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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

VBUG Newcastle - .Net 3 - The Game Challenge With Oliver Sturm

January 30, 2008 01:29 by Andrew Westgarth

The details of the next VBUG Meeting in Newcastle have been announced.  I am very pleased to announce that we have Oliver Sturm visiting to cover .Net 3.0 and to put some fun into it with a Game Challenge!

Topic: VBUG: '.NET 3 - The Game Challenge' with Oliver Sturm

.NET 3 - The Game Challenge

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) are two important pillars of Microsoft's next generation development platform. Since Visual Studio Orcas has been released, these components are becoming relevant in every day developer life. This session provides an overview of both technologies by demonstrating their combined use in a network enabled Connect Four game.

Location: Royal Station Hotel, Neville Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5DH

Price: FREE

To Register go to:

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF VENUE.  The issue of venues is a particularly pertinent one with the Newcastle Area and one which I would like to discuss with any delegates who attend this meeting or who regularly attend VBUG/SUGUK Meetings in the North East.  I have a number of options which I will be outlining and discussing at this meeting.  If you have any thoughts on any locations in Newcastle or the surrounding area which would offer a FREE monthly evening venue for VBUG and SUGUK meetings with good transport links, please let me know.

CANCELLED!! - SharePoint User Group and VBUG North East Meeting - December 10th 2007!

December 10, 2007 01:52 by Andrew Westgarth

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel tonight's meeting due to illness.  Apologies for very late notice.  We hope to reschedule in the New Year.  Keep an eye on and for news of a new program of meetings for the North East in the New Year!

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year to all!

SharePoint User Group and VBUG North East Meeting - December 10th 2007!

November 27, 2007 05:08 by Andrew Westgarth

After the very successful first meeting in Newcastle back in September, I've been working with Nick Swan from the SharePoint User Group to put on another meeting.  This time we have two great speakers and SharePoint MVP's, Penny Coventry and Steve Smith delivering two great sessions:

  • Penny will be covering SharePoint Designer for All - Penny Coventry During this session, you'll see how SharePoint Designer can be used to customise SharePoint Team Sites, advanced data manipulation using the DataView Web Part, consume RSS feeds and how to complete administrative tasks, such as moving documents, including their metadata and limiting what users can do with SharePoint Designer
  • Steve will be covering ForeFront Security for SharePoint - Steve Smith Find out how to use Microsoft’s security product lo lock down your SharePoint environment including Anti Virus , Keyword Checking and Content Filtering

The meeting is being held at the BT offices, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE11 9DJ - for a map go to

To register for the event please go to the VBUG website - VBUG and SUGUK: Newcastle - SharePoint Designer for All and Forefront Security

If you are a SharePoint Administrator, Developer or just want to find out more about MOSS, please come along all are welcome.

Tech Ed Developers 2007 Day 0 - Back in Barcelona

November 4, 2007 14:45 by Andrew Westgarth

Klm Plane from Newcastle to SchipholToday I traveled to Barcelona for Microsoft Tech Ed Developers!  This is my second trip to Tech Ed and I am equally excited about this opportunity and looking forward to playing a part in the UK Community element of Tech Ed.  Tim and I are representing VBUG and it's members at Tech Ed and we are both looking forward to meeting and chatting with many UK developers and making new friends and contacts over the course of the next week.  I flew from Newcastle to  Barcelona with KLM via Schiphol and the flights weren't as bad as I'd feared as I have in the past suffered greatly with pain in my ears on landing but so far it's not been to bad.  Also we managed to see a cracking sunset as we flew over Holland on our way to Barcelona.  I hope to provide a series of Blog Posts from Tech Ed during the course of the week.  If you're out at Tech Ed, Tim and I will be spending a lot of our spare time in the Community Lounge within the Exhibition Hall so come and say Hi.

Sunset over Holland From PlaneSunset over Holland From Plane

VBUG Conference featured on NxtGenUG Podcast 43 - The One With Bruce....

November 4, 2007 14:44 by Andrew Westgarth

The latest podcast, Number 43 -, from Dave McMahon and Richard Costall, from NxtGenUG, features interviews from the VBUG Conference.  Dave interviewed Keynote Speaker, Ken Spencer and they discuss the Microsoft Regional Director Program and the keynote and sessions which Ken presented at the conference.  Dave catches up with delegates Mark Whitelock and Martin Sarosi from Engica, he talks to Rob Macdonald about the conference agenda and Dave chats with Tim Leung and I about our first conference as Vice Chair and Chair respectively, and our thoughts on the conference and VBUG.  This podcast along with their other productions are well worth listening and subscribing too.  Tim and I turned the tables on Dave after our interview and the results of that will be found on the forthcoming inaugural VBUG Podcast coming very soon...  watch this space!

CANCELLED: VBUG Newcastle: Developing on the Windows Live Platform with Martin Parry - 1st November 2007

October 30, 2007 04:53 by Andrew Westgarth

Unfortunately, this Thursday's VBUG Meeting in Newcastle - Developing on the Windows Live Platform with Martin Parry - has had to be cancelled due to Martin no longer being able to make the trip for personal reasons.  We hope to reschedule this event for another evening soon. 

In the meantime if you are looking for a topic to be covered in the North East soon, I am looking at planning the next six months of VBUG meetings and would welcome any topic requests/suggestions.  Please contact me via VBUG or via the contact page on my blog.

Categories: Events | VBUG
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VBUG: Daniel Moth Comes to Coventry on Thursday 1st November

October 29, 2007 14:04 by Andrew Westgarth

danielmoth On Thursday 1st November Daniel Moth will be in Coventry covering Visual Studio 2008 for Web Developers so if you are in or based in or around Coventry why not go along on Thursday and listen to Daniel, who is an excellent speaker and this session is well worth attending.  Registration is free and the details are:

Topic: VBUG: Visual Studio 2008 for the web developer” with Daniel Moth

Visual Studio 2008 (formerly code named “Orcas”) brings with it a host of features for the web developer. In this session, we demonstrate the benefits you can get out of the Visual Studio toolset when working on your existing ASP.NET 2.0 projects as well as for new ASP.NET 3.5 projects. There are many improvements in the IDE so we’ll need to focus on JavaScript Intellisense and debugging improvements, the new designer, CSS enhancements and a few more.

Location: Coventry City Council's Corporate Training Centre, Mill Lane, Coventry. CV1 2LQ

Price: FREE

For more information and to book online go to:

VBUG Newcastle: Developing on the Windows Live Platform with Martin Parry - 1st November 2007

October 23, 2007 15:34 by Andrew Westgarth

MartinParryOur next VBUG event is fast approaching and I am very pleased to announced that we have Martin Parry, from Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism team, speaking about developing on the Windows Live Platform on Thursday 1st November.  We will once again be using a room provided by BT.  We meet from 18:30 and Martin's session will start at 19:00 and finish at 21:00 with a refreshment break half way through.  We will head to a local pub after the meeting to discuss the contents and discuss topics which you would like to see covered in 2008.

The details of the meeting are:

Topic: VBUG: Developing on the Windows Live Platform with Martin Parry

Windows Live defines a set of services and components that can be used in your web applications, whether or not you use Microsoft's server platform. In this session we look at a selection of Windows Live services and build them into an application. We'll look at the Windows Live Contacts API - really useful for social networking functionality but also a great example of what's possible using the Windows Live Data service. We'll build maps into an application using the Virtual Earth map control. We'll let our users browse their photos using the Windows Live Spaces Photos control, we'll enable authentication in our app using Windows Live ID and we'll show how you can leverage the Windows Live Search functionality too.

If time permits, we'll also look at Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live. We'll take a simple Silverlight application and encode some media content, then host it all with Windows Live.

Location: BT, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE11 9DJ

Price: FREE

To register go to :

Categories: Events | Microsoft | VBUG
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VBUG/SUGUK September with Spencer Harbar - Meeting Slides and Resources

September 20, 2007 16:05 by Andrew Westgarth

Spencer Harbar has now uploaded the slides and materials from the VBUG/SUGUK Meeting held in Newcastle on 10th September 2007.

Spencer has also posted a link on the SUGUK website to the end user materials and these can be found at customizable-everyday-productivity-education-epe-content-developed-by-microsoft-it-for-end-user-

VBUG Conference 17th & 18th October 2007

September 19, 2007 00:05 by Administrator

The details and agenda for the forthcoming VBUG Conference, at Microsoft TVP Reading, have been published and the brochure can be viewed at  There is an excellent line up scheduled for this our 10th Annual Conference, the speaker list is great and includes great UK Speakers such as Mike Taulty, Dave McMahon, Alex Homer, Guy Smith-Ferrier, Barry Dorrans and Gary Short.  Oh! and I'll be doing a session, but please don't let that put you off.  There are an excellent range of topics covering new technology, current technology, introductory and best practice sessions.  Something for all and of relevance to many.

There is currently an Early Bird rate available of ?199 + VAT for VBUG Members and ?299 + VAT for Non Members, representing excellent value for money for a two day conference.  Register now to avoid disappointment -

This is the first conference for Tim and I as Vice Chairman and Chairman and we look forward to meeting many of you and catching up with as many of you as we can.  We hope to see you soon.

Categories: Events | IIS | VBUG
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