Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Virtual PC 2007 and SQL Server 2005 SP2 Released

February 20, 2007 15:33 by Andrew Westgarth

Virtual PC 2007 and SQL Server 2005 SP2 have been released by Microsoft. I've been waiting for the release of Virtual PC 2007 for quite a while as I develop at home on Windows Vista and need to use VPC to work from Home as we use VPC at work. Some features of the new release are:

  • Improved Performance over VPC2004
  • Support for Windows Vista as a Host and as a Guest OS
  • Support for Windows Vista 64-Bit
  • Support for hardware virtualisation
  • Support for PXE Network Booting of Virtual Machines
  • Support for use of Full screen Virtual Machines on Multi Monitor Systems (VM remains on one screen)
For more information about Virtual PC visit the Microsoft Virtual PC Website and for more information why not check out Ben Armstrong's Blog, Ben is a Program Manager on the Virtual Machine Team at Microsoft.

Also released is SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2. To find out more use the following links:

Wow it's only Tuesday and already two significant releases!

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

February 7, 2007 11:20 by Andrew Westgarth

At the recent EVO Launch event I mentioned a tool called the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. This tool cans your system and produces a report which will inform you of any issues which may prevent upgrading to Windows Vista, recommend ways to resolve them and it can help you choose the right version of Vista to fit the way you use your computer. I hope this helps anyone who is looking to upgrade to Vista but is not sure whether or not their machine is capable.

To download the Upgrade Avisor go to the upgrade section of the Windows Vista site. AJAX v1.0 Officially Released!

January 23, 2007 21:13 by Andrew Westgarth

Today AJAX has been officially released! Finally after all of the CTPs, Betas and the Release Candidate we have the full release of a product which has developed since it's early ATLAS days. It's time to update all of your development projects from the betas/RC1 to the full release!

Download the full release from the Ajax Website NOW!.

Categories: ASP.Net | Microsoft
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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 - 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 - 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.

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

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 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

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.


MSDN/TechNet Roadshow 2007 - Register Now to Avoid Disappointment

January 11, 2007 13:28 by Andrew Westgarth

Hi, back in December I posted the dates for the 2007 MSDN/TechNet Roadshow. As usual registration is filling up quickly and some events are already full and have a waiting list.

If you want to attend any of these events please register soon to avoid disappointment! I'll be attending the MSDN Roadshow in Harrogate, say hi if you see me there!

PDC 07 - Los Angeles October 2nd - 5th 2007

December 13, 2006 01:55 by Andrew Westgarth

Whilst waiting for Visual Studio 2005 to publish my updates to my Blog, I noticed a thread on Channel 9 about PDC and lo and behold on the PDC website the dates for next years conference. From what I've been told by people who have been to a PDC, it is well worth going to if you get the opportunity, and you will be amazed by the sheer scale of the event. For further information and to keep up to date with the announcements visit the site and subscribe to the PDC RSS Feed.

CSS Control Adapters Released

December 11, 2006 21:11 by Andrew Westgarth

This release has really slipped past my radar. This is a set of adapters which allow ASP.Net developers to use the Menu, GridView, DetailsView, TreeView, DataList and Membership server controls in ASP.Net 2.0 but output code using CSS as opposed to tables. THis is great for anyone who is aiming to be compliant and to aim for accessibility ratings. Indeed I use them on this blog and they are also used on Brainbugs Tutors, a website I developed for a tutor in Yorkshire, UK. I also use them in projects at work. Now they have been fully released it is time to update any code that used the Beta releases. The CSS Control Adapters can be found at along with documentation and samples.

Categories: ASP.Net | Microsoft
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