Winners of Pete Brown's "Silverlight 5 In Action" Books

It's always a double-edged sword when I get to this point in a give-away... I want to give everyone something, but a deal is a deal :)

It's also only through the benevolence of the folks at Manning Press that I can even do this, so thank you!

The Winners

Getting right to it, the winners are:
Jaganadh G
Stephen Owens
Jan Hannemann

Notice there are 3 names, not 2... I was told late last week to pick a 3rd name, so thanks again Manning!

I've already received email from my contact, and they've been waiting for me to send them the email. You should be hearing from them shortly I think.

For everyone else, keep your eyes on my blog... as I told Manning, I like giving away other people's stuff :)

Have a great day, and if you're anywhere near Phoenix and interested in Silverlight, I'll see you tomorrow at the Scott Gu Event, and

Stay in the 'Light!

Use your own domain email and tired of SPAM? SPAMfighter FTW

I wouldn't post this if I hadn't tried it... and I paid for it myself, so don't anybody be thinking I'm reviewing something someone sent me!

Long ago and far away I got very tired of local ISPs and 2nd phone lines and took the plunge and got hooked up to cable... yeah I know the 2nd phone line concept may be hard for everyone to understand, but that's how it was in 'the old days'. To avoid having to change email addresses all the time, I decided to buy a domain name, get minimal hosting, and use that for all email into the house. That way if I changed providers, all the email addresses wouldn't have to change.

Of course, about a dozen domains later, I have LOTS of pop email addresses and even an exchange address to my client's server... times have changed.

What also has changed is the fact that we get SPAM... 'back in the day' when I was a beta tester for the first ISP in Phoenix, someone tried sending an ad to all of us, and what he got in return for his trouble was a bunch of core dumps that locked up his email... if you don't know what a core dump is, ask your grandfather.

But in today's world, we're all much more civilized than that, and as with many things, the criminals seem to have much more rights than we do, so we get inundated with email offering all sorts of wild schemes that you'd have to be brain-dead to accept, but yet... if people weren't accepting them, they'd stop sending them.

I keep hoping that survival of the smartest would weed out the mental midgets that respond and then the junk email stop, but that hasn't happened yet anymore than finding high-quality hearing aids at the checkout line of Safeway because of all the dimwits playing music too loud inside their car... but that's another whole topic and I digress.

So what's the solution for all the spam?

And I mean *all*... on that old personal email address, I am now getting over 150 spam messages a day! Yes I know that's why God invented the delete key, but I took it on as a challenge, and it's a matter of principle... why should I switch email addresses, or convert from dave@something.something to something else, or have all my email filtered through some service just because some A-Hole somewhere has a site up trying to phish Ma & Pa Kettle (ask your grandfather about that too) out of their retirement money?

Well... I got an email from my cousin the other day while I was writing yet another email rule, and there was a banner on the bottom of his email that said he was protected by SPAMfighter.

SPAMfighter huh.... so I took a look at their site, and found yet one more of the supposed tools to help us.

But... I read that they're a Microsoft Gold Partner... and that doesn't come lightly... so I took a gamble and here's what I found:

I installed it, and had to do a couple things:

1) SPAMfighter stuffed the SPAMfighter folder into my client's exchange address... I deleted it, made a new SPAMfighter folder where I wanted it to go, then in the SPAMfighter Client settings for Outlook, I told it to put all spam there.

2) It didn't seem to be doing anything. There's a ribbon button that you can select "Block", and I did that, wondering if I was 'training' it, but it wasn't picking up duplicates

3) I sent email to support, and wrote a post on the forum (note to self: reply to that post). By the time the folks from the home office responded, it was the next day, and first up, SPAMfighter knocked down everything that came through when Outlook opend... two thumbs up!

I disabled my 'garbage collection' rule from Outlook, and told Outlook not to use the junk folder thinking it was interfering.

4) Day 2 seemed to go about like Day 1... but I hung in there.

5) Day 3 is now a whole new day... I had left Outlook open and hadn't looked at the PC since sometime late yesterday afternoon, and when I looked this morning, *every bit* of spam was in the SPAMfighter folder!!

I'm a new paying customer

After watching SPAMfighter work this morning, I've purchased a 1-year license, and I now can sit and watch as emails come in and disappear from my inbox into the SPAMfighter folder.

No more continual tweaking of the rules. I've got SPAMfighter set to 'Very Hard' filtering... personally I'd rather pull the few real emails out of the SPAMfighter folder than pull spam out of the real folders.

Yes this is simply another way of using the delete key, but you know what? ... it feels good :)

Here's a screenshot of the stats after just about 48 hours of being onboard:

Note that all the ones blocked by me were during Day 1 and 2... I've blocked none today, and everything is blocked.


For a very short period of time today I noticed SPAMfighter was not fighting the good fight and then realized why it was not, and why it's been working sporadically.

During the workday and part of today, I was connected to my client's VPN which takes over the network connection and very clearly was blocking SPAMfighter from working. After I disconnected and returned later, about 30 spam messages had been trapped and nothing was left in my inbox... mystery solved!

Stay in the 'Light!

Two Copies of "Silverlight 5 In Action" to Give Away and a FREE chapter!

I know most of you have seen my post from Tuesday where I talked about giving away 2 copies of Pete's book on Monday morning July 18th.

Well... I'm repeating it, because it's a smoking deal... for the cost of an email you too can take a shot at getting Pete's latest released "Silverlight 5 In Action" free.

2 Important Pieces of Information

1) The deadline: midnight Sunday night, July 17, 2012, Arizona time... if you know me, you know I've lived here too long and am timezone stupid... so don't make me calculate it out :)

2) The how: I have a special email address for submittals:

3) oh yeah... I lied about only 2 pieces of info... number 3 ... there may be other surprises on Monday morning... 'nuff said

4) and just to pump up the volume on the book... how about a Free chapter you can read right here on Working with RSS and Atom!

5) send me an email and

Stay in the 'Light!

Two Copies of Pete Brown's "Silverlight 5 In Action" to Give Away

Yes... you read that correctly... I have two copies of Pete Brown's excellent book "Silverlight 5 In Action" to give away... if you're not familiar with Pete's book, here is a short synopsis for a large book:

Silverlight 5 in Action teaches you how to build desktop-quality applications you can deploy on the web. Beginners will appreciate the progression from simple examples to full applications that employ good design and coding practices. Seasoned . NET developers will love how the sample code embraces and extends what they already know.

As with other give-aways I've done on my blog, rather than me trying to pick the most worthy 2 people of all submittals, what I'm going to do is randomly select 2 entries from those that are submitted.

Email address for Submittals

I have a special email address for submittals:

Deadline for Submittals

I will take submittals dated from the time this post hits until midnight Sunday night, June 17, 2012 - Arizona time. That means sometime Monday morning June 18th, I will announce the winners.

Send in an email and good luck... it's a great book!

But wait, there's more!

If you don't want to wait until next Tuesday to get into Pete's book, or you don't figure you're that lucky to get one of the two I'm giving away, I also have a 39% off discount code for "Silverlight 5 In Action" if used at!!

Just order your book online, and use the discount code 12s5sc and you'll get the book on it's way immediately.

Either way you go... you won't be disappointed. I've been reading this as it goes and it is a treasure-trove of information.

Grab your copy, and

Stay in the 'Light!

Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, and Brady Gaster in Phoenix 6/19/2012

AZGroups 6/19/2012
Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, and Brady Gaster!

June is hot in Phoenix... and June 19th is just a week before what was the hottest we've ever had. AZGroups is going to give 6/26/1990 a run for it's money by having Scott Guthrie back in town for an all-day free event!

Scott is being joined this year by Scott Hanselman and Brady Gaster and will present on the following topics: Azure, ASP.NET, SignalR, and Web API.

Seating is great but limited

We're back to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts this year... great facility, and happy to be there, but there's only 800 seats.

This thing 'sells out' folks, so sign yourself up now before you find yourself without a seat when the music stops... and by 'sells out' I mean registers... there's no cost.

I'll see you there, and

Stay in the 'Light!

vNext Phoenix meeting tonight, May 2, 2012

vNext Phoenix

Come out to the first vNext Phoenix meeting tonight at Interface Technical Training.

Joe Guadagno of the Southwest Valley .Net UserGroup will be speaking on VS11:

"If you want to follow along, I will be going over the new features of the IDE, which you can download from I will also be covering some of the new features in .NET 4.5 like data binding for Web Forms."

I'll be bringing some giveaways along and there will be pizza, soft drinks, and networking before Joe's talk.

Come on down at 6PM tonight and join us at ITT on the NW corner of Central and Thomas in downtown Phoenix.

See you there!

Saving Telerik PersistenceFramework data to a string

In the project I'm involved with, we've been saving column arrangement and column width data for quite a while. I had a request to give the users a way to select which columns to display and it just seemed natural to include the display order with that data.

Recently I've been tasked with saving the filtering and sorting information as well. We're using the Telerik RadGrid, so I went to their site to find out how to do that.

Saving all sorts of Grid-related data to Isolated Storage was really easy as I'll show first. Saving that data to the database was a bit more involved. I'm not going to really fire off to SQL in this post, but I'm going to go as far as saving the data to a global string variable, and read it back.

Live Silverlight sample on the page, appropriate snippets of code discussed, and a download of the app at the end.

Read On

Moving UIElements around in Metro

I'm playing with some code for the First Apps Contest, and since I had to dig some of this out, I thought maybe others might be interested. Was just thinking that ratting through documentation and trying to make stuff work is very reminiscent of WPF/E back in... holy crap... December 2006... doesn't seem like 5 years ago!

Where to start

I figured the easiest thing to do would be to put a circle on the screen and move it around. This has *got* to be easier than drag/drop, right?

Well yes it is, but as with most things you gotta figure out where to poke it to make it work, and of course I got involved in other stuff so I made it a bit tougher than I needed. I called this "Application3", and it's like the last one except I'm not doing a snap pane on this one.

Read on...

One Month in... and things change...

One month in...

Well, it's been a month on the new site now.

I guess at first I thought everyone would just start following the new feed and the traffic would magically appear at WDN, but I still saw a lot of folks hitting GWB, presumably looking for good Silverlight links.

So I announced my postings at GWB to not leave anyone out of the loop.

And now I find that's annoyed some people... sorry about that!

I can't see cross-posting the posts completely, so you'll just have to go to the new site to see them I guess. is still up and still growing with every post. The aggregation there can be searched as always and if you have a driving desire to submit there vs submitting to WindowsDevNews, I'm still getting those emails.

When I blog, I am posting links to @SilverlightNews in addition to @WindowsDevNews, at least for now.

I am also still blogging all the links I was blogging before, the difference is now I'm also blogging other stuff as well.

The only real thing *YOU* need to change is the Feed location.

I'm not giving up this blog, I will announce new things as I go, and the history is here to be viewed.

As everyone is aware, some things have changed, and that causes other changes.

Stay in the 'Light!

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