Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

November, 2007

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Illusions - How can this be true?


    Michael's twirling dancer link generated a lot of chatter, but this one seems even less fathomable to me

    Michele's posted an image as an example of your brain messing with your head (as it were). In this image, the squares marked A and B are the same colour!

    Don't believe me? I didn't either, so I snipped a small part of the image and placed it in Paint.


    Still didn't look possible, so I drew a rectangle next to the image, split it in 2 and used the eye dropper tool to pick up the colour first from square A (and filled the left segment) and then from B (and filled the right segment).


    As my son would say - "Freaky!"

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MSDN Webcast: Building Spatial Applications with SQL Server 2008 (Level 300)


    The word's getting out there (a little too slowly for my liking, but anyway ...): SQL Server 2008 will have spatial data support built-in. The first CTP to have this feature enabled should be CTP5 (due out any day now).

    In the mean time, Isaac Kunen and Michael Rys have recorded a webcast with some great information.

    View it here

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MCT Community Summit in Sydney 29-31 Jan 2008


    Sharmilla sent this through today.

    Microsoft proudly presents its first MCT Community Summit 2008 in Sydney, Australia, January 29 – 31st

    For the very first time, Australia  will be hosting its very own MCT Community gathering to gain and share knowledge!

    This exciting Event is from Jan 29 – 31st 2008 – REGISTER NOW !!!!

    For more information,

    The 2008 program promises to be filled with new course training on Windows Server 2008, SQL “Katmai” 2008, Office Communications Server, Exchange Server 2007 and many more. The sessions are designed to enhance technical product knowledge, improve training skills and provide an early look at new Microsoft Learning courses and course formats.

    NEW technologies covered in the Summit :

    · Windows Server 2008: Virtualization, Active Directory, Networking and Security, Terminal Services, Applications platform, as well as trainer preparation sessions on new courseware.

    · SQL Server 2008: For database administrators, for database developers, as well as trainer preparation sessions on new courseware.

    · Office Communication Server 2007: Architecture and deployment, as well as trainer preparation sessions on new courseware.

    · SharePoint Technologies: Developing on SharePoint server and incorporating MOSS SDK into your SharePoint technologies deliveries.

    · Exchange Server 2007: Incorporating Service Pack 1 into your Exchange class deliveries.

    · Visual Studio 2008: The next version of Visual Studio, Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008, will provide an industry-leading developer experience for Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and the Web.

    Who should attend?

    Microsoft Certified Trainers, who work as staff trainers or independents can gain much value from attending an MCT Summit. You should attend if you want to:

    · Get in-depth technical knowledge about Microsoft technologies in early stages of product lifecycles.

    · Get “Tips and tricks” on delivering newly released Microsoft Learning Products.

    · Learn from veteran instructors and experienced speakers.

    · Meet, network and share your experiences with trainers from all over the world.

    · Meet Microsoft Learning staff responsible for managing courseware development and certification programs.

    Event Details :

    Date                                  :             January 29 - 31, 2008

    Venue                               :             Sydney Marriott Hotel, 36 College Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2010, Australia

    Participation Fee              :             AUD 399 excluding GST. This price is inclusive of 3-days training, materials and lunch.

    REGISTER NOW !!!!!!! :

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual Studio Extensibility CoDe Focus Magazine Online


    VSXI was chatting with Ken Levy a couple of weeks ago about what he's up to now (he works for the Visual Studio Extensibility Team) and he pointed me at a great resource that he's put together with the guys from CoDe Focus Magazine.

    VSX CoDe Focus magazine is now online at Microsoft sponsored this special edition of CoDe Magazine on the topic of VSX. The entire 76 page magazine is available online in multi-page HTML format and also as a PDF download (13MB). Printed copies of the magazine will be available in late October at various developer events and mailed to many existing CoDe magazine subscribers.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    XNA Games Studio Express Events in Sydney and Melbourne this week


    A couple of great XNA Games Studio Express events this week in the MS offices in Sydney and Melbourne, presented by Pete Isensee, director of the Microsoft XNA Developer Connection (XDC).

    Who should attend?

    • XNA (Game Studio Express) users
    • Game development/design enthusiasts/students
    • Professional game developers
    • Media

    Sydney Event

    Date: Nov 14th 2007 @ 6:30PM

    Location: Microsoft Sydney Office

    Melbourne Event

    Date: Nov 16th 2007 @ 6:30PM

    Location: Microsoft Melbourne Office

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Craig Bailey asks "Are Free Events Worth The Cost?"


    Craig Bailey has a well considered and thought-provoking piece entitled COMMUNITY: Are events worth the cost?, but which he later told me he meant to call COMMUNITY: Are free events worth the cost?

    I'll leave you to read Craig's answer on his blog, but it's a very reasonable question. Craig mainly asks the question from the point of view of the attendee, but it's just as valid (perhaps even more so) to ask it from the organiser's point of view.

    On the negative side of the ledger, it's a lot of work. Just ask Greg or Mitch or Rocky or Graham or any of the 30-odd User Group leads around the country. You're going to be able to make more money, or spend more time with the kids or whatever if you don't do it.

    On the positive side, you're doing three things:

    1. You're providing a service. This means that people in the community look up to you as the person who runs/ran <insert event or user group here>. Your name will be associated with the event or group and you'll most likely get referrals based on that recognition
    2. You're building a community. As someone who has benefited a great deal from various tech communities over my career, I can personally vouch for the value of community. Apart from anything else, having an expanded user base will at least assist in future-proofing your career.
    3. You're Learning. As the organiser of an event or group, it's your call as to who presents and on what. If there's a particular topic you'd like to see more of, organise for an expert to come and present and there you go.

    As I think I've said before, It's all about community.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    .NET Framework 3.5 Namespaces Poster Available


    clip_image002This just in from Paul Andrew.

    We just completed the .NET Framework 3.5 update to the Commonly Used Types and Namespaces poster.

    Here's a link to the file (PDF, XPS and 16-page XPS) if you want to grab it now and be the first on your block to get it on your wall. We'll be using it at a variety of places, if you think it would be a cool thing to have at a Microsoft event then please go suggest it to some Microsoft employee that you know.

    Let me point out the little additive circles diagram at the bottom right. We've found that this is a great way to explain the additive version releases of the .NET Framework 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.5. The primary reason for updating the .NET Framework this additive way instead of the side-by-side nature of .NET Framework 1.1 – 2.0 is to make it easier for customers to upgrade their apps. Here's that diagram again.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    What, more fishbowl movies?


    The last batch of Virtual TechEd Fishbowl movies from TechEd Australia have been posted. Check 'em out! (You'll need to page down at least once because VTE's been to South Africa, Japan, and now Barcelona in the mean time)

    Click to Play

    A Veteran WIT Tells her Story

    In this last WIT installment from Tech·Ed Australia, Rose Watson, Microsoft Technical Account Manager, relays to Charlene Clark how she has successfully worked in the IT field for more than 18 years while at the same time raising a family. She emphasizes the importance of taking the necessary time to achieve a satisfying work-life balance.

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    Another Successful Woman in Technology

    Hear another successful woman working in the IT field tell her story about how she started her career, and how she encourages women to “go for it” when considering this industry, with Kathy Kam, Microsoft Program Manager, and Charlene Clark, from Queensland Rail.

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    What’s Expression?

    Shane Morris, Microsoft User Experience Evangelist, and Ron Jacobs, host of ARCast.TV, carry on a lively chat about Expression. What’s Expression? Simply put, the technology is about providing tools for designers—user interface designers, interaction designers, graphic designers, and others—so they get a seat at the table when technology is developed.

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    A Community Leader in Security

    Orin Thomas, Security MVP, is widely involved in a number of Security-related endeavors. Listen in as he speaks with Michael Kleef, Technology Advisor, about (where he is associate editor), his involvement with the Melbourne Security and Infrastructure Interchange, and his two Tech·Ed Australia sessions “Pushing the limits of EFS in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008” and “Deploying and managing a Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Server.”

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    WIT Series Video

    Join Zaakera Stratman, Program Manager for Virtual Tech·Ed, as she interviews Bronwen Zande, Windows Live Services Development Specialist, about Bronwen’s first exposure to computers and her organic entry into the IT field—helping her Dad write a program for his work when she was in high school! Bronwen and Zak share what they love about being women in the technology industry and how to overcome stereotypes women face.

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    The SQL Server Community

    In this video recorded at Tech·Ed Australia, Catherine Eibner, Cybner Computer Solutions, and Peter Ward, Chief Technical Architect from Wardy IT and recently-awarded MVP, talk about Peter’s session “Things You Need to Know for a Painless Upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2005” and his involvement in the Sequel Server Community.

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    Windows Server 2008 Scenarios

    Werner Kasselman and Amit Pawar, Microsoft Technical Specialists, describe Windows Server 2008 scenarios, and in particular they cover the branch office scenario. With Windows Server 2008, customers can manage their branch, reduce their costs and gain all the services they need in an optimized environment.

    Watch Now

    Click to Play

    Women in Technology

    In this WIT video recorded at Tech·Ed Australia, Nikki Curtis from the Australian Computer Society and Charlene Clark, Queensland Rail, talk about how they got started in IT, some of the challenges women face when growing their IT careers, and tips for young women considering entering the field.

    Watch Now

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Virtual Earth - Real Revenue - Workshop in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney


    Great workshops in the MS offices next week

    Topic: Virtual Earth - Real Revenue

    Where: Microsoft Offices

    When:  Brisbane 12th November, Melbourne 13th November, Sydney 14th November

    Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

    Registration: Register for the Virtual Earth briefing by sending an e-mail to


    What’s in it for you

    • Where and what is the market?
    • Incentive
    • Pricing and Licensing

    What have others done

    • Live sites

    What’s new in Version 6

    · Multipoint routing

    · Enhanced Geocoding

    · Safari 2.1 support for 2D only

    · Customer Identification via Client Tokens

    · Transaction Reporting (beta)

    · MapCruncher (Beta)

    · Infrastructure Improvements

    · Bulk addition of VEShape

    · Z-Index support for VEShapes

    · New v6 iSDK -

    · Optional access via SSL

    · Better POI accuracy when rotating Birds-eye images

    · 3D altitude display

    · Import 2D and 3D KML objects into VE

    · Choice of VE or MapPoint web services routing (for different languages, not avoidance [yet] )

    · Bulk load utility for custom points

    · A geocoding result code

    Presented by Microsoft and our VE partner, Map Data Sciences

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    .NET and VBA Interop


    I got a nice note from Joe Hanna of vantage IT today following my presentation at the Office DevCon last weekend.

    In case you were interested, I thought I might let you know the results of attempting to build a .NET User Control and consuming it in a VBA project.  Following your advice, I downloaded the Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0a and hey presto...

    Thanks mate!



    As I've discussed before, The Interop Toolkit is a great resource for developers with a foot in both the Win32 and .NET camps.

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