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Tag Archives: Microsoft

NDC 2011

The Opera Tuesday, June 7th I packed my bags, put my ass on a plane (not literary!) and went to Oslo to attend Norwegian Developers Conference; NDC 2011. I’ll skip the boring details about all the cool stuff I took pictures of (including the Opera house) and go straight to the conference. It was AWESOME! Good sessions, impressive list of speakers, many NNUG people, good food and very good coffee.

 

The conference was started by Scott “The Gu” Guthrie, talking about Azure. Although I knew more or less everything he was talking about, it was cool seeing him live. For me, seeing him live is like normal people seeing royal people. After his session I attended Maarten Balliauw‘s Azure sessions. A couple of interesting bullet points, but nothing big.

Then lunch came along, and I went to another room to watch another Belgian; Gill Cleeren. I’ve followed this guy for a while on Twitter, and I didn’t have any idea what LightSwitch was, so “Switch on the LightSwitch” sounded interesting. Mr Cleeren seemed much more relaxed and more knowledgable, so I enjoyed his talk, even though LightSwitch wasn’t that cool.

Next slot was full of things I’m not interested in, so I used this hour to go around the exhibition hall in the center of Oslo Spektrum. Talking to JetBrain, EDB ErgoGroup (where Rune Grothaug, the guy who was NNUG’s main contact in Microsoft Norge before Petri Wilhelmsen) and a couple of other booths. I also got to meet Petri for the first time, after annoying him with e-mails and stuff for several months.

NNUGNNUG had its own “booth” with some chairs and some sofa/puffy-chairs which I have no idea how to describe, but they were awesome for just laying there, relaxing my feet. Last but not least, they’d set up a computer with TrackMania. I of course had to help them get some gold medals!

Enough chit-chat, after my break I went to Peter Myers’ talks about SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) and Data Mining. MIND-BLOWING! Seriously, I was so excited by these sessions, my heart rate was at least 200 bpm. I couldn’t get to my hotel room fast enough to start playing with it, but as I discovered, it wouldn’t be that easy. Carl Franklin playing at NDC First I wasn’t able to start SSAS and after a lot of trying and failing I figured out my SQL Server 2011 CTP trial had ended. Perfect. So, I had to uninstall 2011. Then off to download 2008 R2 because I didn’t have the ISO on my computer. Downloading 4-5GB on a shared internet connection takes a long time. To be specific; 4 hours. Finally got the ISO, and then found out that my BI-tools installation was fucked up. So, then I had to uninstall VS 2010, VS 2008 and THEN re-install 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2. By then, I’d of course forgotten all the cool things Peter Myers talked about, so I just had to give up and get some sleep.

Mobile discussion panel The other days were also interesting, but not as mind-blowing. Watching Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin on the panel discussion was awesome. Also, Carl Franklin sitting Oslo Spektrum, jamming on his guitar and singing, was perfect.

Now, a week after, they’ve released most of the videos, and the torrent will be available as soon as they’ve published all videos. Here’s a list of the sessions I attended, and those I’m going to watch later.

Sessions I attended

Day 1

  • Keynote – Scott Guthrie
  • Windows Azure – Under the hood – Maarten Balliauw
  • Architecting for a cost effective Windows Azure solution – Maarten Balliauw
  • Switch on the LightSwitch – Gill Cleeren
  • Introduction to Analysis Services 2008 R2 Cubes – Peter Myers
  • Taking Your Application to the Next Level with Data Mining – Peter Myers

Day 2

  • Quality without Testing!! – Jason Bryant
  • Why Web Performance Matters – Richard Campbell
  • A developers guide to encryption – Barry Dorrans
  • Mobile Panel Discussion – .NET Rocks!

Day 3

  • Producing great video and audio on a budget – Carl Franklin
  • CQRS in the wild – Komplett.no case study – Einar Ingebrigtsen
  • Agile Patterns: Agile Estimation – Stephen Forte

Sessions I’m going to watch

Day 1

  • Fundamental Design Principles for UI Developers – Billy Hollis
  • JavaScript, jQuery & Ajax with ASP.NET – Damian Edwards
  • Clojure – The Last Programming Language – Robert C. Martin
  • Don’t get stung – an introduction to web security – Barry Dorrans
  • Introduction to F#, a multiple paradigm language – Amanda Laucher
  • ASP.NET MVC 3, EF Code First, NuGet, and IIS Express – Part 1 – Scott Guthrie
  • ASP.NET MVC 3, EF Code First, NuGet, and IIS Express – Part 2 – Scott Guthrie
  • Async 101 – Jon Skeet
  • Practical OData with and without Entity Framework – Vagif Abilov
  • Document databases with ASP.NET MVC – Rob Ashton
  • ECMAScript 5: The New Parts – Douglas Crockford
  • Let me introduce my Moncai! – Dale Ragan

Day 2

  • Unplugged – Scott Guthrie
  • HTML5: Why, what, who, when, how? – Bruce Lawson
  • HTML5 before your very eyes – Bruce Lawson
  • New Developer Features in Windows Phone “Mango” – Sean McKenna
  • HTML5: Huh – what is it good for? – Remy Sharp
  • Making a beautiful and rock-solid Windows Phone application – Sean McKenna
  • Who needs a service bus anyway? – Udi Dahan
  • Mono and Mobile – Chris Hardy
  • WTF is a Monad? – Robert C. Martin
  • jQuery 101 – Rod Paddock
  • jQuery 102 – Rod Paddock
  • Cross platform .NET in practice. An end-to-end example of the same app implemented across iPad, iPhone, WP7 and Android – Jonas Follesø
  • Quality – Douglas Crockford
  • Wake Up and Smell The Coffee – Anders Norås

Day 3

  • Node.js – Ryan Dahl
  • Introduction to RavenDB – Rob Ashton
  • Async Deep Dive – Jon Skeet
  • HTML5 – Offline Business Applications for Desktops, Tablets and Phones – Ingo Rammer
  • Designing a JavaScript application – Christian Johansen
  • Dr. CQRS or: How I Learned to Stop CRUDing and Love the Domain Model – Fredrik Kalseth
  • Entity Framework 4 – Get started now – Alf Kåre Lefdal
  • Top 10 things to learn from Clojure that will make you a better developer in any language – Martin Jul
  • Avoiding Cross site scripting – not as easy as you might think – Erlend Oftedal
  • Raven DB by Example – Emil Cardell
  • Developing .NET Applications for the Mac App Store – Michael Hutchinson

Use Hotmail with YOUR custom domain

Did you know you can use your custom domain in Hotmail, and with other Live services? A while ago, Microsoft “opened up” Hotmail to accept custom domains. You can do this by visiting http://domains.live.com . I’ve done this with my domain; nordnes.me. Now, http://mail.nordnes.me gets me to the hotmail login-form, where I log in with vidar@nordnes.me, and check my mail there. The great thing about this is that I no longer have to run my own exchange server, or worry about mail-things like spam or similar. Other interesting supported services are calendar, skydrives and photos. This makes it nicely integrated with my WP7.

Getting ready for Windows Phone 7

I’m SO ready to get this device! I actually don’t care which I get, as long as I get it ASAP. I’ve actually ordered two different devices, at two different shops, just to be safe. Which I’ve ordered? HTC 7 Trophy and Samsung Omnia 7. The last one is the one I want the most, but from what I’ve heard, this will not be released for a while in Norway. But what’s the difference between the devices? Well, not much to be honest. The reason I want the Samsung is because of the screen. According to people that’s tested “all” devices, Samsung has the best screen with it’s AMOLED technology. Other than that, they’re more or less identical. Some are 10 grams heavier, some are 8MP camera, instead of 5MP, but since Microsoft has set some minimum requirements, there’s not much difference.

What should you do before you buy your new phone? Paul Thurrott, the guy behind the “Windows Phone Secrets” book, has written a pretty good article about this topic. To sum up;

  • Configure your Windows Live ID by navigating to http://profile.live.com. On this site you can connect your Live ID to Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog+++.
  • If you’ve got one account for Xbox LIVE, one for MSN, one for Hotmail etc, you might want to gather this into one account.
  • Install Zune and gather all your media-stuff.

One more thing. Xbox LIVE and Zune Marketplace will not be available in Norway when the phone gets released, but no worries. From what I’ve heard, this WILL be released. Not sure when, but rumours say January.

Internet Explorer 9 Beta Review

IE9 Beta was released a couple of days ago, and I’ve been using it since it was released. It’s WAY better (as in faster, and more out of the way) than for example IE8. I’ve been using Google Chrome (beta) for about two(?) years now, and I’ve been very happy with it. Chrome is fast, it works perfectly on 99% of all sites I visit and it’s out of my way. It doesn’t bug me about updates, the UI is very simple and it only takes a couple of cm in the top of the window.

I’ve always ended up with IE, for some reason. I’ve had periods where I’ve used Firefox, Chrome and even Opera (believe it or not), but after a while I’ve always ended up with IE. Now might be the time to get back to IE after two years of Chrome. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Chrome. It’s awesome! But now Microsoft has released the beta and it’s satisfying to use it. The key features for this release are HTML5 support, hardware acceleration, speed and stability. I know this is a beta, but I’d like Microsoft to focus more on “out of the way”. Here’s a couple of things I’d like Microsoft to fix before they release the RTM of IE9:

Closing tabs should be easier. If I’ve got three tabs open, and I want to close only one of the tab that’s not focused, I have to click on it and then click the X on the tab. In Chrome I just click the X on the tab I want to close.

Browsing favorites. In my favorites bar I’ve got 5 folders. In some cases I don’t remember where I’ve put the favorite I’m looking for, so I have to go through all maps. With the beta of IE9 I have to click every map to see it’s content. In Chrome I just click one map, and then hover the others with my mouse.

about:Tabs is confusing. In Chrome you got the same feature, but I think it’s better done in Chrome. This might be because I’m used to it, but there’s a couple of things that annoy me with IE’s implementation of this. For instance, why are there different colors on the active bars? IE uses text and favicons, instead of showing the a snapshot of the site. This makes it way slower to find the one you’re looking for.

Now over to the positive things about this release. Let’s first start with the integration with Windows 7, more specifically, the taskbar. Go to www.twitter.com and drag the favicon in front of the URL down to your taskbar. This adds twitter to your taskbar, and you can right-click the icon and you’ll see a list of common tasks for twitter; New Tweet, Direct Messages, Mentions, Favorites and Search. This is done by adding a couple of meta-tags in your site. Under you’ll see the metatags from Twitter, but other sites like Amazon, Facebook and Channel 9 have already implemented this functionallity and is ready for you to start using them.

<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=New Tweet; action-uri=http://twitter.com/home; icon-uri=images/ie/tweet.ico" />
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=Direct Messages; action-uri=http://twitter.com/inbox; icon-uri=images/ie/dm.ico" />
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=Mentions ; action-uri=http://twitter.com/replies; icon-uri=images/ie/mentions.ico" />
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=Favorites; action-uri=http://twitter.com/favorites; icon-uri=images/ie/fav.ico" />
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=Search; action-uri=http://search.twitter.com; icon-uri=images/ie/search.ico" />

One other thing that I’ve been amazed by is the speed of the browser. It’s more or less the same speed as Chrome, at least when you’ve disabled plugins you didn’t know you had! It also uses about 1 cm less than Chrome in the top of the window, which is the way to go in my opinion. Also, the developer tools built in to the browser is easy to use and seems to support a lot of features.

Bottom line; I like the way Microsoft’s going with their browser, and I hope the RTM will be even better than this beta release!

5 minutes interview #25–Petri Tapio Wilhelmsen

Petri has just taken over for Rune Grothaug at Microsoft, being NNUG’s contact inside of Microsoft. He’s been a developer for 3 years, and an MVP for 1 year.

What did you do before you started at Microsoft?
I was a consultant at Avanade Nordics where I worked with technologies like Silverlight, WPF, Microsoft Surface and SharePoint for three years, but my passion for technology started long before that. When I was 10 years old I got a Christmas gift from my father, a book named “Du og Dino lærer Basic”, basically a children book on how to program with Basic. Later I started doing graphics- and game programming using C++, and participating in communities. I was also in 2009 awarded the Microsoft MVP award on graphics programming.

What will be your main everyday tasks at Microsoft?
Well, right now I’m trying to learn what I should do. But, it will be mostly about helping- and building communities, MSDN Live and MSDN Flash. But, my main task will be to reach out to Norwegian developers, and be their contact-person in Microsoft.

Do you have any plans on how to make the community even stronger?
Right now, my focus has been to learn my new role. As I earlier mentioned, I haven’t been able to think too much about this yet, but I do have some plans. I will have to learn what communities we have and work from there.

Other than computers, do you have any hobbies?
During the winters I usually go snowboarding with my friends, and even snow kiting when I have that possibility. During the summers I’m kite surfing around Oslo and sometimes out of the country. Other than that I like to play games on my Xbox360 and my computer.

5 minutes interview #24 – Anders Borchsenius (Microsoft)

Anders is MTUG’s contact in Microsoft. June 10th he and Børge Hansen are coming to town (Haugesund) to visit both NNUG and MTUG, and talk about the Windows Azure Platform. Register here for the event.

When did you start in Microsoft and what do you do?
I started in Microsoft January 2010, so I’m quite fresh, but have already found Microsoft a very exciting place to work. I currently in the Server & Tools department and I’m responsible for the day-to-day contact with Norwegian IT-professionals. Everything that Microsoft does towards IT-pro’s in Norway is my responsibility. So, shortly said, I’m working with letting you guys know what we are up to that concerns us geeks. Let me give you some examples. Many of you know MSDN& TechNet Live. This is a joint conference between MSDN and TechNet. I am responsible for the TechNet part. That is, making sure we have the right speakers, and of course making sure guys like you visit and enjoy the seminar. More, I am the contact for any IT-Pro community in Microsoft. It’s my job to help communities focused on Microsoft technology grow and prosper. I am also responsible for the Norwegian TechNet site and TechNet flash. Short said, I’m employed in Microsoft to talk to you, so if there are any questions just email me! If it’s to technical it’s not sure I’m able to answer, but I’ll surely find the answer for you 🙂

What are your goals for MTUG and the community in general?
Make friends! That is my personal goal. As the Community Manager in Microsoft it is my goal to make sure that MTUG reaches its own goals. It is many positive effects for Microsoft of having a large IT-pro community. First of all, it enables Microsoft to communicate directly to our users. And hopefully achieve a good two-way-dialogue. That was cheesy, I know, but it’s sort of the truth. It’s also my job to make sure other Microsoft employees see the value, competence and importance of having good relation with the community.

Other than computers, do you have any hobbies?
I really like to Scuba dive! I got my scuba license in 2004 and have loved it ever since. But it’s the recent 3 years that I have gotten some gear of my own and started diving here in Norway. Even though Oslo is limited in terms of dive locations, I still get to dive other places in Norway. Other than that, I love to spend time at my summer house in Bamble, Telemark. I have this small place by the sea, which my grandfather built. No summer without that place. Other than that, I’ve found myself involved in a conspiracy to steal all my spear time. Yupp, gotten a girlfriend, so not much spare time, but it has its charm 🙂

Links:
v-andbo@microsoft.com
http://blogs.technet.com/anders
@/anders_borch

Outlook tips and tricks

Now that it’s official that Omega’s running Exchange I can share a couple of tips and tricks I’ve found useful. First, let’s start with how to integrate with TeamDocuments. There’s a TeamDoc called “Outlook-plug-in”. If you don’t got access to it, just let me know and I’ll add you. Under Build, you’ll find a 2007 version, which also works on 2010. Install it and then open Outlook. You’ll notice you’ve got a couple of new icons in the “Add-Ins” tab. Press Config, and choose what settings you want. Here you can select calendars to sync, if to enable TeamDoc inside Outlook and to sync contacts. After clicking “OK”, just click on the connect button and it will start to synchronize!

Twitter
There’s a plug-in called TwInbox that you can use to get tweets inside Outlook. It’s pretty easy to set up, but be aware; if you’re following many people (like I do), it can get really naggy, so I’ve unchecked “Home” in preferences, so I only get mentions, directs etc. If I got spare time I only just go to twitter.com 🙂

LinkedIn
There’s also a plug-in for LinkedIn. This is not like TwInbox where you get the messages as mails or similar, but it integrates nicely in contacts and in for example mails showing the profile-pictures of those you’re connected to etc.

RSS Feeds
At the moment I’m subscribing to 218 RSS feeds. I thought it would be a great idea to get them inside Outlook, but found it to be not as good as Google Reader. The main problem was that although I marked a feed as read, it came with the same items over and over again. Pretty annoying. So, therefore I removed all subscriptions (don’t worry, I exported an OPML file from Google Reader) and right clicked the “RSS Feeds” folder, Properties, Home Page and there I put http://www.google.com/reader/ as the address. Now I can at least get Google Reader inside Outlook 🙂

5 minutes interview #23 – Børge Hansen (Microsoft)

Børge Hansen has been working as a developer on Microsoft technology since 1996. The last few years he’s been working as a technology adviser for Microsoft. He’s also been a speaker at several MSDN and NNUG events. He is also the speaker at our next NNUG and MTUG Haugesund meeting!

What have you worked on before you started in Microsoft?
I have previously worked in companies with in-house development for telecom and logistics solutions, as a general dev consultant and I have also been involved in several startups. Being able to work in different industries has led me into many different project types. I have done projects with GIS enabled data warehouses for analyzing mobile networks, I have tried to compete with Amazon.com with Bokkilden and created several types of data entry/reporting solutions. The last few years before I joined Microsoft worked with developing a new supply chain/ERP solution for health care sector. We were early adopters of DDD and TDD on the Microsoft platform. We wrote a complete platform for an ASP.Net 2.0 based MVP architecture. This is still one of my proudest moments. Especially now when I see that the rest of the industry has also taken on a focus on the established design patterns. Even today I would point to our framework as more productive than most of the frameworks out there. I would love to create a new open sourced version of this I could find the time.

What have you been working on in Microsoft?
I have been working in several roles. I started out as an Architect advisor, or evangelist as the Microsoft term is. Advising the big consulting companies and customers was a major part of my work. We also helped TV2 establish TV2 Sumo on a Silverlight based smooth streaming platform. Later on I have worked with SQL Server stuff, mostly working on problem solving for customers and helping with Oracle compete situations.  These days I am on my last few days as Product Manager for SQL Server and BizTalk. During this summer I will go back to the Architect role and shift my focus to new “early adopter” technologies and cloud development stuff.

What’s your favorite topic when it comes to being a speaker?
While I think of myself as a fairly competent techie or geek, I love mostly to speak of the soft skills of development projects. I believe these are the ones that make out great developers. You can be world’s greatest coder, but you only become a superhero if you master the soft skills. Building your skills and pride as an architect has been one of the favorite talks. I am in the board of IASA Norway and this is a recurring theme within that group.

Do you have any hobbies, except computer stuff?
Does family and home maintenance stuff count? He, he, seems that is all I can manage with these days.
But I do love the great outdoors. I go hunting/fishing for a couple of weeks every year. Often we go to locations without cellphone coverage with just a tent and a backpack. I love the feeling of being disconnected from the world a few days and only focus on being present in the wilderness. I also have a cabin in the mountains, just beside a lake. I try to get up there as often as I can. Either alone or with family and friends. This is a classic Norwegian style “hytte” with no electricity and water. It is back to basics. The really cool thing is that the kids love it as much as I do 🙂

Blog: http://www.borge3000.no
Twitter: @borge3000

Microsoft Releases 2010

There’s been a “wave” of releases from Microsoft the last months, and more to come. The following are already released: Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight 4, SQL Server 2008 R2 (will be available on MSDN/TechNet May 3rd), Office 2010 (mmmmmm, sexy) and SharePoint Server 2010. Later this year Windows Live “Wave 4” will be released, Windows Phone 7 and the new Windows Home Server (code named “Vail”). It’s a lovely year for those of that LOVE playing with new (betas and) releases.

To get all of these (except Visual Studio (which you can get with MSDN), Windows Live and Phone 7), the only thing you need is a TechNet subscription which costs $349 the first year and $249 for renewal. Compared to buying all these licenses in the store, it’s almost as cheap as pirating it! And, you don’t need to worry about downloading viruses, things that doesn’t work etc.

Mix10

Microsoft’s MIX10 conference is over, and all their sessions have been uploaded. These are high quality sessions about web and windows phone related development and design. You can download the videos at http://live.visitmix.com/Videos