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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Great Article on Developing Modules and Handlers for IIS7 using .Net

August 16, 2007 14:44 by Andrew Westgarth

Mike Volodarsky, a Program Manager on Microsoft's IIS Team, has published a great Blog Post on developing modules and handlers for IIS7 using .Net.  The post goes through how to decide which to develop, which tools you need and how to develop modules and handlers and deploy them to an IIS7 server.  This posting is well worth looking at if you are interested in IIS7 Development,

This is the start of an IIS7 .Net Developer series, so keep an eye on Mike's blog for more content coming soon.

Categories: ASP.Net | How To | IIS
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TechNet on the Road and Vista After Hours

August 16, 2007 14:43 by Andrew Westgarth

Earlier this week these two events were highlighted by Phil Cross of Microsoft in an email I received.  TechNet on the Road will be running in Reading, London, Manchester, NEWCASTLE and Falkirk.  Vista After Hours is running in Manchester, NEWCASTLE, Falkirk and London.   These look to be great events for IT Pros and even for Developers who have an interest.

The following information on the events was taken from the latest Technet Flash Newsletter:

TechNet on the Road
This new-style TechNet event, featuring powerful product demos, will start by explaining the environment we'll be working in, and then use Windows Deployment Services to jump straight into a server deployment. The new server will form part of a server cluster. We'll generate workloads to run on the cluster, using Windows Server Virtualisation, with which we'll create a number of Virtual Machines - Domain Controller, DNS and DHCP VMs. We'll also create a Windows Server 2008 'Server Core' installation. Next we'll explore clustering further, specifically the failing over of workloads between nodes. We'll close with a session dedicated to managing this infrastructure, using tools such as System Centre Operations Manager (SCOM, formerly Microsoft Operations Manager, MOM), System Centre Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and PowerShell, the fantastic new command-line shell and scripting language.

20 September 2007, Manchester: Creating and Managing a Virtual environment on the Microsoft Platform

21 September 2007, Reading: Creating and Managing a Virtual Environment on the Microsoft Platform

25 September 2007, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Creating and Managing a Virtual environment on the Microsoft Platform

27 September 2007, Falkirk: Creating and Managing a Virtual environment on the Microsoft Platform

03 October 2007, London: Creating and Managing a Virtual Environment on the Microsoft Platform

Vista After Hours
You may be familiar with Windows Vista at work - whether you have deployed it or are evaluating it - but have you ever thought about the possibilities of Vista outside work? This session, aimed at IT professionals, explores not only the built in elements of Vista (such as Search, Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and the Networking and Sharing Centre) but also how you can extend your Windows Vista Experience with Windows Media Centre, Xbox 360 and specific applications to open up a new world of gaming and home entertainment.

20 September 2007, Manchester: Vista After Hours

25 September 2007, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Vista After Hours

27 September 2007, Falkirk: Vista After Hours

03 October 2007, London: Vista After Hours


I am thinking of attending at least the Vista After Hours event in Newcastle and maybe the full day on Windows Server 2008 too, so if you're attending I might see you there!

Calling all Non .Net Programmers

August 15, 2007 11:14 by Andrew Westgarth

Did you know that the .Net framework is free?  This is something which is less well known I guess as many assume there is a cost involved.  I've been reading this great post from Ian Moulster on this very subject and he highlights a site within MSDN that Microsoft have developed to highlight how non .Net Programmers can get into .Net Programming, download the framework and free tools for developing with .Net such as Visual Web Developer, Visual C# Express and Visual Basic Express and even SQL Server Express.

The new site can be found at and gives some steps into learning .Net whichever background you come from i.e. Java and JSP, PHP or ColdFusion. 

This site might event be of use to current .Net Developers who are still getting to grips with the .Net Framework.

BarCamp mobileCampLondon

August 15, 2007 11:14 by Andrew Westgarth

I was sent a mail today informing me of a BarCamp event running in London, concerning mobile development.  This has always been an area of intrigue for myself and something I've wanted to have a look into for a while (especially as I now have a Windows Mobile 6 XDA Orbit - very cool device). Indeed I'm looking forward to hopefully catching Tony Whitter's session at the Annual VBUG Conference in October.

The BarCamp event is on Saturday 29th September in London and for more details go to 

If mobile development is of interest and you are in London, or going to be, or will make the trip for this event, check it out.  Also for other BarCamp events check out

Categories: Events
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Blog Engine

August 13, 2007 01:47 by Andrew Westgarth

The reason why I've not been very active in my blogging recently is the time it takes currently to post an entry.  Currently it is very time consuming for me to post a new entry due to the model behind my Blog.  I built the blog based on an article by Bipin Joshi in ASP.Net Pro Magazine last year.  My plan was to develop the blog and add multiple items to it and make it easier for me to post on.

I have been looking at multiple engines to use and came across a project on CodePlex which appears to be very good.  I am likely to implement this after some testing and customisation.  Does anyone else out there use this?  What are your opinions of it?  Are there any other engine's you recommend?

VBUG Election Results

August 13, 2007 01:45 by Andrew Westgarth

About 10 days ago, the VBUG elections results were announced and I am delighted to announce that I have been elected Chairman, and Tim Leung has been elected Vice Chairman.  Both myself and Tim are very, very excited about the next two years in our roles.  We have some great ideas and plans for the way in which VBUG can move forward over that time, initially we are addressing the first 6-12 months but will also be looking to plan for the following year too.  We will be working hard with the team in the VBUG office and our excellent Regional Coordinators to provide VBUG Members and the community with the best level of support we can offer.

Tim's comments on his appointment:

I am delighted to have been elected Vice Chair and wish to thank all of those who voted for me. I would also like to thank Mark and George for the hard work that they have put into the group over the last 2 years.

Both Andy and I are enthusiastic about the challenges that we face and we look forward to bringing some positive improvement to VBUG. I hope that this fresh change in leadership will revitalise the group and I shall work hard to achieve the goals that we have set ourselves.

My comments on my appointment:

First and foremost, I would like to issue a huge thank you to all who have voted for me in this year?s election. I am very, very pleased to have been elected Chairman and I am very much looking forward to the next two years in the role. I would like to echo Tim's sentiments and issue my thanks also to Mark and George for their sterling work that they put into VBUG as Chairman and Vice Chairman over the past two years.

As was evident by the thoughts of both Tim and myself in the run up to the election, we have a number of ideas of where we'd like to see VBUG develop and how to do that. I am looking forward, very much, to working with Tim to deliver on our thoughts for the VBUG membership.

We are in a very rapidly developing community and indeed industry, and because of this, both myself and Tim will be looking to start planning how we will deliver on our aims for VBUG, initially over the next 6-12 months and then onto the following 12. We both look forward to meeting and talking to all of our members as we visit the various regional groups over the coming two years, at the Annual conference, and please come up and say hello if you see us at any of the many developer community events around the country.

Once again, thanks for your support, and I hope to meet and talk with many of you soon

Categories: VBUG | UK Community
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Win a ticket to TechEd Developers with NxtGenUG and Microsoft.

August 6, 2007 10:16 by Andrew Westgarth

NxtGenUG is offering one lucky winner a ticket to Microsoft?s premier European developer conference : TechEd Developers in Barcelona : November 5th - 9th 2007. To be in with a chance to win the ticket register on the NxtGenUG site and enter the TechEd ticket treasure hunt. [Terms and conditions apply]. Visit the NxtGenUG TechEd home page for more details...


July 27, 2007 14:33 by Andrew Westgarth

Facebook Logo 

I've recently got into the social network phenomenon which is Facebook, primarily it is a way for me to keep in touch with a very special friend who is travelling at the moment. But also this is a great way to catch up with people you haven't seen for ages, don't see regulary and meet new people.

Within Facebook there are numerous groups and so I've set up a group for VBUG, when you login to Facebook search in groups for VBUG and join, it's that simple.

There is also a great developer story behind Facebook and I hope to take a look at that soon, I'll let you know how I get on when I get time to look at it.

Categories: Facebook | VBUG
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MIX:07 UK! - Registration Open Now!!

July 27, 2007 14:30 by Andrew Westgarth

MIX:07 UK Logo

Registration opened this week for MIX:07 UK. There is an early bird price on offer at present of £199 which is only available till 10th August. There is a great line up planned and this looks to be a great event. To register to the MIX:07 UK website -

Squadron Scramble!!! Bandits Heading 120 Make Angels 20!

July 20, 2007 01:22 by Andrew Westgarth

I got in tonight and had an email from Richard Costall, telling  me the latest NxtGenUG Podcast - Number 37 - The One the Makes Your Ears Bleed! - was available for download.

This is a completely different type of podcast from a user group - it has no technical content.  The recording was made at the recent Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.  This is an amazing event for all Air Enthusiasts and features historic and world leading aircraft with everything from Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster (My Favourite!) to the latest Typhoon (Eurofighter)!

In the Podcast Dave and rich talk to the organisers, ground crew (erks), Air Cadets, hear about the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (A Charity set up to get an Avro Vulcan flying again!) and Dave commentates on an F-18 Display.  The sound effects are amazing!  Go and listen to it now it really perked me up and I've now dug out from the video collection (yes I still have some!) the Battle of Britain!!

On the subject of Airshows, next Saturday and Sunday (28th & 29th July 2007) sees the return of the Sunderland Airshow - The largest free Airshow in Europe.  This is something I look forward to every year and can't wait once again to attend both days - hopefully with the use of my new Camera I'll be able to post some excellent photos to my flickr account.

Tally Ho!


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