Jeff Julian's Blog

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+Jeff Julian GWB Tag

SharePoint Consulting (Kansas City Metro)

SharePoint Training

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Cake Mixes - Made With Scratch
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St. Louis is definitely a cool city. I have always looked at it as Kansas City’s big brother. I love to Arch, wonder what is would be like to have pro hockey, really like the downtown area, and have some great friends who live there.

The reason we left for St. Louis on Thursday evening was to get us a head start on our journey. Since we were doing a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives tour, it made since to have the journey start there. We picked the Hyatt Downtown as our hotel because they had an Arch Package which was suppose to get you tickets to the arch so you didn’t need to arrive early and wait in line. That ended up not working cause the arch had been selling out every day and they were no longer accepting the hotels tickets. No biggie and the hotel did try very hard to get us tickets, but we just took our chances in the line and waited. We walked over to the park and had to wait for about 20 minutes for the doors to open and had tickets after another 20 minutes of waiting in line and at that point walked right up and were able to get to the elevators.

I want to stop here to have a little aside. I don’t know who started the rumor that the arch ride is scary but it is not. You do sit in a small pod, but it like the accent on a roller coaster to the top of the first drop and an elevator with no windows outside. Nothing to be afraid of here if you aren’t claustrophobic. If you are afraid of small spaces, stay clear of this ride. Once you get to the top, you walk up 10 to 30 stairs depending on which car you were in (lower the number the less stairs you climb) and you are then at the top in a decent sized room where you look out the windows. Beautiful view of the city. I don’t typically like heights, but this felt like being inside a building and not hang out on a roof.

Here is the view from the arch:


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Coming to Kansas City April 8th and 9th is the Microsoft Azure Bootcamp. This event looks very promising for those developers who are looking into Azure for themselves or their companies. It covers the wide range of topics required to understand what Azure really is and is not. Space is limited so if you are considering Azure, register for this event today.


Module 1: Introduction to cloud computer and Azure

  • How it works
  • Key Scenarios
  • The development environment and SDK

Module 2: Using Web Roles

Module 3: Blobs: File Storage in the cloud

Module 4: Tables: Scalable hierarchical storage

Module 5: Queues: Decoupling your systems

Module 6: Basic Worker Roles

  • Executing backend processes
  • Consuming a queue
  • Leveraging local storage

Module 7: Advanced Worker Roles

  • External Endpoints
  • Inter-role communication

Module 8: Building a business with Azure

  • Using Azure as an ISV or a partner
  • Advantages to delivering value
  • BPOS
  • Pricing

Module 9: SQL Azure

  • Setting it up
  • SQL Azure firewall
  • Remote management
  • Migrating data

Module 10: AppFabric

  • Service Bus
  • Access Control System
  • Identity in the cloud

Module 11: Cloud Scenarios

  • App migration strategies
  • Disposable computing
  • Dynamic scale
  • Shunting
  • Prototyping
  • Multitenant applications

(This is my second attempt at this post after MacJournal decided to crash and not save my work. Authoring tools all need auto-save features by now, that is a requirement set in stone by Microsoft Word 97)

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This weekend, we were planning on going to Mt. Rushmore, but with the weather the way it is, we decided to head south instead. So what are we going to do? A tour of different restaurants on the show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Not very original I know since there are web sites and iPhone apps dedicated to locating the establishments, but it definitely sounds like it could be some fun. We are going to leave KC tonight and go through St. Louis, Memphis, Little Rock, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and back to KC. The kiddos are excited and we have plenty of movies, coloring books, etc in the car for the trip. This will be the first time we will get to use our turn around seats in the mini-van with our pull out table.

I will have my laptop and phone if anything goes wrong with the site while I am gone and John will be back in KC as well. I hope to pushing some photos and reviews of the restaurants as we travel.

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We are bringing back the administrator’s blog for as a place to get information for what is going on with GWB. Couple reasons we are doing this. One, I post a lot of information on my blog that is not related. Most the time it isn’t even developer related and I know I need to work on that too, but in an effort to keep the signal much higher than the noise, we are moving the information over there. The blog URL is The other reason we are doing it is I am not the only member of the GWB staff. So please subscribe to that blog and let us know what you think about and how we can make the site better.



One thing I have learned about using a Mac is that Apple does not produce very many free applications. The ones they do are typically not full featured and to get the full feature you need to buy their upgraded version. For example, when it comes to Photo editing and cataloging, iPhoto is not a solution for large files or RAW processing, you need Aperture which is a couple hundred dollars. I am not complaining because I like it when an application has a product team who generates revenue with it, because the chance of them being around longer seems to be higher.

What is my point in all of this? Apple does not produce a product for blogging/journaling like Microsoft does with Windows Live Writer. I love Windows Live Writer. If you are on a Windows box, it is a required tool in your toolbox if you publish to a blog. The cleanness of the interface, integration with most blog APIs and ability to Save Local or Publish as a Draft make capturing your thoughts for publishing now or later a very easy task. My hope is that Microsoft will port it to the Mac, but I don’t believe that will ever happen as it is not a revenue generating product and Microsoft doesn’t often port to a Mac besides Remote Desktop Connection and MSN Messenger.

For my configuration I used to use only Boot Camp on my two MacBook Pros I have owned in the past three years because I’m a PC, but after four different rebuilds (not typically due to Windows, but Boot Camp or Parallels) I decided to move off the Boot Camp platform and to VMWare Fusion. This is a complete separate blog post that I should spec out in MacJournal, but I now always boot into the Mac OS and use Fusion for my AJI Software VM or my client’s VMs. It just seems to work better for me and I have a very nice way to backup my Windows environments with VMWare.

Needless to say, there was need in my new laptop configuration for a blogging tool that worked natively on a Mac. I don’t like to power up my machine for writing a document or working on an image and need to boot up a VM just so I can use Windows. Some would say why not just use a Windows laptop and put the MBP on eBay? It is just a preference and right now, I like the Mac OS for day to day work. So in comes MacJournal, part of the current MacHeist package for $19.95 (MacJournal is normally $39.95). This product is definitely not WLW, but WLW is missing some features I like in MacJournal. I hope the price point comes down on MacJournal cause I could see paying $19.95 for it, but it is always hard for me to buy a piece of software for $39.95 when I can use something else. But I am a cheapskate when it comes to software packages. I suggest if you are using a Mac to drop what you are doing pick up the MacHeist bundle today before it is over, but if you are reading this later, than download the trial and see if MacJournal is a solution for you. If you have any other suggestions that are as nice or cheaper, please comment.

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This post was created using MacJournal.

[Update: The joys of formatting. Make sure if you are a member that you use this configuration to setup the Metablog formatting of paragraphs correctly]



We want to know what you are thinking bloggers and visitors of  If you were able to add items to the product backlog for this site, what would they be?

New skins?

Better search?

Organic tag system?

Better twitter integration?

More ways to link other social media outlets to your blog like LinkedIn, Plaxo, Flickr?


What would you like to see?


You can leave feedback on this post or email me at  We love this community and want to see how we can continue to make relevant to developers in 2010.



I have recently needed a screen capture tool for my Mac and remembered that TechSmith had recently launched SnagIt, the only screen capture tool for Windows in my eyes, for the Mac.  SnagIt is an amazing tool and the fact that it comes with an image editor makes it that much nicer.  Well needless to say, TechSmith again has out done themselves with Snagit for the Mac.  The interface very much fits the Mac UX.  I was seriously worried about that because the Windows version definitely fit Windows well with the Print Screen captures and taskbar icon for capture, but for a Mac you would need to integrate it with the top bar that never feels comfortable, the application bar which would be weird as well, or have it running in the background and accessible much like the tablet keyboard on Vista/7.  Well that is how they have done it.  You have a little app window running in the corner that lets you select the type of capture you want to do.  Very slick UI.

However, I must say the coolest part is the Visual Studio-like hover selection window you get when docking in 2008, but for screen capture.  Now once you have initiated the capture, when you hover over a browser, it gives you choice on whether you want a window capture, scrolling capture, or you can always default to a dragable size window capture.  The guidelines also make it easier to ensure you are getting the proper capture.  Very excited to use this product.

Two Thumbs up TechSmith on this beta!