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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Sparkling Websites and New Enhancements for the MS Web Platform Announced

September 24, 2009 14:42 by Andrew Westgarth

This morning Scott Guthrie announced a new program to help Small Web Development Companies (10 employees or less) and individual Web Developers who develop Web Sites and Services.  The program runs for three years is free to join, all that is payable is a $100 fee on exit.  Benefits of the program include:

  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2 – licenses;
  • SQL Server 2008 licenses;
  • 1 Expression Studio 3 license;
  • 2 Expression Web licenses;
  • 3 Visual Studio 2008 Professional licenses
  • and more…

For full details of the announcement see Scott Guthrie’s blog post and to register visit the WebsiteSpark portal.

Announcements from the IIS Team

Today has been a day for announcements with the IIS Team also announcing a list of new releases – Bill Staples has full details of the releases – which are:

For more information refer to and to Bill’s blog post, I’m off to read up on today’s great announcements.

Categories: ASP.Net | IIS | Microsoft
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VBUG Newcastle – W2008R2 and Windows 7 - Links

July 8, 2009 14:45 by Andrew Westgarth

Thanks to Richard Fennell for stepping into the breach this evening and covering the content for us so well.  As soon as I have a link for the slides from the event, I’ll publish it here on this post.

In the meantime here is the link for you to be able to get a key for the Windows 7 Release Candidates you may have picked up at the event -

Keep an eye on this blog and Jon Noble’s for more information on forthcoming events for September onwards – enjoy the summer!!

UPDATE! – Here’s a a link to download a pdf of last night’s slides -

Monkey Decides to Go On His Travels!

July 8, 2009 06:01 by Andrew Westgarth

Nope not me, although I am planning a three week trip to Australia later this year to visit friends, but Timmy my partner in crime.  A couple of Friday’s ago I got to work and noticed that he was missing from his place on my desk and all that was left was this note:

Timmy's Au Revoir Letter

Well he returned to my desk on Monday, so I guess he’s had a bit of fun and is back for a while.  I suppose I’d better take him on my travels a little more often then!  Some pictures of his travels have appeared online:

Collage of Timmy's Holiday Snaps

Awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2009

July 1, 2009 15:53 by Andrew Westgarth

Today I received an email from Microsoft to tell me I’d been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2009, to follow the award which I received in 2008.  I am very pleased, and once again extremely humble to be associated with a great group of very clever people around the globe.  I hope I can continue to server the community in the best way possible over the next year!  First thing on my list is more blog posts as I’ve been neglecting my blog over the last six months and I have lots of content to cover!!

Categories: MVP | Microsoft
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WebDD ‘09 – Saturday 18th April 2009 – Registration Open!!!

March 30, 2009 01:47 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes folks, WebDD is on Saturday 18th April 2009 and REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for this great community event, it’s free to attend and held at Microsoft’s UK Campus in Reading – register now -

I’ll be delivering a session on the Web Deployment Tool and there is a great line up of speakers and sessions –

There are limited places so don’t miss out – register now!!!

VBUG Newcastle: PowerShell 0-60 in One Evening – Tuesday 24th March 2009

March 19, 2009 05:09 by Andrew Westgarth

Damn, just noticed this has been sat in my blog drafts folder :( Hope this catches people in time.

The next VBUG Newcastle meeting will be held at Newcastle University on Tuesday 24th March 19:00-21:00 (18:45 registration) and will be delivered by Jonathan Noble who will be doing a session on PowerShell:

Windows PowerShell has been around since 2006, but now that version 2 will ship on the desktop in Windows 7, as well as being in Microsoft's Common Engineering Criteria and several 3rd party products, PowerShell is becoming increasingly compelling. While it is based on the .Net framework, you don't have to be a .Net Developer to use it; PowerShell is relevant to the GUI-based sys admin, the scripter and fully-fledged developers too. This session will go from dipping a first toe in the water, to productive use of PowerShell, via a collection of free tools and resources that will help you get up to speed quickly.

Jonathan joined Newcastle University's Computing Service in the summer of 1999, just in nice time for an early migration from NT4 to Windows 2000. One of his early challenges was to deal with the provisioning of user accounts in the new Active Directory, which led to a lot of work with scripting and eventually a fully-fledged identity management system running on SQL Server, with an ASP.Net interface. Being a scripter in the world of Windows hasn't always been easy, with everything exposing different interfaces, be they COM, WMI or something altogether more wild and wacky, which is why he immediately fell in love with PowerShell - a single language he could use to manage AD, Exchange, IIS, SQL and even VMWare! Jonathan has recently presented on PowerShell to the UK powerShell User Group and When he's not PowerShelling, Jonathan enjoys watching NBA Basketball with his Son and Twittering (@JoNoble).
Venue: Room 118, Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU, GB
Start Time: 18:30
Price: FREE
More Info: Further Information and Register for the Event

To register (it’s FREE!!!) go to

24 Hours of Firsts

February 28, 2009 20:45 by Andrew Westgarth
The 24 hours I'm currently writing this post in are all about firsts. First I've just got back from my first ever live gig, and first ever experience of Metallica live! I've been to the Sheffield Arena for the latest leg of Metallica's Death Magnetic tour, it was f***ing AWESOME!!!! Can't wait to do it again! Note to self - why has it taken 28 years for this to happen???? WTF!!

Secondly I'm currently sitting in the departure lounge at Newcastle Airport waiting for my flight to Amsterdam and then onto Seattle for my first MVP Summit! Looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones in what looks to be a packed week ahead!!

Alt.Net ‘In the North’ Conference – Registration opens at Noon!

February 24, 2009 01:47 by Andrew Westgarth

Last week Richard Fennell sent through details about an Alt.Net Open Space Conference he has helped organise in Bradford on 17th/18th April 2009.

The event will be hosted by Black Marble at their office in Bradford, West Yorkshire, and there will be space for 50 attendees. The format will be the same as previous UK conferences.

  • A planning session on Friday the 17th April from 7pm to 8:30pm, followed by a trip to a bar to socialise
  • The open spaces sessions from 9am to 4:30pm on Saturday 18th April.

Registration opens at noon today so if this is something you are interested in find out more at

VBUG NEWCASTLE : REARRANGED Parallel Programming in .Net (VS2010) with Eric Nelson Now 24th February

February 8, 2009 12:52 by Andrew Westgarth

I’m pleased to announce that we have rearranged Eric Nelson’s session on Parallel Programming in .Net (VS2010), which was unfortunately cancelled due to the poor weather, and the event will now be held on TUESDAY 24th FEBRUARY at the same venue.  Please register for the event, even if you had register for the previous date, at I look forward to seeing you there!

EVENT CANCELLED: VBUG Newcastle 3/2/2009 Parallel Programming in .Net

February 2, 2009 13:25 by Andrew Westgarth

Unfortunately due to the adverse weather conditions we are experiencing across the UK at the moment, we have had to cancel tomorrow night's event.  Unfortunately Eric is not able to make the trip up at this time due to being grounded at the Airport tonight.  We hope to rearrange the event as soon as possible.


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