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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

NxtGenUg Fest 07

February 15, 2007 01:05 by Andrew Westgarth

Hot on the heels of their latest mini series of podcasts with Dinis Cruz part one, in NxtGenUg's latest podcast Dave and Rich have announced their first conference at Microsoft Campus, UK on 23rd May 2007. Costs are £54.99 for non members (Early bird offer till 1st March 2007) and free to NxtGenUg Members. Speakers already lined up are Rafal Lukawiecki (Top Tech Ed speaker for past seven years!), Daniel Moth, Lorna Brown, Richard Costall and Dave McMahon. For more information see the NxtGenUG Website.

Cruz Control Podcast

February 12, 2007 00:17 by Andrew Westgarth

I've previously mentioned the great podcasts produced by Dave and Rich at NxtGenUg and there recent one is another gem. They have started a series of podcasts with Dinis Cruz. Dinis is a security specialist and is part of OWASP, he is a great speaker and if you get chance to see him speak I seriously recommend attending. I saw his session at DDD2 and along with the rest of the audience, was copletely blown away with the exploits and methods of identifying them that Dinis outlined. Not just SQL Injection and cross site scripting. You can download the video of his session, which is well worth watching, from the Developer Developer Day Website.

In this podcast is the start of a series of sessions with Dinis and he discusses his work and that of OWASP. You can listen to this podcast and more from the , also check out my post on the security courses Dinis and NxtGenUg are running in March and April.

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?

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

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.


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!


December 13, 2006 01:19 by Andrew Westgarth

I welcome comments on my blog, and unfortunately they appear to have not been working up until now. Thanks to Guy for letting me know. I have also added a new link to comments at the bottom of each post and this also indicates how many comments have been placed against an individual post, click this link to go through to add comments on that particular post.


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