Archive for the ‘Other Technical Stuff’ Category

Windows Azure at San Diego Code Camp – 27th and 28th of July 2013

July 15, 2013

There is a code camp in San Diego on July 27th and 28th that has a lot of really interesting sessions available. If you live in the area, you should check it out – there’s something for everyone. It also gives you an opportunity to talk with other developers, see what they’re doing, and make some connections.

I’m going to be traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego to speak, as are some of my friends — Mathias Brandewinder, Theo Jungeblut, and Steve Evans.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m VP of Technology for GoldMail (soon to be renamed PointAcross), and a Microsoft Windows Azure MVP. I co-run the Windows Azure Meetups in San Francisco and the Bay.NET meetups in Berkeley. I’m speaking about Windows Azure. One session is about Windows Azure Web Sites and Web Roles; the other one is about my experience migrating my company’s infrastructure to Windows Azure, some things I learned, and some keen things we’re using Azure for. Here are my sessions:

Theo works for AppDynamics, a company whose software has some very impressive capabilities to monitor and troubleshoot problems in production applications. He is an entertaining speaker and has a lot of valuable expertise. Here are his sessions:

Mathias is an Microsoft MVP in F# and a consultant. He is crazy smart, and runs the San Francisco Bay.NET Meetups. Here are his sessions:

Steve (also a Microsoft MVP) is giving an interactive talk on IIS for Developers – you get to vote on the content of the talk! As developers, we need to have a better understanding of some of the system components even though we may not support them directly.

Also of interest are David McCarter’s sessions on .NET coding standards and how to handle technical interviews. He’s a Microsoft MVP with a ton of experience, and his sessions are always really popular, so get there early! And yet another Microsoft MVP speaking who is always informative and helpful is Jeremy Clark, who has sessions on Generics, Clean Code, and Design patterns.

In addition to these sessions, there are dozens of other interesting topics, like Estimating Projects, Requirements Gathering, Building cross-platform apps, Ruby on Rails, and Mongo DB (the name of which always makes me think of mangos), and that’s just to name a few.

So register now for the San Diego Code Camp and come check it out. It’s a great opportunity to increase your knowledge of what’s available and some interesting ways to get things done. Hope to see you there!

Windows Fabulous is released today!

October 22, 2009

Back in August, Windows 7 (which I refer to as Windows Fabulous) came out on MSDN for BizSpark customers. Since I’m head of engineering at our company, I figured I should download it and install it, to, um, evaluate it. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I should try it out and make sure our product would work on it, yeah, and make sure everything would be fine. Absolutely. I didn’t install it just because I thought it would be really cool. No, sirree. (Okay, maybe a little.) (Okay, okay, maybe more than a little. I’m a geek; what do you want?)

Since I work on my computers, I bought new hard drives for both of them, just in case I had any problems and needed to revert. (A little paranoia never hurts. Plus, hard drives are cheap.) For my laptop, I bought the awesome Seagate Momentus 7200.4 drive, a 500GB 7200RPM SATA drive. In fact, I bought a second one and an enclosure, and made my own pocket drive too. (Every single packaged pocket drive on the market is 5400 rpm. As Nero Wolfe would say, “Pfui.”)

Then I installed Windows Fabulous, plus all of the rest of my software (more on that later). (Thank God I keep a list, complete with serial numbers). It took about 20 minutes to install Windows Fabulous, and 2 days to install everything else.

So I’ve been running Windows 7 for about two months now (since it came out on MSDN for BizSpark customers, of which my company is one), and I have to say, it’s the best thing since sliced pickle chips. There are plenty of articles showing what people like about it, and I’d have to say my favorite feature is the glass.

Let’s say you have 4 Visual Studio instances open. If you hover over Visual studio in the task bar, it shows thumbnails of the instances. If you hover over one of the thumbnails, it turns everything else to glass, and shows that one window on the screen. If you click on the thumbnail, it makes that window active and brings it up in front, without closing the rest of the windows.

This has made it a lot easier than Alt-Tab ever did to find the window I’m looking at. This also means I can hover over the Outlook icon in my taskbar and see if I have any new e-mail I need to address, and if not, just go back to what I was doing, without ever changing focus to Outlook. As someone who always has a lot of instances of VS and IE open, among other things, it’s hugely helpful.

I’m finding the jumplists helpful too, but I had to figure out how to re-enable the Recents folder on the start menu. Jumplists are great, but if I open a PPT file, and only open it once, it doesn’t show up in the frequently-used programs list and show a jumplist.

If you don’t have Windows 7, run out and get it. You’ll love it. I’ll blog about installing development software and order of precedence next. And then I’ll talk about incompatible software that doesn’t support Windows 7, and how NOT to treat your customers.

Microsoft Office 2003 to 2007 help

May 4, 2009

I found this cool web page on the Microsoft website for people who are moving from Office 2003 to Office 2007. They changed the menu in Office 2003 to a ribbon in Office 2007, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out how to do what you used to do. Click on this link, then under “Run from here”, select your office product, and then click on “Start the guide”.

Guides to the Office 2007 system user interface