Monday, February 9, 2009

TVUG February Meeting


If you haven't noticed, the TVUG site has been down for a week as we were transitioned to new servers by our ISP. Unfortunately, the transition wasn't entirely smooth (as if it taking a week indicates any amount of smoothness), and the mail server is currently kaput. I'll be sending out an official announcement about our February Presentation as soon as I can, but here's the details for those of you who check out the blog (BTW - Thanks to both of you). 

An Anatomy of SharePoint Pages

Speaker: Russ Kehoe, Senior Consultant, Infusion
When: Tuesday February 17th, 2009 - 6:30-9PM
Where: VersaTrans Solutions, Latham, NY 

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) make it easy for IT departments to implement dependable, scalable collaboration infrastructures with minimal administrative time and effort. Leveraging ASP.Net 2.0 technology, SharePoint is a relatively painless transition point for most web developers.

Join us as Russ Kehoe, Senior Consultant and Infusion, provides us with an overview on developing sites using SharePoint technologies. Russ will cover a bit of what SharePoint is and how pages work in both WSS and MOSS.  Russ will also present a CodePlex project that significantly enhances the ability to develop custom pages.  We'll also cover some coding tips for SharePoint.

Russ Kehoe is a Senior Consultant for Infusion Development, a Microsoft partner with offices in Toronto, New York, Boston, and Abu Dhabi. Russ has been developing software in the capital district area for 19 years. You can email him

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Boston MSDN Dev Conference

I'm in Boston tonight, getting ready for tomorrow's Lap Around the Live Framework and Mesh Services presentation. Live Services provide a unique, open, single point of access set of tools for connecting your Contacts, Devices, Applications, and Files.

While the Live Framework provides a nice C# API to utilize the Live Services, there are already Javascript and Silverlight APIs out there, with PHP and more on the way. Live Services leverage HTTP via Atom, JSON, POX (Plain Old XML), or RSS... it's possible to connect using any language that allows you to work with those structures. In addition, you can use URI-LINQ (LINQ commands sent using http GET requests), perform CRUD, and more. What's more, Live Services provides Synchronization, Caching, and Analytics where appropriate.

Hope to see you in Boston: if not, I'm pretty sure that we're doing the TVCC2 (Tech Valley Code Camp 2) in the March timeframe, and I'll be snagging a few of the speakers from here for the event.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TVUG December Meeting

I realize it's been a while since I blogged. A recession based layoff, followed by heavy consulting work, a trip to PDC, and a great opportunity will do that to you. I've got a lot to talk about in the next few days, but I'll start with the next TVUG meeting, where I'll be speaking about Live Mesh Services.

A Lap Around the Live Framework and Mesh Services

Speaker: Griffith Townsend, Principal Architect, docSTAR
When: Tuesday December 16th, 2008 - 6:30-9PM
Where: VersaTrans Solutions, Latham, NY

Live Services is an important part of the Azure Services Platform, providing a set of building blocks for handling user data and application resources that can connect various devices across the Internet and provide data and applications across these devices in a consistent and connected manner.

Live Services open up a whole set of interesting scenarios that were either very difficult to implement or not possible at all until today. The session discusses the fundamentals of Live Services and the overall challenges faced in designing and developing connected applications using a Framework that allows consistent communications across application boundaries and devices. This session delves through various types of objects that are available in this environment, discusses the differences, and explains how to build applications that use them. We’ll introduce and discuss the Mesh Operating Environment, Mesh Objects, and the Live Framework Resource Model.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Code Camp 2008.2

UPDATE v 2.0 - The scheduling conflicts never ended, and we have postponed the TVCC to early next year. Date and venue are TBA.

UPDATE:Due to a scheduling conflict, the next Tech Valley Code Camp (2008.2) has been moved to November 22nd.

Andy Badera and myself sat down for a bit at yesterday's Roadshow event (more on that later), and we've ironed out the date for Code Camp 2008.2.

Per Andy's blog:

"Announcing: Tech Valley Code Camp 2008.2 - November 22nd, 2008
It's official -- per conversations at yesterday's Microsoft Northeast Roadshow, we're going to make Tech Valley Code Camp 2008.2 happen. We've even moved the date up a bit -- we're now looking at November 8th, in order to avoid conflicting with a Western NY camp.

Presenters needed! We're working on getting a registration site up ASAP. Doors are open to non-Microsoft-specific tech, but we'd definitely like to see a healthy dose of Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, .NET 3.5, WPF, Silverlight, etc.

We have a few sponsors already, I'll followup with a post thanking our first several sponsors. Additional sponsorship, however, is of course quite welcome, and certainly needed.

Tech Valley Code Camp 2008(.1) was awesome! Now let's make TVCC 2008.2 an even bigger, better experience!

If you're interested in presenting or sponsorship, feel free to email either Andy or myself (or both of us). I'd prefer if you include the words Tech Valley Code Camp in the subject of the email. The venue is still TBD, but I'll hopefully have some news on that by the end of next week.

Monday, September 22, 2008

TVUG Logo Submission Guidelines

We now have some guidelines for Logo Submissions next month, courtesy of Chris Miller:

TVUG website Logo Submission Guidelines

  • The logo should reflect on TVUG and its mission - Things to think about when brainstorming your design:
    • .NET Related
    • The sharing of technology and ideas with your peers - community!
  • Tips for creating a logo - Make sure your design communicates the Conference theme
    • Use simple shapes and text
    • Do not use photographs
    • Use a distinct color scheme (2-3 colors max)
    • Make sure your logo is in a vector format (Adobe Illustrator), or is created at very high resolution (3600px by 3600 px). This will make sure the logo can be enlarged to huge proportions (signs, banners, etc.)
    • Be creative!
  • Artwork MUST be original
    • You are welcome to get ideas from the Internet, but do not use another designer's work.
    • No clip art please!
  • File specifications
    • Submissions must be one of the following formats:
      • Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
      • Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)
      • Adobe Photoshop (.psd) or Paint .NET (.pdn)
        • NOTE: Bitmap submissions must be at least 3600px wide/tall.
    • Please send us your ORIGNIAL document with the layers intact. Do not merge your work layers.
    • If you use any special fonts, please include the font names in your submission e-mail.
    • Name your file using your first and last name (example: If you submit more than one file, follow the same guidelines and add a number at the end. (example:,, etc.).

By sending in a submission, you are granting the TVUG User Group a license to use the artwork on the TVUG website and other media documents.

More on our speaker once it's solidified.

I'm also currently working on T4 templates, as well as putting some enhancements into the 2D/3D XNA Engine that I built for some presentations last year. Per-pixel collisions and rotation is now handled in the 2D engine, and I'm looking at either including some pre-built physics functionality in there or putting some basic stuff in there. My hope is to create a simple GUI 2D game builder that will allow kids and adults alike to build games for the 360, PC, or Zune. I'll be putting something together on this soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TVUG Logo Contest

So, last night's presentation on the Entity Framework went well: I'll be posting the presentation and code samples to the TVUG site shortly. 

One of the biggest announcements last night was the announcement of the TVUG Logo Contest! 
We're accepting logo/site design submissions up until Tuesday, October 7th, 2008. You're not limited to color or design choices for our site, so stretch your imagination. The winner of the contest will receive a "goodie bag" of current release software (the contents of the kit are TBA, but I'm pretty sure we'll at least have a copy of VS 2008 to give away), and another portfolio piece when the new site rolls out. 

To join, you need to be a registered member of TVUG (simply go to the website and register). The top 3 designs will be chosen by board members, and the winner will be chosen by the group in our October presentation (October 14th, 2008, topic TBA), and the plans for the site design will be implemented shortly after.

Good luck to all of you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall 2008 Northeast Roadshow

The Northeast Roadshow

Join Microsoft's Chris Bowen and Jim O'Neil for a "free, relaxed day of deep content for developers and architects". Groovy!

The agenda is as follows:

8:30 Registration
Understanding the ADO.NET Entity Framework

Abstraction is frequently used to create difficult-to-appreciate artwork, but when applied to software, abstractions can improve flexibility, independence, and the ability to compose higher-level concepts. ADO.NET Entity Framework, now shipping as part of Visual Studio 2008 & .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1, helps you create models of your data that enable a familiar object-oriented programming experience. Entities map flexibly to data sources while providing insulation from schema changes at the same time. LINQ makes an appearance as well, using the familiar syntax we’ve seen with LINQ to Objects, SQL, and XML to query entities. You’ve got the picture, so get out there and model some works of art!

Discovering Dynamic Data

ASP.NET Dynamic Data, introduced with the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 release, breathes immediate (i.e., code-less) life into LINQ To SQL and Entity Framework data models by providing a customizable, template-driven, scaffolding framework. Put on your wizard hat, you now have dynamic power at your fingertips.

Exploring Internet Explorer 8

Ahoy, developers! The release of Internet Explorer 8 is just around the bend. Of course, we’ll pull out the spyglass and take a look over the sea of new consumer features, but what does this next version mean for you as developer, and what should you do to navigate to glory? You’ll see how treasures like accelerators and web slices can be a differentiator for your company, see the new wave of compatibility features and options, and unearth the tools available for developers to make for smooth sailing on the sometimes turbulent web development waters.


Grab a lunch and join in as we delve into the world of robotics programming with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Think robotics is mostly for manufacturing systems, toys, and those cool little floor cleaning bots? You may be surprised at how the things we cover may come to affect your professional development life! Perhaps you’ll find yourself saying, "Thank you very luncho, Mr. Roboto!"

UI, UX, U Confused?

One thing not missing from Microsoft’s development offerings is a choice of options. In this session, we’ll compare and contrast the various .NET technologies available for building client experiences (Windows Forms, WPF, XBAP, ASP.NET, Silverlight, and Windows Mobile) to give you some insight in to making the best choices for reaching your applications’ target audience.

A RESTed Development

REST (Representational State Transfer) is what all the cool developers are using these days to communicate among distributed resources and services. So that you’re not left standing idly by on the sidelines, we’ll look at the rationales of the approach, why it’s cleaner than SOAP, and how Microsoft has adopted REST in technologies such as WCF and ADO.NET Data Services.

Befriending Unit Testing

Unit testing could be your new best friend, and we’re here to help make the proper introductions. A practice that ultimately results in reduced overall efforts, unit testing is a focus on crafting test code that verifies your application code isn’t misbehaving. In this session, we’ll focus on what unit testing is, how it can be done, and some of the proven and effective practices you can employ to help your unit tests pay dividends over time. If Humphrey Bogart were a developer, he would have agreed, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

4:00 Wrapup, Giveways, and Bon Voyage!

More details here and here