing all of the updates WITHOUT being connected to the web came up and Computers 2K8 co-host Spencer did some digging. He came across and tested on the air the Offline Updater program from Heise Security. Though I haven't tried using it, Spencer was quite impressed with the user interface, number of OSs supported, and the basic experience of using the software.

Microsoft SkyDrive

On February 21st, Microsoft launched its Windows Live SkyDrive "hard drive in the sky" password-protected, online consumer storage service. It's a service designed for people to store files, pictures, and other files. It provides 5GB of free storage. More information is available here.

Microsoft Offers Free Developer Tools to Students

Microsoft's DreamSpark program gives students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools for FREE. This includes Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, Microsoft Expression Studio, and the XNA 2.0 Game Studio. The program is currently available in 11 countries with additional countries to be added in the future. Looks like a sweet deal to me.

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 11:13 AM | Comments (0)
What is a Microsoft MVP?

In this article, fellow Microsoft Regional Director and MVP Jonathan Goodyear does a wonderful job of defining what an MVP is and explaining the process for becoming one.

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 10:42 AM | Comments (0)
"Implementing Virtual Earth With ASP.NET" Session Files Uploaded

The slidedeck, VS 2008 project files, and GoingGolfing database files (.mdb and .ldb) for my Implementing Virtual Earth With ASP.NET 2.0 session that I presented at the Raleigh Code Camp this weekend have been uploaded to the TakeNote Technologies website.

Thanks for everyone who attended and asked some great questions!

Enjoy!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, February 17, 2008 4:36 PM | Comments (1)
New Microsoft Regional Director - ME!

For me one of the highlights of the Raleigh Code Camp this weekend was having Microsoft Developer Evangelist Brian Hitney announce that I have been added to the Microsoft Regional Director program. I'm excited about working closely with Brian to help spread the word about Microsoft .NET and related developer products like Visual Studio 2008.

I'm humbled and honored that I have been accepted into such an extremely knowledgeable and talented group of people. I consider a number of RDs as friends and hope to increase that friend count as I have the opportunity to meet and get to know more of them. I also look forward to meeting many of you at the developer events around North and South Carolina.

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, February 17, 2008 12:06 PM | Comments (5)
Raleigh Code Camp 2008 Recap!

I had a great time and the Raleigh Code Camp 2008 went off without a hitch yesterday. What a fantastic job the volunteers with the Triangle .NET Users group (TRINUG) did preparing, organizing, and executing on their plan. There was plenty of food, attendees, world class speakers delivering targeted content, discussions in the hallways, books, giveaways, fun, and excitement in the air. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out and thank a few key individuals on the TRINUG Leadership Council, one being Microsoft MVP Chris Love for his work lining up speakers and content and the other being Microsoft MVP and INETA VP Community of Activities Rob Zelt who was the organizing force behind the event. If I missed someone else let me know and I'll make sure they get some public attention for their contributions to the .NET developer community in the Raleigh area.

My thanks to all the fantastic speakers who donated their time and efforts including 4, ok 5, (more on that in another post) Microsoft RD's, including Carl Franklin, Richard Campbell, Mark Dunn, and Ken Spencer and a long list of Microsoft MVPs.  GREAT JOB EVERYBODY!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, February 17, 2008 12:05 PM | Comments (0)
Notes From Computers 2K8 Radio Show! (February 17, 2008)

"Good morning everybody, you're tuned to Computers 2K8 on sports radio 850 The Buzz" and so began today's show as we do every Sunday morning from 8am - 10am here in Raleigh, NC. You can download the show from the show's website or you can listen do us live as we stream the show across the web.

Carl Franklin of DotNetRocks Fame Live in the Studio Today!

Wow, what a show. Since he was in town for the Raleigh Code Camp 2008, we were fortunate to score DotNetRock's own Carl Franklin as an in-studio guest this week. We touched on a number of topics including the ins and outs of podcasting, the hardware and software to get started podcasting for yourself, his work with Microsoft as a Regional Director (RD), and closed out the show with a few samples of his music (like this one or this one) in the background.

It was a bit different experience for Carl since his popular podcasts (DotNetRocks and Mondays) and are recorded, edited and then distributed on the Internet. Our show is broadcast live so all of the "ummmms" and "ahhhhs" come to you live and uninterrupted. :-)  Our show airs on 850AM on the most popular sports talk station in the Research Triangle area, 850 The Buzz.

It was an honor to have him join us today and we look forward to having him on again the next time he's in the town.

THANKS CARL!

Kramden Institute

We also spoke with Mark from Kramden Institute about their efforts to recycle computers and get them into the homes of needy and less-advantage kids. This sounds like a wonderful organization and they're always looking for volunteers. Check out their website for additional information.

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Sunday, February 17, 2008 12:01 PM | Comments (0)
Public Speaking Anti Patterns - Continued

I came up with a few more to add to Rod Paddock's fantastic list of speaker anti-patterns.

13. Turn OFF your Instant Messenger client. It is distracting for the audience to see you're receiving a message. BTW, if you're using MSN Live Messenger make sure you shut down Windows Messenger as well since it can take over if it sees MSN Live Messenger is off.

14. Close all programs not necessary for the presentation, especially Microsoft Outlook. It is distracting for the audience to see you've got new mail. The ONLY software running while you're presenting is the software you're using for the presentation. Which leads me to this next one....

15. Open all the programs (and files!) you're going to need for your presentation BEFORE you begin. The audience does not need to watch you launching Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, Internet Explorer, or whatever software will be utilized in the presentation. As part of my preparation, I keep a list of all the programs required for the presentation.

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Friday, February 15, 2008 10:49 AM | Comments (1)
Creating an Office Accounting Professional Add-In

One of our developers has been working on a project to create an Add-in for Microsoft Office Accounting Professional. He's gone the public forum posting route (see the question here) and now we're trying to work our way through the Microsoft support channels.  The add-in involves modifying pieces of information for a kit item. Everything is working just as it should EXCEPT when it comes time to saving the quote/order.

Anyway, if you, or someone you know, has some knowledge about working with the Microsoft Accounting Professional SDK I'd appreciate you taking a look at his post and give us your thoughts.

Thanks!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:14 AM | Comments (0)
Raleigh Code Camp 2008 Session Highlights - THIS WEEKEND!

Just thought I'd give you an idea of some of the content that will be presented at the Raleigh Code Camp 2008 this Saturday.

Jim Wooley - What's new in VB 9

Richard Campbell - Performance and Scalability

Mark Dunn - BizTalk

Miguel Castro - How to Work with Recruiters

Rob Zelt - Silverlight

Bill Jones - LINQ in VS 2008

Josh Carlisle - Customizing MOSS Publishing

Brian Gough - Wrapping a User Control in a SharePoint Web Part

Josh Carlisle - SharePoint for ASP.NET Developers

Kevin Boles - SQL Server 2008 Developer Issues

Kevin Boles - SQL Server 2008 Admin

Ken Spencer - BI Dashboards with .NET and SSRS

Srinu - SQL Reporting Services for .NET Developers

Chris Love - ASP.NET Front-End Performance Tricks

Greg Pugh - WCF Basics

Jim Duffy - Implementing Microsoft Virtual Earth in Your ASP.NET Applications

 

That is NOT the complete list of sessions either!  Great content, great people, great technology, great price... ALL FREE!

I'm looking forward to hanging out, catching up with friends, and oh yeah, learning something too!  See you there!

 

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:05 AM | Comments (0)
Presenter Anti-Patterns

A good friend of mine, Rod Paddock, (editor of CoDe Magazine and seasoned presenter) has posted his list of presenter anti-patterns. This is a MUST read for new and experienced presenters alike. He knows what he's talking about and the content is DEAD ON! My favorite is #7... preparation is king!  I enjoy watching presenters who make it all seem so effortless. I know from years of experience that hours and hours and hours of preparation went into that "effortlessness".  If you think that all those seemlingly free-form performances that comedian Robin Williams delivers aren't rehearsed you're wrong, they are. He's so good he makes it seem like things are just random. Of course there is always room for ad-libbing here and there, but prepares and you should too before you present.

Read Rod's post!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:21 PM | Comments (0)
Raleigh Code Camp 2008

If you're in the Raleigh-Durham area this weekend you don't want to miss the Raleigh Code Camp!! The speaker's list contains 4 Microsoft Regional Directors and 12 Microsoft MVPs, including me! :-)

A few notes:

  • I'll be presenting a session titled Implementing Visual Earth in Your ASP.NET Applications
  • Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell of DotNetRocks fame will be in attendance
  • I understand there will be plenty of swag given out

For a more detailed list of speakers, etc. check out recent MVP Chris Love's Code Camp 2008 blog posting on his informative blog,  Professional ASP.NET.

I hope to see you this Saturday!

Have a day. :-|

Posted On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:35 PM | Comments (0)