Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

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.

Guy Smith-Ferrier Is an MVP!

July 17, 2007 01:10 by Andrew Westgarth

Great news, Guy has been recognised as an MVP -

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!

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

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!

Slides and Demos from IIS 7 Talks in Newcastle and Leeds

June 12, 2007 14:54 by Andrew Westgarth

First off, my sincere apologies to both groups for not having posted these earlier, things have been a bit manic and I've had major issues with an update I made to the Blog on Sunday which forced me to rollback :-(.

On Thursday 31st May I presented this topic, IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers, at VBUG Newcastle. This was my first experience of presenting a non-launch event on my own. This was daunting and requires lots of hard work - more than even I imagined! The presentation went well, I thought, although I had a lot of issues with my demos, thanks to all who attended for being so understanding.

Last Wednesday, I ventured down to Leeds, to deliver the same session for VBUG Leeds. After driving down to Leeds after work, a couple of phonecalls and wishing I still had Sat NAV in my car I managed to arrive at the venue! The session went well with lots of questions, interaction and feedback from all attendees. I tried a new method of structuring my Demos and this went a lot better than in Newcastle. My thanks to Andy Marshall, VBUG Leeds Coordinator and his group for an enjoyable evening.

This has been a great learning experience for me and very rewarding and is helping me to shape the talk as I receive feedback and learn from my experiences. Thanks to all attendees for listening to me and thanks for your feedback, this is a very useful feature of the meetings and one I actively encourage as a coordinator and even more so now as a speaker.

The slides are available as a pdf and the demos are available in a zip file format, any questions please let me know.

Dinis Cruz Security Training - Two New Courses!

June 5, 2007 10:37 by Andrew Westgarth

Dave McMahon has just sent me an email this morning to tell me of some new Security Training from Dinis Cruz. The first is a course that Dinis is running with Ounce Labs and the second is a course with NextGenUG. Here are the details of both courses:

Dinis Cruz is running a Source Code Security Training Course with Ounce Labs on the 12th and 13th June 2007, in London at the Thistle Marble Arch. The course covers topics such as Performing Source Code Reviews, Identifying Vulnerabilities in Code and Writing Exploits. This course is aimed at Security Consultants and Senior Developers and full details are at, it looks pretty good!

NextGenUG are running a Security Training For ASP.Net Developers course with Dinis Cruz on the 17th and 18th July 2007 in Leamington Spa, full details are at This course is similar to a successful one run by NextGenUG in March 2007, but this has more of an accent on Code Scanning. NextGenUG had some great feedback from the attendees, and one of the attendees, Andy Jacks, has written a review of the course which you can read at Dave says this course is definitely great!

I haven't attended any of Dinis' training although from hearing him speak and seeing the enthusiasm and knowledge he has, and want to pass on to developers, he is certainly a guy to be listened to and indeed learn from. The amount myself and other developers learned in just one of his DDD sessions is immense so just think of how much you could learn by working with him for two whole days!

Selection of Links

June 1, 2007 00:10 by Andrew Westgarth

At tonight's VBUG session I mentioned a number of things to go and look into. Here are the links and I'll post some detailed thoughts soon.


May 8, 2007 00:19 by Andrew Westgarth

Just a reminder that FEST07 ( the one-day Developer event organised by those NxtGen Boyz : Rich, Dave and John, is just around the corner. It's on May 23rd at Microsoft UK in Reading and the headline speaker is the outstanding Rafal Lukawiecki who has topped the polls at TechEd for the last 7 years. He's speaking twice and will be talking about Vista Security and Future Trends in Software Architecture. The other speakers are look pretty good too, with Oliver Sturm, Mike Taulty and Daniel Moth being joined by Lorna Brown of Microsoft Research which should be a really interesting session. The Boyz are also going to do one of their 'gameshows' as a finale in which I understand large amounts of 'swag' will be handed out. They?re also giving away an XBox 360 with games check out -

If you are a member of NxtGenUG its a free event. If you're not a member its a measly ?59.99 for a day of information, fun, food and of course 'swag'. It's not a Microsoft funded event, and the guys have to cover some costs of speakers and incidentals. To register just go the NxtGenUG site, its all pretty simple. Any probs drop them a line at

This looks like it's going to be special and different event, best get along ...

Oh there is also a Geek Dinner the night before is Zi Makki's Wiki, and you can go to this even if your'e not attending the event itself.

VS Orcas Beta 1 and Longhorn Server Beta 3 Released this Week!

April 26, 2007 10:30 by Andrew Westgarth

Phew, what a busy week on Monday we had the announcement that Visual Studio Orcas Beta 1 had shipped. The ISO images of this are available to MSDN Subscribers currently but they will be made available soon. There are also VS Orcas Team Suite Edition and there is a VS Orcas Team Suite Edition with Team Server (Which I'm downloading now - boy it's huge!). To get these downloads and to keep an eye out for the release of ISO images got to this link -

If that wasn't enough, I arrive at work at 6:30 this morning to find an email telling me Longhorn Server Beta 3 had shipped! I'm currently downloading this too! Can't wait to take a look at it! To download it go to also why not take a look at the coverage on Channel 9.


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