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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

WebDD - Review

February 4, 2007 21:07 by Andrew Westgarth

Yesterday I attended the first WebDD event at Microsoft Campus, Reading, UK. Once again this involved a 600 mile plus, roundtrip from my home in the North East of England. Was it worth it?

Oh Yes! This was another great event and big pat on the back must go to Phil, Dave and the rest of the team for organising such a great day!. Big quodos for getting Scott Guthrie to attend and speek on so many interesting topics. He was a big pull and I haven't seen crowds like there were, pushing to get into his sessions, I likened it to crowds at a footie match to one delegate! Unfortunately for the speakers in the other two rooms they had a hard time of it from what I hear as unfortunately some of their attendees only attended some sessions because they couldn't get into Scott's. That said seeing as the sessions in Chicago One were being recorded all day, I took the opportunity to see a session by Bruce Lawson who covered "Web Accessibility: What, Why, How and Who Cares?"

Bruce gave a very interesting a humourous session discussing an area which I feel very passionate about and one which I do try to work towards. I have been interested in Web Accessibility since the final year of my degree, indeed I covered Web Accessibility for a research chapter in my degree, and also have an interest in Human Computer Interaction since being introduced to the concept in my first year of Uni. Bruce outlined reasons for having accessible web sites and even provided a couple of examples of where it has yielded results for businesses by enabling all users to use a company's site and also the legal requirements of a company to provide an accessible site. This was an excellent session and gives me more knowledge for my work. Thanks Bruce!

I attended a session by Hristo Deshev, of Telerik, after lunch on Developing ASP.Net AJAX Components. This looked to be a very interesting session and compelling viewing, however Hristo was clearly nervous talking to such a larger audience, I think Chicago 1 was pretty much full, and as English was clearly not his first language his presentation, which was highly technical, was very hard to follow. That said as the session was being recorded I am looking forward to reviewing the session again when I can download the video, and indeed working through the example. This is a very interesting area and one which I would like to experiment with and use in my applications. Hristo works for Telerik and they provide a very extensive series of ASP.Net controls which I have been using for years very successfully.

Of Scott's sessions I attended the first part of End to End Web Sites, Sneak Peek at "Orcas" and WPF/e. I only attended the first session of End To End Web Sites as I saw a similar session at Tech Ed Europe last November so I chose to use the second session to see Bruce's session. Scott's session was great, however I will look at the slides when he posts them on his blog, so I can pick up the new things added which are different to the version given by Matt Gibbs. I enjoyed the session on "Orcas" and I am really excited to see the new tools in Visual Studio "Orcas" and will be looking to cover this more in the coming months. A public beta is expected in the Spring! With a release of sometime later this year. The last session of the day which I saw was on WPF/e, the essential idea behind this is the hosting of WPF content in the browser by ustilising a player downloaded once by the client, an idea which is often compared to Flash. This looks to be a very exciting area and expect to see a WPF/e version of my Code Monkey appearing here very soon.

The mix of clientele was again very different however there were a lot of familiar faces at the event and it was great to mix with designers and have a little insight into their interests, especially as a lot of us work alongside them day by day. Microsoft Event staff did a great job once again. Sausage/Bacon/Egg sarnies as soon as we got there brought massive brownie points, they went down very well with all attendees, along with the rest of the support staff who helped make this a great event.

Overall this was an excellent day and I'm looking forward to the next one already! Now we have two great community events in the form of WebDD and DDD. Make sure you keep an eye on those feeds to keep up to date with what's happening! It was also great to spot quite a few attendees who made the trip down from the North East, I recognised a lot from VBUG. Let me know what you thought of the event too.

WebDD a great event and big thanks to Phil and Dave!

Review and Slides: VBUG EVO Launch, Newcastle, Tuesday 20th January 2007

February 2, 2007 13:09 by Andrew Westgarth

On Tuesday evening, John Price and I delivered the VBUG North East EVO (Exchange, Vista and Office) Launch Event. Big thanks go to John Price for presenting with me, sharing the work, providing great support, delivering a great presentation and travelling from the East Midlands, it was very much appreciated John, Thank You! Thanks must also go to John Timney for arranging the venue and to BT for providing the venue.

We had a good turnout and the topics we covered were well received. Plenty of swag was distributed. We covered Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System.

Admittedly there was an awful lot of content and there was possibly too much to cover in one session. I will bear this in mind for any future launch events and indeed, in my own presentations. Thanks go to those who attended, I hope you all enjoyed the event and if you have any questions about the EVO Launch, previous or upcoming events, or questions about VBUG please email me on northeast@vbug.com.

The slides are available in both pptx (Office 2007) and ppt (Office 2003-97) formats:

I look forward to seeing you at the next event in late March, early April, further details to follow soon.

WebDD - It's almost here!

February 2, 2007 01:30 by Andrew Westgarth

Well WebDD is tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to it. The list of speakers is great and I'm really looking forward to seeing Scott Guthrie speak. Scott's Blog is immense and a great source of information for ASP.Net Developers such as myself and he regularly posts in the ASP.Net forums and even finds time to answer many many emails, mine included, wow!

I saw a talk similar to Scott's two parter delivered at Tech Ed - see my post earlier - delivered by Matt Gibbs and it was great, I'm interested to see the differences in Scott's Talk. Also I am looking forward to seeing talks on Accessibility and Usability, two areas of great interest to me since my University days. WPF/E is being covered too and this looks very interesting and definitely worth a look, in fact there is so many good sessions I'm still not sure of what I'm exactly going to see. The schedule is on the WebDD site. If you're attending say hi.

CodeWorks Connect - Collaborative Tech 360 - Think and a Drink conference - Thursday 29th March 2007

February 2, 2007 01:30 by Andrew Westgarth

Codeworks Connect is hosting an event at the Sage, Gateshead, Newcastle on Thursday 29th March 2007. Here are the preliminary details they sent me.

Microsoft's Rob Gray and Chris Rothwell will deliver the keynote speeches at our fantastic IT conference on 29th March at The Sage Gateshead, Newcastle.

Collaborative Tech 360 is our exciting and innovative aimed at you - the sillicon valley of the North East.

This event will look at the collaborative and communication technologies that are re-shaping the way companies are conducting business and people are living in today's connected economy. The event will cover a variety of industry and technical perspectives around the collaboration theme from some of the industry's big hitters, with excellent Q & sessions and networking opportunities.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Rob Gray, Microsoft's SharePoint Product Marketing Manager
  • Chris Rothwell, Microsoft's Office Client Product Manager
  • Alison Brewer, Propositions Marketing Manager for Mitel
More Speakers to be confirmed in the coming weeks

Further information on this event and booking options will be follow next week but if you have any questions regarding the event please contact Vikki Carr on 0191 556 1125 for more information

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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 - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/launch2007/dev/default.mspx 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 - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/launch2007/dev/default.mspx 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.

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 http://www.nxtgenug.net/course.aspx?courseid=2. 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 emma@vbug.com 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 Live.com.

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.

ASUS W5Fe

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.

LG Z1

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.

 

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!



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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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