Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

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 - and Guy Smith Ferrier also passed on his compliments about my session - 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 -

I also managed to see Barry Dorrans' session on Information Card - 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:

DDD5 Agenda Up and Registration Open

June 1, 2007 00:05 by Andrew Westgarth

The agenda for DDD5 on Saturday 30th June has now bee published and registration is now open for further details go to

I will be delivering my IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers session, thanks to those who voted for me, looking forward to the event.

DDD5 Voting - Last Week!

May 14, 2007 14:59 by Andrew Westgarth

Developer Day 5 session voting is into it's last week. The voting closes on the 19th May 2007, so the next few days are your last chance to vote for the sessions you want to see at Developer Day 5 on Saturday 30th June 2007. The agenda is due to be published on 26th May 2007 and then registration is set to be opened on 28th May 2007!

Developer Developer Developer Day 5 - Date Announced

February 15, 2007 01:06 by Andrew Westgarth

The date's been announced for Developer Developer Day 5. Craig Murphy announced that the planned date for DDD5 is Saturday 30th June 2007. I will post more details about this eagerly anticipated and very popular event as and when they become available. If you are considering speaking or doing a GrokTalk, start thinking about your topic and what you would like to cover as the Call For Speakers is hopefully going to be announced on the 24th March 2007.

To keep up to date with DDD information why not subscribe to the RSS Feed.

Developer Day 4!

December 4, 2006 21:20 by Andrew Westgarth

This weekend I went down to Microsoft UK, Reading, for Developer Developer Developer Day 4. This is a day run by the community for the community and is hosted by Microsoft but is completely the community's event. This is an excellent event and I have managed to attend DDD2, 3 and 4. I really enjoy it and although it is a 600 mile round trip for me to go to Reading and back I find the trip very worthwhile. The format of DDD is a day of technical seminars by community Speakers and at DDD4 topics covered included - How to Write Crap C#, Enterprise Library, WF, Microsoft Robotics Studio, Securing apps and comms in ASP.Net, Asynchronous Processing in SQL Server 2005 to name but a few.

This time we also had Grok Talks at lunchtime which gave attendees to present on a topic for ten minutes covering something they're into and think is pretty cool. This was the first time this had been tried and was very well received. Topics included Microsoft Windows Vista Speech - which is very cool, Writing apps for Media Centre, DIY Certifcates and Http Modules. This was a very welcome addition to the day and gave delegates a chance to have a go at speaking.

There will be more DDDs in the next twelve months and I suggest adding the DDD Feed to your aggregator to keep an eye out for announcements as they appear.


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