Personal

Posts about me and personal stuff I do

A story of Murphy–my technical issues at TechDays Switzerland #chtd

I had two sessions at the recent Swiss TechDays. While the first one (Advanced Development for Windows Phone 8) went extremely well (I think), I had a very annoying technical issue in the beginning of my second session. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Oredev 2012: Summary and source code

This week, I had the pleasure to be invited to talk at Oredev, a really cool conference taking place in Malmo, Sweden. The whole event is awesome, including a very special dinner on Monday including sauna and swimming in a 6 degrees cold Baltic sea, and a reception with dinner at the town hall, including the mayor himself. Considering Malmo is a town of 300'000 inhabitants, it is a pretty nice occasion and the historical building itself is really worth seeing. For those interested, I placed my pictures ......

Quick travel tip: charging USB devices from the Samsung Slate 7

For those of you who have the Samsung Slate 7 that Microsoft gave at Build (or that you purchase yourself!), and who are travelling: I hate to take chargers for all my gadgets, especially since my Windows Phone, my Bluetooth stereo headset and my Kindle (amongst others) all use micro-USB to charge. So I just take a couple of micro USB cables and I can charge my devices from the PC. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Three years at IdentityMine–and more to come!

Today is the first day of my fourth year at IdentityMine. I can hardly believe how fast it went, and how exciting the trip has been so far. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Steve Jobs, the legacy

Today is a weird day. I just got the news, as I woke up, that Steve Jobs passed away last night. This news affected me more than I thought it would. I felt the need to write about these emotions, and about my history with Apple. This is probably more for myself than for the reader, so feel free to skip ahead if you don’t like this, but it felt appropriate to keep a few thoughts at this time. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Prepping a conference

I have had the chance to talk at many conferences these past few years, and came up with a way to prepare them which works really well for me. Most importantly, it would make it quite easy to overcome an emergency (for example if my laptop would suddenly lose data). The whole code as well as the slides and other documents are in the cloud. I also use source control for my demos, so that I always have the latest and the greatest, but also a history of changes I made to my demos. Finally I have a system ......

Real life UX is still UX

Note: I posted that on Posterous, but on second thoughts it belongs on this blog too. After all, making UX better is what this is all about, in the end, and not just for computer applications. So apologies to those of you who read that on my Posterous already!

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How to correctly say my name in the Swiss manner

As an answer to the suggestion by my friend Andrea, here is how my name is pronounced in Switzerland (at least in the French speaking part, where I come from, as opposed to the German speaking part, where I live).

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Silverlight MVP of the year

Here is a quick news from the MVP summit in Redmond. Things here are amazing, with a lot of good news (that will be made public at MIX, so in the mean time I cannot say anything more about it, except that it is awesome). The summit is, amongst other things, an amazing way to connect with other MVPs and with the product group. This is an amazing community to be a part of, full of really smart people. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Talking in Las Vegas: MIX2010 and MVVM

This morning, very early (or very late depending how you see it), I learned that one of the sessions I submitted to the MIX 2010 open call for speakers had been picked by the public. Out of 169 sessions, only 12 were picked, so you imagine my feelings right now. Honestly, I am sure that this will be a good session, but it could have gone either way, and I had prepared myself mentally for the alternative possibility too. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Believe it or not, it’s almost 2010

This year has been a pretty amazing year. A few weeks ago, I was writing about my first year at IdentityMine. A little more than one year ago I was closing the Siemens book (after around 13 years of working into Building Automation, but always from a software engineer perspective) and started the IdentityMine chapter of my life :). As I mention in the post in question, this first year was a very interesting and also challenging year. Interesting because I got to work with some of the best creative ......

One year at IdentityMine

Today it is exactly one year that I started work at IdentityMine, after 13 years at Siemens (well, Staefa Control System then Landis&Staefa then Siemens through a series of acquisitions, ah the joys of corporate world…). Here is a link to the article where I related my decision to leave Siemens and to join IdentityMine. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Going to Berlin (TechEd Europe)

I will make a short appearance at Tech Ed Europe. Due to the amount of work we have right now, I cannot spend more than a couple of days in Berlin, but I still hope to meet many of you all. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Geotagging pictures made even easier

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Geocoding pictures automatically with Nokia E71 and gpicsync” which was explaining how to use the built-in GPS in your mobile phone (in my case a Nokia E71) and a utility program called gpisync to enter geographical tags into your pictures. This is useful because using a program supporting this feature (such as Flickr for example), you can then see all your pictures on a map, and remember where you took the pictures. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Member of the INETA Europe Speaker Bureau

I am very proud and happy to announce that I am now a member of the European INETA speakers bureau.

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Making good tea while travelling

I am just back from a long absence to the Pacific Northwest. I went to Seattle for business, met tons of people there and then my family joined me and we had a little more than a week vacation between Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver. For those interested, you can see our pictures on Flickr:

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New intro on my website

The time was ripe for a new intro on my website www.galasoft.ch. Here it is below, posted for my blog’s readers. I hope that you find it entertaining.

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Me @ MIX 2009

Well here is the time of the year again where choices, hard choices must be made. Yes, this is a crucial time, one of decisions: The MIX conference is around the corner and I need to complete my schedule.

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Going to Seattle (MVP summit 2009)

The March travel madness is about to begin. During this month I will be away a lot. First destination is Seattle where I will attend the MVP summit 2009. Last year was my first summit and I loved this experience. This year should be even more fun, because I met so many software enthusiasts over the past year, and many of them are going too, yay.

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Ski holidays

It's this time of the year again... we're leaving tomorrow for a week of snow, fresh air and awesome ski. Like these last few years, we will be heading to Serfaus, Austria, and spend the week there.

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25 things about me

There is a new game of tag going on on Facebook, and I was tagged 3 times in the last few days, so I thought I should really try and find 25 interesting things to mention about me. I posted this on my Facebook profile (such are the rules of the game) but it makes sense to get this on my blog as well!! So here we go, all you always wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask. Read the rest of this entry » ......

Nice plug: Silverlight 2 Unleashed (and my girls) in TCS weekly

Thanks Adam for making my day (and my daughters') by including them in The Continuum Show weekly edition. It was so cool (and unexpected) :)

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MVP award 2009 in Client Application Development

I am humbled and honored to be awarded a Most Valuable Professional award by Microsoft for 2009. This will be my 3rd year as a MVP. I got my first award in 2007 for ASP.NET, and then due to my increased activities in the fields of Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight, in 2008 and now 2009 in Client Application Development. This expertise gathers specialists of these two disciplines and provides a fantastic way to exchange and discuss amongst professionals. Read the rest of this entry » ......

New Year's Greetings and Silverlight Greeting Card

Happy New Year to all. 2008 has been an amazing year, with many changes in my professional life (joining IdentityMine, publishing my first book Silverlight 2 Unleashed, etc...). It was a real pleasure to be in company of some of the brightest minds on this planet and to do my best to not seem to ridiculous next to them :) Privately, the highlight of this year has been our trip to Asia (Malaysia, Hong Kong) which will remain in our minds forever. Read the rest of this entry » ......

One week at IdentityMine

Today is the end of my very first week at IdentityMine. Let me just say that it was really great. In the same week I worked on a proposal for a client (maybe our very first project in the new European IdentityMine, crossing fingers) and prepared a presentation for next week.

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It's podcast season: Herding code

Apparently it's podcast season... When in Los Angeles, Jon Galloway and I managed to sit down an hour and talk about Silverlight, WPF, Blend, my past work at Siemens and my future work at IdentityMine, and of course about my book Silverlight 2 Unleashed. I was kind of sad that Kevin Dente and Scott Koon didn't manage to join us, but the conference was so packed with events that we found time only on the very last day (Thursday) and the two had to go back home already. Still, it was nice to meet the ......

Blogging and twittering at #PDC08

PDC is starting today (well, the pre-conference is, and the conference starts tomorrow) and I reached Los Angeles last night. The trip went well, even though we started (and arrived) one hour later than planned. Yesterday I joined Mike Brown and Bill Reiss for dinner, and then called it a night. Of course with the jet lag I woke up quite early today, but it's usual. Later I will head to the LA Convention Center and attend the pre conference. I am especially looking forward to Charles Petzold presentation ......

My schedule at #PDC08

Difficult task: Choosing the sessions I am interested in for PDC08... Difficult because there are really many session that are very attractive to me, and also because I need to include side activities and meetings with members of the WPF and Silverlight community. I still have a few conflicts, and I will decide at the last minute which session to follow. Note that as usual with Microsoft conferences, all the sessions will be filmed and put online rapidly after the conference, so this is how I will ......

Silverlight 2 Unleashed in Stock at Amazon.com

Things are going really fast in the moment. My book just hit Amazon.com, and it went from "pre-order" to "in stock" a few minutes ago. I really can't wait to get reader feedback ......

Silverlight 2 Unleashed Online Content

There is a lot of online content available for Silverlight 2 Unleashed! Errata One thing that I am particularly sensitive to is the correctness of the information I put in the book. Because of time constraints, some *very* last minute changes by Microsoft didn't make it to the book. Other minor errors managed to slip through multiple review rounds (and believe me, many people did review this book with utter care and attention). I listed the Errata (a dozen so far) on my site, and the list will also ......

Silverlight 2 Unleashed hard copy - Two thumbs up!

Apparently I received my first hard copy of Silverlight 2 Unleashed at home! Because I am in the office, I can't see it yet, but according to my daughters, it's two thumbs up!!

Two thumbs up for Silverlight 2 Unleashed

Various pieces of news

Now that the book is finished writing, reality is catching up with me and I am finally able to work on the backlog of ideas and projects that has accumulated in the last months. Time to give an update of stuff I do or will do soon. Silverlight 2 Unleashed status On my side, the work is done and I delivered my copy to the editor. We had a small bunch of last minute corrections when Silverlight 2 RC0 made it to the web, and I am happy the good people at Sams gave me some time to clean up a few kinks. ......

Preorder my Silverlight book on Amazon

Wow. That's an incredible feeling, seeing my name on Amazon :) The book is in pre-order!! I'd better get back to editing it then :) ......

Joining IdentityMine (and leaving Siemens)

These last months have been amongst the most intensive I have ever been in my life. Since my last blog post, I have been extremely busy finishing writing my Silverlight book and starting the editing work. It is well underway, and we will publish later this year. It is a very exciting time for me to see that book shaping up after almost a year of work on it. Yes I will be happy to see the finished, paper-printed work!! Another reason why this time of the year has been especially exciting for me is ......

2 years and 266 posts later...

2 years ago, on a Sunday, I posted my first blog post. Since then so many amazing things happened, partly due to this blog: I got the MVP status, I got a better recognition in my firm for my expert knowledge on some topics (such as WPF, Silverlight, ASP.NET and C#), I started speaking in conferences... One year later, I got a book deal (more on this soon). I met amazing people, and made a lot of new friends in the industry. I went to Redmond a few times and had the chance to talk to some really amazing ......

A short break

I am going to take a short break of blogging for a couple of months. The reason is simple: I have been working on a book about Silverlight 2 since September last year, and we are in a phase now where I need to concentrate on that exclusively, and put other activities aside. I might post the occasional article from time to time, but until mid-Summer, it's going to be write write write. Stay posted for news about the book coming up, and don't delete me from your feeds, it's really only temporary :) ......

New GalaSoft stickers

On a whim, I made a GalaSoft sticker and ordered 48 of them at CafePress.com. The stickers just arrived yesterday, and they look pretty cool. I plan to keep some on me, so next time you cross my path, make sure you get a GalaSoft sticker for your laptop ......

My resume is now online

I finally did something I wanted to do for a loooooong time: I cleaned up and put my resume online on my website. Note for Beat (my boss), if you read this, don't panic, I am not leaving just right now :) Anyway. For those of you who like to know my (professional) self better, feel free to take a look. If you want a username and password to check my certificates and awards, contact me. And if you have any comment, give me feedback ......

More US centric discrimination: Amazon.com MP3 download

This kind of things pisses me up so much. What's your problem Amazon? My money is not good enough for you? I call it discrimination. Oh yeah, also something else. Could you tell me that *before* you make me install your downloader? Kthxbai ......

I am now a Microsoft Certified Professional

What a crazy week that is. I am currently in Seattle for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional summit, which ended yesterday. I took an additional day in Seattle to meet a few friends and Siemens colleagues, and this morning got an email notifying me that I passed the MCTS exam about WPF that I took back then in December. Because the exam was in beta stage when I took it, Microsoft needed a veeeeeeeery long time to evaluate the replies and check if I met the requirement. Apparently, they also ......

#mvp08: Day 1 and 2 are over, more to come

Today was day 2 of the Global MVP Summit. We spent it in Redmond, on the Microsoft Campus. For my part I spent the whole day in the RIA (pronounced "reee-ya") track, focussed on Silverlight (mostly) and WPF (a little). I won't say much about it for two reasons: Either the code we saw was very similar to the one shown in Vegas one month ago, or I don't have the right to talk about it because of NDA Generally speaking, it's safe to say that really great things are going to be built on top of Silverlight. ......

#mvp08: Arrival at Global MVP Summit

Day 0 Oh man what a trip. First I left home at 6:30AM, which on a Sunday (and my birthday) is pretty more a crime against humanity. Additionally, I was woken up a few times during the night: Twice by my elder daughter who came to check if my bags were still there, because she was afraid to miss me to wish me happy birthday in the morning (she opened her door at 2:30AM and 4:30AM, both times waking me up of course :) Then after taking the train to the airport, I learned that my flight to Frankfurt ......

#mvp08: On my way to Seattle for the MVP Summit

It's my second year as Microsoft MVP but I didn't attend the global MVP summit last year, so I am really excited to attend this year. I am currently on my way to Seattle (via Frankfurt), and will spend next week there getting loads and loads of information about the newest trends and technologies from Microsoft. Like any conference, the summit is also (and before all) a way to network, meet new friends that I know from their blogs or Twitter or any other e-medium, and meet again with friends from ......

Community Credit 6th prize

I am humbled and also wondering. Humbled because I learned that I got the 6th prize in March Community Credit. Wondering, because I was at MIX in March, and blogged a lot (by my standards) and I am only 6th :) I will never get first prize I guess! Thanks David Silverlight!! Can't wait to receive my Digital Dog ......

TechDays 08: Talked about WPF and now back home

The Swiss edition of the TechDays 2008 is over. It was a great success,many people came, and as far as I can say, people had a good time. I didn't attend any sessions though, because I hung out in the main area instead and met a number of people (some of them I knew from MIX or other occasions), and talked talked talked. Yesterday evening, there was a party, I didn't stay too late though because I wanted to be well rested for my talk this morning. My talk titled "Siemens goes WPF, Lessons learned" ......

Arthur C Clarke, 16 December 1917 - 19 March 2008

In the time zone where I post this from, Arthur C Clarke didn't die yet. I still have 20 minutes of a time paradox that he would have loved, I am sure.

Arthur C Clarke just passed away in Sri Lanka, at the age of 90. He will be missed tremendously. I am really sad.

TechDays 08: My talk next Thursday in Basel, Switzerland

Next week, on Wednesday the 19th and Thursday the 20th of March, the TechDays Switzerland will take place in the St. Jakobshalle in Basel. Apprently, it's sold out and they expect around 2300 people in 5 parallel tracks. Now that's kind of making me nervous, because I will be presenting a session on Thursday the 20th at 9AM!. It's not the first time I'll be talking at a conference, but it's certainly the first time that so many people will attend, so... kind of nervous here : The talk is called "Siemens ......

MIX: Building the schedule

I am in Princeton NJ for the weekend, after spending a few days with our graphics designers, working on our WPF application. It was very nice again, and I love the new design we have. I miss my family, but determined to make the best of this trip and to take life positively as usual. I plan to drive down to Philadelphia tomorrow for a short visit (I have been in Philly once before, in 2001). I finally managed to build my schedule for MIX. I was very strict this year and selected only maximum two ......

MIX: Session builder missing?

Update: The session builder was made availableone day after I published this. It's available for registered user in the "sessions" area of the MIX website.

I remember that there was a Session Builder last year on MIX's website allowing you to build an agenda of session you want to see. Am I mistaken? Is this feature available now? I can't seem to find it anywhere...

#MIX08: Wrap-up post

MIX08 is over, and I am home with what one could call the "post-MIX" mood. It's a mix (pun intended, haha) of various feelings Obviously I am extatic to be with my family again, even more so because I was away for almost two weeks, which I usually try to avoid. It's just so good to be with them again. I wish I could take them with me every time I am abroad. Excitement about all the new things we saw. Thinking all the time of what I'll be able to improve in my various projects using these new techniques ......

MIX08: Keynote (4)

Ray Ozzie keynote: "Many amazing technologies available today, but I would like you to bet on us" Oh really? Scott Guthrie keynote: Just launched .NET 3,5, VS2008, IIS7, Windows Server 2008 Scott talks about the new features in ASP.NET 3.5, mentions LINQ IIS7 makes deployment and administration much better Dean Hachamovitch (IE General Manager) Introduces IE8 Cool T-shirt #Mix08 ......

MIX08: Random pieces of news (3)

Interesting concept for localizing Silverlight applications using a "resource" JavaScript file. Presented by Brad Abrams. Amazing set of new controls for Silverlight 2, including a datagrid. Where's the WPF-based one, Microsoft? Multiline textbox in Silverlight 2.0 (but you're not supposed to talk about it :) ASP.NET MVC framework for URL mapping. I think that ScottGu blogged about that before, something I definitely want to look into (when I'll have time, ah ah ah) Tim Sneath on WPF and Silverlight: ......

Back home and a couple of news

We're back home after an amazing week of ski and sun. It was really great. I also worked well on my private project, really happy about the way it went. I also have a couple of news that I haven't posted about yet. So here it is: You can now chat with me on MSN directly from my webpage http://www.galasoft.ch. Simply click on the "Chat with me" link in the left hand menu. This opens an inline DIV. Click on "Begin a Conversation". Type your name. Enter the "spam-fight" code and click Submit. There ......

Ski holidays, woohoo

We're leaving today for Serfaus, Austria, where we're going to spend the next week skiing. It's the 3rd time we go there, and it's been great every time. The ski school there is amazing, and the station is really very family-friendly. For me, it's also interesting because the ski tracks range from very easy to very hard, so you cannot get bored. On the technical side, I am now loading my HTC phone with 2GB music, and I am taking my bluetooth headset. After bringing Alise (and this year maybe also ......

Toyota Prius, someone?

Since my wife stopped work, we've been thinking of selling both our cars (we have a Toyota Previa and a Toyota Yaris (big Toyota fans)) and getting a new one. The Yaris is too small for me and the Previa is too big for my wife, so we're looking for something in the middle. So we're considering a Toyota Prius. It's a hybrid, with both a conventional engine and an electric one. Apparently it's quite popular amongst celebrities in the US, but that's not why we are thinking about it. I quite like the ......

Intercultural training today

Today I attended a very good training, which dealt with intercultural differences between Switzerland, USA, Italy and India (these are the 4 main locations for the project I currently work on). The training was excellent, and we all really spent a great time talking about experiences and studying what's probably going to await us in the next months. Because, yes like most firms we are outsourcing some software development to India, and we will have a team located in Pune (not far from Mumbai), and ......

Software development as a fine art

Joel Spolsky of "Joel on Software" has a nice article about Undergraduate programming. I especially like this: Software development is an art. I have been thinking a lot about software development in the last few years, and came to that realization as well. The soft factors in software development are so strong that it is at least as much an art than a science. Software needs creativity. Software needs design. Software needs esthetics. Software needs beauty. And the best part is: When software is ......

Meet me at MIX

I just got the confirmation that I will attend MIX. That's great news, after MIX06 and MIX07, I cannot wait to be there again. This conference is simply amazing. I am really looking forward to meeting all the amazing people of the WPF and Silverlight community, and I hope I will meet a lot of new ones. Let me know if you're at MIX and want to meet ......

MVP, take two / Silvelight greeting card

Just got the good news: I am a MVP for one more year :-) My first MVP award last year was for ASP.NET, but due to my new tasks in the field of WPF and Silverlight, I've been awarded one for Client Application Development this year. I think it makes sense, since my activities are really focused on the client (not just the UI, but mainly), and this is also what I have been blogging and speaking about last year. 2008 is going to be great. I already have 2 conferences as a speaker planned, one end of ......

LINQ training and trip to Princeton, NJ, USA and Swiss elections

LINQ hands-on lab at Microsoft Switzerland Yesterday, a colleague and I attended a free LINQ hands-on lab given by Microsoft Switzerland in their offices of Wallisellen near Zurich. It was really good. I have seen LINQ in action a few times this year (actually, I had it demonstrated by no less than Anders Hejlsberg himself on one occasion, and Scott Guthrie on the other) but I had never tried writing queries myself. It was a good, 4 hours occasion to try it by myself. Needless to say, I was really ......

WPF: MCTS Beta exam

One neat thing when you're a MVP (for 3 more weeks!) is that you get a lot of invitations to all kind of events. So when I got an invite to take the MCTS exam (beta) for WPF 3.5, I though I should try it, even though it's my Most Busy December Ever. It's not easy preparing for a Beta exam, because there are no courses, no books, no test exams available, so you're pretty much left to yourself. Thankfully, I found a list of subjects online, and after marking those of them which I was really not feeling ......

Going back home

I am flying back home tonight. I've been in the US for 1.5 weeks now, and it feels good to know that I'll be home tomorrow. I really miss my girls, and can't wait to see them again. Last week at Microsoft has been great. We met tons of people, and learned a big deal about the future of .NET and other technologies (including WPF and Silverlight). I took the occasion to have lunch with Scott Guthrie (our second meeting in person, the first one was during his last visit to Switzerland), and I was once ......

Surface Laurent

Surface Laurent

So, that's me. In a Surface. Isn't that cool? :-)

Free WiFi at Starbucks in Zurich Oerlikon

Having brought my daughter to chinese school as usual on Saturday mornings, I had the good surprise to find out that you can now surf wirelessly for free at the Starbucks in Zurich Oerlikon (opposite the train station). That's a great move, Starbucks. Switzerland is very much advanced for the number of Internet connection per inhabitant, and very behind for the number of free hotspots. You can surf wirelessly in most train stations and many other public places, but the costs are still very high and ......

Back from Seattle

I was in Seattle (actually in Tacoma) for one week workshop with a firm specialized in WPF, IdentityMine. I spent three days with Jonathan Russ, who is without any doubt one of the most talented developer I ever met, and at the same time a very good man, always ready to take time to discuss ideas or to explain concepts. It was a great week, and my only regret was I couldn't meet Nathan Dunlap and Robby Ingebretsen because they were both out of house. That said, I met other members of the team. After ......

WPF: Workshop in Tacoma, WA, with IdentityMine

I am thrilled to be here in Tacoma again, second time this year (and overall) after we were given a WPF training by IdentityMine very innovative and specialized firm. These few days with them are going to be devoted to reviewing some of our design choices, discussing ways to make our designers' work easier (making the application "blendable"), etc... So, now it's 3AM and though I went to bed at 9PM last night (flying in from Zurich through London), I can't sleep, so I am taking a short break from ......

Back home after two weeks in Sicily / VS2008 Beta 2 and Silverlight 1.0 RC1

Back home I am back home after 2 weeks spent in a road trip around Sicily, Italy. We had a great time, and I will document the trip gradually in the next few days on my PhotoAlbum. It was really nice to let go for a moment, and I barely did anything work related (except reading 4 chapters of Adam Nathan's WPF book and catching up with blogs during the last hotel stay of the trip). I found no wireless connection during the trip (except once in Taormina and then in Palermo) but I didn't look for them ......

Maria Himmelfahrt

Today is Maria Himmelfahrt, which can be translated by the day where Mary went to heaven. This is a catholic public holiday, and since the state I work in (Zug) is catholic, I had a free day today. However, since Zurich is reformed, it didn't celebrate and Chi Meei had to work. So I decided to just have a day on my own, which I like to do from time to time. Actually, this happens from time to time, because of the nature of my job (software engineering), which allows me to have very liberal working ......

One week later...

This week has been quite unusual for me. I was supposed to start work again on wednesday after my holidays, but I caught a fever, so I had to stay home until friday. As additionally my kids were spending one week holidays with my parents, and my wife started her new job, I found myself alone home. Well, after a while it got a bit boring, though I did some work on various private projects I have. One thing I did is order a Piel Frama leather case for my Palm LifeDrive (tan color), and I am really ......

Silverlight: Video on my PhotoAlbum website / Going in holidays

Silverlight video on my PhotoAlbum website You can now watch videos on my PhotoAlbum using Silverlight!! Currently, two pages have video: Pune, India and Calcutta Rescue's projects in Kolkata. To start the video, locate the thumbnails marked with a "movie" label, and click them. Modified player.xaml I spent a few hours this week tweaking and learning to know the Silverlight video player created when you encode a video using the Expression Media Encoder application. I modified the player.xaml and ......

More pictures from Kolkata online

I just posted additional pictures from Kolkata on my PhotoAlbum. I still have quite a few to sort and catalog, and I will go through them in the next few days. Very tired, not quite fully recovered from the jet lag, so pardon me if I don't write more :-) More ......

End of WPF training in Pune / Visit to Kolkata, India

Ending the WPF training in Pune The WPF training in Pune, India went great. We finished on time, I spent the last afternoon showing various resources and demonstrating how to create a basic Silverlight application, as well as make Silverlight videos. This is not strictly speaking in the scope of the training, but with the WPF background acquired during these 3 days, moving on to Silverlight is really easy, and really motivating too. After Pune, and after a very nice dinner with Nikhil, the indian ......

WPF training (Indian edition) underway

Today is the 3rd day of the WPF training I am giving to my indian colleagues in Pune, India. This is the 3rd edition of the training, after Milano and Zug. The training is going well, even if I had a few more "demo effects" than usual, maybe due to a general tiredness (I need holidays, and thankfully they're coming soon, yay). But my trainees were kind enough to give me a little time to correct the code, and all goes well in the end. If the monsoon allows, I will fly tomorrow to Kolkata, where I ......

On the road from Mumbai to Pune (India)

Things I want to remember The wall of human faces waiting outside of the Mumbai airport, most with names on signs; endless faces waiting patiently. The black taxis simply everywhere in the city, with the meter outside of the car; the small 3-wheelers, painted in the same way as the cars, roaming and honking in the traffic. The drive out of the airport's parking, our car led with a millimetric precision between the other cars parked in the middle of the road. The constant honking, not aggressive like ......

Crazy work weeks

The first of the craziest work weeks I ever lived is over... I don't necessarily mean crazy as in stressful, just, you know... crazy. Last Monday, I attended Remix07 in Zurich, and spent quite some time with Scott Guthrie. It was just great to talk about WPF, Silverlight and the future. He is without any doubts one of the brightest minds I ever met (the second one who comes to my mind is Dr Jack Preger, whom I will meet again in 2 weeks time (see below)). Scott is also a very nice person, who gives ......

LiveWriter is watching you

Checking the LiveWriter developer page during the ReMix event, I noticed that I am getting stared at :-)

What are you staring at?

One year of blogging...

Exactly one year ago, I started blogging at GeeksWithBlogs. This has been an amazing year for me professionally. Promoting WPF in my firm has been a tough but rewarding experience. I got to say, ever since I attended MIX06, I've been enthusiastic about the technology, and it became almost a passion to talk about it to my colleagues and managers. While I hadn't been blogging before, I had been very active in the JavaScript community, and continuing this work in the .NET / WPF community just seemed ......

Expression Blend labs / Losing the "-lb"

Expression Blend lab I downloaded Karsten Januszewski's Expression Blend labs, and I am going through them slowly. I finished the first one tonight. While it's relatively basic, it's still great to be able to consolidate what I otherwise learned through try-and-fail, and through reading parts of the user documentation. Additionally, it's a good support to learn useful shortcuts for some commands. I am looking forward to going through the remaining two labs, and I will highly recommend them to the ......

Pictures of Chicago downtown online

Alright, it worked! The pictures from Chicago I took yesterday are online, just posted from O'Hare airport. Also, the Las Vegas ones are online too.

And now for 9 hours in the plane...

MIX day 1 (cont again)

I attended 3 sessions yesterday afternoon, all very interesting. MySpace megasite Quite interesting talk by the MySpace team about what strategies they are using to run, maintain and upgrade what must be one of trhe busiest website worldwide. The sheer volume of video, MP3 and pictures theys deliver simultanously is tremendous. And all that runs on ASP.NET and Microsoft platforms. Very impressive. They also developed their own tools for code management, allowing to release and if necessary rollback ......

MIX07 day 1

Getting started Breakfast was had (great buffet like last year, and the dining room is pretty impressive and huge!) Trying to recognize known faces, but no luck yet! I also registered and got my goodie bag. The notebook looks great, even nicer than last year (I am still using last year's one, actually, and the pen). Apparently the myspace.com gadget is a CD opener. Man, that's bad engineering! These CD cellophanes are actually so damn hard to open that someone has to come with a gadget! Wouldn't ......

Flying to Vegas

Et voilà, I am off to Vegas. First my flight with Swiss airlines goes to Chicago, and then I'll take a UA flight to Las Vegas, where I'll arrive around 8:30PM local time. It's a really long trip (It's now 11:50AM in Switzerland, and I'll be in my room in the Venetian probably around 6AM tomorrow morning, swiss time) but I am convinced it will be totally worth it. Next year was amazing, and it has brought me so many new things to think about, to try out, and so many new contacts in the programming ......

My schedule at MIX

So...I spent more than one hour yesterday night to create a schedule for all the session that interest me this year at MIX. Yeah. I need to clone myself. Three times. If 4 of me go to MIX, I might get a chance to see all the sessions I want to see. At this point, I don't prioritize any further. Based on last year's experience, I'll decide spontanously what I want to see during each slot. Obviously, I'll make sure to attend the Identity Mine sessions, but there arfe so many others! Sessions at MIX07 ......

Tacoma/Seattle/Redmond pictures on my PhotoAlbum

I published the pictures from our trip to the Seattle area 2 weeks ago on my PhotoAlbum. In order to train us with WPF, 8 developers and 3 designers involved in the project had the chance to follow a training given by IdentityMine, an excellent firm specialized in WPF development in Tacoma, WA, not far from Seattle. The training week was amazing, and we also took the opportunity to drive to Redmond, where Microsoft has its headquarters and campus, to meet a few architects with whom we were already ......

WPF course with IdentityMine: last day / Going home

Last day of training I simply cannot believe how fast the week went, and how interesting it was. Yesterday, we all gathered at IdentityMine HQ. We first had a cool (but fast) demo of Expression Blend by Nathan, who really knows what he is talking about and has a huge experience with the tool and WPF in general. The tool is really quite good, and should allow even developers to work faster, because of the help it provides. I really want to learn Expression Blend. I see myself quite close to the designers, ......

WPF course with IdentityMine: fourth day

Laeticia turned 3 First of all, yesterday was Laeticia (my younger daughter)'s 3rd birthday. I love you so much Laeticia (you too Alise). I miss you both a lot, can't wait to be back with you on Sunday. WPF training, cont. I cannot believe that today is the last day. This week has been so packed with things to think about, I will need some time to digest all the information received from every side: The training itself, the great people met, the way we can make the best of these new relationships ......

Back home...

We're back home... We came back in Switzerland last week, and time flies, I can't believe it's already tuesday... Work should start again tomorrow (today is national day here, thus public holiday), and a lot of challenges are in front of us. We're studying the possibility to use WPF/E as our platform for the new web application we're starting to work on. Unfortunately, it's impossible to find any preview version of WPF/E, so we're forced to use assumptions and theories. On the private side, I started ......

Mobile blogging now from Singapore

We left Penang this morning and are now in Singapore. I posted a lot more pictures in my PhotoAlbum, and practice showed a few fields for improvement: The file structure is too complex. I should be able to post all files in one folder, and if needed, the application should dispatch the files in the corresponding folder. When I FTP from my PDA, changing folders takes too long time. I forgot that the PDA uses linefeed only as line break, when the server uses carriage return-line feed (rookie mistake, ......

WPF course with IdentityMine: third day

Big day yesterday. First we had a training session in the morning, and talked about animations. I could see how I got a few things wrong. Animations in XAML are very straightforward to create and start, and it gets a bit more complex when you want to control them and especially stop them. In my ColorClock, I've been confronted to a few of these problems: How to release the animation's "grasp" on the dependency property it just animated? How to "chain" animations, making sure that they are correctly ......

WPF course with IdentityMine: second day

OK, I discovered something... *whispering* some of the guys at IdentityMine actually read my blog... so I can't criticize the training, hope you understand... No, seriously. I am having a great time here. The training is intensive. The labs help to understand what we learn (or recap), but even then it's really a lot to assimilate. I am happy to say that so far I understood pretty much everything we learned, but some of my colleagues are struggling a little. I am sure that when they'll start working ......

Updated PositionedNode (DHTML effect) / Arrived in Tacoma

End of January, I made an update to my PositionedNode DHTML effect, but too busy with WPF activities, I never managed to publish it. Having just sat 14 hours in a plane, I finally took the time to do it. There are 4 major changes: With V1.2, it's now possible to use any CSS unit to position the HTML element, for example em, points (pt), pixels (px). This functionality uses the JavaScript class gslb.CssLength. It's now possible to specify all the style attributes in external CSS files, using either ......

Travel to Seattle, WPF training!

I am very excited! Today is travel day. I am flying to Seattle, and will attend an IdentityMine WPF training next week! 5 days of WPF together with 9 other developers and designers from the project I am working on. In this project, I'll act as a WPF coach, and the training is a great opportunity to round up the WPF knowledge I gained since I attended MIX06 last year, to learn new things, and especially to study the new workflows between designers and developers. I saw Robert Ingebretsen's presentation ......

Barcelona

Flying often to Malaysia provided us with enough miles to get a "free" ticket to a european destination of our choice. I put "free" in quotation signs, because in fact you still have to pay quite a few taxes, not even mentioning the hotel and of course the kids' tickets, and also given the very low plane tickets prices in Europe currently, it didn't make that big a difference. So it was really more of an excuse for a weekend abroad coupled with a city's visit. We chose Barcelona, where none of us ......

Gong Xi Fa Cái!!

First of all, Happy Chinese New Year! No big celebration for us this year as we just came back from holidays yesterday, but a nice dinner at the local chinese restaurant with beautiful chinese clothes for our 2 daughters. Gong Xi Fa Cái As said, we just came back from one week skiing in Austrian Serfaus, and we had a great time! Alise (5) spent 6 days in ski school and made huge progresses, and we put Laeticia (3 in March) on the skis for the first time. She even went on the big tracks, between my ......

Ski holidays!

We will be in ski holidays next week in Serfaus, Austria! Can't wait... We were there last year already and had a great time! So, no posts next week (I take the laptop with me, but it's more on my wife's request, since she doesn't ski and can use it to watch DVDs or play games with my youngest daughter Laeticia (still too young to ski) while Alise and I go to ski). I have a few subjects in preparation for future postings. Also, on the professional side, we are starting development (most of last year ......

L'Abbé Pierre is dead...

I was about to write an article about object oriented inheritance in JavaScript yesterday when I heard of the death of the Abbé Pierre. After that, it was kind of hard to talk about prototypes and base classes. The Abbé Pierre had very strong ties with Switzerland, and indirect ties with another figure I admire a lot and was lucky enough to meet a few times, Dr Jack Preger. In 2004, Dr Preger was invited in Saillon to take care of the symbolic 'Vigne à Farinet', of which the Abbé Pierre was the honorary ......

Christmas in the family / German road trip

Christmas in Lausanne We celebrated Christmas in the family in western Switzerland as usual, this year at my parents' place in Lausanne. it was a very nice and cosy time, a good occasion to see all the family members in a relaxed atmosphere. The girls were a little overwhelmed by all the emotions (and the presents :-) but everything went great. more... and more... Burg Hohenzollern On the 27th, we packed our things and drove north to Schaffhausen first, and then over the german border to Burg Hohenzollern ......

Happy new MVP year!

First of all, Happy new year. I am not really into the whole new year celebration, and I most certainly don't think that just because a digit gets changed in an arbitrary number, suddenly there will be no more wars, no more tragical events, no more hunger... So it's a bit hard for me to get in the celebration craze, and we spent a quiet evening. Nonetheless, happy new year to all readers and may next year bring you and your families what you all wish :-) Today, to start the year, I had a nice surprise ......

The last autumn pictures

Here are the remaining pictures from November and December. I spent quite a lot of time making a new version of the PhotoAlbum, now is time to add content. We celebrated Christmas in the family yesterday, so more pictures will be posted soon, but for now let's concentrate on these ones ;-) Alise's birthday in the Kindergarten Chi Meei and I spent the morning of the 25th of October in the Kindergarten with Alise, her teacher and all her friends. It was a really nice occasion, where Alise was given ......

RealSimpleBlog features description, first draft

I just published the features description document (first draft) for my RealSimpleBlog control. After having published V0.4, which corrected quite a few bugs and added new functionalities, I needed to take a small break from code, and to take a step back to think of the next version. The result of these thoughts is compiled in the (incomplete) features description, and in the list of bugs and enhancements after V0.4. The major enhancement in that next version is going to allow me to use the RealSimpleBlog ......

Mobile blogging with my RealSimpleBlog ASP.NET control

OK, it seems to work rather well! We're now in Penang, and I am able to post pictures and blog entries. One very small problem only: The hotel sure has wireless network in the lobby, but you can only use it if you connect from the (wired) connection in your room first... So for me it's totally useless, as I didn't take my laptop but only my PDA. There are solutions: going to the internet cafe downstairs, or using the wireless access at Starbucks, but it's all a little less convenient than planned. ......

End of Summer, Beginning of Autumn

The autumn here is beautiful and melancholic at the same time. Many years ago, in my teenage times, I was thrilled by the coming of winter. Nowadays, it's less thrilling, but I got to say that I am looking forward to skiing again, and especially to go with Alise again. Last year was fun, and she had a blast learning! I hope that this year, we can go on and have fun together! I am posting many pictures again today. I know I should post less, more regularly, but I have been really busy with a lot of ......

Malaysia and Singapore pictures clean-up (ASP.NET PhotoAlbum)

I cleaned up and reposted the Malaysia and Singapore pictures from this summer. Before that I had to correct a few small bugs in my RealSimpleBlog custom control, which is now in version V0.2.2. It's a work in progress, which eventually will allow the user to place a blog-like content on any webpage he wants. Most existing systems nowadays are fullblown blog applications, and are more difficult to integrate smoothly in existing websites. The pictures page display the pictures interpersed with the ......

Chinese database for Palm OS flashcard program

At long last, I released a new version of my chinese database for the flashcard program for Palm OS Lexi. The new DB has a lot of new entries, and has also been cleaned up (double entries mostly removed, error corrections, etc...) Extract from the "readme" file: "This database is for the excellent "flash cards" application Lexi. It contains over 4200 chinese words and expressions, and can be used to learn Pin Yin as well as Han Zi (chinese signs)." Readme file Download the database ......

New Internet Service Provider

So, after copying, testing and changing the DNS entries at Switch, my website is running at my new provider. The first tests I made prove that it's way easier to set up web applications, web services and other exciting stuff now, so that after doing it professionally only, I'll be able to use all these nice technologies on my own site too. That's great ......

ToDo list before holidays

On the 12th of July, we'll be heading East, towards Malaysia. I can't wait to be back there, after an absence of exactly 2 years. I am a big fan of ToDo lists, and love the feeling of marking an item "Done". So here's is my technology ToDo list before we fly! Before leaving, I want to Correct an error in my website's menu, which causes a problem when a new item is added under a collapsed node. (Done) Change Internet Service Provider. The current one is cheap, but doesn't allow much control from the ......

Question: How do you blog when you're away?

Next month we go to Malaysia (my wife is from there) and it would be great to blog "on the go". I am equipped with a Palm LifeDrive and a mobile phone, so I can either connect using WiFi (in McDonalds, Starbucks...) or even using GPRS on my mobile. What I am not sure of, however, is what the best way is to transmit my posts to the GeeksWithBlogs account. I tried using AvantGo or Blazer to post through the Admin webpage, and it works, but it's a little cumbersome. Ideally would be if there is a way ......

Welcome to my blog

Look at me, I got a new blog ;-) Before starting to post more technical things, I'd like to say a few words about myself. My name is Laurent, I am swiss, born in Lausanne in 1971. Currently I live not far from Zurich with my wife and my 2 daughters. I work as a software engineer for Siemens since 1996. My work has made me touch a lot of different programming languages and environment, starting with embedded C, and moving to embedded C++, then Java, and for the last 4 years working with .NET technologies. ......