Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Vista and Office Launch Online!

January 18, 2007 11:41 by Andrew Westgarth

The official in person Windows Vista and Office 2007 Launch Event in Reading has been full for a long time now, but the great news is that you can take part in the launch event online. The Keynote is being streamed over the internet and can be viewed by all you don't need to register just remember this URL - and go there tomorrow to see all of the sessions and the keynote on the web!

There are also copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 for you to win if you take part in the day 2 coding sessions online. These are two practical scenarios wherehy you will have a chance to develop a solution for Windows Vista and Office 2007! Cool! Mike Ormond and Ian Moulster have posted more information about this.

Go to the URL NOW - and bookmark it then set up a reminder in Outlook and remember to go back tomorrow and take part in this unique Online Launch event!

I will be at the event on and around the VBUG come and say hello and tell me what you think about the event, ask about VBUG and if you have any feedback about my blog then please let me know.

Students - Interested in an Industrial Placement at Microsoft?

January 16, 2007 23:47 by Andrew Westgarth

Microsoft are currently advertising for Students to apply for a placement with them in the UK. The key theme is that Microsoft would like you to pitch your passion and tell them why they should offer you a work placement? You need to register for places on the tour events in order to pitch to the panel of Judges. They are holding four events - Midlands 5th February 2007, London 7th February 2007, Manchester 9th February 2007 and Edinburgh 16th February. Places are filling fast so register today. For further information and to register go to

Advanced Security Training for ASP.NET Developers

January 16, 2007 23:47 by Andrew Westgarth

The guys at NxtGenUG are teaming up with Dinis Cruz once again to offer an excellent two day security training course. The course will cover topics such as security principles, .Net Framework Architecture, Threat Modelling, Vulnerabilities, Secure Coding and many more. Dinis Cruz is a very passionate security expert and is very keen on training developers to develop secure applications and to do everything they can to prevent attacks. He is a very passionate speaker and I have had the pleasure of seeing him at a number of events and have enjoyed the information he has presented and I learn a lot every time I see him present. This is a course well worth taking a look at. For more details please go to If you attend the course why not let me know how you get on?

VBUG: EVO (Exchange, Vista and Office) VBUG Launch

January 14, 2007 19:41 by Andrew Westgarth

On Tuesday 30th January 2007 VBUG are holding our very EVO Launch event in Newcastle. Here are the details:

January 2007 sees the consumer launch of the latest version of Microsoft?s flagship product ? Microsoft Windows Vista. Along with Vista, the eagerly anticipated Office 2007 &Exchange 2007 are also released. Join us as we take a tour round the new features of Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007 & Exchange 2007. Learn about the new features that can be developed against. We will also explore the recently released .Net Framework 3.0 and look ahead to the coming year.

Venue: Innovation Place Metro Riverside Park, Delta Bank Road, Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle upon Tyne. NE11 9DJ. Conference Room 3

Time: 18:30 - 21:00 (19:00 Start)

To register mail or call 01753 649680

I look forward to seeing you there!

CES - So Many New Toys! - Windows Vista SideShow

January 14, 2007 19:26 by Andrew Westgarth

This past week has seen the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Being Held in Las Vegas. I have been monitoring the event closely through Engadget's coverage. I have been taking particular note of the flurry of Windows SideShow Devices that have been presented to market to be available with Microsoft Windows Vista.

Windows Vista SideShow is a technology which enables manufacturers to incorporate auxillary displays in their hardware. These auxillary displays can then be used to access data from the device without having to power it up. For example, laptop manufacturers can place an auxillary display on lid of the laptop, which enables the user to access calendar information, email or even their music collection without having to fully power up the laptop, therefore increasing battery life, convenience and usability. How many times have you gone to a meeting and then forgotten which room the meeting was in and had to fire up your laptop and outlook to check? Now you don't need to you can use a Windows Vista SideShow device.

Gadgets can be developed for SideShow along the lines of the current Windows Vista SideBar Gadgets and to see a few check out the gallery on

For more information on developing for SideShow and some of the devices available check out Daniel Moth's Blog, Channel 9 and Channel 10 for their coverage of Windows Vista SideShow.

Devices already identified as possible users of SideShow are Laptops, keyboards, Remote Controls and Mobile Phones.

CES 2007 has seen a plethora of devices come to market and I have a few details about just three that have caught my eye.


This is a new laptop from ASUS, the original concept of which was see in a Channel 9 video back in May and it looked very cool then and now a production model has been showcased. The official from ASUS shows the W5fe ASUS W5Fe Laptop boasts an impressive specification, and the auxillary display has 1GB of Flash Memory to store information for Windows Vista SideShow, be it music or video files, or calendar information etc. The guys at Engadget have had a hands on look at the W5Fe.


This is another laptop showcased at CES which has been released with a Windows Vista SideShow auxillary display. I have found very little information about the Z1 LG Z1 With SideShow laptop apart from the information from Engadget at CES. It looks to be a very smart device, although I am unsure about the white keyboard. Plus I didn't have a clue that LG produces Laptops but I am now aware of this in their product portfolio, although it only appears they distribute in the far east as opposed to Europe and the US.

Eleksen Messenger Bag with Windows Vista SideShow

A use of SideShow which intrigues me is the use of an auxillary display on a Messenger Bag from Eleksen. This bag was unveiled at CES and allows the user to access their laptop from the outside of the bag using Windows Vista SideShow. Eleksen Messenger Bag Withe SideShow This is potentially a very useful way to use the power of Windows Vista SideShow - what do you think?

Along with these great devices there were a number of SideShow enabled devices covered by Engadget at CES there were a large number of Remote Controls showcased and these will have massive use with Media Center. I expect to see a large number of SideShow enabled devices coming to market in the next six months as manufacturers take advantage of it's many possibilities.


MSDN/TechNet Roadshow 2007 - Register Now to Avoid Disappointment

January 11, 2007 13:28 by Andrew Westgarth

Hi, back in December I posted the dates for the 2007 MSDN/TechNet Roadshow. As usual registration is filling up quickly and some events are already full and have a waiting list.

If you want to attend any of these events please register soon to avoid disappointment! I'll be attending the MSDN Roadshow in Harrogate, say hi if you see me there!

WebDD BackNetwork

January 9, 2007 23:30 by Andrew Westgarth

For the WebDD there is a Backnetwork setup. This is a social networking site and has been set up to accompany the WebDD Conference. More details can be found on the WebDD website. You can register yourself on the Backnetwork and create a profile and contact network. Also any posts you make on Blogs and images you put on flickr should be tagged WebDD so that the Backnetwork site can scan and link to them.

WEBDD - 3rd February 2007 - Registration Now Open!

January 9, 2007 00:59 by Andrew Westgarth

As previously posted on this blog, Phil Winstanley announced Web DD. This is a FREE event run on a Saturday at Microsoft in Reading. Sessions and speakers have been announced and some of the headline speakers include Scott Guthrie, Dave Verwer and Hristo Deshev.

The great news is that registration is now open, it is expected that this will fill up as quickly as the DDD events, so register quickly to secure your place at this much anticipated event! I'll be there so say hello!

Technorati Profile

January 5, 2007 15:48 by Andrew Westgarth

Technorati Profile

RANT: Christmas not xmas!

December 22, 2006 13:10 by Andrew Westgarth

There are only a few things in life that really get my back up but one that really does at this time of year is the shortening of Christmas to xmas! I'm not deeply religious, but I have been brought up as a Catholic, the correct term is Christmas! This is the one time of the year when Christians celebrate the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. As has been commented numerous times before by many, don't take the Christ out of Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year!


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