Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Calling all VBUG Members - VBUG Needs You!

July 17, 2007 01:44 by Andrew Westgarth

This month sees the VBUG Elections for VBUG Chair and Vice Chair. The term of office of 2 years for our current Chair and Vice Chair has passed and VBUG Members are now voting on who will be the next Chairman and Vice Chairman of VBUG. Current Chairman Mark Anderson was recently elected to Bournemouth Council in the Local Elections and as such is not standing for relection.

I am standing for the role of Chairman and I encourage all VBUG Members to register their one vote for VBUG Chairman and VBUG Vice Chairman. Also to all of our corporate members remember you have at least five memberships so have five pairs of votes. Please use them, this is your chance to influence the path in which VBUG grows over the coming months and years. I have put the details of the election and the manifestos of those standing up for all to view - http://www.andrewwestgarth.co.uk/VBUG/vbugelections.htm. Please vote and influence your group.

Categories: VBUG | UK Community
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Reading Coordinator and Vice Chair Nominee, Tim Leung, has a Blog

July 17, 2007 01:43 by Andrew Westgarth

Tim Leung, VBUG Reading Coordinator and Vice Chair Nominee has started blogging - I encourage you to add his feed to your list and keep an eye on his posts. http://dotnettim.spaces.live.com/.

VBUG - Ruby On Rails with Dave Verwer

July 17, 2007 01:43 by Andrew Westgarth

Last Wednesday we had an excellent session in Newcastle presented by Dave Verwer and hosted kindly by Northern Rock. The subject was Ruby On Rails and I really enjoyed the session and the feedback from the attendees indicate that they felt the same. This was a very informative and interesting session. I knew very little about Ruby or Rails and have now learned enough to get going - time permitting. The main thing I took away from the concept is that the structure makes it very simple to do things write, i.e. basic structures for Unit Tests etc are created so there's no excuse really for not implementing them.

To get the slides and to find out more about Dave visit his site - http://daveverwer.com/2007/7/16/slides-from-my-presentations.

I have some pictures of the event and will upload them to Flickr and put up a link soon.

Guy Smith-Ferrier Is an MVP!

July 17, 2007 01:10 by Andrew Westgarth

Great news, Guy has been recognised as an MVP - http://www.guysmithferrier.com/trackback.aspx?Entry=133

This is great news and recognises the excellent work that Guy does in the Community. I am currently working with Guy and other Community Leaders to try and arrange for Guy to speak in the North of England, watch this space for more news. We are all very pleased to have the opportunity to have Guy visit our user groups and I recommend you to keep an eye out for registration details for events later this year!

NxtGenUG Podcasts - How To and DDD5

July 17, 2007 01:06 by Andrew Westgarth

Recently Richard Costall and Dave McMahon gave a presentation at Community Leaders Day - an event for Community Leaders at Microsoft TVP, UK - on the subject of Podcasting. Indeed they even recorded a Podcast, showed us how to publish it and edit it Live in the session. They have made the podcast available to all and if it's something you are interested in I recommend a listen - http://www.nxtgenug.net/Podcasts.aspx?PodcastID=35.

While at DDD5 Dave McMahon caught up with me for an interview on IIS7 and my experiences of starting to speak on the circuit at national and local events. This podcast also contains interviews with attendees, speakers and organisers of DDD5, excellent work once again - to listen to the DDD5 podcast use this link - http://www.nxtgenug.net/Podcasts.aspx?PodcastID=36 also why you're there why not check out their other podcasts

July : No Events + Spare Time + Andy's DIY = Not A Good Idea

July 17, 2007 00:58 by Andrew Westgarth

Now the events and speaking engagements have gone quiet for the summer break, I find myself with too much spare time on my hands. This is another example as to why July 2007 has been a very bad month for me personally. First with the loss of my powerpack, a blocked filter in my washing machine (which I've now fixed) and other personal issues, July hasn't been a great month for me so far.

The weekend after DDD5 I was busy getting the house ready so I could help a very dear friend out. I later found that my friend had made alternative arrangements and so my efforts were not needed. However this was a job I was planning to do soon before the winter and I suppose was better it happened now than in the Winter.

My back room has a conservatory attached and for a while now I've been wanting to put up new curtains to cover the doors (Mainly during the Winter) but also to try and cool the house down. I started by hanging new Curtains on the front window - Fine! I then tackled the Conservatory Doors. I'd borrowed a Hammer Drill and went about my work early on the Saturday morning. Got the majority of the brackets up for the new curtain rail. There were a couple I wasn't happy with (I had just screwed these in), so I thought I'd do a proper job and secure them properly while I had use of a Hammer Drill.

What a mistake to make! I managed to drill right through a water pipe!!! I had water everywhere but fortunately the stop valve was nearby so I managed to stop the flow quickly and no major damage except to the wall and pipe was done. Fortunately I had a level of insurance/cover and so I called out an emergency plumber - thanks to Northumbrian Water's Homeserve Program! I then had to wait in for the plumber, get it sorted and now I have a plastering to do! Both my Uncle and the Plumber have said they're surprised there's water pipes where they are but I think it is to do with the work done when the conservatory was put in and the kitchen taken out. Hey its a mistake and I'm sure everyone's done something of equal magnitude at some point but it just put another major downer on the month so far!

Damaged Wall Landscape ImageDamed Pipes Portrait Image

No Power!

July 17, 2007 00:41 by Andrew Westgarth

The reason why it's been so long since I posted on my blog, and why there are so many posts together is that I left my Power Pack at MS UK after delivering my session at DDD5. We haven't been located and so I've had to replace it :-(. After driving 300 miles home on the Saturday I didn't realise I didn't have it till I went to charge my laptop on the Sunday morning! It was like having my right arm cut off. I managed to do some work at home, but I desperately need to tidy up my office (My loft) so I can get some work done up there too! I've managed to get one now and I'm back up and running!

New Dell Powerpack

DDD5 - A Great Day, A Surge and an Outage

July 17, 2007 00:30 by Andrew Westgarth

You may look at the title of this post and wonder what on earth I'm on about! Well this is my first post since DDD5 and there's a story behind why.

DDD5 was a great day and had been eagerly awaited by many including me, as this was biggest speaking engagement so far! I woke up early on the Saturday morning, raring to go only to find that the lady who was due to cook breakfast at the B&B Dave McMahon, Fellow Speaker, and I were staying at, had not turned in (we later found she was not well). So we headed off to DDD to get prepared and briefed. I was on first in Chicago 2! When I first saw the agenda about eight weeks ago, I was surprised to see my session was so popular. This was both very pleasing but daunting too.

I had a good attendance in my session on IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers. The topic seemed well received, some swag, namely the famous Microsoft socks, was distributed to quite an interactive crowd, for 9:30 on a Saturday morning. Lee Dale has a post on his experience in the session and during DDD5 - http://leedale.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/ddd5-at-microsoft-tvp-reading/ and Guy Smith Ferrier also passed on his compliments about my session - http://www.guysmithferrier.com/trackback.aspx?Entry=131. I got a major buzz from speaking at DDD and there in lies the surge behind the title. I didn't realise the adrenalin buzz I got from delivering my session, I was totally wired. I realised this when my body went in to shutdown during Richard Fennell's session on Visual Studio Team System. This was a great session and reminded me of the great features available for project and code management in TFS, this is the first time I'd seen a session on VSTS since the VS2005 launch events. My sincere apologies to Richard if it looked as though I was dropping off on the front row in his session, I was just consumed by a complete drain of energy after my session. Richard your session was great and I really enjoyed it.

The rest of the day was very enjoyable as ever and these events are definitely a must attend ever more evident by the speed in which registration is filled. This year less than 5 days!! I went to a very light and thought provoking session by Dave Sussman on CSS and it was good to see I had been having the same issues as many others but that my knowledge was also better than I thought! I also managed to see an interesting and light session on the SDK that BT have released - a session entitled How to make a Phone Ring with one line of code! - For more details on the SDK visit the BT site - http://web21c.bt.com.

I also managed to see Barry Dorrans' session on Information Card - http://idunno.org/archive/2007/06/30/an-introduction-to-information-card.aspx. This was the first time I've managed to catch this session, and it was very interesting and great to learn more about an area I knew very little about. Barry's sessions are always very informative and he manages to strike a good balance between content and humour and keeps audiences enthralled throughout.

On the Friday before DDD5 myself and numerous other Community Leaders met with Microsoft DPE to discuss the community needs, how we could all work together and learn from each other. These are very useful days and it is worth noting the massive support we are given by the team at Microsoft and indeed throughout the UK Community. By working together we hope to be able to service the needs of developers nationwide.

The slides and demos for my session - IIS 7 for ASP.Net Developers can be downloaded using the following links:

MIX UK! - September 11th & 12th 2007

June 24, 2007 23:43 by Andrew Westgarth

MIX:07 UK Logo

Last week Microsoft announced the forthcoming MIX:07 2 day conference in the UK. This is lined up to be a UK based event based on the MIX event held in Las Vegas in April, however the content will be updated to reflect developments since then.

Registration is not open yet, however to register your interest in the event and to get all the info as soon as it's available visit the MIX:07 UK website - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/mix07/

Developing Web Applications using Visual Studio 2005 and IIS7

June 21, 2007 10:39 by Andrew Westgarth

I got into work this morning and checked my feeds and noticed this post - Solution/Hotfix: Developing web applications using Visual Studio 2005 and IIS7 from the Web Development Tools Team.

A hotfix has been released for Visual Studio 2005 to aid F5 debugging with Visual Studio 2005 and it also enables debugging with Vista Home Versions! Check it out now!



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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