|| Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Before PDC, I decided I'd need a new PC for testing purposes - Team System (Beta 3 coming soon), IIS 7.0 on Longhorn Server as well as Windows Vista definitely do run a lot faster when not in VirtualPC. That's what I got myself:
That's a Shuttle XPC SB81P, a Pentium P4 630 (3Ghz, 2MB Cache, FSB800), 2GB of RAM, a 250GB WD SATA HDD and one of my old DVD-RAM drives. Nice setup, and not too expensive either.
|| Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Before heading to PDC, I got my new cell phone - the Sony Ericsson W800i. Hence I didn't have time to put it through the paces, which I then did the past couple of days (how shocking: I never bring my cell phone to the USA). What a difference from the SPV C500! It has great battery lifetime, it starts up really fast compared to the C500, and important functionality is easy to reach.
There are a couple of smart technical choices that I love: for one, the wired headset comes in two parts - one connects to the cellphone and has the mike, the second part connects to the former using a standard stereo jack. Read: I can use my excellent Etymotic ER 6 with it! For phone calls, listening to music (it is after all an MP3 player shipped with a 512MB card in the box) as well as listening to the radio (yep, can do that too, nice touch).
It comes with a USB cable, and it connects to your PC by default as a mass storage device. No need for special software if you want to transfer files - how cool is that? (I already thought about abusing it as a "toolbox" instead of a USB memory stick) If you want to sync with Outlook et al, that is still possible - but you then need software (included). And of course the phone is being charged when connected to USB. Having to install ActiveSync so my C500 would charge annoyed me royally.
The only snag so far: you can use WAV files for ring tones, however, when trying to assign them to individual contacts they are not shown - they are filtered out. For the general ringtone it works fine. Definitely a bug, but not a real issue: Audacity to the rescue I converted the WAV files to MP3.
Finally, the design. My brother's opinion: "schwul" (faggy). I have to agree - white seems to be a real bane since Apple entered the scene of digital lifestyle accessories.
demonstrated it last week at the PDC, now he released the new version of the Web Development Helper
to the public. Read more about the exciting new features here
|| Sunday, September 18, 2005
The Seattle Post Intelligencer has the by far best analysis on the "Mono BOF" at the PDC - read it here (Builder UK article for contrast). From the marketing aspect of the BOF refusal to the impact Mono will have to shops that bought into Windows (zilch, that is), those two articles cover all bases.
Especially the one I also like to point out: Mono will always play catch up with .NET (unless the development pace at MS slows down, but there was no such sign at this year's PDC). I had to laugh out loud when the Seattle PI quoted Somasegar as saying that "it's [Mono] a good science experiment that is happening there". And a warning that if it eats into their revenue, they will reconsider their current position. Given that Mono not only implements the ECMA standard, this certainly is an option. Taking further into consideration that MS sure as hell won't risk a class action suit from shareholders growling about lost money because of Mono, this is a threat scenario the Mono project better prepares for.
Before you flame me for the previous paragraph: I am project manager on the open source #develop project, so spare me the FUD blames. Especially if you are IANAL.
|| Saturday, September 17, 2005
The only way for me to not come home with tons of books is to give bookstores a wide berth. This is not an option at a PDC where so many new books are presented, and so many other ones are deeply discounted. Hence the list:
- Threat Modeling We got that book during Monday's Attack and Defense preconference session. Free, of course.
- Coder to Developer That was on my list for a (too) long time.
- Presenting Windows Workflow Foundation I didn't make it to any of the giveaway sessions, so I bought a copy.
- Programming Windows Presentation Foundation I wonder why I couldn't resist <g />
- Visual Studio Tools for Office Since I saw VSTO 2005 for the first time at an event in Redmond this year, I was looking forward to playing with it. Here's my ticket.
- The best of Verity Stob Special thanks to Gary Cornell from Apress for giving me a free copy! A real classic. Shame on you if you don't know Verity Stob, however, about everyone I told about the book so far was like "Verity Who?". You're definitely reading the wrong rags.
- Mastering Windows Server 2003 Affectionately know as "the Minasi", I simply could not pass up on that book on Friday - 42 USD! Compare that to the regular selling price of 55 Euro...
A hopefully luggable list of books...
|| Friday, September 16, 2005
The conference is over, and my brain is full - full of (semi)stupid ideas what I'd like to try with all those new technologies I saw this week. Task #1 for next week is to set up a VPC with Whidbey Beta 2, because I no longer have such an image, but need it for LINQ, Atlas et al. So plenty of good reasons to go back in time.
What did I see today? The obligatory session list:
- Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with Relational Data
- Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with XML Data
- Tips & Tricks: Developing and Testing with Virtual PC
- Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Going Under the Hood to Understand the Architecture
The day started with Luca Bolognese's talk on DLINQ (Luca was PM on ObjectSpaces, so it is your guess...). His samples contained a few "references" to James Gosling, and it was a fun session to start with on the last day (whoever came up with deadlock victim had some humor too) Luca weighed in on the top three questions on DLINQ:
- Do you support stored procedures?
- Do you support database xyz?
- How's your performance?
For #1, this is an unqualified yes. For #2, a provider needs to be written. And last but not least: at runtime, you only incur conversion to SQL, and the generation of objects. So no significant hit should be expected.
We got a voucher for the aforementioned today together with disc six of "The Goods". Of course I went to the site to register with the unique PIN - but what did I have to read in the small print? Offer good only to Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005 <snip /> registered attendees who are Canadian or US citizens.
You are kidding me, right? First, announce the swag during the keynote. But keep mum on the limitations for us non-Americans! Sure enough I wrote an email to the email address given for questions or concerns. You bet. After JASJARgate, this would be the second annoying thing (I don't mind that the session evaluation drawings are limited to Americans).
Update: According to Euan Garden, this has been addressed.
The day started out with one of those famous spoof videos - this time about a "variation" of Windows error reporting, dubbed WE-SYP (we share your pain). Error reporting tied to a - let's call it - "multimedia" chair. Fun to watch.
Right after that, Bob Muglia showed off what we can expect from Windows Server in the next couple of year. Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Solution was demoed together with Excel Services - impressive. TxF (transactional NTFS) wasn't any less exciting, just like the identity solutions - and, of course, IIS 7.0. We got the bits for the latter today.
Sessions I attended today:
- Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo"): A Deep Dive into Best Practices Using the Windows Communications Foundation
- ASP.NET: Future Directions for Developing Rich Web Applications with Atlas (Part 2)
- ASP.NET: A Sneak Peek at Future Directions in Web Development and Designer Tools
- Windows Vista & "Longhorn" Server: Under the Hood of the Operating System—System Internals and Your Application
- ASP.NET: Deep Dive into the ObjectDataSource Control
The under the hood session for Longhorn server had one interesting tidbit - they aim to require mandatory signing for kernel mode drivers on x64 platforms - bye bye kernel root kits!
Bradley Millington quite overshot his allocated timeslot for the ObjectDataSource control, but he covered interesting areas: filtering and master details, custom sorting and paging, updates inserts deletes as well as transactions and caching. Seeing realistic examples is a welcome change. A good place for you to start: the Advanced Data Scenarios section of the Quickstarts. (Note: those links point to http://beta.asp.net, and I don't think that Whidbey docs will be up and running there forever, given that "Orcas" starts appearing on the horizon).
|| Thursday, September 15, 2005
I had seen it in a Channel 9 video (here), but never actually checked it out. When talking to the AWS (Amazon Web Services) representative @ the PDC expo today, I saw liveplasma again. This is a way cool use of Web services. Map your favorite music or videos - the following screenshot is just one example:
More cool uses of AWS can be found in the Amazon Web Services Blog.
Today's first keynote speaker was Eric Rudder. He unveiled the Expression Suite, which contains Acrylic, Quartz and Sparkle. For the latter, go to Channel 9 and watch this video. Also, the Windows Workflow Foundation saw the light of day during the keynote, as well as (last but not least) VSTA (Visual Studio Tools for Applications). You can learn more about VSTA in this blog post.
Eric was followed by Steven Sinofsky, who focused on Office 12. He demoed SharePoint, InfoPath, the new Access and more. I have to say again what I said previously - this is the first time I'm interested in an Office beta program. Good news is that all PDC attendees are signed up, steak knives being strictly optional <g /> (and even more limited than that phone fiasco from day one, 'nough said).
Now, without further ado(.net), the sessions I attended today:
- Windows Vista: User Account Protection—Securing Your Application with Least Privilege Administration
- The .NET Language Integrated Query Framework: An Overview
- C#: Future Directions in Language Innovation
- ASP.NET: Future Directions for Developing Rich Web Applications with Atlas (Part 1)
Anders Hejlsberg did the LINQ (Language Integrated Query Framework) and C# 3.0 sessions. Highly impressive stuff, and I am looking forward to the DLinq session to learn more about the relational access model. I do like to know what is going on behind the scenes, various OR mappers made me wary. In closing: at least now I know why ObjectSpaces made a rapid disappearance...
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